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back to article NASA, Japan (nearly) finish topographic map of Earth

NASA and the Japanese government have released what they claim is the most complete topographic map of the planet yet. The data uses detailed measurements from NASA's Terra spacecraft covering 99% of the Earth's landmass, with only the boring polar bits left out. The new elevation model of Earth was created from nearly 1.3 …

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Boffin

"draped over terrain models"

Um, this data IS the terrain model, actually. Just a nitpick.

It's a DEM (digital elevation model) where each coordinate has a height value.

The other good thing is it's publicly available, where the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data wasn't. I'm sure Google is busily adding a "terrain" button to Maps right now. There's yer IT angle!

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FAIL

Japan Government: When GPS Is Not Enough

According to the latest Japan governmental decision, stating that Southern Kurily island group is a part of the territory of Japan. In the terms of International law, the govt of Japan will have the right to attack the military presence of RF.

Finally, quickly having the recon and targeting group deployed at the orbit comes smart and quite in time for jpgov. I'd rather lead my ships out of the Harbour. As I heard somewhere, somebody there really wants to ease out the steam, or, as cited, the eastern nation will ~ "come up to the final failure caused by lack of space around a single human".

Well, mapping service... perhaps, Africa too can make a home on these maps if Eastern Conference is not acceptable because of the ~ "lack of financial transparency "?

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WTF?

Colorized?

In what language is "colorized" a word? Surely it should be coloured or, at the worst, colored. But colorized?

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Paris Hilton

Damn, only 30 meters then...

I was hoping maybe I would be able to tell by it's topographical outline if my Frisbee was still stuck on the top of my mothers roof.

No good for Paris either then.

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Coat

Outraged!!

I did not give them permission to measure the height of my property and its boundary fences!!! A potential burglar might use this data to identify a house with low walls to rob!!

Think of the children!!!

On the other hand, if they could update Google Earth with this, that'd be grand, ta :-)

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Poor LA

re> tag under the photo: "What the Los Angeles Basin may look like underneath the smog, image credit: NASA"-

No smog. Life activities stopped.

00

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Oh this simply won't do...

...I can see my carp pool in that map. Remove the image post-haste - you're infringing my right to privacy you filthy filthy people!!

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Anonymous Coward

Should be a real boon to Hollywood F/X houses

Can't be arsed to build your own CG Earth for medium-to-long-distance shots? Nick this one, royalty free!

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jsp
Boffin

@The Bug

English.

The word colorize (colourize for the Brits, or colourise if you really insist) has been in use for many years.

It means the same as "to colo[u]r in" but without the childish connotations and in a handy, compact, one-word format. It was mainly popularized by its use (back in the 80s?) to refer to taking old B&W movies and adding colour to them.

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For a detailed review...

For a detailed review of this new data from an expert, try http://www.viewfinderpanoramas.org/reviews.html#aster

@Gene Cash: "it's publicly available, where the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data wasn't"

Not very true. It is true that the released data is higher res for the US than for the rest of the world; is that what you mean? But apart from that, the SRTM data is very much available.

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Go

@the bug

Colorized started many years ago when Ted Turner bought the rights to black and white classic movies and "Colorized" them.

To me it is like "disrespecting" I don't consider it a word either but I am in the minority,

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Happy

With any luck...

... it will be trnslated to Flight Simulator X format in a couple of months. There's life in the old bird yet! Still can't understand why MS gave it the flick though...

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Re: jsp

I'm sorry but colorized (or colourised) is not a word in English. My English dictionary doesn't contain it and searching for the English spelling of the word brings up a list of American sites. It may, therefore, be a word in American but it is most definitely not a work in English.

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Thumb Up

Good stuff.

Great - this will mean higher-rez terrain data for Openstreetmap once the coders get their hands on it. Most OSM terrain stuff is SRTM right now and the detail and voids are occasionally vexing. Congrats to NASA and the Japanese for a useful, free, primary resource. :)

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jsp
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@The Bug

Oh, I'm sorry. My mistake. I didn't realise you own The Dictionary that lists all the words, and only the words, in Proper English.

Maybe you need to buy a new dictionary. Or just accept that the minority dialect you (and I) speak doesn't have some special place in the world. Neither you nor dictionary writers have the right to say what is or is not a word in the language. Usage defines the language not dictionaries or pedants.

And before you start on a pathetic "but El Reg is English and should only use the language spoken by our own dear Queen," remember that it has an international audience and contributors from many countries. Most of whom really don't care which words you think are acceptable or not.

And what is your cut-off date for new words being allowed into the language: your birth? Last year? 1842? Or would you like all new words to go through an official approval process? You could add them to your dictionary then. In crayon, perhaps.

Meh.

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FAIL

@jsp

I would like to pointerise out that we can't go additionalising surplusised words to the dictionary just because some intillectually-challengised idiot (usually an American, sorry!) inventises a new word.

If we did then GW Bush would have been the cause of an entire new volume being added to every dictionary on the planet...

Words reflect concepts and while having two words for the same concept can be useful, if one of those words is a corruption of the other (with little understanding of the rules of syntax and grammar) that just complicates the language and makes it harder to use.

