Thursday, August 31, 2006

Windows Live Hotspot Locator

I didn't get a chance to post yesterday. It was a busy one. We were trying to get things wrapped up since my GIS Specialist is leaving the City. You can't blame the guy for the pay increase that he will be receiving. So, if you know any good GIS Specialists that are skilled in ArcSDE and ArcIMS that don't like money, send them my way.

"With 106,978 free and paid WiFi hotspots in 99 countries, Microsoft's Hotspot Locator makes it easy to locate wireless Internet access around the globe. Use the View on Map feature to see your search results on a map powered by Virtual Earth." Other services similar to this one have existed for some time, but I like the speed and ease of use of this one. Being able to see the aerial imagery of Virtual Earth is also a nice feature. Check it out at

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Manifold System

Good morning! Our consultant is coming by today to install our raster catalog for our geodatabase. This is the first set of data that we will be loading into SDE. Quite exciting!! I know, you are probably thinking we are behind. This is true. Although, we should have a full functioning enterprise GIS in less than a year. Then we can play catchup with custom applications and even more integration enterprise wide. Wish us luck!

The new buzz is about Manifold System. Here is what their news page says: "The next generation of Manifold System products has been issued as Release 7x. This new generation product provides a relatively limited number of new items in the release notes (about 100) but introduces a systematically re-engineered product that now optionally delivers full 64-bit, native mode functionality when run on x64 Windows systems running AMD or Intel x64 processors, including multi-core x64 processors. Manifold System is the first true 100% 64-bit Windows GIS!" I'm not the most knowledgable on computer architecture so I did a little research on 32-bit versus 64-bit processors. According to Wikipedia 64-bit architectures can indisputably make working with huge data sets easier. "The main disadvantage of 64-bit architectures is that relative to 32-bit architectures the same data occupies slightly more space in memory (due to swollen pointers and possibly other types and alignment padding). This increases the memory requirements of a given process and can have implications for efficient processor cache utilization." So, you can handle larger data sets, but you probably need more memory. Check it out at

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hurricane Katrina & Rita Clearinghouse Cooperative

Happy Monday! We had a great SCAUG meeting on Friday. We are really making some progress in some areas that we wanted to focus on this year. The girlfriend also had an old friend in for the weekend. We entertained and had a night out on the town Saturday night. Not a bad weekend!

Since the anniversary date just passed, I thought I would talk a little about Hurrican Katrina data. The Hurricane Katrina & Rita Clearinghouse Cooperative "has been established at the Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge to facilitate the collection, dissemination, and archiving of data related to Hurricane Katrina and Rita. It was established in the aftermath of Katrina as a central repository of geospatial data related to the disaster for affected areas of Louisiana. It was also expanded to maintain perishable data from Rita and Wilma. Initiated through FEMA and LSU collaboration, the Clearinghouse facilitates many of the data access and distribution needs of FEMA, state, and local efforts. In addition to the downloadable data available through the website, the Clearinghouse stores information that is not for public release and provides secure access for appropriate agencies. Managing the data and the data requests are faculty, research associates, and graduate students at LSU. These personnel comprise a vast range of research, technical, and managerial skills necessary for effective geospatial decision support." Check it out at

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The ArcPad Team Blog

I'm rushing around to get things wrapped up before I hit the road to Dallas this evening. I have a South Central Arc User Group board meeting in the morning and I'm taking the oppurtunity to go up a night early to see some old friends. It should be a blast since I know it will consist of cold beverages and old stories. To kill the wasted time on the road, I'm currently downloading some ESRI podcasts and a few episodes of the Very Spatial podcast. I'm a nerd, but it is better than hearing songs I've already heard 100 times. I'll do my best to post tomorrow, but these meetings are usually hectic. If not, have a great weekend!

"The ArcPad team has created a blog as an informal focal point where they can share knowledge, tips & tricks, tools, news and just about anything else they think might be interesting related to ArcPad." You can find some great posts such as: Performance Tips # 1 : Shapefile drawing speed tuning with greeking; Raster Tips # 1 - Choosing a raster format; Debugging Tips # 1 - Using the ArcPad 7 Console Window; Where in the ArcPad World are you?; UC2006 Over : A Successful Conference for ArcPad Users and the Team; GeoCollector Field Data Collection Solution Now Available; ActiveSync 4.2; ArcPad Today Powertoy; ArcPad and the 2010 U.S. Census; ArcPad at the 2006 ESRI International User Conference. Check it out at

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Planetizen Radar

I just got back from our employee health fair. This is an annual event here at the City to increase health awareness among our employees. We enjoyed a lunch of hot dogs and baked potatoes (healthy?). It also had many booths and games to participate in. My favorite was the one that allowed you to shoot at pictures of directors with paint ball guns. I've got another meeting this afternoon to discuss some GIS analysis that was performed to find vacant land with unpaid taxes.

