Friday, February 24, 2006

GIS Tips & Tricks Weblog

Happy Friday! I'm off to Mexico this afternoon. It should be an interesting trip. We are renting a car at the Cancun airport and then driving about an hour to the remote location where we are staying. The scary part is that it will be dark.....very dark. Their are not many street lights in the Yucatan forest. Anyway, it should be fun and interesting. I just hope we can make it to Chichen Itza (see I'll try to post some pics on the Frappr site ( when I return Tuesday.

GIS Tips & Tricks is a great weblog that demonstrates how to do some little know functions in ArcGIS. Some of the recent posts include: Overlapping Polygons Display Order, Cool Tools continued…, Cool Tools from XTools Pro, Creating a Unique ID field in ArcMAP, ArcGIS Scripting Summary, Matching Shade Transparency to Legend, New-School Editing in ArcMAP, Fixing Broken Data Links in ArcGIS 9, Add Date Time & File Name Stamp to an ArcMAP Layout, and Georeferencing an image in ArcMAP. Check it out at Enjoy!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Society for Conservation GIS

Good Morning! We are preparing for our monthly GIS User Committee meeting here at the City. I've mentioned this in the past, but this is where all of our users meet to increase communication, learn new tools, and discuss the implementation of our enterprise GIS. Some of our topics today include: Joining Data in ArcGIS, Review of the SCAUG conference, Enterprise Implementation Status, and an update on some of the projects we are working on for the Fire department. You should really consider a group like this in your organization if you do not already have one.

"The Society for Conservation GIS (SCGIS) is a non-profit organization that builds community, provides knowledge, and supports individuals using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and science for the conservation of natural resources and cultural heritage. The SCGIS assists conservationists worldwide in using GIS through communication, networking, scholarships, and training. Membership is open to any individual seeking assistance in the achievement of personal or organizational conservation goals." Even if you do not use GIS for conservation purposes this is a great organization to support and it is inexpensive. Learn more at

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Hola!! I've got an admin team meeting this morning. This is where the upper management here at the City gets informed about what's happening. Our City Manager recently applied for a position at another City so I'm sure that will be the big news.

", Inc. researches and builds innovative technologies to improve search experience for e-commerce applications. A separately branded and operated subsidiary of, Inc.’s technology will power search on and other web sites." A9 maps uses Mapquest maps and is similar to Mapquest except for one feature. " developed new technology to very efficiently capture photographs of places along public streets using trucks equipped with digital cameras, global positioning system (GPS) receivers, and proprietary software and hardware." They call it BlockView. You can view Blockview images for about 24 major cities. It's an interesting concept, but the site locked up on me twice. Check it out at

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

ESRI GIS Dicitionary

Good Morning!! I have my Supervisor's Network class today. I mentioned it last month, but this is where new supervisor's at the City get together and discuss topics such as leadership, diversity, ethics and time management. We are also meeting to discuss 911 addressing. Yeah!

ESRI has an online GIS dictionary on their Support Center that can be extremly helpful. I use it often. "The dictionary includes terms collected from ESRI software documentation, course materials, and other ESRI documents. Many terms address GIS operations, uses, and contexts. Other terms stem from closely allied fields, or from major application areas of GIS." Check it out at Have a good day!

Monday, February 20, 2006


Happy Monday! It should be an interesting week. I've got meetings almost everyday and I'm leaving for Mexico on Friday. We are visiting for my girlfriends thesis research this summer. It should be an interesting trip, but I'm sure it will be too quick. We leave on Friday and return on Monday night.

The FreeGIS Project aims to promote the freedom in the scope of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It seeks to reach its aim through promoting the use, development and support of Free GIS Software, promoting the use and release of publicly available geographic data in the same sense of freedom as for Free Software, promoting the use, writing, translation and extending of free documents in the GIS field. The FreeGIS projects concentrates mainly on two services: the website, which summarizes the said software, data and documents with additional infos and search opportunities and a community discussion list, where the news and releases are announced and synergy is sought among the interested community members and projects. Learn more at

Friday, February 17, 2006

GIS Jobs Clearinghouse

It's been a long one. Meetings, phone calls, etc., but I'm getting a post in anyway. If you haven't heard of this one you probably have never searched for a GIS job.

