Thursday, August 30, 2007

No GetAltitude Functionality in MapPoint

Unfortunately neither Microsoft MapPoint, Microsoft Virtual Earth, nor Google Earth have GetAltitude(lat, long) functionality. That is, you cannot retrieve elevation data given a lat/long pair. However, NASA, the US Department of the Interior, and the US Geological Survey provide a tremendous amount of geographical/topographical data on the United States and its territories (including elevation) at this website.

For a more direct link to this data:
  1. Open this website:
  2. Click on the View and Download United States Data (click on the map of North America in the upper right part of the webpage)
  3. This opens the Seamless Data Distribution Viewer. You can zoom in/out and select what features to download by drawing a bounding box over your desired region. There is a 1.5 gigabyte limit per selection. On the right side of the application, you can change what attributes the viewer is displaying.
Here's a screenshot of their tool.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I Said, "No Negative Values"

I selected "Logarithmic scale" on an Excel 2007 graph that contained negative data points (which I didn't realize until it was too late). I was told in a not-so-subtle manner that this is a bad thing. Needless to say, I was graphing about 12,000 data points--only about 500 of which were negative. I would guess that this is also the number of error dialogs that popped up.

Should I select the "Was this information helpful?" link? Microsoft certainly seems to think so. I guess they're not really following the adage: less is more.

I'm going to start clicking OK on these babies--probably be done in about an hour.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Charts that Flow

BoingBoing has been linking to lots of flowcharts recently, see Criteria for proper tactical usage of phrase "Oh, Snap!" and Medieval sexual decisionmaking for penitentials . My favorite, however, is this one from Toothpaste for Dinner: the Panflute flowchart. Comedic genius.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

T. Scott Bachelor Party

T. Scott celebrated his last days of bachelorhood by playing his two favorite games: golf and Dartmouth-style beer pong.

Susumu and Sam: a formidable team

Oh yeah, I'm rockin' the dub shirt.

Kayur and J-Lest had skills but the King (background) could not be stopped. Tonight, even LeBron would be proud.

Susumu harnesses his years of martial arts training to direct the ball into the opponent's cup.

Sam and Susumu battle for a top seed.

The championship round: Bridges and Toomim vs. T. Scott and Carlson.

Berkeley and Pitt go down early vs. G. Tech and Dartmouth

Scott finesses the ball and hears some sage advice from the seasoned Dartmouth veteran, "if you're going to miss, miss long."

Feel the intensity.

Feel the 9% alcohol by volume beer.

The king would not be denied.


Undefeated blue-ribbon champions.

Monday, August 13, 2007

North Cascades National Park

08/10/2007 Heather and Maple Pass

08/11/2007 Cascade Pass