“Maptember” in the UK

The United Kingdom will hold a month of map and GIS related conferences in September:

Society of Cartographers Conference 2013 in Stoke-on-Trent (2nd to 4th Maptember)

Conference on Spatial Information Theory 2013 in Scarborough (2nd to 6th Maptember)

British Cartographic Society Mapping 2013 Symposium in Leicestershire (3rd to 5th Maptember)

Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society 2013 Conference in Glasgow (4th to 6th Maptember)

State of the Map 2013 in Birmingham (6th to 8th Maptember)

European Planetary Science Congress 2013 in London (8th to 13th Maptember)

OpenStreetMap Professional Large User Summit in Birmingham (9th Maptember)

The Second Joint FIG/IAG/ISPRS Symposium on Deformation Monitoring in Nottingham (9th to 11th Maptember)

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team House Hack Week (9th to 13th Maptember)

QGIS-Dev Meeting in Brighton (12th to 16th Maptember)

Association for Geographic Information (AGI)’s Annual Conference, AGI’s GeoCommunity ’13 in Nottingham (16th to 18th Maptember)

GEOMED 2013 in Sheffield (16th to 18th Maptember)

FOSS4G 2013 in Nottingham (17th to 21st Maptember)

Read more at http://www.maptember.org/

FracFocus Chemical Disclosure Registry

Both Canada and the U.S. maintain a national registry for the disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing:


FracFocus.ca, built by the BC Oil and Gas Commission and conceived based on the American site, is an up-to-date resource for students and professionals in environmental sciences, earth sciences, and engineering, as well as members of the general public. Visitors to the Canadian site can discover the location of oil and gas wells and the chemicals used at each site in British Columbia and Alberta. From the FracFocus.ca Welcome Page: [FracFocus.ca] is a collaboration between provinces, territories, regulators and industry to provide Canadians with objective information on hydraulic fracturing, what legislation and regulations are in place to protect the environment including groundwater, and transparency on the ingredients that make up hydraulic fracturing fluids. Visit the site(s) to learn more.

America’s 100 Best Adventures

americanadvanturesHave you finished your exams and are you planning your summer trips? If so, you will probably find this article useful. National Geographic recently created a list of 100 most appealing adventure places in the States where you might be able to enjoy your favorite activities in pure nature.

If you decide to visit several places on one trip, you may draw your itinerary using this interactive map.

If you cannot go to any of these sites this summer,  you can at least play fun puzzles by creating one of these famous natural beauties.

Read more on National Geographic.

Image: America’s Best Adventures Maps from National Geographic

DOAJ – Directory of Open Access Journals

doajYou probably have heard of the open access movement or open access journals. Do you know of a source that exclusively lists open access scholarly journals? The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is such a list, where you could search for peer-reviewed journal articles and browse them by subject. For example, Geography has 123 journal titles right now. Since this source is freely available, it may become one of your essential sources for academic content once you graduate.

Dutch National Library makes progress with copyrighted material

Copyright has been an issue which sustains authors’ ability to produce, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, limits readers’ use to a certain extent. As guardians of copyrighted material, libraries make every effort to help maximize the use of its materials.

The Dutch National Library recently took this a step further by digitizing its copyrighted material and giving full access to the public. Instead of resolving the copyright issue with authors one by one, it took an “opt-out model” and asked copyright owners to contact the library if they didn’t agree to making their material available online.

Read more at Dutch National Library gives full access to in copyright material.

Ten tips for a GIS job interview

interviewApril is a busy month when you are wrapping up your studies and planning your summer activities. For those of you who are preparing for a job interview in the GIS field, I would like to share the following tips from GIS Lounge.

  1. Volunteer
  2. Create a portfolio
  3. Research the GIS job you are interviewing for
  4. Don’t rush to answer
  5. Project the right body language
  6. Make sure to highlight your experiences
  7. Demonstrate your ability to work collaboratively
  8. Be positive
  9. Show an interest in your prospective place of employment
  10. Show your passion

For details of these tips, please read here.

Image credits to Microsoft Images.

Compare databases

We are forever recommending the big databases for finding journal articles and conference proceedings but do you ever wonder how much overlap there is between the databases in science and engineering? You can compare databases using the Academic Database Assessment Tool from the Center for Research Libraries.

Compare the journal coverage of the two major multidisciplinary databases, Web of Science and Scopus, or see how the content overlaps with Compendex (engineering), Inspec (physics) and Geobase (geosciences). According to this tool, there are 11377 overlapping journal titles between Web of Science and Scopus – not a small number.

The redundancy in the search results from searching multiple databases is why we also recommend using citation management software. You can send all of your records to EndNote, for example, from the different databases and then remove the duplicates before you look through them to delete ones you don’t like and select papers of interest you’d like to read. EndNote can also check the McGill Library holdings and attach full text PDFs to records (just fyi).

New platform of SpringerLink

SpringerSpringer is one of the major publishers in the world of science and technology. It has an online platform for its ebooks, called SpringerLink. It recently changed its interface. Unfortunately, the migration caused some of McGill Library’s ebooks to go temporarily missing from the collection. If you see a Springer ebook in the Library’s Catalogue but cannot open the full text following the “Find it” link, you could try pressing the “Access old SpringerLink” button on the top right of the screen. This will take you to the old platform where you may be able to open the full text.

Additionally, if you cannot find a recently published Springer book in the Library’s catalogue, try going to SpingerLink directly and searching by the title or author. Sometimes the catalogue records come later than the ebooks. Please note that you need to turn on VPN or log onto EZproxy if you want to access the Library’s electronic resources from off campus.

Pledge for H2O

As humans, we all need water. The ecosystems of Earth need water too. Unfortunately, many rivers run dry from overuse. If you don’t want to see this happen, one of the things you can do is to save the water that you consume every day. Here are some tips. You can also take the pledge at Change the Course to help restore the Colorado River. Every pledge will return 1,000 gallons to this river.

If you are interested in learning more about freshwater and why it is so important to the world, I would recommend National Geographic’s Freshwater 101 to start your research.