location

Episode 09 with James Floyer

Episode 09 with James Floyer 900 450 Nowhere Podcast

James Floyer, the Program Director and Senior Avalanche Forecaster of Avalanche Canada, joins us for this episode. Avalanche Canada is a non-government non-profit that focuses on avalanche safety for individuals in the backcountry.

Avalanches can happen anywhere there is steep terrain and significant snowfall. There are also a few different types, with loose snow and slab avalanches being the most dangerous. Because there is a lack of infrastructure, those most at risk to avalanches are people in the backcountry.

The MIN, or Mountain Information Network, is an observation system used by Avalanche Canada to assess risk. Individual users can submit information to this network, as it was created in response to recognition of an untapped resource for safety: the public.

Avalanche Canada puts out the call for public user support early in the season, and generally the response is quite strong. People feel called to step up to the plate and submit data, and looking at this data is where avalanche analysis and safety really begins.

Avalanche Canada also has six field teams, five of which are located in Western Canada. They go out about four times a week into data-sparse areas to gather information about snowpacks and make observations of conditions to feed back into the forecast center. They also demonstrate best-practices to the public to help keep everyone in the backcountry safe.

Listen to the episode here:

Episode 08 with Sean Gorman

Episode 08 with Sean Gorman 900 450 Nowhere Podcast

On today’s episode of Nowhere Podcast we’re joined by ​​Sean Gorman. Sean was the CEO of Pixel8.earth until the business was acquired in 2021. Pixel8.earth took a crowd sourced approach to location mapping, and today Sean is still focusing on taking further strides forward in location technology.

Current commodity GPS isn’t incredibly accurate. It relies on triangulating satellites and estimating times between signals, but if it bounces, it can create errors. If you’ve ever found yourself looking at where you are on the map and found you were on the wrong road or the wrong side of the street, this is the common culprit.

Sean sees the future of location technology going towards growth in augmented reality, drone navigation, and autonomy. Right now, the focus is on solving the long-tail problems that are blocking exciting possibilities.

Some of the fun areas that new tech could have an interesting impact on are interactive gaming and athletics. Right now, if you go hiking with a partner or friend, the location technology in your phone is susceptible to errors. These errors build up and can lead to great discrepancies between devices.

Solving current problems in location technology could unlock benefits that will benefit individuals and society as a whole. When you have enough people pushing for solutions from enough different angles, there are going to be even more opportunities to explore in the geo-spatial world.

Listen to the episode here:

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