Category Archives: Event

Happy Earth Observation Day!

Gregg Hadish gave a great presentation about the Iowa Geographic Map Server to celebrate Earth Observation Day.  It was a hands-on demonstration of the Iowa Geographic Map Server ArcGIS App which meant participants could follow along as he explained the various features and functions of the map server. Gregg also showed participants how to leverage map server layers within their own ArcGIS Online organizational accounts and basics for creating their own apps. 

Thank you, Gregg for a great demo! 

Here are some pictures from our Earth Observation Day event.

Checking out the new statewide 1 ft color infrared imagery in the web app.

Gregg giving an introduction to the Iowa Geographic Map Server.

Showing a historical layer – 1880s Andreas Atlas.



Earth Observation Day – October 16, 2018

IowaView, in collaboration with ISU GIS Facility and AmericaView, will be hosting the annual Earth Observation Day celebration, Tuesday, October 16, 2018, in Durham 248 from 12:15 to 1pm as part of Earth Science Week.  This year, Gregg Hadish, a staff member of ISU GIS Facility and Iowa NRCS will be our featured speaker; he will give a hands-on demo of the Iowa Geographic Map Server ( Iowa Geographic Map Server is browser-based website for statewide Iowa imagery. Gregg has been involved with the development of the Iowa Geographic Map Server for nearly twenty years.  The presentation will highlight recent innovations to the map server including an updated interface as well as many new features and image services. 

Iowa Geographic Map Server hosts statewide Iowa imagery dating back to the 1930s through spring 2018 as well as layers of elevation data (Lidar hillshade, contours), high-resolution land cover data, and historical data including the 1880s General Land Office maps and Andreas Atlas.  Many of the layers are available as web services within GIS software.  This is one of the most robust, publicly available, spatial imagery datasets in the country. This treasure trove of Iowa imagery that is waiting to be incorporated into your research.  This workshop is for all levels. There will also be time for questions.  If you plan to come, please RSVP with as computer space is limited.  

ITAG 2018 :: June 12-15, 2018 :: West Des Moines, IA

This week we are highlighting a number of upcoming geospatial conferences and the organizations that they representing.  Conferences are a moment to learn something new, hear about great work that our colleagues are doing, find opportunities for collaboration, share knowledge, and have fun.

ITAG is the Iowa Technology And Geospatial Conference.  The ITAG conference is a joint effort between the Iowa Geographic Information Council (IGIC) and the Iowa Counties Information Technology (ICIT) organizations.  This conference is unique, in that it offers two GIS tracks and two information technology (IT) tracks. This is helpful as many GIS professionals are also involved with IT as part of their job.  This is the second year of the joint conference.

ITAG is June 13-15, 2018 at the West Des Moines Sheraton Hotel in West Des Moines, Iowa.  There are pre-conference workshops on June 12.  For registration information, click here.  For a detailed agenda, click here.     

UMGEOCON 2018 :: May 23-24, 2018 :: LaCrosse, Wisconsin

This week we are highlighting a number of upcoming geospatial conferences and the organizations that they representing.  Conferences are a moment to learn something new, hear about great work that our colleagues are doing, find opportunities for collaboration, share knowledge, and have fun.

The Upper Midwest Geospatial Conference 2018 (UMGEOCON 2018) has been touted as being the only geospatial conference in the nation to be hosted by multiple state and regional associations. Those organizations (click on an organization to learn more) include: the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing – Western Great Lakes RegionGeospatial Information & Technology AssociationIowa Geographic Information CouncilIllinois GIS AssociationMinnesota GIS/LIS ConsortiumSharedGeo, and Wisconsin Land Information Association.  This conference is an opportunity to meet with people from different states and discuss what is working well and what could be improved.  LaCrosse, Wisconsin is also a beautiful conference location, nestled in the Driftless Region of the Upper Midwest along the Mississippi River. One of our own AmericaView members, Dr. Jarlath O’Neil-Dunne, will providing a keynote address entitled, Into the Future We Go.

UMGEOCON 2018 will be held on May 23-24, 2018 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin at the UW-LaCrosse campus. Registration is $195 for regular registration and $50 for students.

For more information about the conference agenda, click here. Register here!

FOSS4G NA :: May 13-17, 2018 :: St. Louis, Missouri

This week we are highlighting a number of upcoming geospatial conferences and the organizations that they representing.  Conferences are a moment to learn something new, hear about great work that our colleagues are doing, find opportunities for collaboration, share knowledge, and have fun.

