11.16.2011

How to view your DEM in 3D using ArcScene

I have always used ArcScene for visualizing my GIS data in 3D. However, some issues may arise if your data, specifically DEM is in geographic coordinate system (latitude, longitude). You just have to do some minor settings to make things work really...

Here's my fare share on viewing your DEM in 3D using ArcGIS ArcScene. (For this post I used ArcGIS 10.0, I have also tried it working in ArcGIS 9.3).








Here's it.


Enjoy your mapping and geovisualization everyone! :)

11.14.2011

How to view ESRI Shapefiles in Googlemaps

OK so this is quite an inelegant solution but I have tried it though. :)

I had the need to view a shapefile that I made in ArcGIS 10.0 and now I want to view it in Google Earth and/or Google Maps.

So first if you have a shapefile, convert it to kmz format using the Arc Toolbox> Conversion>To KML> Layer to KML.

A window will pop out. In the layer field, input your shapefile. Specify Output File in *.kmz format. Type "1" as Layer Output Scale.

You're DONE! Navigate through the folder where you save your *kmz file and double click it to view it on Google Earth.


Now the need to view it in Google Maps arises when I have to identify names of places that are not labeled yet in Google Earth.

To view your KMZ in Google Maps, just save your KMZ file in a public URL and paste the URL in the Google Maps search bar.

In my case, I have uploaded it to Dropbox, then I got the public link and paste it in Google Maps.


Hope this helps. Happy mapping :)

10.25.2011

Adobe Acrobat Pro X features Distance Measurement Tool

I have long known that a geo-pdf can perform some analysis such as distance measurement and coordinate extraction but I really never found the need to use it before. Not until today!

My ArcGIS software failed to work and I have to do some measurement in a map using the given scale. Luckily, I remembered this cool feature of Adobe Acrobat and so I gave it a try.

Yeabah! I have just found out what I perfectly need. It's just for an area approximation so for this purpose, the distance measurement tool of Adobe Acrobat Pro X suffices.

Here's how you do it:

On the Tools Menu> Analysis choose Measuring tool. The toolbar will appear on the upper right portion where you will be able to choose measurement and snapping options.

Given the scale in the map, you can already perform distance analysis. (My measurements are colored red in the image below.)


The figure above shows how I coordinated the distances within an area on the map with respect to a given scale.

If some coordinate information are embedded in the pdf, you can extract the location  of a particular portion in the pdf document i.e. latitude, longitude of a point.

I think this is a pretty immediate resource that is really so helpful to us in the geospatial mapping field. :) Which also goes to show how mapping, measurement and geospatial information is so vital in our everyday life that Adobe already integrated it in their portable document format (PDF) readers. (^_^)

10.17.2011

Flood inundation map of typhoon Pedring along Cagayan Valley, Philippines

Extreme typhoons have been frequenting the Metro lately. Metro Manila has just then experienced torrential winds during typhoon Pedring, a day after the 2nd anniversary of the dreaded Ondoy.- September 27, 2011.

Just when I thought that the return period of Ondoy is 180 years, it took just two years to strike us once more. Though typhoon Pedring really centered it's devastation on the outskirts of the Metro, it has definitely cause just another impact in the urban center.

Here's the initial map on the coverage of the recent flood along Cagayan Valley, Philippines. Note that the inundation is under estimated for the scale used of the dataset used in generating this analysis.

A high-resolution file of this map is available here.

10.07.2011

What’s a Healthy Deal?

With the proliferation of many deal sites and group buying sites, it's a rare opportunity that I get to encounter a deal site that mainly focuses on health and well being. This is one HEALTHY DEAL really!

So what is a Healthy Deal after all?
- It's like getting healthy while getting wealthy. It's a more of like hitting two birds with a stone. Just as we know of the famous cliche that HEALTH IS WEALTH, it is with much elation that I get to encounter both in a single deal.

For us who truly value our money, we can be as "kuripot" with our buying. As much as possible we want to get the cheapest without sacrificing on the quality of service that we get. So that's when we get WEALTHY! Because we can be thrifty and save, we know we are handling our finances well hence getting wealthy soon after that.

