• Mapping the Outbreaks of Diseases

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    In August of 2014, the World Health Organization declared a public emergency in response to the growing number of Ebola cases that have struck several West African countries. So far, the countries that have been hit hardest include Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Senegal. In those countries, more than [...]

  • Where is the Cloud in GIS for Watershed Management?

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    Barbara Horvatic, the Marketing Manager at GIS Cloud, explains how using a cloud-based GIS can help create a collaborative environment for pulling together and manipulate disparate datasets.   With the recent increase in frequency of flooding events (followed by the usual ‘I haven’t seen this in the past hundred years’ [...]

  • Is GIS Use in Crime Analysis Effective at Curbing Crime?

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    A new study by researchers at Sam Houston State University found that the use of GIS is widespread in analyzing crime data but that almost no studies have been done to determine if using spatial analysis is an effective tool in reducing crime rates.  “Geographic Information System Effects on Policing Efficacy: [...]

  • Ordnance Survey Launches the GeoVation Housing Challenge

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    The Ordnance Survey has launched new GeoVation challenge that offers £101,000 to the ventures that make the best use of geography, technology, and good design in order to offer solutions that address the identified problems of long term housing issues in the United Kingdom.  Looking to provide a way for people in Britain to [...]

  • Mapping Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions

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    Researchers recently published the results of developing a system for measuring global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the Journal of Geophysical Research.  Named “Fossil Fuel Data Assimilation System” or FFDAS, the system is able to quantify at the city level fifteen years of CO2 emissions from 1997 – 2009.  The research represents [...]

GIS Career and Jobs

Esri Wants Your Input on the Esri User Conference Agenda

standard Esri Wants Your Input on the Esri User Conference Agenda

Esri has posted a survey soliciting input on the annual Esri User Conference agenda.  The survey is short and can be taken in five minutes.  It asks a series of questions about how the agenda is presented (mobile, online, paper, etc.) and accessed. The answers are confidential and the only [...]

I'm a.... The GIS Profession in One Word

standard I’m a…. The GIS Profession in One Word

When I think about the debate about whether or not GIS is a profession, one aspect that pokes at me is the inability to succinctly sum up the answer to the question, “What do you do?” in one word.  When I think about professions, I think about the one word [...]

Women in GIS Survey for a Master's Thesis

standard Women in GIS Survey for a Master’s Thesis

Livia Betancourt Mazur is working on her Master’s thesis in Geography at Hunter College of City University of New York.  She has issued a call for participants for her survey which seeks to explore the representation of women in GIS and the experience of women who already work in the field: The survey [...]

GIS Learning

standard Presentations from OSGIS 2014 Now Online

All recordings from the recently held OSGIS 2014 are now available online.  Themed, “Building up Open Access, Open Education and Open Data for Open Science”, the fifth open source GIS conference is part of the  “Geo for All” initiative.  The conference featured keynotes by Professor John Wood (Secretary General, Association of Commonwealth Universities), Karen Parkin [...]

The "Where in the World" game is an annual favorite among attendees. Individuals take their best guesses to figure out where on the Earth the poster sized aerial imagery represents.

standard Views From the 2014 Esri International User Conference: GIS In Imagery

Photographer Kristina Jacob shares moments she captured from the 2014 Esri International User Conference that was recently held during July in San Diego, California.  One of the largest GIS conferences in the world, the Esri UC played host to over 15,000 attendees from around the world. The Esri International User [...]

GIS Tutorial for Python Scripting

standard GIS Tutorial for Python Scripting

GIS Tutorial for Python Scripting is a new release from Esri Press.  This workbook contains hands-on programming exercises to familiarize GIS users with scripting using Python, particularly within the ArcGIS environment. Python is used within ArcGIS to script geoprocessing functions and tasks such as automating workflows or customizing ArcGIS through custom menus [...]


GIS Data

Landsat-derived forest disturbance rate (stand replacing), 1990-2000, aggregated to 500m grid. Source: NASA.

standard Mapping Forest Disturbance with Landsat

The Landsat Ecosystem Disturbance Adaptive Processing System (LEDAPS) takes advantage of the 30 year Landsat archive to inventory recent disturbances and forest-cover change. Using mid-summer, cloud free Landsat data from the Global Land Survey (GLS) project, LEDAPS first corrects the images to remove atmospheric effects from surface reflectance (source code for LEDAPS) before applying [...]