GIS Jobs Clearinghouse is the most visited GIS/RS jobs site on the Internet. Started in 1992, the GJC has helped thousands of GIS/RS professionals find positions. With hundreds of positions and resumes in our databases, the GJC has resources for both employers and those seeking jobs. The GJC used to be free to post, but the time it takes to maintain the site and so on, they need to charge minimal fees for posting jobs (resumes are free). Although, if for some reason you're unable to pay for a posting that's ok. It's better to have a job posted without payment than no posting at all. Fee's are purposefully low so that this should not be an issue with most organizations. Check it out at

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Good morning! We are sending off our first set of data to our consultant for rectification and conversion to the geodatabase. It's an exciting day!! Also, check out the new feature that I added on the bottom right of the page. You can now subscribe to the blog and it will email you when the page is updated. Sign up!!

Pictometry is the world leader in digital, oblique aerial imaging. Their revolutionary, visual information systems are helping homeland security, public safety agencies, and first responders save time and lives. Pictometry is a unique, patented information system that combines aerial imaging with a state of the art software system that has the ability to provide visual information unlike any other system available. While Pictometry libraries contain orthogonal (straight down) images like ordinary aerial imaging, over 80% of Pictometry's images are oblique (taken from angles) so that features can be easily seen in their entirety. Within seconds, using Pictometry's software, a user can literally see everywhere, measure anything and plan everything. This means that clients can literally view and analyze any house, building, intersection, fire hydrant, tree or any feature in their area from their laptop or workstation. Features can be viewed from at least three and up to twelve different directions. The images are all in a full color, high resolution, digital format. Check it out at

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The American Geographical Society

Good Morning!! I have a busy day today. We are collecting data for our consultant so that they can begin data conversion portion of our enterprise GIS. This afternoon I have a presentation to give to a group of City employees about what is GIS and how it can be used throughout the City. This group is responsible for looking at processes throughout the City and making suggestions for change. It excites me to think about how GIS really could be integrated throughout an organization in each process we do.

The American Geographical Society is an organization of professional geographers and other devotees of geography who share a fascination with the subject and a recognition of its importance. Most Fellows of the Society are Americans, but among them have always been a significant number of Fellows from around the world. The Society encourages activities that expand geographical knowledge, and it has a well-earned reputation for presenting and interpreting that knowledge so that it can be understood and used not just by geographers but by others as well--especially policy makers. It is the oldest nationwide geographical organization in the United States. Its priorities and programs have constantly evolved with the times, but the Society's tradition of service to the U.S. government, business community, and nation-at-large has continued unchanged. Check it out at

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Texas Hazard Mitigation Package

Happy Valentine's Day!! Don't forget that special someone in your life whether it be a wife, girlfriend, Mom, or sister. I have finally started to uncover from the mountain of emails that were awaiting when I returned yesterday. It just doesn't pay to leave town anymore! Finally, I want to mention that ESRI has really made some improvements on the ArcWeb Explorer beta site. Most of the problems I found when I reviewed it a couple of weeks ago have been fixed. Good job!!

The Texas Geographic Society (TXGS), a not-for-profit corporation located in Austin, Texas, received a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Planning Grant (HMPG) in 2003 as a sub-grantee to the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The purpose of this grant is to develop an Internet-based viewing and distribution tool for digital geographic datasets that can be used by state and local hazard mitigation planners and emergency managers in identifying natural hazards, risk areas and vulnerabilities in Texas. The project, Texas Hazard Mitigation Package (THMP), is a free online resource. Though additional links and supporting information is provided to assist hazard mitigation and emergency management planning, it is essentially these four functions that this site is intended to serve:
1. Identify historical hazard occurences by the event location or summarized by county,
2. Identify hazard risk areas and other detailed geographic data relative to hazards
3. Identify vulnerable population and property value areas to particular hazards, and
4. Download any data to perform detailed quantification of impact on other mapping/GIS systems
Check it out at

Monday, February 13, 2006


I survived the SCAUG conference.....barely! It was a great event!! Excellent knowledge sharing, good friends, superb entertainment, etc. I can't wait until next year. I little birdy told me it might be in New Orleans. Wooh hoo!!

Zillow is an online real estate service dedicated to helping you get an edge in real estate by providing you with valuable tools and information. "Zillow" evolved from the desire to make zillions of data points for homes accessible to everyone. But a home is about more than data - it is where you lay your head to rest at night, like a pillow. Thus, "Zillow" was born. calculates a valuation (the Zestimate™) that anyone can see — for free — for most homes in the U.S., including yours. Or the one you want to be yours. Or the one you are curious about. The maps use GlobeXplorer and Navteq data. Check it out at

