Alcatraz from Above and Below

Looking Forward

When xyHt author Juan B. Plaza phoned me and said he had access to information and data generated from a recent geospatial project on Alcatraz Island and that he wanted to provide the magazine with a story, I thought, well, that’s pretty cool. In our February issue this year I had written a story about Lidar USA scanning Dracula’s castle in Romania. So now adding Alcatraz means we have provided our readers with an inside look at two of the spookiest places on Earth. My only regret is that the timing for neither worked for the October issue. 

On Alcatraz, as you will read, a team of geospatialists gathered to spend three weeks on the island, sleeping in cells once occupied by some of the nation’s most hardened criminals. Plaza’s story is a fascinating account of the project, detailing everything from the mosquitoes the team fought to the experience of being in the creepy hollows of a place with such a haunting history and where no one else has been for decades. 

In another interesting, though much less scary, piece, writer Linda Duffy takes a look at the geospatial role in getting high-speed connectivity to everyone by running fiber-optic cable all the way to your house. In Ontario, Canada, a project is underway to get this capability to all, including the 1.4 million residents who are underserved or have no internet at all in their homes. 

Also, check out Jodie Hartnell’s second part of looking at the evolution of digital levels. It’s an interesting perspective on a critical tool for our profession. 

I also want to thank the many readers who stopped by the xyHt booth at GeoWeek in Denver this year to say how much they appreciate the work we do to bring them the magazine each month. We continue our long-time business plan of not charging the reader any subscription fee for the magazine. We mail it directly to you for free, and we appreciate your interaction with our advertisers, who make the magazine possible. 

Thanks for reading. 


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