October, 2014


GIS Industry

Congressman Calls for a Subcommittee with Jurisdiction over Federal Geospatial Activities

Congressman Calls for a Subcommittee with Jurisdiction over Federal Geospatial Activities

Congressman Doug Lamborn recently sent a letter to the House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings asking that a Natural Resources Subcommittee be formed that has primary jurisdiction over federal geospatial activities.  In his letter to Hastings, the Congressman for Colorado’s 5th Congressional District noted that, “Congress does not have a committee […]

GIS Software

Twitter map showing one million geolocated tweets.Twitter map showing one million geolocated tweets.

GIS in Social Science: Mapping Social Capital Strength to Measure Organizational Efficacy

Turn unmeasurable goals into quantifiable indicators by mapping social capital strength of service oriented nonprofits, NGOs, or government agencies. Whether the need is to prove organizational efficacy, evaluate organizational reach, or demonstrate resource connectivity, social network mapping with GIS tools can bring the often fuzzy field of social science measurement to a new level of clarity by using social capital as a metric.  

Spatial Analysis

Coastline paradoxAn example of the coastline paradox. If the coastline of Great Britain is measured using units 100 km (62 mi) long, then the length of the coastline is approximately 2,800 km (1,700 mi). With 50 km (31 mi) units, the total length is approximately 3,400 km (2,100 mi), approximately 600 km (370 mi) longer.

GIS Data and the Coastline Paradox

Imagine that you’re taking a GIS class and your instructor tasks everyone with coming up with the answer to, “what is the length of the coastline of Maine?”  Everyone downloads a different GIS data set to calculate the length and everyone comes back with a completely different answer to that […]

GIS Data

iSPEX map compiled from all iSPEX measurements performed in the Netherlands on July 8, 2013, between 14:00 and 21:00. Each blue dot represents one of the total of 6007 measurements that were submitted that day. At each location on the map, the 50 nearest iSPEX measurements were averaged and converted to Aerosol Optical Thickness, a measure for the total amount of atmospheric particles. This map can be compared to the AOT data from the MODIS Aqua satellite, which flew over the Netherlands at 16:12 local time. The relatively high AOT values were caused by smoke clouds from forest fires in North America, that were blown over the Netherlands at an altitude of 2-4 km. In the course of the day, the northerly winds brought clearer air to the northern provinces.iSPEX map compiled from all iSPEX measurements performed in the Netherlands on July 8, 2013, between 14:00 and 21:00. Each blue dot represents one of the total of 6007 measurements that were submitted that day. At each location on the map, the 50 nearest iSPEX measurements were averaged and converted to Aerosol Optical Thickness, a measure for the total amount of atmospheric particles. This map can be compared to the AOT data from the MODIS Aqua satellite, which flew over the Netherlands at 16:12 local time. The relatively high AOT values were caused by smoke clouds from forest fires in North America, that were blown over the Netherlands at an altitude of 2-4 km. In the course of the day, the northerly winds brought clearer air to the northern provinces.

Using Citizens to Map Atmospheric Particulates

Dutch researchers were able to successfully map levels of atmospheric particulates by pulling data from over 8,000 smartphone users.  A team from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands developed a smart-phone adaptor called an iSPEX.  This inexpensive, mass-producible add-on is attached to the front of the phone’s camera that […]

GIS Software

Interactive mapping that is self-populating and efficiently moderated can provide valuable support material to those on the ground.

Five Ways to Use GIS to Strengthen Your Nonprofit Fundraising

Devon Reese describes five ways to integrate GIS data into non-profit fundrasing to increase success rates. Using GIS to make maps can improve your prospect pool, help you identify the best partnerships, improve how you relay your community needs and your organizational accomplishments, and take your evaluation to the next level.

Maps and Cartography

StateFace, open source font collection of the U.S. States.StateFace, open source font collection of the U.S. States.

StateFace

Here’s a font collection cartographers and those in GIS might want to download for future use.  StateFace is a sets of icons for the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and one showing the continental United States.  The shapes have been simplified to make them easily usable for instances where […]