FOSS4G NA stands for Free and Open Source Software for(4) Geospatial North America 

FOSS4G is hosted by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) which is a non-profit non-governmental organization whose mission is to support and promote the collaborative development of open geospatial technologies and data. It brings together all the members of the open source community – developers, contributors, extenders, users, teachers, service providers, consumers, and business and research organizations to learn from, collaborate, and communicate with each other.  This is a great opportunity to learn something new, ask questions, and make new connections.

This year FOSS4G NA is being held in St. Louis, Missouri, from May 13-16, 2018 with a fourth optional day May 17 devoted to Workshops and a Code Sprint.  To view the schedule, click here.  If you are interested in register, click here.

The FOSS4G community is global, there will be the world-wide conference this year in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in August 2018.

MAGIC Conference :: April 23-26 :: Omaha, NE

This week we will be highlighting a number of upcoming geospatial conferences and the organizations that they representing.  Conferences are a moment to learn something new, hear about great work that our colleagues are doing, find opportunities for collaboration, share knowledge, and have fun.

Today the spotlight is on the MidAmerica GIS Consortium (MAGIC) – which is celebrating their 30th birthday this year.  Their first conference was held in 1988.  MAGIC is a volunteer run organization dedicated map-making, location services, and data development.  The organization officially includes nine states in its region: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.    

The conference will be held April 23 – 26, 2018, in Omaha, Nebraska at the Omaha Doubletree Hotel. This conference offers a number of fantastic half day and full day technical workshops on wide variety of topics including unmanned aerial systems (UAS), python, R, ModelBuilder, legal issues in GIS, spatial statistics, and many others.  The conference will include sessions ranging from environmental remediation to city and county GIS to law enforcement to software innovations and tricks. ESRI also brings their Mobile Lab so you can brush up on your ArcGIS skills. To find out more, see the detailed schedule, click here.  Past MAGIC symposiums have included festivities such as fireworks, amazing prizes from vendors, and great food.  Come for the learning, stay for the fun!

  • Full Conference: $425, $525 after March 23
  • Student Registration: $150

Early registration ends March 23, so register today!  REGISTER HERE!!! 

Earth Observation Day – Thursday, October 12, 2017

This year for Earth Observation Day we had a mini mapathon and a speaker.  Our mapathon efforts focused on a project  in Puerto Rico that was mapping features as part of the Hurricane Maria recovery efforts.  Then Daryl Herzmann presented about the Iowa Environmental Mesonet (IEM), a storehouse and distribution center for weather, satellite, and transportation data for the US. Daryl gave a brief history of IEM along with highlighting many of its uses. Click here to view Daryl’s powerpoint. 

Coming Soon! Earth Observation Day – Thursday, October 12, 2017

You are invited to the annual Earth Observation Day celebration in Durham 248 from 11am to 1pm on Thursday, October 12, 2017.

From 11am-12pm, we will be having a mapping event focused on humanitarian mapping projects in areas hit by recent natural disasters.  Bring your lunch and stay from 12-12:30, we will have a guest lecture from Daryl Herzmann about the Iowa Environmental Mesonet, a website which collects and displays environmental data for Iowa from various sources including Iowa Flood Center, Iowa Department of Transportation, National Weather Service, and Iowa State University – Agronomy. Read more about the Iowa Mesonet here:

Please come and go as you are able. If you are interested in joining us, please fill out the RSVP form ( so we can plan for computer space and chairs. Please spread the word. Thank you, I hope you can join us!  

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,

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,

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!!!

Start Your Future Here – Part II

This post will describe the second workshop the ISU GIS Facility and IowaView hosted as part of the 2017 Iowa 4-H State Conference, “Start Your Future Here.”  The second workshop, “Start Your Open Street Map Adventure Here,” gave students a brief introduction to GIS and remote sensing as well as a short discussion of open street map and its interface. Then 4-Hers were asked to practice using the mapping interface through the TeachOSM application.  The group started by mapping a small northwest Iowa town, George.  As you will see from the screen shots, the 4-Hers made significant progress for this community, mapping over 400 buildings.  Comparing the before and after pictures, notice the large number of buildings added in the central and northeast parts of town.

George, Iowa – Before 4-H Workshop

George, Iowa – After 4-H workshop 6/29/2017

For the second activity, students worked on a project sponsored by the United States Geological Survey (USGS)’s Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) to help map communities near active volcanoes.  the 4-Hers mapped roads, buildings, and rivers in several small communities near Mt. Galeras in Columbia as part of their emergency preparedness. According to project description, “Galeras is an active Andean stratovolcano that is located in the Narino department, near Pasto (population: 450,000 Colombians). Galeras is the most active volcano in Colombia and is known for regular eruptions, the most recent occurring in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2010.” The students did a great job mapping with both projects. Between the two projects over 500 nodes were created and over 3,000 nodes were created. Hopefully these activities will lead to future mapping interest.