News to Use Archive: Technology

Becky Daugherty

Delaware County SWCD

Ron's Dream comes true!!

When Ron saw Elkhart County's Augmented Reality Sandbox "in action" at the 2018 Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts Annual Conference, his vision was for the Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District to own one.

Just a couple of months later in 2018, Delaware County SWCD rented Elkhart's sandbox to share in their booth at the Delaware County Farm Festival. It was a huge hit with students, teachers, and all visitors!!

Ron took Jesse Landess, a local specialty crop producer, aside and showed him how educational the AR sandbox could be and told him how he hoped the district would someday have one to share with the schools and other groups in Delaware County, as well as surrounding counties.

During 2018 and into early 2019, the District discussed various options to get a sandbox: "build our own" or purchase complete, funding, etc. Then, Ron passed unexpectedly in early March 2019. The District had other business to attend to, so for the meantime the sandbox was "put on a back burner". But Jesse hadn't forgotten Ron's dream and he wanted to do something about it. He started a memorial fund to procure an AR Sandbox for the District.

**December 26, 2019, Ron's dream/Jesse's goal arrived at the Delaware County SWCD office.** Sadly, Ron isn't with us to see his dream come true, but the SWCD's Board of Supervisors and Staff plan to carry out his dream the the fullest extent possible.

We owe Jesse Landess and his donors many, many THANKS for bringing an Augmented Reality Sandbox to Delaware County.

Conservation "Story Map"

For more information see the Indiana State Nutrient Reduction Strategy:

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) has launched a "one stop" shop for Indiana's conservation efforts, both rural and urban, through a "story map" found at: .htm. The information provided on this site has been compiled by the Indiana Conservation Partnership (ICP) along with water quality monitoring and data provided by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). The interactive conservation story map organizes information by Indiana's 10 main river and lake basins, which are then broken down by watershed.

Look and see what is happening to support water quality, soil health, and conservation in your community -- you can probably help!!

May 30th SpaceX Launch: What it Means for Satellite and GPS

The recent NASA/SpaceX mission, that sent two astronauts to the space station, carried with it 60 satellites on the same rocket which were put into Earth's orbit.

The company has introduced a new "small satellites ride share program" where other companies can send up their satellites on the same rocket to save money and material.

SpaceX is working with satellite operators to give them the opportunity of "hitching their gear to the many Falcon 9 launches SpaceX is making in order to complete its 12,000 satellite-strong Starlink constellation"


What does this mean for us?
it means that internet speeds and clarity of satellite images will improve and so will frequency of imaging (of Earth); bettering the way we use GPS. This is very important considering that satellite imaging provides services to sectors like agriculture, energy, and forestry. These new satellites will give us better viewing of landmarks and natural resources like forests and water features from above.

For example, locating places where erosion is occurring or other changes going on upon the surface of our planet.

Virtual Sandbox

We had a great time this year with visitors learning and experimenting with the Augmented Reality Sandbox. The ARS has many educational aspects, such as watersheds, topography, geography, etc. However, many found that just moving the sand around and watching the landscape (coloring) I ' change was fascinating. Just a couple quick sweeps of your hand changes the sandbox from the watershed pictured below left to the watershed pictured below right in seconds.

Thank you to Elkhart Co. SWCD for the use of their sandbox during Farm Fest.