Now for the healthy part, Healthy Deals Philippines is the newest and only group-buying site in the Philippines that offers health and wellness deals, coupons and discounts.

So you just heard it right, being healthy doesn't have to be so expensive after all. We can choose from the available Health Deals and fare our way to a healthier and still wealthier you!

I have recently checked a deal that I think is way too Awesome.


Whiter Teeth with Dentista Inc.’s Whitening Package (Conventional Gel Tooth Whitening + FREE OTHER DENTAL SERVICES) valued at Php 11,000 instead of Php 20,400


Admit it or not, having whiter teeth can give you the confidence to meet and socialize with more people. One smile is enough to dazzle customers, clients, friends and of course, your date! Unfortunately, whiter teeth thru teeth whitening procedure are not permanent. A dentist will advise you to have a regular cleaning session (prophylaxis) and a ‘touch up’ of tooth whitening material every 6 months to maintain your desired shade.  These services are exclusive of the whitening procedure. They require additional fees. But with Dentista Inc.’s Whitening Bleaching Package, getting whiter teeth and maintaining it will cost you less!

Being able to flaunt an honestly white teeth while saving P9000.00 is just plain spoiling. I personally would love to try this soon!

I bet you want to give it a try too. So hurry while the deal is on!  

And for the fun part, for all BLOGGERS out there, here's another good deal from Healthy Deals Philippines.

Join the “What’s a Healthy Deal?” Bloggers Raffle Contest and you might just be the lucky winner of an Ipad.




Follow Healthy Deal in Twitter @healthydeals_ph and LIKE them on Facebook for their latest promos and deals.







Have a Happy Healthy Deal everyone! (^_^)

9.13.2011

Have you tried Google Fusion Tables?

Apart from the awesome Google Maps and Google Earth. Did you know that you could embed your spatial data in Google Fusion Tables?

Google Fusion Tables is meant for visualizing your data in a spreadsheet. It produces cool charts (bar, pie, scatter, line) for just about any formatted table you have.


You may input a spreadsheet directly from your Google Docs or you may also opt to create a new table from scratch. the steps are easy, just follow the step-by-step instruction at http://www.google.com/fusiontables/ .

Here's a cool line chart that I have created before. It shows the series of oil price hikes since we bought a car last year. It gives me an idea where our next gas refilling station will be. Pretty neat display too. And kudos for it being interactive. Yay!



Now for the geospatial people/geek, you might want to try using this Google Fusion Tables for visualizing your latest database. As long as you have some data with spatial components i.e. geographic coordinates (latitude, longitude), this is already good to go.

What's nice is that it is really interoperable with other Google Products e.g. Google Docs, Google Earth, Blogger, etc. It even has the option to export the created file in KML format.

I played around with our data last night and it was a pleasant surprise. Here's my first try to plot in Fusion Tables.

In the map below is a result of our tree survey, using an Android App,  along the Engineering grounds of UP Diliman.  This initial database is in preparation for a collaborative mapping of trees in UP Diliman for carbon footprints mapping purposes. Try clicking with some points and you'll get to see the attributes of that certain tree e.g. diameter, height, species etc. I'll have to explore more of this, I hope you will too...



Now for those who are not in the geospatial field, this Google Fusion Tables would still surely be of big help. You might want to visualize some trends or analytic report or some playing with a URL or perhaps some favorite tourist destinations with attributes that you want displayed in a map.  Time to experiment folks. Let's play Google(^_^).

Applying inSAR principles to detect surface deformation in Metro Manila

I have just attended an InSAR training  showing how to detect surface deformation through phase differences between SAR signals.

SAR satellite transmits microwave to earth and receives reflected microwave signals from earth surface. The intensity of received microwave indicates electromagnetic characteristics of objects, and phase indicates distance between aperture and object. Surface deformation is measured by the difference in two observed phases. The observed phase differences still contains errors that ought to be corrected along processing enumerated by the steps below.

