In my last post “Intro to Section 508 and Accessibility” I explained what Section 508 is, why it’s important, and how to be compliant. As a quick review, Section 508 is a law requiring Federal agencies to meet standards during “development, procurement, maintenance, and use” of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). These standards help users with disabilities have comparable access to others. In this post I will focus on 508 Compliance for Word Documents, just one piece of ICT. I’ll detail the steps involved in preparing these documents to be 508 compliant and accessible, and I’ll show how to convert it into a PDF document that is suitable to be shared with others or posted to a website.Read More »
If you work for the federal government and have a role in developing documents, software, websites, and/or procuring, purchasing or maintaining hardware, you have a responsibility to meet Section 508 standards. Even if you’re not a federal employee, it’s always a good idea to be 508 compliant as it will make it easier for all your customers and employees to find content and work more easily. In this post, my goal is for you to understand what Section 508 is, why it’s important, and how to become compliant.Read More »
Game engines are software development environments for developers to build video games for mobile devices, PCs, and consoles. Unity is the most widely used cross-platform 2D, 3D, AR, MR, VR and now CG development engine created by Unity Technologies. First released in 2005 as a Mac OS X exclusive, as of 2018 Unity has been extended to support more than 25 platforms.Read More »
Our employees often have a need to view, review, or collaborate on documents when they are not in the same office or location. We find Google’s products such as Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms to be great resources that allow us to do just that. Best of all, most of their products are free. Everything is created via a web browser and is stored on Google’s servers. G Suite is a more robust fee based package tailored for businesses if you find you need more.
I recently had a request to update a Google Sheet so that whenever the document was updated, an email would get sent out to multiple recipients notifying them of the change. In this case, we had shared a spreadsheet with a list of job candidates. Many had access, but only 1 person regularly updated. The other users didn’t want to check the document constantly for updates and wanted a notification when a new candidate was added or an existing candidate status had changed.Read More »
I like to think that I learn more every day, but I still really embrace being a computer novice in a lot of ways. About four years ago, I learned about using Windows’ Task Scheduler to run processes on a defined timetable. The typical things it became useful for in my daily activities were: backing up data from my local machine to a server, running processes during off-hours that consume significant system resources, and automating web download workflows/preparing the data before I arrived at work. It’s best for uses requiring no user input, since the user is often absent during a scheduled task run.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.
Managing a team of Geospatial Analysts, and all their ongoing projects, requires a decent bit of effort for the Project Manager on one of our current contracts. At the onset, the PM would ask each GA what they were working on, obtain it verbally or via email, and manually enter the information into an excel spreadsheet. He would then discuss the spreadsheet with the client each week, noting any task updates or closures. The importance of the spreadsheet and the weekly client meetings cannot be understated; however, I believed that the amount of labor associated with tracking tasks could be greatly reduced.Read More »
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.