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Radio Garden is map-based website with radio stations across the world

So you think that no map-based project can still surprise you? Take a look at Radio Garden… This amazing website will let you explore live streams of radio stations across the world by navigating a Google Earth-style globe.

It lets you listen to your local radio station and in a matter of seconds jump to any place on Earth. I found a radio station on Guam island in the middle of Pacific Ocean, from where I’ve jumped to hear what people listen to on Greenland. Somehow this virtual sound-space travel was a truly amazing experience.

The project, designed by Amsterdam-based Studio Moniker and developed by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, was built using an open-source WebGL globe that draws from thousands of radio stations terrestrial and online-only streams overlaid on the top satellite imagery.

But the project is much more than a map of radio stations, it aims to connect people worldwide through shared experiences. “From its very beginning, radio signals have crossed borders,” the site says. “Radio makers and listeners have imagined both connecting with distant cultures, as well as re-connecting with people from ‘home’ from thousands of miles away — or using local community radio to make and enrich new homes.”

Additionally the website comes with various sections that focus on the different aspects of radio. There is a History section broadcasting clips throughout the history of radio, the Jingles section which plays jingles of various stations and finally, Stories section where you can read short radio-related stories contributed to the website.

It’s a truly outstanding project.

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GIS is like Sizzler isn’t it?

I admit it. I love Sizzler. When I lived in England the food was … truly bloody awful! Then one sunny day a Ponderosa (then a Sizzler competitor) opened in my town. The joy among the community was palpable. Finally food that was prepared, plentiful and edible.

Pay your money at the door and the pleasure began. So many choices. Grab a plate, slap on what you wanted and yummy. No need to cook, an almost endless selection of already prepared food. The joy.

ArcGIS is like Sizzler isn’t it?

I’ve sometimes read the term self-service in relation to GIS: self-service mapping, self-service analytics. That term makes me think of an all you can eat buffet. Rather like Sizzler.

If only GIS were like a Sizzler. Alas, when you invest in a GIS, there are no back room staff planning out which food stuff will be made available today. Nobody preparing the food; washing, cutting, cooking, combining. Guess who gets to do the planning and preparing? You. Yes you!

And believe me GIS is considerably more complex than food preparation (my highly trained GIS colleagues can attest to that)

Self-service is you configuring the last mile. But do you know how to navigate the first 100 miles. Can you plan and prepare your GIS as if you ran a Sizzler?

All is not lost. This is one of the reasons organizations like mine exist. To help set the stage for those struggling with GIS.

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