EarthCube Data Initiative

standard EarthCube Data Initiative

Improvements in technology have led to the wide dissemination of information. As long as you have a computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can access a large amount of data from nearly all parts of the globe. The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) is taking advantage of this reality through their [...]

Detected methane leaks in the city of Staten Island.

standard Mapping Methane Leaks with Google Street View Cars

Google partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund on a pilot project to use Google’s fleet of Street View cars to map out methane levels in three U.S. cities.  The cars were outfitted with sensors to detect and record methane leaking from city pipes in the cities of Boston, Staten Island, and [...]

GIS Software

GISconnector for Excel – Synchronize Data, Selections, and Filters between ArcGIS and Excel

standard GISconnector for Excel – Synchronize Data, Selections, and Filters between ArcGIS and Excel

A new tool is available called GISconnector for Excel which enables bidirectional data transfer between ArcGIS and Excel.  The tool, GISconnector, also enables transfer selections and filters (definition queries) between Excel and ArcGIS.  GISconnector was recently nominated as one of the most innovative GIS-Software in Germany for 2014.  One of the developers, Matthias Abele, a biologist from [...]

Esri Releases Explorer for ArcGIS for Mac OS

standard Esri Releases Explorer for ArcGIS for Mac OS

Baby steps.  GIS software giant Esri, which still lacks a full fledged desktop GIS software solution for native Mac OS users, has announced the release of Explorer for ArcGIS.  A step beyond the previous ArcExplorer, Explorer for ArcGIS is a free Mac OS app that offers the following functionality: Find, use, [...]

QGIS 2.4 'Chugiak' Now Available for Downloading

standard QGIS 2.4 ‘Chugiak’ Now Available for Downloading

The latest release of QGIS 2.4, called Chugiak, is now available for downloading.  QGIS is a freely available GIS software program (Anita Graser has written an introduction to QGIS that provides an overview of what the suite of QGIS programs offers). One of the major improvements in this latest release is [...]

Maps and Cartography

Recipes of the World on Wikia Maps.

standard Crowdsourced Maps With Wikia Maps

Harnessing the power of technology, crowdsourcing data and maps draws upon a large group of people from all over the globe in order to pull together ideas, content, or services, and those who take part in are mostly volunteers. A good example of geographic data crowdsourcing is OpenStreetMap, a collaborative [...]

A Look At Epson's New Generation of Large-Format Color Printers

standard A Look At Epson’s New Generation of Large-Format Color Printers

Timed with this year’s Esri International User Conference, Epson has announced the second generation of its SureColor T-Series of large format color printers.  Epson has focused improvements to its printer series towards architects, engineers and GIS professionals.  I had a chance to speak with Timothy Check, Project Manager at Epson [...]

Map Traps: Intentional Mapping Errors to Combat Plagiarism

standard Map Traps: Intentional Mapping Errors to Combat Plagiarism

When cartographers create maps, it is usually with the intention of being as accurate as possible. After all, when humans consult maps, they want to know where an exact location is and how they can get there. In the past, though, mapmakers have been known to slip in what are [...]

Spatial Analysis

Create Your Own Mental Maps with MindRider Helmets

standard Create Your Own Mental Maps with MindRider Helmets

Biking is an enjoyable way to not only exercise but to commute around town. On the other hand, riding a bike can be a stressful experience. Bicyclists have to constantly be aware of their surroundings, safety dodging other people as well as traffic. A new mapping application called MindRider hopes [...]

Examples of using GIS to bin point location data for South Africa, Nebraska, and Kenya. Source: MapBox

standard Binning in GIS

In GIS it is often sometimes hard to present point-based data because at times there are several different points and data symbologies that need to be shown. As the number of different data points grows they can become complicated to interpret and manage, resulting in convoluted and sometimes inaccurate maps. In order to reduce map congestion many GIS users use a process called binning. Binning is defined as the process of grouping pairs of locations based on their distance from one another.