Wikipedia redirects any queries about "colorize" directly to "film colorization" which strongly hints that it's a process that applies only to film - in fact, I had believed until now that it was a trademark. Draw your own conclusions from that (or even concludize, if you like)

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WTF?

@3BEPOTEKCT

In what way, sir or madam, are you related to amfm ?

I think we should be told.

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jsp
Boffin

@AC

As I said, usage defines the language (that includes the "rules" of syntac and grammar - actually an arbitrary set of conventions - as well as the words). This is why serious reference works (not Wikipedia, for example) will wait to ensure that a word has gained a certain level of acceptance and usage before including it.

There are many words now completely accepted in British English that were once decried as Americanisms. Similarly, there are many words thought to be Americanisms that have been part of standard English for centuries: "Inquiry into it would at once bear out the American contention that what we are often rude enough to call their vulgarisms are in fact good old English." (Fowler, The King's English, 1908)

Some of the American words to which Fowler objects are: "placate", "transpire", "antagonize" and "anyway". Which seem pretty ordinary today.

(Note that Fowler uses the traditional British -ize spelling of words)

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jsp
Boffin

Colorize vs Colo[u]r

> two words for the same concept

There is a difference in meaning. To say something is "coloured" would imply it has always been that colour. To say something is "colorized" tells you that colour has been added. One (usually) describes a state, the other describes a process. Sometimes it is helpful to choose the right word to make a precise statement.

> with little understanding of the rules of syntax and grammar

I think you will find that the use of the -ize morpheme to produce a verb from a noun is pretty standard (e.g. standard -> standardize).

In fact, some pedants prefer this to the alternative of simply verbing a noun.

> a process that applies only to film

Yeah. Right. We are not allowed to extend the semantic domain of words. I think that applying the same term to the processing of computer generated images is only a small step from applying it to film (which probably has to be digitized first anyway).

> a trademark

So what. Some trademarks are words, some aren't.

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@ Dorset Rambler

Good question, Dorset Rambler, not in a bit more/less than related to you or anyone else amongst the commenters.

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Happy

A pedant wright's

'To say something is coloured implies it has always been that colour', does it?

I coloured in a picture this morning with my own crayon. Before I coloured it red, it wasn't red.

Colorized means artificially colouring a black and white film. It will not be known what the original colours were, but some assumptions will be made - e.g. that the pedants will have red faces, etc.

If your dictionary doesn't have a word in it, remember the English language has a million words that are accepted (so your dictionary is incomplete) and words can be in regular use with clear meaning without being in the English dictionary if they are technical. FOAD, Watson

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Coat

not boring parts

oh, how convenient that they don't map just 2 tiny polar regions.

at least we all know now that the big holes into the hollow inner earth, are in those small unmapped regions. that narrows things down i would think.. hehe.

i'm sure that those unmapped areas would be interesting. not boring.

ok, ok, i'm going....

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Coat

Err... Rise A Colour?

Maybe it would suit the painteriser we££?

Ok, ok, leaving.

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Black Helicopters

Boring Polar Bits?

Surely we all know better. Clearly this is an attempt to hide the polar entrances to the lands inside the Earth. We all know of Charles Lindbergh's flight into the interior of the globe where a small sun sits at the centre of mass of the Earth, bathing the inner world in an eternal daylight.

One wonders whether the government folks are attempting to hide this fact to avoid a panic or to hide the fact that we've been in contact with the advanced, yet somehow exotically primitive peoples inside for quite some time now.

In either case, there are no boring polar bits to be added, it's just a couple of holes leading to worlds of mystery and adventure.

Yoiks!

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Paris Hilton

@AC

Erm, a million words? You've clearly been reading hyped up press from "Global Language Monitor" who declared that "Web 2.0" is the English Language's millionth word. But this didn't seem to have impressed British academics according to the Guardian:

'Professor David Crystal, professor of linguistics at Bangor University, called the idea "the biggest load of rubbish I've heard in years". He said: "It is total nonsense. English reached 1 million words years ago. It's like someone standing by the side of the road counting cars, and when they get to 1 million pronouncing that to be the millionth car in the world. It's extraordinary."'

And for anyone else, language is defined by use and taught by rules. If the use changes then the rules may also change. English is the true magpie of languages and changes every day.

Personally I have used colourised because I've also worked in an environment where it's use was justified (television). I try not to use too many 'z' because I try and use as many of the British forms as possible. I am sure my above text could be picked apart by a pedant but as I am confident that my point was communicated effectively I don't care; because effective communication is all that matters in the end. If we need to add words to increase the power of English then all the better.

Paris, because she knows the difference between Aural and Oral.

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Anonymous Coward

How long

until it's incorporated into Google Earth?

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Boffin

Colorize

Earliest usage according to the OED is 1611, in "Queen Anna's new world of words" by John Florio.

"Muffola, a kinde of colour that Goldsmiths vse to colourise mettals."

This entry has the added benefit of reintroducing the word "Muffola" to currency. Try using it today!

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