Friday, February 10, 2006

16th Annual South Central Arc User Group Conference - Day 5

The last day...we started off with ESRI technical sessions. They inlcuded: What's New in ArcGIS 9.2 Desktop, Introducing ArcGIS Image Server, Taking GIS to the Web, and Tips and Tricks in ArcGIS. Afterwards, we had our closing lunch and awards ceremony. We announced the winners of the map gallery (our GIS Specialist took home first place in two categories for one map....AWESOME!), application contest, fastest map in the west, guess the image, pub crawl, thumbs up award (good job Heather!), and the founders award. We also recognized Elizabeth our conference coordinator for an outstanding job. What a success!!! It's odd how you feel a little depressed or sadened after the conference is over. You work hard all year long for it and when it is over you feel a loss. I know it is odd, but I feel it every year.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

16th Annual South Central Arc User Group Conference - Day 4

Thursday was another long one. The day consisted of user talks, panel discussions and Tours. The panel discussions consisted of ArcIMS, Managing GIS, Emergency Management and GISP which I participated in. We had a tour of City of Fort Worth GIS and a Geocaching Challenge ( In the evening we had a great BBQ dinner, a performance of trick roping and bull whipping, and a casino to win prizes. The casino consisted of craps, roulette, blackjack and Texas hold'em. After the casino we moved on to the poker pub crawl. The object was to visit 5 t0 7 pubs and receive a playing card at each. The highest hand wins. What a night!!!!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

16th Annual South Central Arc User Group Conference - Day 3

The day started early.....6 a.m.!! That's rough after a night of networking. At 8:30 we had breakfast, announcements of the new officers, a presentation from our K-12 student competition winners and our keynote speaker. You will be able to view the new officers at soon. Our K-12 student competition winners were from the School of Excellence in San Antonio and they did an excellent project with the San Antonio Water System. Our keynote, Dr. Darrell McDonald, was from my alma mater, Stephen F. Austin State University, and did an excellent talk on regional geospatial service centers. It was good even though the presentation died half way through (technology!!). After breakfast it was on to the vendor hall. We had over 30 vendors this year. Wow! After lunch the day consisted of user presentations. In the evening we had a social which included many fun activities such as: voting on the map gallery, guess the image contest, application contest and the fastest map in the west. What a great day!!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

16th Annual South Central Arc User Group Conference - Day 2

Day two of the conference continues with the second day of training. This years training classes were great. They included Introduction to Multi-user Geodatabases, Geoprocessing with Scripts, GIS Analysis, Advanced ArcSDE Administration and Model Builder. Registration of people arriving early for Wednesday has also began. We also stuffed hundreds of bags in preparation for the big day.

Monday, February 06, 2006

16th Annual South Central Arc User Group Conference - Day 1

The first day of the conference has been great so far. All training classes are booked up and we are ready for the large numbers of people on Wednesday. All is well so far!! It's not too late to attend. More info can be found at

Sunday, February 05, 2006

16th Annual South Central Arc User Group Conference

Last week was a killer! With normal work being busier than ever and preparing for the SCAUG conference, I'm glad it's over. We are submitting a map and it is looking really good if I don't say so myself. It is a fire station location analysis using drive times that were created with Network Analyst.

I'm going to dedicate the entire week of posts to the conference. I'll try to give pictures from each day. It should be a good time and it's not too late to attend. Learn more at

Thursday, February 02, 2006

ArcWeb Explorer (Beta Release)

Good day! I saw an interesting post on the GISUser blog about a flying car in Australia on Google Earth. You can check out the article here At first I thought it was a billboard, but then I read that someone has visited the site and nothing is there. Weird!!

ArcWeb Explorer is ESRI's new Web-based map viewing application based on Macromedia Flash 8. The ArcWeb Explorer uses vector mapping technology to render maps quickly in the browser instead of having the server render them. The result is improved speed and performance, greater control over the map appearance, and desktop-like functionality over the Internet. In addition, ArcWeb Explorer provides access to ArcWeb Services so you can easily find locations by street address, telephone number (land line), and IP address. This is a pretty cool function, but it is not accurate. I searched for three phone numbers and they all took me to the correct City, but not the correct address. The find this computer function doesn't work either! You can also create a route and directions between locations and map locations from Excel spreadsheets. Although the directions don't work either. I did a route from my office to my home and it didn't even place the points in the right cities. I know it is beta, but come on!! Check it out at

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Happy hump day! The SCAUG conference is approaching quickly and final preparations are under way. It should be a good one!! You can find out more at Let me know if you have questions.

gVisit records unique visitors and cities to your website on a Google Map. You can register your website for free and they don't collect any personal information - not even an email address. You will be given your own URL that lets you track your visitors and all you have to do is copy and paste a single line of JavaScript to your website. Check out my gVisit map on the bottom right of my blog. You can get your own gVisit map at

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