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 many young Americans are unable to make effective decisions, understand geo-spatial issues, or even recognize their impacts as global citizens. National Geographic created Geography Awareness Week to raise awareness to this dangerous deficiency in American education and excite people about geography as both a discipline and as a part of everyday life.”Read More »
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.Read More »
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 scenes.
Sounds complicated, right? Why would anyone be interested in using this tool unless it’s their job?
Well surprise – most of us are already using GIS in our daily lives. Two of the most common examples: Google Maps and delivery tracking.Read More »
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 platforms like QGIS, PostGIS, MapBox, Manifold, etc., but just do so much less frequently.Read More »
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 in my backpack, happy as can be. I felt sorry for the geospatial people staggering out from their computer-heated cave. Now I have become one of those people; one of those sore-eyed, computer-staring people but I’ve discovered a new appreciation for remote sensing-based research. Read More »
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 to do this by focusing on a specific case study for one of our customers, the US Commission on Civil Rights. This example is fairly simple and I chose it for its ease of illustration for today’s talk. Before I get started, I think it’s necessary to clear up some terminology.
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. It states that “everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things.”Read More »
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 “breaking news” events. These maps provide situational awareness to our client regarding the status of assets within their area of jurisdiction. Time is of the essence during these events, and the faster a map product can go out, the better.Read More »
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 with this tutorial we will need a few things:
- Esri CityEngine 2013: 30 day trial license may be available
- Unity 4 Pro: for Oculus Rift Support, 30 day trial license is available. You should be able to get away with the free version if you only want to add a traditional FPS camera.
- Oculus Rift SDK: free but will need to sign up for a developer’s account
- Oculus Rift Developer’s Kit: Needed to view in virtual reality though you can still follow this tutorial and navigate the city via a regular monitor.
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 does.
The PIM is an approach we have developed to enable proper configuration management of geospatial data models. We have used it successfully for federal customers to track multiple versions of complex data models, validate physical implementations of those models, and support profiling and adaptation of the models across user communities. The focus of a PIM is on the data model as opposed to the actual geospatial data so a PIM itself doesn’t store any geospatial feature data. It is merely a representation of the logical model; defining the feature types, attributes, relationships, and constraints necessary to build a geospatial data set that is in compliance with a particular data standard.