Geodata Systems

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The Spice Trade’s Forgotten Island

There’s just something about an isolated island that captures my imagination. Last year, it was the mysterious military base turned science project, Ascension Island; this time it’s a little postcolonial island in the Banda Sea called Run (also known as Rhun or Pulo Run). Without the work of …

Quebec’s Grande Dame: Château Frontenac

Few hotels define an urban skyline like the <b>Fairmont Le Château Frontenac</b>. This grande dame, which lords over <b>Quebec City</b> from a cliff overlooking the St. Lawrence River, is one of the most photographed hotels in the world, and it’s easy to see why. It’s hard to take a picture of the city without the …

Big Cities, Great Escapes

When it’s just too darn hot, these are the go-to getaways for city dwellers around the world:<p>Big City: Sydney, Australia <br>> Great Escape: Blue Mountains<p>Reaching into the air above the city’s western flank, the Blue Mountains are a haven for sweltering Sydneysiders. “I think of the mountains as a …

Dell unveils a range of affordable PCs ahead of Windows 10

While Dell managed to surprise us with its rather handsome XPS 15 -- the sibling of the thin-bezel XPS 13 laptop -- at Computex, it's also bringing us a range of both new and refreshed models ahead of the Windows 10 launch. Starting off with the headliner, we have the Inspiron 15 7000 series laptop …

Exploring Sarajevo, 20 Years After Dayton Peace Accord

Wildlife & Wild Places<p>From morning to midnight, in sun or snow, pensioners play chess with passion, swinging life-sized pieces across a board painted onto the pavement in the center of Sarajevo.<p>I struck up a conversation with a crowd of bystanders, and learned that was not always so. Twenty years …

Death Toll in India's Intense Heat Wave Soars to Over 1,100

India’s heat wave has now claimed over 1,100 lives, with spiking temperatures melting roads in the capital, New Delhi, as the country awaits the …

India

The Texas Floods Are So Big They Ended the State’s Drought

Texas really can't seem to catch a break. A month ago, the Lone Star state was in the middle of a dry emergency: Its reservoirs were draining, its …

Pressed for Space, Singapore Looks Underground for Room to Grow

A wave of construction below the earth’s surface aims to make room for the city above.<p>SINGAPORE—Pipes and storage tanks cover most of heavily guarded Jurong Island, the heart of Singapore’s petrochemical industry. Singapore does not produce a single drop of oil, but the refineries owned by Shell, …

The Link Between Walkable Neighborhoods and Race

African Americans are far more likely to live in the San Francisco Bay Area’s least walkable neighborhoods. Why?<p>Walkability is not only good for you: It’s a highly desired characteristic of housing and neighborhoods. I’ve written before about the connection between walkable neighborhoods and higher …

How To Tell A Story–Right Now–From A Master Of Improv

Upright Citizen Brigade founding member Matt Besser is one of the world’s leading improvers. Here, the off-the-cuff expert offers wisdom on how to free associate your way to solid spontaneous storytelling.<p>What we say matters a great deal, but so does what we don’t say. There are times when you just …

These “Farmscrapers” Are Entire Cities In Crazy, Wobbly Looking Towers

These incredible looking buildings are designed by a Belgian architect named Vincent Callebaut. Called “Asian Cairns,” after the rock stacks left on mountainsides, the “farmscrapers” are pebble-like pods stacked on top of each other.<p>The design incorporates housing, office, and leisure spaces, as …

Is This What Urban Buildings Will Look Like In 2050?

With internal farms, walls that convert CO2 to oxygen, and even the ability to personalize itself based on your DNA, this concept for the building of the future is a sight to behold.<p>Editor’s Note<p>Read more amazing visions of the future in our Futurist Forum.<p>2050 is far enough off to imagine the …

Can a city become too big?

The number of megacities has been increasing so rapidly in the last few decades that many are experiencing serious growing pains. Molly Crain investigates.<p>There are now some three dozen megacities in the world, each sprawling areas home to more than 10 million people. Bigger cities come with …

Sea Level

Arizona, Not California, Will Feel the Worst of the West's Megadrought

As Lake Mead hits record lows and water shortages loom, Arizona prepares for the worst.<p><i>This story was originally published by Slate and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.</i><p>Two weeks ago, Lake Mead, which sits on the border of Nevada and Arizona, set a new record low—the …

Mass Flooding Exposes Nairobi's Outdated Drainage Infrastructure

A recent downpour exposes how inadequate the burgeoning city’s drain network actually is.<p>Commuters in Nairobi, Kenya, have been at a standstill since widespread flooding washed through the city following relentless rainfall Monday in the East African hub. Cars have been abandoned, residents spoke …

The Skyscraper of the Future

The push to build a new kind of tower has begun.<p>There's something inherently absurd about skyscrapers. They defy gravity and high winds. They require years of challenging high-altitude construction. They're dizzying to look at—from the ground and from their top floors, where a sense of vertigo is …

The 20 Most Mosquito-Plagued U.S. Cities

Tips for getting through the summer without scratching your skin off.<p>Are you itchy yet? It’s mosquito season.<p>Pest control company Orkin just released its annual ranking of the U.S. cities most beleaguered by mosquitoes. Atlanta topped the list for the second year in a row, followed by Chicago and …

Ukraine marks anniversary of 1986 Chernobyl disaster

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko paid his respects to the victims of the Chernobyl disaster on Sunday marking the 29th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear accident.<p>More than 30 people died immediately after the explosion in 1986 and more than 4,000 people were killed in the aftermath of …

Many still displaced months after Malaysia floods

Floods that devastated northeast Malaysia in December last year were the worst in decades. Thousands of homes were destroyed by the torrential monsoon rains in Kelantan.<p>Nearly four months after the deluge, many people still do not have a place they can call their home.<p>Al Jazeera's Sohail Rahman …

Floods

2030: How 4 smart cities are gearing up for the future

While the future (as a whole) is very much unwritten, the future of what our urban centers will look like is less uncertain.<p>We can assume, to a …

Forgotten Lessons From a 1970s Fight Against Gentrification

How a decades-old tenant battle in Washington, D.C.'s Adams Morgan neighborhood is still shaping the city today.<p>The Adams Morgan neighborhood in Washington, D.C., gets pretty crowded on weekends. If you walk down 18th Street at night, you have to dodge hordes of drunken 20-somethings between their …

Seattle's Fight Against Sprawl, 20 Years On

The city's urban villages strategy is working—in some parts more than others.<p>In 1992, then-Mayor Norm Rice announced a strategy to reduce urban sprawl in Seattle. The idea was to channel future growth into so-called "urban villages": walkable, affordable sections of the city that contained …

Catastrophic Flooding Is Getting Worse and We're Woefully Unprepared

New research shows flooding in the Midwest has become more frequent over the last 50 years.<p><i>This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.</i><p>The Midwest is no stranger to devastating floods. Last summer, the region was inundated …

What to do if you lost or forgot your iPad passcode

So you created an awesome passcode for your iPad. You were extremely proud of this passcode, too. For once, you selected one that wasn’t a birthday, or anniversary or special day that was easy to remember. You finally listened to all the published articles about how important it is to use arbitrary …

Setup

The 50 Best Albums of 2014

Welcome to Pitchfork's list of The 50 Best Albums of 2014.<p>Listen to selections from this list via two Beats Playlists: Vol. 1 (50-26) | Vol. 2 (25-1)<p>Ben Frost puts a lot of thought into his music, technically and conceptually. His song titles and interviews pack his dense, throbbing scrawls with …

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