  1. Getting SLC (Single-Look Complex)
  2. Co-registration (registration of Master and Slave images)
  3. Interferometry ( measuring phase differences)
  4. Corrections (Removal of Orbital and Topographic Fringe)
  5. Phase Unwrapping (integration of extracted to actual phase difference)
  6. Geocoding
  7. Visualization of Results in ENVI
  8. Analysis and Interpretation
With the use of ALOS Palsar images from two different instances in time, the InSAR processing flow is initiated in a LINUX environment with the use of SIGMA-SAR software. 

After a real image and an interferometric image is produced, these image files are then viewed, further processed and analysed in ENVI. 

Our study area is Metro Manila, Philippines. Two ALOS Palsar images were used (2011 and 2007 images).

The following images were produced. By linking displays, the suspected are of deformation is along the area enclosed by the ellipse.



This is a close-up view of the interferometric image and the deformation (subsidence) is approximately 9.2cm along Caloocan City, Metro Manila.

The issue on land subsidence within this area is beyond the scope of this post. Land subsidence , as suspected to be in Caloocan City, may be due to its soil type and its proximity to Manila Bay. The results should also be compared with a current surface deformation study such as the results of a differential GPS campaign.

I have just finished the RADAR training by JAXA-Sentinel Asia

 Being part of the GPS Team in our office, we are tasked to map the crustal deformation along the Philippine Fault as well as other tectonically active locations in the Philippines using Differential GPS.

Apart from GPS , there are other means of quantifying such deformation, one is through remote sensing with the use of satellite images. RADAR is a means to remotely sense and analyse an environment such as the Earth.

I have just been part of a RADAR training, specifically inSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) that was held in the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) Auditorium held last September 5-6. This technical training was brought to us by JAXA - Sentinel Asia.



It was an engaging experience and I surely learned a lot. Will have a separate post for that later. I am looking forward to applying the principles in the current research projects that I am in.

8.24.2011

Largest Dome - Arena in the World to be constucted in the Philippines

The GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY in Bocaue, Bulacan, PHILIPPINES will begin construction of the WORLD'S LARGEST DOME ARENA with a capacity of 50,000 seats. It is said to be completed in Year 2014 at a budget of $175M.


Philippine Pride indeed. Hoping for a boost in tourism for this  #onlyInThePhilippine architecure.

How to Check weather in the Philippines using Google Maps

I just notice recently that Googlemaps has got an option to view the current weather conditions in a certain location in the Philippines. Like at this moment of writing, Metro Manila is raining at 27C. 




This is great if you've got some trip here or abroad and you want to know how the weather is faring out there. So yeah, go to http://maps.google.com/, check the icon on the upper right hand corner and check Weather. Zoom in to your desired location and weather information fetched from weather.com is right before your very eyes.

7.26.2011

Sources of Earthquake Information for the Philippines

This morning, around 1AM, here in the Philippines, an earthquake has just once more shaken our country. I honestly didn't feel it, we were already asleep that time. My sister in law, wide-awake at that moment, said she felt it at UP-Ayala Technohub while making a call. And while reading my friends' post in Facebook, I get to confirm, that indeed there was again a shaking in the Island of Luzon. This island feels some shaking not quite often. So when it moves, it would surely be a fuss!

The terror of the 1990 Luzon quake, which devastated most structures in Luzon, along with the fear for the BIG-ONE set to happen anytime in Metro Manila has always been the cause of mass agitation regarding this sudden ground shaking.

On times like these, my usual notion is to check where the epicenter was. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) is the government agency mandated to issue a bulletin regarding the latest earthquake information in the Philippines. As of this post, there has been three shaking in Zambales, almost approxiamately an hour interval. Latest earthquake information can be found at:

http://earthquake.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/update_SOEPD/EQLatest.html

And this early morning quake was at Magnitude 5.9 with epicenter along Iba, Zambales.

If you want some live update regarding the recent earthquakes in the Philippines, PHIVOLCS has got an earthquake monitor located at the office lobby for public viewing. It reports on the recent earthquake locations along with their corresponding maps.

