Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Google Earth KMLs can now be viewed in Google Maps

Why is that important? Because not everyone wants to take the time to download and install Google Earth. Not sure why, but I'm not here to ask these kinds of questions. Do you want Aunt Flo or Gramps to see the great map you made in Google Earth but know they'll have conniptions trying to get Google Earth to work, send them the Google Maps KML.

You need the KML to be web-based (like in the Vassar College BBS site or the Google Earth BBS) and then it can be pasted into the search line in Google Maps.

Here's the cool thing...when you go to the Google Earth BBS, now you have two options, one for for downloading the KML and a new one for downloading the link to view in Google Maps. See the circle below. Hurray!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Google Earth and Old Maps?!? Be still my heart!

Google Earth in 4D by ZDNet's Garett Rogers -- Google skipped right past the third dimension and landed directly in the fourth (time) by offering historical maps on Google Earth. Now you can travel back in time — for example, I am looking at the globe of 1790. Don't expect detailed high resolution photography from days gone by, but it's still interesting to see [...]

So, in order to make these fantastic archival maps transparent, look at the image below. If you cannot read it, you have to select the folder (highlight it) in the Rumsey collection under the Featured Content and then up in the Places section you'll see the Transparency slider.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Essentials of Environmental Science - GIS Lab
Spatial Analysis of Casperkill Data

In this lab we’ll perform some of the analytical steps you can use to understand the distribution of stream quality parameters, or of risk factors that influence a stream.

The directions in this lab are somewhat terse, in part because I think much of the methods involved are communicated easiest verbally, and in part because it takes a lot of precious time to read directions in the current context. Please do your best to remain flexible, and if you find yourself becoming frustrated with the software, consult with your neighbors and the instructors to sort out a solution. Often we learn a great deal by making mistakes.

We will practice importing points, changing symbols, buffering and clipping, and basic map design as a group. Then you will have time to work on your own. We’ll try to include some show-and-tell to display your work to the group.

Taking notes: it’s hard to pause for note-taking, but it’s a good idea! You will not remember the steps taken today if you don’t take notes. I strongly recommend note taking!

Here is where you’ll find the tools you need:

Symbology: change the colors, sizes, grouping, and so on for point, line, or polygon features by opening the Properties window (double-click or right-click on the layer name), then click on the Symbology tab

Buffer tool: in the Toolbox (click on the red toolbox button to open it), search for the Buffer tool. (normally, use Dissolve Type: ALL)

Clip, Dissolve, and Calculate area are also in the Toolbox (search by name)
Select features by their location in a buffer: under the Selection menu (top of the ArcMap window), find Select by Location.

To examine attributes of selected features: open the attribute table of the layer: right-click on the name of the layer. You can then use Statistics to calculate mean, min, max, and histogram.

Screen capture windows (to paste in a word document): Alt-print screen copies the active window, such as a histogram report. Ctrl-V to paste in a word document.

Possible tasks: (we may not accomplish all of these)
Plot the Casperkill sample sites as points (“events”), using their coordinate locations.
Display the points using point symbols graduated to express data values.

Buffer the stream (at 50, 100, 500, 1000 m).
Clip digitized land use by the buffered area, then calculate area of different classes of land use.

Create a new point shapefile and identify risk factors to the stream, and show those risk factors to the class.

Assignment: Turn in the following next week.
Produce a map (without air photos, but with a legend and scale bar) showing your findings from some (probably not all) of the work above. Write a 1-2 page analysis that explains what you can interpret from what you see in the map. You will be graded on the thoughtfulness of your writing, not on the depth of your GIS work. Your GIS analysis may be very simple, but try to think thoroughly about the evidence you have, the questions it raises, and the information that can be found in it about environmental factors affecting the stream.
As you write, practice writing cleanly and accurately. Stick close to the map and avoid sweeping generalizations, sloppy grammar, and other careless habits. Any figures or tables appended to your written work should have captions, and you should clearly explain what each figure or table shows and what the reader is to learn from it.

digitized data values:
1 = trees
2 = neighborhoods
3 = parking lots
4 = mowed grass
5 = open water
90 = roads

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Five College GIS Day - Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts

If you are nearby, or in the region, or even farther away, you are
invited to attend our Five College GIS Day!

All events are on November 8, 2006 at Amherst College in Amherst,
Massachusetts (72° 31' W, 42° 22' N).

Full information can be found here:

You can contact me if you have other questions, or just to let me
know you're coming (and maybe bringing a poster, hint, hint).

The schedule is as follows. All events are free and open to the public.


-- Andy


10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
GIS and Demography: Methods, Analysis, Results
Dr. Ian Gregory, Digital Humanities-Department of History, Lancaster
University, UK
A seminar for experienced users of GIS, applicable to history,
sociology, economics, et al.

12:00 Noon - 12:50 PM
Teaching History with Geographic Information Systems
Prof. Robert M. Schwartz, E. Nevius Rodman Professor of History, Mt.
Holyoke College, MA
Discover how GIS can help introduce quantitative methods into history
and other subjects.

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
GIS Poster Session
Everyone is invited to set up posters demonstrating academic
applications of GIS.
Visitors can take a short poster quiz to be included in a drawing to
win a door prize, including a GPS receiver!

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
GIS and the Exploration of French Society and Culture
Prof. Joel Goldfield, Chair of Modern Languages and Literatures,
Fairfield University, CT
Learn how students used GIS-based projects to collaborate across
multiple disciplines.

7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey
Dr. Spencer Wells, Explorer-in-Residence, The National Geographic
and Project Director of the Genographic Project
Roughly sixty thousand years ago our ancestors began to spread out
across Africa and throughout the world. Our keynote speaker has
mapped this prehistoric journey using cutting-edge genetic research
informed by archaeology, linguistics, and climatology.


P.S. I know we're early, but November 8 fits our academic schedule
better :-).

Andy Anderson, Ph.D.
Mathematical and Spatial Data Analysis Specialist
Academic Technology Services
Amherst College

GIS Demos at Cornell Cooperative Extension - Millbrook, NY

From: Stacy Hoppen
Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2006 2:22 PM
Subject: Wed Nov 8, 2006 - 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm - Demos of Free GIS Software


Reminder for our event next week, on GIS Day!

Wednesday Nov 8, 2006 - 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Conference Room A
Farm and Home Center
2715 Route 44, Millbrook, NY

Demonstrations of Free GIS Software
Review and demos of some of the free GIS software packages available for
download from Internet. Demos will be about 20 minutes for each software
Google Earth and Google SketchUp - Joe Heggenstaller
3DEM - 3D visualization software - Stacy Hoppen
Build Out Analysis software from University of Vermont - Mark Doyle/Stacy
Quantum GIS - Jerry Ottaway
MicroCAM - Stacy Hoppen

Feel free to pass this on to anyone who may be interested. Hope to see you


Stacy Hoppen
Interim GIS Project Coordinator
Cornell Cooperative Extension, Environment Program Farm and Home Center
2715 Route 44
Millbrook, NY 12545

845-677-8223 x148
845-677-6563 fax