New traffic pollution data screams out for better transit planning and improved emissions control technology for motor vehicles
FRISCO — Pollution from auto exhaust can quickly build to dangerous levels at stoplights, where drivers are exposed to about 25 percent of their total exposure during a typical commute.
More and more research is proving that the nanoparticles from exhaust contribute significantly to respiratory and heart disease, so University of Surrey scientists decided to study the exposure. Drivers spend just 2 percent of their journey time passing through traffic intersections managed by lights, this short duration contributes to about 25 percent of total exposure to these harmful particles.
Available data include USGS imagery and topographic maps from The National Map, as well as road and contour layers
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Smart phone users already make good use of online mapping technology, but some recently developed apps also enable access to digital topo maps stored offline, which means they can be accessed even if there’s no internet connection.
Both Android and iPhone users can now use their mobile devices as digital topo maps, leveraging USGS maps together with the power of GPS to zoom in on their precise location while hiking, biking, running, or any other activity that benefits from precision navigation, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The type of data that are available includes USGS imagery and topographic maps from The National Map, as well as road and contour layers.
Lower costs and reduced emissions help drive shift to gas-fueled passenger vehicles
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — If you’ve taken a ride to or from DIA recently in a Colorado Mountain Express van, there’s a chance you were aboard one of the four vehicles powered by propane, a relatively clean-burning fossil fuel that generates less greenhouse gas emissions.
Leading experts will discuss the new technologies that have emerged over the past years and their role in revolutionizing tourism marketing, as well as consumer behavior before, during and after a trip. Under the title, Mountain Tourism 2.0: New Strategies for Success, the Congress — organized by the World Tourism Organization, will outline strategies needed to attract new visitors and open up mountain destinations to the world market. @UNWTO for Twitter updates.
“Snow and mountain tourism is an extremely popular market, but one that faces a number of challenges,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “Innovation and new technologies can play an exciting role in helping these destinations to remain competitive and diversify their tourism product, ensuring year-round tourism, and should be put to greater use.” Continue reading “April conference to discuss mountain tourism 2.0”→
Partnership aimed at helping tourism businesses make the most of latest web technologies; cloud computing seen as key
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Web 3.0 technologies and cloud computing could help grow small and mid-size tourism businesses, especially in emerging-economy countries, officials with the UN’s World Tourism Organization said this week as they announced an innovative partnership with Microsoft. Under the agreement, tourism businesses could become testbeds for emerging information technologies.
“The tourism sector has undergone a drastic transformation over the past years and has been evolving towards Tourism 3.0, where users connect to travel websites and interact by sharing their experiences,” said Microsoft International president Jean-Philippe Courtois. “That directly influences the perceptions and decisions of other users and potential travelers. Because of this, it is more and more important for tourism sector enterprises to develop their online businesses by looking to the most advanced technology. In this regard, the adoption of cloud computing is key, as it provides access to a solid web platform that will make it possible to offer more productive, efficient and competitive services,” he said. Continue reading “Microsoft teams up with World Tourism Organization”→
Berkeley Lab study quantifies economic benefits of solar installations
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Adding a photovoltaic solar system to your home is a good environmental move, and now, new research by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggests that those homes sell for a premium over homes without solar systems.
“We find compelling evidence that solar PV systems in California have boosted home sales prices,” said lead author Ben Hoen, a researcher at Berkeley Lab. “These average sales price premiums appear to be comparable with the average investment that homeowners have made to install PV systems in California, and of course homeowners also benefit from energy bill savings after PV system installation and prior to home sale.”
The research finds that homes with PV in California have sold for a premium, expressed in dollars per watt of installed PV, of approximately $3.90 to $6.40/watt. This corresponds to an average home sales price premium of approximately $17,000 for a relatively new 3,100 watt PV system (the average size of PV systems in the Berkeley Lab dataset), and compares to an average investment that homeowners have made to install PV systems in California of approximately $5/W over the 2001-2009 period. Continue reading “Photovoltaic systems add to home resale values”→
Silver nanoparticles may be killing nitrogen-fixing bacteria
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Studies of Arctic soil samples suggest that silver nanoparticles — commonly used in anti-bacterial agents — are killing important nitrogen-fixing bacteria in remote areas generally thought to be free of pollution.
“Millions of tons of nanoparticles are now manufactured every year, including silver nanoparticles which are popular as antibacterial agents,” said Virginia Walker, a professor in the Queens University Department of Biology. “We started to wonder what the impact of all these nanoparticles might be on the environment, particularly on soil.”