Now if you want some immediate information online, you can check out the USGS website too. They do give relevant and quick information regarding the earthquake happenings in the world.  You can check out the information here: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.php

This morning's quake was reported at the same magnitude, epicenter location and approximately the same depth.



Now they may at some points report some slight deviations. This is mainly due to the differences in the locations of their instruments which may affect the readings based on proximity. Local magnitude I think is more reliable since they've got more instruments for monitoring and regularly checked by our seismologists as compared to the automatic surface magnitudes generated by the USGS equipment here that is being reported worldwide.

So yeah, we can't stop an earthquake from happening nor a volcano from erupting, they are BUT NATURAL PHENOMENON, but we are always been constantly reminded how to mitigate the risks. Let us just be well-prepared and properly informed ALWAYS!

Be safe everyone!(^_^)

6.26.2011

25m SRTM-DEM is now available for download FREE OF CHARGE!

I remember doing our accuracy analysis for ASTER and SRTM DEM for the Philippines for our Remote Sensing class. SRTM still proves to be more accurate at 90m resolution than an ASTER DEM at 30m GSD (Ground Sampling Distance).

Now the 25m resolution of XSAR SRTM DEM is out. And it's FREE! This is very promising indeed. I would surely incorporate it in my RS-GIS-Hydrology flooding research.

Source: German Aerospace Centre (DLR)
When Space Shuttle Endeavour launched on 11 February 2000 for the 'Shuttle Radar Topography Mission' (SRTM), it was carrying two radar antennas; one in the shuttle's payload bay and the other on the end of a 60-metre mast. Over the course of eleven days, researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) acquired data for a three-dimensional terrain model of large areas of the Earth. Now, DLR is making these data available for scientific purposes via EOWEB, free of charge.
The SRTM structure was one-of-a-kind; the mast, which was deployed from the loading bay of the Shuttle during flight, was the longest man-made structure in space at that time. During the course of its orbit around the Earth, the payload antenna transmitted radar signals earthwards, and both antennas received radar signal reflections. The radar images provided a representation of Earth's surface viewed from two different positions, enabling researchers at DLR's German Remote Sensing Data Center (Deutsches Fernerkundungsdatenzentrum; DFD) to derive a precise Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the surface of the Earth. "For the first time ever, we had a dataset characterised by uniform quality around the globe," stated DFD Director Stefan Dech. By the time Endeavour returned to Kennedy Space Center on 22 February 2000, DLR had obtained high-precision mapping data for more than 113 million square kilometres of the Earth from an altitude of about 230 kilometres – forming the basis for what became known as the 'Map of the 21st Century'.
During the mission, the radars allowed researchers to obtain elevation data regardless of the time of day and weather conditions. The flight path of Endeavour dictated the areas imaged by the radars; the SRTM data covered regions with latitudes between 60 degrees north and about 60 degrees south – the polar regions were inaccessible. While NASA used a C-band radar to record the entire accessible land surface of Earth with an altitude precision of plus or minus ten metres, DLR used an X-band radar to cover a smaller area, but with a precision of plus or minus six metres. "The accuracy of these global elevation models has yet to be surpassed," said Dech. This explains why, eleven years later, many researchers are still using these datasets.
The SRTM was not just a milestone in terms of high-precision mapping of the Earth from space; it was also the precursor to and a test for the current TanDEM-X mission, which involves two identical German radar satellites orbiting Earth in formation to record a comprehensive and even more precise DEM that is scheduled for completion in 2013.
The X-band DEMs from the SRTM mission have resolution of one arcsecond, corresponding to a pixel size of 25 metres at central latitudes. Each DEM covers an area of 2.5 by 2.5 degrees and is composed of 'tiles', each measuring 15 arcminutes by 15 arcminutes (900 by 900 data points). They can be downloaded free of charge by registering with EOWEB. Registered users can download these datasets from an FTP server. SRTM data can be incorporated directly into digital maps or geographical information systems by means of a standardised Web Map Service (WMS).

Here's the link to the download page: ftp://taurus2.caf.dlr.de/

5.24.2011

How to delete files that can't be deleted

I have had a hard time removing some files that contains an executable format. The antivirus that I am using archives it as a virus and were quarantined. I can't delete it by a simple "Delete"(add to recycle bin) or a "SHIFT+Delete" (permanently delete) mode.

