Geography Awareness Week November 15-21, 2020

Geography, simply put, is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. Having a clear picture of your environment, and how you and others fit into it, gives unique insight into the choices we make and things we do. According to National Geographic’s Geography Awareness Week Program Mission and History, “Too […]

What is GIS?

Christian answers our questions during this live broadcast on what exactly is GIS? And how do we use in our everyday lives? We will also get some insight from him on how to develop a career in GIS.

How We Use GIS in Our Daily Lives

Most people probably don’t know that today is GIS Day! That’s great – but why should the average person care, and what is GIS anyway?! A geographic information system (GIS) is a tool for gathering, managing, and analyzing data. It uses many types of data organized into layers and is applied to maps and 3D […]

Parameter Definition/Validation in ArcGIS Tools

If you’ve read most of my previous posts, you know I’m a big fan of all things python in GIS. Specifically relating to ArcGIS, because well…that’s the software with which I’m most comfortable/proficient. Like many GIS professionals, my education and experience has revolved around ESRI products. I am however aware of, and have used, other […]

A New Appreciation for Remote Geospatial Research

While I was in graduate school I didn’t understand why people got master’s degrees in geospatial analysis. Well, I guess I understood it, but I thought it looked like a miserable job.   I would come back from a field excursion with dirt covering me from eyebrows to boot tips, a month’s worth of lab samples […]

Interactive Maps Without Map Servers

On 30 September 2015, I gave a talk to the Southern Maryland GIS User Group titled “Interactive Maps Without Map Servers.” This post consists of the slides from that presentation interspersed with my “talk track” in order to provide context. Today, I’m going to discuss publishing interactive maps without using a map server. I’m going […]

Calculating Distance and Direction using ArcPy

While working with geospatial information, it is often advantageous to find out how close one particular piece of data is to other pieces of data. This leads to a greater understanding of the area of study. The knowledge of how things relate to one another spatially is articulated in Waldo Tobler’s First Law of Geography. […]

Automating “Quicklook” Map Products for Emergent Events

Over the past decade, GIS professionals who can manipulate the software both manually and automatically are becoming increasingly more marketable within the industry. Automating mundane/repetitive tasks frees up time to focus on more advanced analyses and other GIS processes. On one of our current contracts, we are required to create map products in response to […]

Esri CityEngine, Unity 4.0 and the Oculus Rift

Esri CityEngine lets you create, as the name implies, cities, quite easily. As a bonus, it lets you export these creations in various formats including FBX files which can be imported into 3D game engines including Unity. You can very easily add VR support for the Oculus Rift to Unity 4 Pro. To follow along […]

Generating Physical Schemas From a PIM

A while back, my colleague Barry Schimpf touched upon some of the tools that we use in conjunction with the Platform Independent Model (PIM). Today, I will delve into one of the tools we use to generate physical schemas from the PIM. Before, I jump in, let’s review what a PIM is and what it […]