Category Archives: Article

What’s your GIS Story?

A few years ago the Iowa Geographic Information Council (IGIC) asked members to share stories of how members became interested in geospatial technology. Click here to read those stories. It is interesting to read all the different ways people get involved – often through school, other times through a work project, even through life events (hurricanes, Disney World, 4-H, etc.) No matter what path brought you to GIS; we’re glad you are here. Please consider sharing your story on the IGIC website as well.

TELL YOUR GIS STORY

#OSMgeoweek

The OpenStreetMap (OSM) community is also celebrating this week as OSM Geography Awareness Week (#osmgeoweek.) It is a time for teachers, students, community groups, and map lovers, in the US and around the world to join together to celebrate geography and make maps with OpenStreetMap, the free and openly editable map of the world.

Over 132 groups around the world are hosting mapathons to gather people to add to the OSM basemaps. While we aren’t hosting an official event in Ames this week, we do encourage you to get mapping. In a previous post, we suggested ways to connect with the OpenStreetMap community, click here to check that out.

Another way you can do to improve the OSM basemap is to log in and navigate to your local community. Add new developments, new roads, public buildings, parks, and points of interest. It’s always good to make sure your community’s data is fresh and correct.

A Great Week for Geography and GIS

This is another important week for geography and GIS.

November 11-16, 2019 is Geography Awareness Week. It was started over 25 years ago by National Geographic society as a way to raise awareness about the dangerous dificiency of geography in American education and to excite people about geography as a discipline and as part of everyday life. Learn more about Geography Awareness Week from the National Geographic website.

AmericaView’s YouTube videos rock!

Are you new to remote sensing? Are you moving from using ArcGIS Desktop to ArcGIS Pro? Would you like to learn how to better use E-Cognition?

Jarlath O’Neil-Dunne, a professor at University of Vermont and the Director of Spatial Analysis Laboratory has produced an amazing collection of videos which range in scope for those just beginning in remote sensing and GIS to advanced topics and demonstrations.

Here’s the link to Jarlath’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZb1tQu3rctbyuUQLa1vWnQ. He writes a blog called Letter from the SAL (Spatial Analysis Laboratory.)

AmericaView Mini-grant: Iowa BMP Mapping Project Handbook and Tutorials Available!

IowaView received a mini-grant from AmericaView to create a handbook and tutorials documenting the Iowa Best Management Practices (BMP) Mapping Project. The handbook and tutorials are now available!

Handbook: https://www.iowaview.org/iowa-conservation-mapping-project/

Tutorials:  https://www.iowaview.org/iowa-bmp-project-accessory-data-and-documents-page/

Citizen Science during the Total Solar Eclipse

You might have heard by now that in just under two weeks there will be a total solar eclipse of the sun!    

2008 Solar Eclipse Diamond Ring, Credit : The Exporatorium, https://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/eclipse/eclipseimages.html

NASA is encouraging people to use this opportunity to join in a citizen science experiment to record the air temperature and surface temperatures as well as cloud cover and type at intervals before and after the totality of the eclipse. For more information about how to participate in this excellent experiment read these handouts: 1)GLOBE Solar Eclipse Instructions and Links sheet, 2)GLOBE Solar Eclipse Data Collection Worksheet, and 3)Citizen Science Solar Eclipse Handout.  Thank you to Kevin Czajkoski, from OhioView, for sharing these handouts.

Total Solar Eclipse Diagram
By Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz
From the National Science Teachers Assoication, http://static.nsta.org/extras/solarscience/SolarScienceInsert.pdf

Check out this map to see where you are located in relation to viewing the total eclipse.  Here in Ames, Iowa, we should see between 90-95% of the total eclipse.  

Another really cool video that I recommend checking out is from the PBS show, Steven Hawkings – Genius – in this clip the researchers are trying to create a model of the eclipse to understand how far the Earth and Moon are from the sun in the middle of the desert in Utah.  At the end of the video they use a computer model to extrapolate the whole solar system.  It is an amazing visual!  CHECK IT OUT!!!

Earth Week 2017: Adopt the Planet

Happy Earth Week! This year NASA has created unique opportunity just in time for Earth Day for interested participants to “Adopt the Planet.”  There are 64,000 locations available from adoption.    

Credit: NASA https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/nasa-celebrates-earth-day-by-letting-us-all-adopttheplanet

When you visit the website you can fill in your name and then receive a certificate with your adopted patch of Earth.  The adoption certificate gives you specific coordinates of your location on our globe as well as satellite data layers relevant to your piece of Earth.  You can use WorldView, NASA’s web-based satellite viewing application, to explore your adopted point over time and with different layers.   

I received a point on the coast of Antarctica.  It was cool to explore a part of our planet that I don’t normally think about on a daily basis. With the WorldView application I was able to see how it changes over the seasons from solid ice to open ocean. WorldView even has the ability to animate these observations.

This outreach event allows us the appreciate our planet from space and helps us learn about some of the space instruments that are continuously monitoring and circling our planet.

To adopt your piece of Earth, visit: https://climate.nasa.gov/adopt-the-planet/#/

Credit: NASA https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/nasa-celebrates-earth-day-by-letting-us-all-adopttheplanet

Iowa BMP Mapping Project data now available!

The ISU GIS Facility recently rolled out a new website (http://www.gis.iastate.edu/gisf/projects/conservation-practices) that allows users to download completed data sets from the Iowa BMP Mapping Project. Each file geodatabase contains 6 mapped conservation practices: contour buffer strips, grassed waterways, stripcropping, pond dams, terraces, and WASCOB (water and sediment control basins.) The website also allows visitors to preview the data available in the file geodatabases by downloading a pdf.  Please use this valuable resource.


An example of the pdf output