What I did was to use a Revo Uninstaller Tracks Cleaner Tool>Unrecoverable  Delete. You just have to browse for the files and/or folder and  press DELETE FOREVER to get rid of the notorious file. Easy.I love this Revo Uninstaller really!(^_^)

4.26.2011

How to go back from Yahoomail BETA to All New Yahoomail

I have tried the new Yahoomail BETA. I am currently using the All new yahoomail which is an improvement of the Yahoomail Classic. I like the features so I adopted it and am using it for more than two or three years now (really am not so sure when I started adopting it).

This morning I received an e-mail from Yahoo saying that they are improving the mail service. I then tried the BETA version. I say I don't like it that much because of the following reasons:
1. I'm not interested with the updates tab.
2. It has more advertisement than the previous version.
3. I don't like the integration of the Yahoo (with top stories, popular searches, etc.) page inside my mail.
4. I can't customize my chat status.It became simply Available, Busy and Invisible to Everyone.
5. I don't like windowed chat like that of Gmail. I prefer the tabbed chat from the All-new-Yahoomail.
6. My conversations are archived.
7. I don't like Facebook integration.

Anyways, simply put, I'm returning to my old All-New-Yahoomail. Here's how:

Help>Leave the Mail Preview and told them I'm not ready to switch plus my enumerated comments above.> Pressed continue. And I'm back.

4.05.2011

Free Open Street Map data (i.e.shapefiles etc.) for the Philippines

Free Road data extracted from Open Street Map made available by Cloudmade.

Datasets for different countries are also available.

GEOFABRIK also made OSM data freely-available for us. It is not partitioned by provinces like that of Cloudmade though. 

The datasets are very useful. GREAT!

I go really excited whenever I get to discover free datasets being catered to everyone. When we get to share our contents, that's when better things come our way - our data being improved, information disseminates and public awareness increases. 

I hope our local government is making some effort to utilize this free and useful information for planning and multi-criteria decision making. I hope. (^_^)

4.03.2011

How to prepare elevation range of SRTM in ArcMap for 3d visualization in ArcScene

If you have a DEM, you might want to view it in 3D. For me, I do geovisualization in ArcScene, VTP or for simple presentations I use Google Earth.

DEM or digital elevation models contain the heights of our terrain. It has a commonly interchanged counterpart term known as DTM (digital terrain model). DEM differs from DTM in the sense that DEM is not the elevation from the ground per se. It is the height with the buildings and other cultural features. DTM on the other hand gives the height of the bare ground.

For DEM, we can obtain freely available datasets such as SRTM and ASTER. SRTM resolution is 90m X 90m for the Philippines while ASTER is 30m x 30m. Though ASTER is of higher ground sampling distance than SRTM, researches show that SRTM still proves to be more accurate than ASTER. 

So for the purpose of visualizing our terrain in 3d. What we would first want to do is to prepare the DEM (i.e. SRTM DEM ) for processing. If we fail to do this, we will be confronted with a very large range of elevation values that ArcScene or our visualization software can't reconcile and we end up not seeing anything on our screen.

So here are the steps for doing it in ArcMap.
Example: if we have the DEM named ISABELA, run these codes in the Spatial Analyst> Raster Calculator.

temp = con ( [ISABELA] >= 32768 , [ISABELA] - 65536 , [ISABELA])

temp1 = setnull ( [temp] < -9998 , [temp] )

to remove the NoData, run the following commands
temp2 = Con( isnull( [temp] ), focalmean( [temp1] , rectangle, 5, 5 ), [temp1] )
 temp3 = Con( isnull( [temp2] ), 1, 0 )
The resulting grid is in floating point format so convert it back to integer using,
Final = Int( [temp3] ) 
Make the Final GRID DEM permanent by right clicking Final layer> Make permanent then choose location and file name.

You may also opt to export it in other formats such as geoTIFF for use with other visualization softwares. You can easily do this by right clicking the DEM GRID> Export Data then choose type of raster, path and 13-character filename.

