- GIS Data Depot – Large data holding in various formats from various sources.
- USDA Geospatial Data Gateway – Environmental and natural resources Data including imagery
- BLM Internet Sites – List of BLM sites hosting a variety of public lands data. Some state specific data
- U.S. Department of Transportation – Transportation data sets and links to other GIS data sources
- National Park Service – Interactive data search map. Data provided in .csv or .xlsx formats
- EPA – Environmental Dataset Gateway
- USGS – High res orthoimagery downloads from the Seamless Data Warehouse
- FEMA – Emergency and disaster datasets in formats including KMZ, shp, and geoRSS
- Census – TIGER products including data up to 2011
- NOAA Vents Program – Great resource for Bathymetric GIS datasets related to hydrothermal vents
|North is up there|
- Mapping technology is unreliable. Online maps are only as good as the data human beings put into them.
- Data may not always be available. Even with mobile technology there are times when digital maps and directions will not be at your fingertips. Batteries die, charging cables are forgotten and phones are left behind on counters.
- Having your bearing is a safety issue. Knowing your location relative to another location can be a matter of safety. Emergency services can find you easier if they know you are north or south of a particular intersection.
- The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Knowing just this piece of information can help a person get their bearing for a good portion of the day. Face a rising sun and west is behind you , north is to your left and south is to your right. With practice, directional orientation will become second nature.
- In town, pay attention to N,S,E,W on street signs. That paired with increasing or decreasing block numbers will give you a direction.
- Get in the habit of using paper maps. You will remember street names and landmarks in relation to a map’s compass rose.
|Here are a couple of my pin boards I use for geospatial images and maps|
|You can request an invite at Pinterest.com|
The more I use Pinterest and engage with the community, the more geospatially oriented folks I find including Big Map Blog who recently started following my pins.
Today my seven-year-old son and I embarked on a mission to learn how to program with KidsRuby 1.0. Before ever hearing of KidsRuby my son had expressed interest in programming so he could create games.
- On the ArcGIS resources page of the Mapping Center choose the Styles tab and click on ColorRamps2.0 to start the download.
- After you download the file, unzip it. Inside you will find four .style files and a .txt file describing the styles.
- Copy the four .style files to C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Desktop10.0\Styles.
- Open a map document.
- Click the customize dropdown and select Style Manager.
- On the right side of the Style Manager click on the Styles… button. In the Style References window that opens click Add Style to List….
- Navigate to C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Desktop10.0\Styles where you placed the .style files and select the first one. You might have to repeat this step once for each style.
- After all of the styles are shown in the Style References list, make sure they are check marked and click the Set as Default List button.
- Click OK and you should see your styles on the left side of the Style Manager. Close the style manager. At this point you can go to the symbology tab of your Layer Properties for a given raster and select one of the new color ramps.
- Box of pushpins
- Obsolete Autodesk, ESRI, and Trimble trial software and drivers from 3 years ago.
- Short, flathead screwdriver
- A Spaceghost Christmas ornament
- Organic white tea bags (about 6 of them)
- 12 inch ruler (I actually use this from time to time to measure margins, boxes, icons and other elements on printed maps)
- 2009 statistical abstract of the United States
- Four USB cables from unknown hardware purchases
- Engineering ruler
- Box of plastic forks
- Bottle of instant Krazy Glue
- More than eleven pens from geospatial conference vendors
- 12 volt power supply to something I probably threw away in 2010
- Crossword puzzle book
- Seven lip balm containers (Six were empty)
- PS/2 to USB adapter
- Some flashy button thing from a conference
- Various sizes of sticky note pad
I am sure there are plenty of more interesting desk drawer content lists out there so leave a comment and let me know what’s in yours.
