Category Archives: Resource

Not ITAG 2020: Tales from the Geospatial Bunker

This year due to safety concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic the Iowa Technology and Geospatial (ITAG) Conference 2020 was cancelled. Instead of the typical four-day in person event, ITAG hosted a half-day virtual event. Here is the link to the recording: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Y31tVqT2Y2dt68kFsefBqSNOTzq0ycIj/view?usp=sharing. Below are descriptions of presentations and links to presenters’ powerpoints:

What’s New with Collector for ArcGIS
Jay Riester and Gale Shea, Seiler Geospatial
Collector for ArcGIS is an ever-evolving field app. Learn what’s new with both the iOS and Android version of Collector.

DEMs – Which One Do I Choose?
Brian Gelder, Iowa State University
The ready availability of Lidar and Phodar datasets has vastly increased the types of Digital Elevation Models that are now available. One can now generate or choose from surface models and elevation models with some having various levels of hydroflattening or hydrocorrection applied. There are also numerous algorithms which can be used to generate the different types of DEMs. So, how does one choose which one is best for the needs of one’s project? We will discuss general DEM types, the underlying assumptions, best choices for certain applications, and sources for prebuilt DEMs for the state of Iowa.

Mapping the Rural Hitch – How One Fire Department Is Utilizing GIS to Prepare for Rural Structure Fires
Adam Gebhart, Johnson County
Traveling around most urban areas, you see fire hydrants or access to a continuous water supply every few hundred feet. However, when traveling around rural portions of the state, these types of continuous water resources are rarely found. This lack of continuous water resource poses a
considerable challenge for local fire departments when responding to fires in rural areas. When a fire occurs, response time is everything. Given the considerable challenges in effectively responding to fire emergencies in rural areas, North Liberty Fire Department (NLFD) is one place utilizing GIS
technology to improve these response times. This presentation will provide background information on mapping the rural hitch to help other fire departments understand how GIS can improve their response to rural fires.

How Data “Moves” in a Versioned Enterprise Geodatabase Workflow
Nathan Teut, Cedar County
The ability to branch child versions off of other versions in a multiuser geodatabase tree structure gives us the ability to edit without stepping on each other’s toes or eating each other’s brains. This also allows QAQC protocols to be put into place when migrating those edits (reconcile and post operations) into the parent versions. To better understand these editing operations, it is necessary to understand the version tree and the concept of state IDs which can be easily viewed through SQL Server Management Studio. In a demo-based presentation, let’s go through an editing example, tracking the advancement of a zombie apocalypse upon Cedar County, by two simultaneous users, and check the state IDs to better
understand how the data “moves” from child to parent. Finally, lets quickly review the arcpy methods for automating reconcile, post, and geodatabase maintenance (rebuild, analyze, and compress operations).

Playing Nice with Your Neighbors NG911
Jeff Miller, Dubuque County
This will be a county focused meetup to discuss boundary and alignment issues between counties. For Next Gen 911 to work as expected the boundaries need to be edge matched and roads need to be connected at county boundaries.

GIS Leadership in an Organization and Best Practices for GIS Success
Matt Hoehn and Dan Haag, Esri
Esri’s Dan Haag (St Louis Region Manager) and Matt Hoehn (Account manager for Local governments in Iowa) will be presenting on lessons learned and best practices for GIS and IT professionals to use Location Technology to become leaders in their organizations. Presentation and discussion topics include; GIS and technology strategy, focusing on capabilities, establishing GIS value with business focused solutions, overcoming technology challenges, and implementing best practices.

Oh how the years go by: 40 years – Mount St. Helens

This week marks 40 years since the Mount St. Helens eruption. The image above is from the USGS Earthshots trading card series. The images are displayed in color infrared which is useful for showing living vegetation in red. The mountains surrounding Mount St. Helens are primarily forest. Notice the extreme change in the landscape from the 1973 image to the post eruption image in 1983. The damage was extensive and ash covered much of the surrounding forest land.