3.30.2011

Climate change in the Philippines

Wondering about the recent temperature changes in the Philippines for the whole year round.
Here's a climate graph of the Philippines.



Philippines Climate graph contributed by climatetemp.info

How to view shapefiles in Google Earth

I have tried it in ArcGIS 9.3.

In Arc Toolbox choose Conversion tools > To KML then choose the layer that you want to convert then choose scale as 1 if your data is currently in WGS84 projection. It will be saved as a zipped kml file (.kmz) because you chose to save a layer of your map document. Just double click the output kmz file and there you go.

Here's a screenshot of my sample shapefile (Isabela, Philippines) as viewed from Google Earth.


In one of my graduate course project, we have studied dengue and identify high, medium and low risk areas in  Quezon City, Philippines. We have also included the Google Earth upload of our output layers as part of our methodology. Here's a sample shot showing how the fields and attributes are preserved after exporting the shapefile to kmz.

Dengue Hotspots in Quezon City, Philippines
So there you go. I'll be posting too on how to work the other way around; from KML to SHP next time. Enjoy googling (^_^).

3.17.2011

Instant information experience for GPS using Qwiki

A "Qwiki" is a short, interactive story: a drastically improved information experience provided via interactive video.

This is a great tool for research. It has an interactive interface highly visual in nature with short notes that is really comprehensive and smart.

I have tried querying on GPS and this is the result:


View Global Positioning System and over 3,000,000 other topics on Qwiki.


Qwiki is really super nice with the instant upload on my favorite social networking
sites. You must try it too!

3.16.2011

PYTHON CODE THAT ADDS A NEW FIELD TO A SHAPEFILE AND SPECIFIES ITS CONTENT

Arcpy class is new to ArcGIS 10.0. ArcPy is a site-package that builds on (and is a successor to) the successful arcgisscripting module. Its goal is to create the cornerstone for a useful and productive way to perform geographic data analysis, data conversion, data management, and map automation with Python.

Here's a code that will add a new field to a shapefile and then specify the contents of the added field. In this case, all areas greater than 1000 square meters will be labelled "YES" meaning it is subdividable otherwise it will be "NOO".

**********************************************************************************
import arcpy
def cursor():
    inFeatures = GetParameterAsText(0)
    subdvdable = GetParameterAsText(1)
    #inFeatures = "C:\\Users\\RS Lab\\Desktop\\222\\vector\\parcel_area.shp"
    arcpy.AddField_management(inFeatures, subdvdable, "TEXT")
    rows = arcpy.UpdateCursor(inFeatures)
    for row in rows:
        if row.Shape_Area > 1000:
            row.subdvdable = "YES"
        else: row.subdvdable = "NOO"
     rows.updateRow(row)

    del row,rows

**********************************************************************************

To implement this, a new toolbox should be created then the parameters will be set using a GUI. For the inFeatures parameter, it can be specified as Feature Class. The next parameter subdvdable will be of String type which will specify the name of the field to be added.

When run, the specified shapefile will already contain the added field and the specified content based on the logic set.

2.01.2011

The first new "50-peso bill" that landed in my hand

1.29.2011- I got my first "new 50-peso bill". Yehey!

Front design: new 50-peso bill
This bill's front design features a fresher look for Pres. Sergio Osmena. The Leyte landing and the First Philippine National Assembly appears on the sides.

At the back is Taal Lake and the fish Maliputo  Caran Ignobilis which is said to thrive only on the said lake. A map of the Philiipines showing the respective location of Taal which is Batangas appears also on the back design.

Back design: new 50-peso bill
Oh well I know many have already had their own new bills too. Anyhow I am just happy I have mine too...

And here's more MUCHO DINERO! hahhahha...



