Sod Homes of Central Nebraska

My Dad recently sent me his photos of Sod Homes in Nebraska, so I thought I would start posting photos of the Sod Homes in Central Nebraska that he grew up with.  This first one is his GrandPa Pigman’s Sod Home near Ord, Nebraska.

Pigman Sod Home, Ord Nebraska, 1925

If you want to view more Neberaska Sod Homes you can go to my Nebraska Sod Homes photo gallery to view them here.  Link.


As A Service (aaS) Software in The Cloud

I stumbled upon a good blog post written by Kevin Price of  AccuCode that discusses his vision of where the Software As A Service (SaaS) industry is headed.  He explains the concept very well, in a way that a novice can understand.  I expect he is dead on with his predictions.  The aaS industry will change the way we do business.   This post is written on SaaS technology in the WordPress cloud, without me seeing, maintaining, or installing any of the software.  It requires nothing but an internet connection.

Historic Nebraska Sod House Photos

My Dad grew up on a farm in central Nebraska near the town of Ord.  It is hard to imagine the differences in the quality of life that he has lived through.  Growing up with an outhouse, no electricity, no running water, and no easy transportation to town is a much different life than any of us who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s experienced.  Yesterday he sent me some great photos of the Marshall homestead.  Some are from the 1880s, some from the early 1900s, and some from the late 1900s.  They are pretty incredible photos that highlight life in those times.  Please click on the below thumbnail to go to the gallery I constructed to house these photos.  I will be posting more as I receive them.

Pigman Sod House, near Ord, Nebraska, Circa 1900

A few days ago I launched the CultureScapes website to try to capture as much of this type of cultural landscape documentation as possible.  You can see the CultureScapes website at:

Google Earth Builder

The Google Earth Blog contained this post back in April. I totally missed it. I believe the difficulty in sharing Google Earth data is one of the major problems the system has. Looks like Google is trying to address that problem with Google Earth Builder, a cloud-based storage system for Google Earth data that stores data in a similar way to Google Docs. Here is the Post by Mickey Mellen:

April 21, 2011

More about Google Earth Builder

We mentioned Google’s new “Google Earth Builder” in our wrap-up post yesterday, but decided that it deserved a bit more attention.

In a nutshell, Google Earth Builder is a new way for companies to share their vast repositories of geo data. Rather than needing to configure servers and support a local infrastructure, they can simply upload their data to Google Earth Builder and share it that way. It uses a sharing model quite similar to Google Docs (private, individual access, or public), and the data streams extremely quickly.

The implications of this could be huge. Not only will it be a great solution for large corporations and government entities, but provides a way for any company to generate data for a specific client (such as custom 3D buildings) without necessarily having to post them for the world to see.

An interesting point that Google made is that this data will be easily accessible to anyone (with permission) from their desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc. That makes sense, but currently the tablet and smartphone clients for Google Earth likely can’t handle this kind of data. Either their comments have been misinterpreted by everyone (including cnet and others), or we’re hopefully looking at some nice updates to their mobile products in the coming months.

They keys that Google seems to be pushing with this is that it’s easy and fast. Both of this seemed clearly evident in the live demo that they provided on stage yesterday. You can watch that video demonstration below:

There were a few fun facts in that video: There have been more than 700 million downloads of Google Earth and that people use Maps and Earth for more than one million hours every day. Wow!

The fact that Google Earth Builder isn’t due out for a few months (some sites say July, Google says Q3), means that it will only be getting faster and smoother. This could be a brilliant tool to help large entities deal with their vast amounts of data, and we’ll find out once it launches later this year.


Going Paperless

I have been thinking about going paperless with my company VerticalGeo for the last couple years.  I have cut the amount of paper I use by 50% over the last year by storing most of my paperwork online with DropBox.  Lately though I have been hearing people I work with talk about how great the Evernote program is.  I downloaded Evernote the other day and have been experimenting with it.  I like it, but thought it would have limited impact until I saw this video by John Chow on YouTube.

Looks pretty interesting to me, so I think I’ll take the plunge and buy the scanner and see how paperless I can go.

Mission Impossible and The Technology Explosion

Last weekend we went to the movies and saw the “Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol” movie, the most current release in the Mission Impossible series.  I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s and watched the Mission Impossible weekly series for years and now have been a big fan of the Tom Cruise Mission Impossible movies that have been released the last few years.  I think I have seen all of them.  The weekly series back in the 1960s and 1970s and now in the movies version Mission Impossible has been able to leverage leading edge technology and pushed beyond what is available as a recurring theme in the plot.  So, last week we watched the latest Mission Impossible movie and last night we rented “Mission Impossible II.”  I was struck with how far the use of technology has come and the direction it has taken during the 12 years between the release of the two movies.  “Mission Impossible II”  was centered around the use of cellular phones and new laptop computer satellite tracking devices and visualization that were just coming of age in 2000.  The phones were huge and the tracking technology was ancient.  The newest movie “Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol” seemed like a paid advertizement for Apple’s IPhone and IPads.  Almost every piece of technology ran on the mobile devices.  Like all the Mission Impossible movies there were some pretty incredible technical displays in the latest release.  With the explosion of mobile devices it will be interesting to see where the series heads technologically in the future.

American Restoration: Ridin’ Route 66

One of my favorite television shows is the History Channel’s American Restoration. Rick Dale, of Rick’s Restorations does some pretty incredible work. Last night I finally got around to watching the episode aired on Jan 11 on my DVR. The episode featured Rick and his brother Ron restoring an old Wurlitzer Juke Box for a customer in Selignam, Arizona. The customer, named Angel, owned a Route 66 memorabilia shop called Angel’s Barber Shop in Seligman. His shop was packed full of memorabilia. Looked like a great place. You can watch the entire episode here. Link.

I am a Route 66 enthusiast and this episode connected deep within me. Great job Rick, Ron, and Angel.