So, a lot of things happened this year so far, and I've been really bad about this blog, partly because I have a large number of abandoned web projects, and after much consideration, I've decided that I need to do some housekeeping.
First, I'm going to shut down paroxysms.ca. It was created as a place to host my ATIP documents that I got from requesting my RCMP and other surveillance files during the games. This was an eye-opener in how Canada criminalizes dissent. This information definitely was interesting in an academic context, and was good to add closure to the whole "Fuck the police" thing that I was on. However, I feel like a lot of the lessons that could have been learned from the documents have been lost, and that the longer time goes on, the more obscure things have gotten. I'm going to re-tool and create a new site in the same vein at the end of the year that just tells the story of state surveillance leading up to the 2010 Winter Olympics, G8/G20 ISU and how the Canadian State with all its various arms cracked down on a bunch of community activists in Vancouver who became more radicalized due to the surveillance.
Secondly, dontflyhere.ca will be discontinued. Airmap does a much better job of showing where both recreational and professional UAV pilots can fly, and I don't have the time to keep working on this project. I feel like it was a good tool back when AirMap started, but they put a lot of work improving the map for various jursidictions around the world, and that dontflyhere has the same fate as the MapBox No Drone Zone map that inspired it.
Thirdly, profunc.ca will actually remain the way it is in the near future. There's very little content that needs to be updated, and the only thing I need to do is change the update form, since I shut down my paroxysms.ca e-mail account.
Finally, this site might be re-designed and the blog section dropped. A lot of it is really not relevant, and is a carry-over from the old Nitobi/PhoneGap days and even before. The internet archive has all this data anyway, so it's saved for all posterity for better or worse. I'll try and do all the related updates by the end of the year.
So, it's 2017 and after waiting to see what would happen, I decided that keeping this all static is really the best way to do this, since apparently Wordpress and Medium are feeding off each other and being super weird, I'll keep using vim to write drafts and post things. I have a dozen drafts that I write on Medium that I've never published because they either weren't up to par with what I wanted to say or just ramble. So, updates will be here, and hopefully will be more frequent since I got the jekyll dialed in better when I posted the slides from Confoo.
In other news, I'm going to be speaking about WebVR at PhoneGap Day EU. I will also be presenting a workshop on WebVR as well. I'll obviously be posting the slides, and the rest of the materials on GitHub and on the speaking page when I get more information
Also, Canada does have new drone rules, as the old rules cited on dontflyhere.ca were just strong recommendations by Transport Canada. A part of me regrets the message of dontflyhere, since it was the wrong approach to the whole thing and was done back when I was less confident in my flying ability or the flying ability of others in the hobby. That being said, I'm glad that I looked it up, and learned a bit about what restricted airspace is and why.
On that note, I do plan on making more content related to UAVs, safety and where you can fly a quadcopter without breaking the rules. As far as the mapping, I do have a plan to use the new AirMap APIs, since they're better maintained than any other maps. That said, thanks to Peter Spear for providing parsed data from the NAV CANADA Restricted Airspace Handbook, since without that data, neither dontflyhere, or the Canada Research Council UAV Site Survey tool would not be possible initially.
I've updated the SSL certficate for this site so that I can use this site to host some WebVR content. I do plan on creating new 360 Video content to be viewed in Cardboard, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and other platforms. I'm going to be spending a lot of time authoring the content, but I'm hoping I can do better than what's currently been produced so far, even without my original plan that I never got around to getting the SFOC to do.
Finally, I did send an Access to Information request to Transport Canada to figure out what the decision making process was for these completely random drone regulations that the minister put into place with almost zero consultation. I say zero consultation because when the lawyer for DJI says there was no consultation, and the Drone Manufactuers were one of the stakeholders, there was definitely zero consultation. Hopefully we can gather some answers, or at least see if the minister and their staff are even reading what UAV pilots are writing, or are just straight up ignoring the public.
As I said earlier, the slides have been pushed to GitHub, and can be found on the Speaking page. I will be speaking at Confoo today and tomorrow. Once again, the slides can be found via the links below.
In addition to this, I published three of the demos that I worked on with A-Frame. These are very simple demos, except for the model fail, where I attempted to use data from GeoGratis to create a 3D landscape. I converted CDED data that starts out as GeoTIFF into STL data using the DEMto3D plugin. Once I did that, I then go and simplify the mesh using Photoshop, export that to a COLLADA file, then open that up in Blender, add a material, and then use that material in the scene. I combine a plane to try to simulate Water, but that doesn't necessarily render as well as I would like across all browsers.
- Landscapes rendering
- Photosphere Example
- Videosphere Example- Only works with Firefox Mobile currently
I'm using my Ricoh Theta S to shoot all 360 footage, and I wish I could find a reliable way to mount it to a drone. Unfortunately, that didn't really work out when I tried.