I'm not planning to keep all these... just a piece per new bill will do. I hope I'd get my new 100,500 and 1000-peso bill soon. (^_^)

1.27.2011

Got my first ever "new" 20-peso bill

Philippine bills design have been revamped a few weeks ago. I got my first piece last 1.16.2011. Tantararaaaannn...
Front design : New Philippine 20-peso Bill
 President Manuel Quezon looks really fresh here. The Malacanan Palace is now on the front design as compared to the older 20-peso bill. It bears the signature of the current president at the time of this bill's production - Benigno S. Aquino III.

Back design: New Philippine 20-peso bill

At the back is a UNESCO World Heritage site - the Banawe Rice Terraces and the Palm Civet.

Also on that day, I have been quite lucky to win a collector's item - a  "10-peso-commemorative-coin".
10-peso commemorative coin

This is in commemoration of the People Power Revolution. The coin is made of pure nickel and 36-mm in diameter.
10-peso commemorative coin cover
I just felt like being a numismatist on that day. Got two collector's item in a row. I'm happy and am looking forward to the other new Philippine peso bills and I just hope it won't get that worn out by the time it reaches me. (^_^)

EDIT EDIT:
Already got my new 50-peso bill- 29January2011. Yehey!

1.13.2011

On winning that Blackberry Curve 3G in time for my 25th Birthday...

While I've been receiving quite a number of blessings lately, I never actually thought I'm yet to receive another BIG-TIME BLESSING, on my Silver Year... and it's a Blackberry Curve 3G! I got it by winning from a blog contest at TechPinas.

It all started with me being really addicted to Tech Blogs, been really syndicating lots of feeds all in my GoogleReader account. TechPinas is one of my local favorites. I like it because they do give the selling price of the gadgets they are featuring so I won't fly around looking for the price and converting some foreign currency to Philippine Peso. Plus I love the reviews and the way he really responds to reader's comments, that way I know I'm not talking to a BOT or something... hahahhaha...

So when I've discovered they're giving away a free phone, I said, "Why not? I'll go give it a try. Anyway it's free... and who doesn't want a Blackberry Curve 3G by the way..." so again, I'm one of the hopefuls, until on the 3rd of January, to my awe, I WON! And the rest was history...

Yesterday I finally got my new phone and the experience was simply smashing.  Can I just say I am the source of envy of many people now because I've got a Blackberry phone, and I got it for FREE! Weeeee...


Thank you Sir Mark of TechPinas and VirtusionPR, Ms. Therese and all other staff right there who are so accommodating and so cool, I can feel that they are as equally excited as me when I came by their office to claim my prize. To my family who has been my lucky charm since then, thank you for inspiring me to write my entry, and to that Guy above who's been so generous, even spoiling me for His provisions to me and my family... thank you for being one Great God!



Right now, me and my Blackberry 9300 is on our honeymoon stage... so "PLEASE DON'T DISTURB!"ahhahhah..just kiddding...

1.12.2011

20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web

20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web

Good graphics and illustration, easy explanation much like my headstart books.
A basic introduction to Internet surfing... and choosing the right Browser.

http://www.20thingsilearned.com/
















 The 20 things:
1. What is the internet? -
- or, “You say tomato, i say tCP/iP

2. Cloud computing -
- or, why it’s ok for a truck to crush
your laptop

3. Web Apps
- or, “life, liberty and the Pursuit of appiness”

4. HTML, JavasCriPt, Css and more
- or, this is not your mom’s aJax

5. HTML5
- or, in the beginning there was no <\video\>

6. 3d in the browser
- or, browsing with more deptH

7. A browser madrigal
- or, old vs. modern browser

8. Plug-ins
- or, pepperoni for your cheese pizza

9. Browser extensions
- or, superpowers for your browser

10. Synchronizing the browser
-or, why it’s ok for a truck to crush your laptop, part II

11. Browser Cookies
- or, thanks for the memories

12. Browsers and Privacy
-or, giving you choices to protect your privacy in the browser

13. Malware, Phishing, and security risks
- or, if it quacks like a duck but isn’t a duck

14. How modern browsers help Protect You From malware and Phishing
- or, beware the ne’er-do-wells!

15. Using web addresses to staY saFe
- or, “my name is url

16. IP addresses and dns
- or, the phantom phone booth

17 VALIDATING IDENTITIES ONLINE
- or, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

18. evolving to a Faster web
- or, speeding up images, video, and Javascript on the web

19. Open source and browsers
- or, standing on the shoulders of giants

20. 19 things later...
- or, a day in the clouds

Didn't learn much from this , but my sister who loves to surf the net without minding some security attacks would surely benefit from this.
Its internet in a nutshell. This is by Google by the way.

