GeoInformatics: What inspires us?

Dogs. We love dogs around here.

There are the traditional reasons to love dogs – they are loyal, funny and have magnetic personalities. Conversely, there are some wonderfully unconventional reasons to love dogs– they think, see and interpret life in completely different ways than their bipedal masters and teach us lessons in exploration.

One specific example of why we think dogs are pretty spectacular is because they give us perspective. Perspective to consider what we can’t see with our eyes – to use our senses fully. Employ all of our passion, drive and intellect to discover ideas and creative pursuits not readily obvious at first glance.

For our canine friends, perspective begins in the olfactory senses - they “look” at the world through their noses. Alexandra Horowitz (2010), in her book Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know informs us that a dog can “detect a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water, or two Olympic-sized pools worth of water.” Imagine that.

In some ways, it’s not unlike our work in data science– we employ tools to detect the meaningful signals among volumes of heterogeneous datasets. We dig, we explore and we drive until we arrive at the source of the signal.

And just like our canine friends, we enthusiastically share our discoveries with our pack.

If you’d like to learn more about our daily inspirations, please visit us at our recently launched Instagram account GeoHealthHound

Horowitz, A. Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know. Simon and Schuster. 2010.

About Dr. Onega’s Dogs – Titan and Ivan:
Titan is a sweet and stalwart 9 year old Rottweiler, with one eye (courtesy of a porcupine), full tail, and toothy smile. Ivan is a baby Doberman who will be joining the family soon, and who – unbeknownst to him – has a wonderful doggie-life in store for him!

About Jenn Alford-Teaster’s dogs – Pepper and Doc:
Pepper is a 3 year old Australian Shepherd with a penchant for digging, a love of the woods and a deep suspicion of ravens and chipmunks. Doc is a young golden retriever who will be joining our family soon and will be trained as a therapy dog. His first client will be Pepper.