Browsing articles from "March, 2011"

Images from Maps: Kennedy Space Center #NASATweetup

Mar 31, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Fun, Space, Travel  //  2 Comments

One of the more fun types of data is image data, both meta data and actual images.  So I turned to Google Maps and Bing Maps to see what various sites at the Kennedy Space Center looked like. Here’s a launch pad from Google Maps.  You can see the boosters there.

Launch Pad Kennedy Space Center


Then there’s this image of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).  At first I was confused why part of this area was blackened out, until I realized the dark area is the shadow from the VAB.

Map Image VAB


You would probably recognize this building better from these NASA Photos:

The VAB (center) in 1999 with the LCC jutting ...NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building as seen on Ju...


And Bing’s Birdseye view of the launch pad, VAB, and viewing area:

Bing Map view of Launch Pad, Viewing area, VAB

The first visualization I saw  of the VAB area caused my brain to jump to: "wow, they’ve blacked out some of the Space Center" when all that was going on was a perfectly natural occurrence of sunlight and shadow.  I find it interesting that that different views of the same locations (via two different data services, Google and Bing) gives me a different understanding of the same places.  There seems to be a lesson there in displaying the same data in many different ways.

So Excited to be part of #NASATweetup – Space Shuttle Endeavour Launch

Mar 30, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Fun, Social Networking, Space, Travel  //  2 Comments

Just in case you don’t follow me on Twitter, I received great news last week that I have been selected to attend the most amazing event, the NASA Tweetup, an invitation-only in-person meeting of space aficionados on Twitter.  The meeting takes place in the same area where traditional media hangs out.  There will be about 150 of us space geeks converging in Florida to watch one of the last shuttle launches.  This is officially the last funded launch, but NASA has stated that they will have one more launch to do some maintenance work on the Space Station.

Someone from a former NASA Tweetup crowd made the following image to show just why this meetup is special:

Map of KSC


The Tweetup is planned for 2 days, although it is all based on the when the Shuttle Endeavour will actually launch (currently scheduled for 19 April 2011).  During those two days there will be socializing, chatting, special speakers, interviews, a ton of picture taking, more socializing…and watching the launch.  I hope.  It’s nice that I can stay the whole week if I have to.  Some other launches have been delayed — one for over 4 months. 

In preparation for this once-in-a-lifetime event for me, I’ve been trying to study up on the Shuttle program.  Early in my career I worked at Space Division in Los Angeles and in Washington, DC. The projects I worked on involved space initiatives, including shuttle missions.  I remember heading down to the officers club every time there was a launch or landing.  It was so exciting being in that environment, where people work working on efforts that truly expanded our knowledge of the universe.

I was also lucky in that I had a meeting in Washington, DC this past Monday, so I was able to spend a couple of hours at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. In a following post, I’ll share some of the photos I captured there.  I also watched Hubble 3D, an IMAX film about repairs made to the Hubble telescope during a previous mission.  What was interesting was that Astronaut Drew Feustel, who appeared in the film, will also be a crew member of STS-134, the Shuttle mission for this NASA Tweetup.  Drew is also a Boilermaker, attending Purdue about the same time I did.

As some other Tweetup attendees have said, I feel as if I have won a golden ticket to a most amazing experience.  I will be writing about this event over the next couple of weeks, but I promise to tie it all back to data and information.  Think of it as a DataChick view of space data.


Half Day Seminar 7 April #EDW11 – 10 Physical Data Modeling Blunders – Discount Coupon

Mar 30, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Data Modeling, Database, Speaking  //  No Comments

imageFor 24 Hours of PASS Virtual conference,  I gave a short, 40 minute overview of 5 Physical Design blunders.  At Enterprise Data World in Chicago on 7 April, I’m giving a half day seminar on 10 Blunders (NOW with 5 BONUS BLUNDERS!).  Unlike the virtual conference, this workshop will have demos and labs – PLUS 5 BONUS BLUNDERS!

If you act quickly, I have a special deal for those of you who want to join me for this event: A discount coupon.  The normal one day admission is $795.  But if you register now, you can register for the Thursday full day, including my seminar, for only $195.  Yes, that’s a $600 savings to be part of the biggest blunderfest best seminar of the conference.

Coupon code DATACHICK for $600 off ($195 net total)

Use this registration link to get yourself set up.  And don’t forget to use the coupon code DATACHICK to save that $600.  There are still great hotel rates, too.

Join me at the world’s largest vendor-neutral data management conference.  See you there!

Keynote: Women in IT Management Networking Night Ryerson University

Mar 21, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Professional Development, Social Networking, Speaking, WIT  //  No Comments

WITM posterThis Wednesday I’m giving a short keynote at the Ryerson University‘s Women in IT Networking Night.  This event includes faculty, students, alumni and IT industry professionals.

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: Cara Commons in the TRS [1-148]

Attire: Business Formal

The WITM group is made up primarily of people involved with the B.Comm Business Technology Management degree program.  In looking over the program, I can’t help but compare it to my undergraduate degree in Computer Information Systems (CPT) from Purdue.  In that program, about 35% of our curriculum was in technical areas.  We also took multiple accounting courses, business law, operational research, psychology, and 3 economics courses.  My specializations were in database and organizational psychology.

Look at this excerpt from the BTM program overview:

They study the core business disciplines, such as marketing, operations, accounting, finance, human resources, and law. They receive a solid grounding in the world of ICT in subjects such as systems analysis and design, Internet & web-based applications, ICT architecture and infrastructure, and privacy & security. In their senior years, students integrate the knowledge from these two foundations to learn how ICT can make a difference in every business studying strategic application of ICT, the role of ICT in business processes activities such as supply chain, sales and customer relations. They learn about project management and the integration of ICT into business.

Our companies need more of these sorts of graduates: people who understand technology and how it supports business.  Unfortunately, our profession has not yet fully embraced these applied computing programs.  As employers, we need to continue to demand more of these types of academic programs.

I’m excited about meeting other IT professionals in my local community, especially those focused on the collaboration of business and technology.  I’m also looking forward to hearing more about this program. 

If you are in the Toronto area and would like to network, you can register to attend at .

Subscribe via E-mail

Use the link below to receive posts via e-mail. Unsubscribe at any time. Subscribe to by Email