July, 2013

GIS Data

Comparison of population densities between London, New York, and Tokyo.

The Urban Observatory Uses GIS to Seek to Better Understand Cities

The Urban Observatory is a live museum that allows access to a large amount of data about major cities around the world. The observatory allows users to compare and contrast a wide variety of GIS data covering areas such as water distribution, power grids, street networks, population density, public transit, and open public spaces.

GIS Data

Map of tweets containing the word “terremoto” (Italian for “earthquake”) collected in the two minutes following a magnitude 6.0 earthquake in Northern Italy on May 5, 2012. The red star shows the location of the earthquake. The tweets are concentrated in the epicentral area but discussion of the earthquake has already spread beyond the impacted region. This shows the speed that USGS Tweet Earthquake Dispatch (TED) collects tweets to provide insight into potential earthquake events. Image Credit: USGS

Crowdsourcing with the USGS

The U.S. Geological Survey is putting out a call for citizen scientists (that means you) to help them track and gather geographic information on what is happening all around the globe. Here are the some of the most well-known USGS crowdsourcing projects.

GIS Data

California Supreme Court Rules that GIS Data are Public Record

After a lengthy battle in the court system, California’s Supreme Court has finally ruled in favor of allowing public access to the government’s GIS data in Orange County. Back in 2007, the Sierra Club sued the county for the right to use its GIS data for environmental mapping projects. Orange County resisted, however, claiming that the digital maps did not fall under the Public Records Act.