Blog

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!

Mother Earth As Art – Virtual Art Exhibit

Dr. Chandana Mitra of AlabamaView along with other member of her team are hosting “Mother Earth as Art”, which features USGS Earth as Art images as well as other inspired images, at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University during Spring 2020. The exhibit is also available online. Here is the link to explore the exhibit: http://jcsm.auburn.edu/exhibitions/mother-earth-as-art/.

Dr. Mitra, two of her graduates students,along with the art museum curator, Christy Barlow discuss the exhibit in an online gallery talk which was presented live on Earth Day, April, 22, 2020. Here is a link to view the gallery talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPtBDZF0DRM&feature=youtu.be

Below is a preview of the some of the images.

Experience the beauty of our planet on #EarthDay. We're hosting Earth Day Live: "Mother Earth as Art" at 1 p.m. CT with the Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics and the Auburn University Geosciences Department. Explore how this #STEAM exhibition came together and have an online conversation.

Posted by Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Missing your Mapping Peeps?

Join the OpenStreetMap US Virtual Mappy Hour. Members of the OpenStreetMap (OSM) Community present short, informational talks related to OSM and other mapping related topics. Here are links to some the past and upcoming Mappy Hour topics.

Up-to-date Events Schedule: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Foundation/Local_Chapters/United_States/Virtual_Mappy_Hours (To attend in real-time you will need to register on the form)

Upcoming Events
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 8:30pm ET – Imports with Margaret Spyker

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 8:30pm ET – Topic to be determined

Friday, June 5, 2020 6:30 -8:30pm ET – NY Mapathon Part 1: Mapping houses in the town of Hempstead, NY

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 8:30pm ET – Brian DeRocher, Microcosm

Wednesday, June 25, 2020 – Topic to be determined

Past Events
Thursday, April 30, 2020, Mapathon w/ MaptimeBmore – (watch) Mapping POIs in response to COVID-19 (BNIA Part-1), Mapping POIs with COVID tagging (Part-2)

Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Steven Johnson, TeachOSM. (watch) Discussion around OpenStreetMap in education.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020, Erika Nunez, MapGive: U.S. Department of State’s public diplomacy initiative for open mapping

Thursday, April 9, 2020, Miles Campbell – (watch) OSM and Accessibility: In times of crisis, publicly available information for pedestrian access, especially for those with disabilities, can be invaluable

Wednesday, April 8, 2020 8pm ET, Virtual Validation Mappy Hour hosted by Missing Maps.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT Maggie Cawley & Jennings Anderson, OpenStreetMap US Community Survey Results

Are you up for a challenge?

AmericaView has a series of over 70 Earth image puzzles to encourage people of all ages to engage with satellite imagery and learn more about remote sensing by offering a fun challenge. The puzzles can be made to match ability or time available by choosing the number of pieces from 12 to 110 pieces. There are also options that allow the pieces to be shuffled or the border to be completed.

Any way you choose, check out these puzzles.

Canyonland – 25 piece puzzle

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/.

Happy Orbit Day to Hubble Space Telescope!

Today we celebrate 30 years since the Hubble Space Telescope began it’s orbit above Earth. In these thirty years, NASA has been able to discover and photograph so many new areas of our universe.

The Hubble Space Telescope was the first major optical telescope to be placed in space. This placement in space allows the telescope to get beyond the distortion of our atmosphere with it clouds and light pollution to make unobstructed observation of the universe. The Hubble telescope has allowed scientists to view the planets of our solar system as well as other galaxies.

Resources:
NASA Hubble Space Telescope: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/main/index.html
Hubble’s 30th Anniversary: https://www.nasa.gov/content/hubbles-30th-anniversary
Hubblesite Resource for Learning: https://hubblesite.org/resource-gallery/learning-resources

https://hubblesite.org/contents/media/images/2009/31/2644-Image.html