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Antarctic adventures part 1: creating a geo-blog

I have recently returned from a month long trip to Antarctica and had a lot of fun blogging about my experiences over at Geoarctica.

In the run up to my trip, I was often faced with blank expressions when I tried to explain to people where I was going, and more specifically what I would be doing over there. So I was keen to be able to communicate my journeys by harnessing the power of mapping, loosly inspired by Strava.

This is part 1 of two posts about Geoarctica and blogging from the far South.

Geoarctica

A nice bespoke blog

Confession… I didn’t create the blog itself. I have @orangemugdev to thank for that. It would have been nice to learn some new skills and put something together myself, but I ran out of time. After explaining my vision, I ended up with something really excellent that I was very excited to start using.

The maps

The original plan was to use a polar projected map with MODIS imagery acquired on the day of the post as the basemap, similar to another recent project of ours, Leafarctica. But I only gave @orangemugdev one day to get this up and running (terrible client…) and we came across some problems.

  1. The MODIS imagery wouldn’t have worked without a coastline to give it some context because of the large amount of cloud in each image. Since attempting to add a coastline to Leafarctica ourselves and not achieving anything satisfactory, someone else has done an excellent job of this! Check out Leafarctica2 by @zeigert.

  2. The available zoom levels of the MODIS dataset did not allow for my smaller scale adventures around Rothera Point to be displayed. The larger scale flying posts would look great, but the detail of skiing and climbing for example, would be lost.

  3. I really like the map tiles from Stamen Design that we settled on. However, they lack any kind of indication of what the ground looks like, which is where a satellite image basemap would have been nice.

Overall though, super chuffed and ready to go!

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