Additional Resource

Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change – Mount St. Helens: https://earthshots.usgs.gov/earthshots/Mount-St-Helens#ad-image-0-0
Scroll through the images to watch the forest begin to return as the years go by!

Google Earth Engine Tutorials

Google Earth Engine is a platform for exploring and analyzing satellite imagery. It is available for academic, non-profit, business and government users.

Several members of the AmericaView community have created tutorials to provide a foundation to quickly begin learning and using Google Earth Engine (GEE). If you are new to GEE, you will want to start with this Google Earth Outreach tutorial. You may need to sign-up for a GEE account with an existing Gmail email address.

For a list of additional tutorials visit the AmericaView GEE Tutorial page: https://americaview.org/program-areas/education/google-earth-engine-tutorials/.

Celebrate Earth Day 2020!

Earthrise by Apollo 8 Astronaut William Anders/NASA

This Wednesday (April 22, 2020) will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. While many of the large scale celebrations will have to be postponed; here are some ideas for ways to celebrate in your home or neighborhood.

#EarthDayAtHome with NASA – this website has a great collection of activities to explore our world. Here are a few that you might want check out: Terrestrial Tournament (vote for your favorite Earth images), Hit the Bricks (instructions for creating LEGO models Model 1 and Model 2), NEMO-NET (mapping coral reefs), download the ebook “Earth at Night” to view amazing images of our planet at night.

Water Rocks!, an Iowa based water education campaign, has two exciting Earth Week art contests.
1) Create a sidewalk chalk masterpiece showing your love for natural resources or ways to help protect planet Earth.
2) Gather interesting objects you find outside to create art from nature!
Check out the Water Rocks website for full details: https://www.waterrocks.org/earth-week-chalk-challenge

ISU’s Live Green Monthly Newsletter is also another resource to find ideas for celebrating Earth Day. It is filled with practical tips for living more sustainably, fun DYI Green activities, opportunities for living green as well as other interesting articles.

Have a happy Earth Day!

USGS Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change

The USGS has produced an amazing collection of images (also available as trading cards!) that show Earth’s change over time. The Earthshot collection has a wide variety of examples of change over time including:
– natural phenomena changes (glaciers, deserts,)
– social change (city growth,)
– human interaction with the natural world (mining, deforestation, agriculture,)
– natural disasters (hurricanes, tornado damage, flooding.)

Below are two examples of the trading cards, Mount St. Helens pre/post volcanic explosion and Las Vegas, Nevada population growth over time.

If you view a location on through the browser you will get about 5 images you can review as well as context about the images.

Other Resources: Tracking Change Over Time (teacher guide): https://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/133/pdf/tracking-packet_web.pdf
Lesson Plan – Investigating Deforestation Throught An Earth Systems View Using Landsat: https://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov/lesson-plans/investigating-deforestation-through-earth-systems-view-using-landsat

IowaView has trading cards available. Please contact Amy Logan for more information.

AmericaView Educational Resources – College-Level

AmericaView College-Level Remote Sensing Resources

GeorgeView – AmericaView University
Website: http://gaview.org/moodle30f/

IowaView – GIS and Mapping Task Sheets
Website: https://www.extension.iastate.edu/communities/gis/quicktasksheets

MinnesotaView – Remote Sensing 101
Website: https://minnesotaview.rs.umn.edu/education

MontanaView – Python and R
Website: http://www.montana.edu/montanaview/

NewHampshireView – Remote Sensing Webinars
Website: http://www.nhview.unh.edu/educations_webinars.html

VirginiaView – Remote Sensing Tutorials
Website: https://www.virginiaview.cnre.vt.edu/education.html

WestVirginiaView – Intro to GIS and R Courses
Website: http://www.wvview.org/course_directory.html

VermontView – Youtube Videos – Intro to GIS and Remote Sensing
Website: https://www.youtube.com/user/joneildunne/videos

AmericaView – Google Earth Engine Tutorials
Website: https://americaview.org/program-areas/education/google-earth-engine-tutorials/

AmericaView – Educational Resource Portal
Website: https://americaview.org/program-areas/education/resources/