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Iowa Map Contest 2022: Mapping Iowa’s Unique History and Geography

The 2022 Map Competition for Iowa students is now underway.

Students in grades 4-12 (two divisions – Middle grades: 4-8 and High School: 9-12) are invited, with their teachers, to participate in this year’s mapping contest sponsored by Esri, the Iowa Geographic Information Council (IGIC), and William Penn University. This year’s theme is Mapping Iowa’s Unique History and Geography.

Contest Website: https://sites.google.com/site/iowamapcontest/home

Story Maps Website: https://www.esri.com/en-us/arcgis/products/arcgis-storymaps/overview

How to participate: Use the Story Map application to tell a story about a unique feature site using a map and pictures.

There will be $100 cash prize and a certificate for the top five middle school (grades 4-8) and top high school (grades 9-12) map entries. The top entry from each state will be submitted to the national competition hosted by Esri.

Schools must submit their winners to the state for judging by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Iowa GIS professionals will judge the entries so Iowa awards may be announced, and send winning entries on to Esri for the national competition.

Interested in getting started? Here’s a short introduction to making Story Maps: https://learn.arcgis.com/en/paths/getting-to-know-the-new-storymaps/

Here’s the winning story map from last year’s competition: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/ae3a024a419e427f8e9c12c64f15c543

Dear Teachers: A New Year, A New You!

As we begin this new year you may want to challenge yourself with a new skill. Esri has a 6-week program, Learn ArcGIS Educator Program for New Users, available to give you an introduction to many of the core applications available for the classroom. Each week you will spend time watching videos related to the topic, take notes, share you thoughts using Flipgrid and discussion boards. For more information and resources visit the Learn ArcGIS Educator Program Hub: https://learn-arcgis-educator-program-new-user-learngis.hub.arcgis.com/pages/welcome.

Landsat: Launching into A New Year

USGS just released a Story Map summary wrapping up 2021 and the exciting developments with the Landsat mission including a newly launched satellite and 10 million scenes in the archive mark two high points.

Here’s the link to explore it yourself: https://geonarrative.usgs.gov/launching-into-a-new-year/

Iowa/Utah Geospatial Exchange: IGIC Lunch and Learn

December 2021 IGIC Lunch & Learn: Iowa/Utah Geospatial Exchange

This presentation will provide an introduction to the Iowa Geospatial Conference Exchange, a program to encourage sharing of GIS programs, data, and knowledge between state organizations. Amy Logan and Penny Vossler have returned from geospatial exchange in Utah with examples of Utah’s geographic resources and strengths, some great ideas from their conference, new friends, and great photos to share.

For more information: https://www.iowagic.org/event/december-2021-igic-lunch-learn-iowa-utah-geospatial-exchange/

Here is a link to the recording (12/15/2021): https://iastate.webex.com/iastate/ldr.php?RCID=3c87c93211016276d525d62cadc6e4dd

Aerial Photo Dates Layer: A Helpful Tip for Getting the Most of ISU Orthoserver

The Iowa Orthoserver (also known as the Iowa Geographic Map Server) has a variety of resources available to enhance and serve users. Today we are highlighting the Aerial Photo Dates layer. This layer allows users to determine the date of a particular image.

Here are the basic steps to using the Aerial Photo Dates layer in the Iowa Geographic Map Server ArcGIS Web App:

  1. Open the Iowa Geographic Map Server ArcGIS Web App.
  2. Select the first icon – Choose Map Layers (looks like 3 stacked sheets of paper.)
  3. Scroll down to the Iowa – Aerial Photo Dates layer and then check the box to turn it on.
  4. Expand the menu by clicking the tiny gray arrow to the left of the check box.
  5. Now turn on whichever year of flight date you wish to use (the orange areas symbolize the flight paths and within them will appear the flight dates.)
  6. *Please note* for some of the older imagery years (example 1930s, 1950s, etc.), you need to be zoomed in for the flight dates to appear. Zoom into an area of interest, the flight patterns and dates will be shown.

The statewide 2021 NAIP flight date layer is not yet available. This will be released when the layer is available. If you would like information regarding specific areas for the 2021 flight, please contact Amy Logan. 

Summer 2021 NAIP Imagery Now on ISU Orthoserver

Iowa Statewide summer 2021 imagery is now available as a webservice from the Iowa Geographic Map Server. https://ortho.gis.iastate.edu/arcgis/rest/services/ortho
Please note: you may have to adjust the symbology to get the best color.

Here are some suggestions for doing this is ArcGIS Pro, within the Symbology tab, use the dropdown menus to adjust the color.

  • Change Stretch type to Minimum Maximum.
  • Also consider changing the Statistics from Dataset to DRA (Dynamic Range Adjustment). See the example below.
Before Adjustments

After Adjustments

Geography Awareness Week: Review and Contribute to OpenStreetMap

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a publicly created and maintained world map – the Wikipedia for maps. Anyone with access to an internet browser can view the map and anyone with a free OpenStreetMap account can update the map. If you are new to OpenStreetMap visit their welcome page to a short introduction: https://osmgeoweek.org/guides/intro .

Here are several ways to get engaged with OpenStreetMap:

~ Review your local OSM basemap for accuracy and consider adding community features that are missing or need updating.

~ Spend time working on a Humanitarian OpenStreetMap project. For a current list of priority project visit: https://tasks.hotosm.org/explore

~ Consider joining mappers around the globe in the November OSM US 30 Days of Mapping Challenge (each day has themed asset to map): https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/United_States/Projects#30_Days_of_Mapping_-_November_annually

GIS Day 2021 – Success!

Here are photos from yesterday’s GIS Day event. We had over 50 visitors stop by our table in the ISU College of Design lobby for information about undergraduate minor in GIS and graduate GIS certificate, cupcakes, posters, trading cards and to help put our map puzzles together.

Celebrate GIS Day! Test and Improve your Geographic Knowledge

Test and Improve Your Geographic Knowledge with Geography Games:

Quizzityhttps://david-peter.de/quizzity/ – This quiz challenges you to locate six world cities with greater points for accuracy and speed.

Seterra Geography Gameshttps://www.seterra.com/#quizzes – Learn the location of countries worldwide by locating counties regionally and globally.