• Latest Release of MapInfo Focuses on an Easier to Use Mapping Experience

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    Pitney Bowes, the maker of MapInfo, has released an updated version of the GIS software that is aimed towards lowering the amount of time it takes for a user to be up and running with mapping and spatial analysis. Clarence Hempfield, the Director of Product Management at Pitney Bowes provided […]

  • How GIS is Being Used in Conservation Biology

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    Thirty-six years ago the multidisciplinary study of conservation biology was developed to build a bridge between pure ecology and the practical issues of species and habitat conservation (Soulé & Wilcox, 1980). This discipline encompasses genetics, population ecology, wildlife management, social sciences and in particular the measurement and analysis of biodiversity […]

  • Four Ways GIS is Being Used to Help Populations Vulnerable to Long Term Climate Change

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    The power of GIS is in its ability to be both simple and complex – showing difficult ideas and layers of data with a single software package makes it easily transferable to vulnerable populations and their governing forces. That power is changing the way vulnerable populations relate with their natural world and resources to keep ahead of imminent climate changes.  

  • Using Geospatial Technologies to Map Illegal Fishing

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    Worldwide overfishing is having a devastating effect on marine ecosystems.  A 2014 report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found that one-third of marine fish stocks worldwide have been overfished, and over 90% of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited or over-fished.  Give the vast expanse of the ocean (96.5% […]

  • Can Waze’s Crowdsourced Traffic Data be Faked?

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    Affluent Westside residents in Los Angeles want to create fake traffic jams on crowdsourced traffic app Waze to discourage commuters from using their neighborhoods as a shortcut.

GIS Career and Jobs

How Does a Degree in GIS Affect How You Feel About Your Career?

How Does a Degree in GIS Affect How You Feel About Your Career?

Salary site, payscale.com released the results of its 2014 college survey that looks at which college majors pay the best and are the most meaningful.  The survey was developed from 1.4 million respondents to its PayScale Salary Survey which collects data about  jobs, compensation, employer, demographics and educational background. So what did those who majored […]

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

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 […]

Esri Wants Your Input on the Esri User Conference Agenda

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 […]

GIS Learning

Earth cake

Celebrate GIS Day on November 19, 2014

Every year, GIS Day is celebrated on the Wednesday of Geography Awareness Week. This year GIS Day will be celebrated on Wednesday, November 20, 2013. What are your GIS Day plans?

Ordnance Survey Launches the GeoVation Housing Challenge

Ordnance Survey Launches the GeoVation Housing Challenge

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 […]

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 […]

GIS Data

Mapping the California Drought with Open Data

Mapping the California Drought with Open Data

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Center for Integrated Data Analytics (CIDA) has created an open source visual description of California’s ongoing drought using free and publicly accessible GIS data sources.  Noting that many state, federal, and tribal agencies make routine observations of the water cycle, the USGS developed this graphic to visualize […]

Creating a mosaic by stitching several orthorectified images. Source: Meo et al, 2012).

Using Drones to Create Fast Orthorectified Maps

Computer scientist Mark Pritt, along with colleagues at Lockheed Martin in Gaithersburg, Maryland, developed a new algorithm to handle thousands of images and speed up the process of creating an orthorectified map from UAV aerial imagery.

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

Traffic along heile selasi Avenue next to Railway satation in Nairobi. Photo: Demosh

Finding Low Tech Solutions for Nairobi’s Commuters

How do you help commuters navigate traffic when only 19% of the population owns a smartphone? IBM’s Nairobi Labs has released a solution for commuters that uses low resolution traffic cameras to predict traffic patterns that are relayed via SMS.

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.  

Five Ways to Use GIS to Strengthen Your Nonprofit Fundraising

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

Dragon Hunters: a Mapping Project for the British Legends

Dragon Hunters: a Mapping Project for the British Legends

The team behind Dragon Hunters explains their crowd funding campaign currently running on Indiegogo. Can we map a legend? Can we map dragons as we map the distribution of African lions or North American bald eagles? Like eagles, dragons are told to cut the sky with their wings, but they also dig […]

Mapping Almost 250 Years of Buildings in Manhattan

Mapping Almost 250 Years of Buildings in Manhattan

Morphocode‘s Urban Layers allows users to drill down and view the history of Manhattan’s buildings by mapping out over 45,000 buildings and symbolizing them by age.  Users can filter buildings by age by interacting with the graph which shows year of construction on the X axis and the number of buildings built […]

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


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 […]

Spatial Analysis

Using Landsat images analyzed by a neural network, Anemone and his colleagues created a land cover map of the Great Divide Basin. Potential fossil locations are light red, and likely locations are dark red. (Map adapted from Anemone, et al., 2011.)

Finding Fossils with Remote Sensing

In the field of paleontology, finding fossils is often a substantial undertaking. Researchers usually have to assemble crews of up to 15 people, each one carrying their own food and shelter, and head out into remote areas where making good time means driving 10 miles an hour. On top of […]

Coastline paradox

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 […]

3D tree scan.

Smart Tree Logging with Remote Sensing

Treemetrics is using satellite imagery, UAV, and LiDAR to help forestry managers to map out forests in order to better assess the quality and value of their forests and to cut down on waste.