1.05.2011

Thumbs ups and downs of our AndroidPad

We bought an APad a few weeks ago and here are my thumbs ups and downs of the unit that I got.

Thumbs Up:
1. Wi-fi  - connects excellently to the available connections. Doesn't support proxy configurations.
2. Facebook - uses facebook mobile so the interface is quite different from the usual desktop app. For first time facebook log-in, status "<Your name> installed Android application on his/her phone." And on posts using the app, it will indicate that you updated status via Mobile Web.
3. App market -has a pre-installed app market which is APad compatible. If you try fishing for apps using the default browser, some apps can't be installed in the unit, maybe because of the difference in the screen resolution. I got a few apps installed using the this appmarket.
5. DocumentsToGo - very nice and decent app that allows me to view my pdf , doc and ppt files on the go. Quite slow though but pretty useful app. Docx and pptx formats are not supported.
4. Googlemaps- default view is on China so the language is Chinese, but when you browse somewhere southeast, you get to find the Philippine map and the places' annotations are in English language.
GoogleMap app for Android showing a portion of the Philippine Map

5. Youtube - has a dedicated Youtube app where video browsing is easier as it automatically converts the video resolution to APad's screen resolution.
6. Browser - the default browser is powered by Google. Haven't tried tabbed browsing using it, don't know how to do it yet. hehehe.. The distributor also gave me a Dolphin browser Mini and it supports tabbed browsing. Great!
Dolphin browser showing the capability for tabbed browsing

7. Task Killer app -  lets you choose which app to kill in case the APad performance gets a bit laggy.
Task kiler app interface

8. Plants vs. Zombies - my kids play with this app and I think they're very much enjoying it.
My Cassy getting busy with PvZ

9.   It has a factory reset button in case everything got messed up. After I factory resetted it, the documentsToGo, Skype, YouTube and the files in the home folder are not deleted.
The settings menu

10. The distributor, from where I've bought this unit, gave me a lifetime warranty for its battery. For as long as the two stickers at the back are not tampered, I can go to their store and surrender the unit and have it replaced by a NEW one! Isn't that really nice? But up to now, the battery is still working 2.5 hours as specified in their ads so no need for replacement just yet.
11. It fell from the top of our cabinet to the wooden floor and it still worked! Haahha.. no LCD damage. I may have gotten a lucky faithful unit.
12. When not on my ride, I bring it at home or in the office. At home, my kid's are the ones using it. They are button-clicking-happy so they got the apps really messed up. Most apps experienced forced close. They must have deleted an important package in the system. I did a factory reset and everything went back to normal. But I have to re-install other needed apps though.

Thumbs down:
- I can't upgrade it to the latest version because the lifetime warranty will be voided. The seller told me that one of his clients did and the touch screen capability didn't work anymore. So why take risk? Hahahaah...
- The videos have to be converted to PSP screen resolution first before you can view one, I think that's why they have a dedicated youtube viewer to patch up to this.
- Screen is hazy, low screen resolution.
- Sounds not so clear.
- Videos appear a bit laggy and pixelated.
- The app market won't connect if the wifi signal is poor. The apps given by the one to whom I've bought the unit are all working i.e. Plants vs. Zombies, Bibles and bible verses, facebook, fingerpaint, google skymap, and meebo works perfectly. There are many other games, quite simple and light weight ones, that I haven't installed because my kids can get somewhat addicted to playing it so I'd rather not install it.


Got some screen captures here:
The home screen

Some installed apps

Some installed apps

My videos interface 

Magic Album

Calendar

Calculator

Alarm

AcroBible Lite welcome screen

AcroBible Lite

Skype

Overall it's pretty much BEST BUY for me considering its price and its capabilities and performance.