Category Archives: Map

ISU Mapathon Greatest hits…show the highlights reel!

Over the past few years the ISU GIS Facility has hosted a number of mapathons. Most of our mapathons have a time set aside for mapping in Iowa and then a time where we focus on international projects.

It is amazing what even a small group of mappers can do to add to the OpenStreetMap basemap in a small town in Iowa. Below are three examples of demonstrating how a mapathon event can add to the OpenStreetMap.

1. George, Iowa
George, Iowa is a small town in Northwest Iowa. This series of screen shots below illustrates progress made over several mapathons.

George, Iowa – 6/30/2016
George, Iowa – 7/13/2016
George, Iowa – 6/28/2017

2. Ogden, Iowa
Another Iowa example is Ogden, Iowa. We starting mapping Ogden in 2015. This story map link shows progress made over several mapping events. As part of this effort we even marked the sidewalks as a collarborative project with Iowa State Extension. After our mapping efforts an individual continued on the IowaView efforts. Today, Ogden has a vivid and robust OSM basemap.

Ogden, Iowa – November 17, 2020

3. Wayland, Iowa
Most of our early efforts were not tied to a specific project but were mainly to teach people to use OpenStreetMap and continuing adding to the Iowa basemap. For our mapathon in 2019, we reached out to see if there were any communities that would like help with a mapping project. We were connected with a city clerk from Wayland, Iowa. Below are screenshots of the progress from that day of mapping.

Wayland, Iowa – 10/11/2019
Wayland, Iowa – 10/17/2019

Happy GIS Day 2020! #GISDay

As a way to celebrate GIS Day and OpenStreetMap, we are encouraging everyone to go online either during this week or on GIS Day and contribute to the OpenStreetMap basemap. You may consider improving the basemap in your own community. Here are several projects to consider:

Public Lab Mongolia –
Public Lab Mongolia (PLM), a local non-governmental organization in Mongolia, is leading the Mongolian chapter for volunteer mappers through the HOTmicrogrant COVID-19 project, as part of their mission to promote open data and disaster preparedness. This mapping will also help with COVID-19 response efforts. This project is to map Ulaanbaatar capital city of Mongolia, is organized by PLM in collaboration with the Mongolian Geo-spatial Association and local universities.

Hurricane Eta – Nicaragua –
Hurricane Eta brought wind, rain and storm surge to the coast of Nicaragua. This project is to finish the basemap of Bilwi (Puerto Cabezas) by digitizing buildings from MAXAR imagery. Available to beginners, there may be tricky tasks in this project as some areas have been partially mapped with older imagery and vegetation can often hide parts of structures. Make sure to review the instructions for tips on how to overcome these challenges and provide high quality data.

Explore your own project:

Geography Treasure Hunt – Pioneers of Geography and GIS Edition

Let’s kick off Geography Awareness Week with some trivia: Test your knowledge of some of the pioneers of geography and GIS. Good luck! Learn something new!

Iowa Absentee Voter Return Map

Happy Wednesday! Here is a map from the Iowa State University Extension Community and Economic Development showing the percent of absentee ballots returned in Iowa by county. There is also a layer that shows percentage of absentee ballots returned by party. This map will be updated regularly as we move towards the election.