I spent weeks meeting strange people from craigslist in parking lots all over town, searching eBay and cruising garage sales to find the best (read: whatever I could afford at the moment) equipment for putting together a sound recording studio at home. I don’t know exactly what prompted me to set up a studio. I guess initially I had thought I wanted a voice studio to read some of my own writing into an audio file for fun. I also mess around playing the banjo, Irish tin whistles and various other instruments and thought it would be interesting to see what I could do with a microphone and free audio mixing software.
- Old Dell Inspiron 6000 running Audacity on a Win XP OS
- M-Audio Firewire Solo recording interface
- Quik Lok mic stand
- Audio Technica AT2020 Condenser Mic
- Primacoustic Voxguard Nearfield Absorber
- Neutrik XLR cable
- No name pop filter
|M-Audio FireWire Solo Interface|
|Dell Inspiron 6000 with M-Audio Interface|
|MXL 990/991 Microphones|
|AT2020 with Voxguard|
I am a geospatial analyst. I typically work with traditional GIS software like ESRI’s ArcGIS. However, Autodesk products are also heavily utilized in the office where I work. More and more, GIS and CAD are being integrated and it often falls upon me to work with our CAD analyst to explore interoperability between the two products. Over the last few years Autodesk has worked to develop a product called Map3D into a full GIS product to rival ArcGIS. There are those who will claim that Map3D has arrived at this goal but don’t let ’em fool ya. They can both be defined as a GIS but they are not equals. Autodesk is great at creating products that will make and manipulate geometries (think AutoCAD or Civil 3D). ESRI is great at making products that create points, lines and polygons, connect them in meaningful ways and then map them within geospatial coordinates. Autodesk is slowly introducing more geospatial analysis tools into their Map 3D product but one will not find the depth of available tools that you will find in ArcGIS. I digress, however. The above argument goes on every day in places more appropriate than this. At the very least, it should be the subject of another post. Suffice it to say, I have to know both, work with both and integrate both into a workflow. To further this goal, I have been sent to this year’s Autodesk University in Las Vegas, NV.
After two days of the conference I can report mixed feelings about the value of what was there. The overarching valuable service that I could identify was free testing to become certified in a variety of Autodesk products including Civil 3D, Revit and plain old AutoCAD. As a Map 3D user, I have been disappointed to know that they do not currently have a certification for that products. I was told that one is currently being considered, though.
The hands-on labs and lectures have their place but of course you have to put up with a lot of information that is not relevant to your own situation. To be fair, that is the case with many of the conferences I attend such as the ESRI conference. I attended one lecture about terrestrial spatial scanning for integration into Building Information Modeling (BIM). It was interesting and relevant to what we are doing in our office but the first hour was taken talking about minor issues like making sure to carry a long extension cord and manipulating xyz data in MS Access.
Now on to the most important part of the conference – lunch. One is never sure what to expect when it comes to conference food. Some conferences do not provide meals at all. I am happy to report AU does. I was a bit worried about what would be served after I had gone through the line at their “Grab-and_Go breakfast” the first morning. Breakfast was meat, cheese and egg between sort of round croissant halves. Problem was, I couldn’t tell the croissant from the egg from the cheese. The meat was the only thing I could positively identify, so that was all I ate. Lunch, however, was surprisingly good. It included salad, Spanish rice, pinto beans, pork medallions and chili. When I was done I didn’t feel like my gut was going to explode. Nice job AU! The only issue I had was when lunch was over and another session was about to begin, some guy with a mic’d xylophone started banging out a tune that was so annoying it made people stamped out of the room. AU really knows what they are doing.
Between sessions we were treated to coffee, organic teas, soda and water. In the afternoon they rolled out the carts with fruit, desserts and chips. It was really quite good. The second day I skipped breakfast and ate lunch elsewhere but overall I was impressed.
Before I end I have to briefly touch on the vendor area. It was not as big as I thought it would be and the schwag was not as good. That being said, I did come away with some great information about the next generation of Oce plotters and some great Chinese trinkets that have no good use but keep my kids for about 30 seconds. If anyone has any interesting comments or stories about this years AU, please do let me know.