"Planetizen is a public-interest information exchange provided by Urban Insight for the urban planning, design, and development community. It is a one-stop source for urban planning news, commentary, interviews, event coverage, book reviews, announcements, jobs, consultant listings, training, and more. Planetizen is read by a diverse array of people interested in the built and natural environments, and their interaction. Planetizen's audience includes professional urban planners, developers, architects, policy makers, educators, economists, civic enthusiasts and others from across the United States and around the world. Planetizen prides itself on covering a wide number of planning, design, and development issues, from transportation to global warming, architecture to infrastructure, housing and community development to historic preservation. We provide a forum for people across the political and ideological spectrum, ensuring a healthy debate on these and other important issues." Check it out at

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

American Society for Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing

Good morning! I had a nice game of tennis last night. My co-worker and I beat the ladies 6-1. Of course, we played a short set and the ladies won 3-1. We felt sorry for them! Ha! Speaking of my co-worker, he is moving on to another city for better opportunities. Do you know any good GIS Specialists out there that don't really like money, but want to learn a lot and help create a progressive enterprise GIS? If so, send them my way. Have a great day!

I can't beleive I've been blogging for almost a year and I haven't talked about the American Society for Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing (ASPRS). "The mission of the ASPRS is to advance knowledge and improve understanding of mapping sciences and to promote the responsible applications of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and supporting technologies. Founded in 1934, the ASPRS is a scientific association serving over 7,000 professional members around the world. Our mission is to advance knowledge and improve understanding of mapping sciences to promote the responsible applications of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and supporting technologies. The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) has officially incorporated the tag line "The Imaging and Geospatial Information Society," as part of the ASPRS identity. This tagline is representative of the Society's "New Vision," as it makes the changes necessary to better position its focus for the future." Check it out at

Monday, August 21, 2006


Well, most of my day was spent on addressing. This seems to be a recurring theme lately. I will be glad when we get it all squared away so we can move on to other more important projects. I've got another meeting tomorrow to discuss our proposed addressing ordinance with our legal division. What fun!

GISnation is a new blog with a video cast. You can watch their inaugural video cast from San Diego. They definitely hit the high points of the ESRI UC. They speak about the plenary, their favorite vendor gimmicks, their favorite map in the map gallery and their favorite parties. Oh yeah, they went to a few technical sessions as well. You must check this out to see the crazy cello guy and how great Geographers dance. I loved it and I can't wait for the next episode. Check it out at

Friday, August 18, 2006

Global Forest Watch

It's Friday!! What a week. It's always rough coming back from a conference. Although, I must say I have been very productive this week. We have a GIS Day planning meeting today. This year we are breaking the event into sections: What is GIS?; GIS in Infrastructure Management; GIS in Emergency Response; GIS in Development; GIS in Education. This morning we will be brainstorming for the GIS in Emergency Response section. I'm going to try and sneak out early to get a jump on our trip to Austin. I'm meeting up with a buddy that I haven't seen since high school tonight. We have much to catch up on! Saturday, the family is going to make a trip out to Wahlberg to enjoy the best German food and bier garden in Central Texas. Have a good one, I know I will!

The Global Forest Watch is an organization dedicated to collecting and distributing comprehensive forest information to insure they are sustainably managed. They provide several interactive maps and much data at no cost from their web site. In fact, Susan Minnemeyer, their GIS Lab Manager was named a GIS Hero by ESRI. You can find the story in the latest copy of ArcNews. Check out their site at

Thursday, August 17, 2006


It's going to be another busy one! We have a GIS User Committee meeting this morning. I'm going to present some of the new enhancements that are coming in ArcGIS 9.2 and give an overview of the ESRI UC. After lunch I'm going over to our COG to discuss 911 addressing for our county. That should be interesting. On the home front we are preparing to go to Austin this weekend to see friends and family. We have big plans for German food on Saturday night. Yummm!

BlockRocker is online classifieds with a map. "Creating Ads on BlockRocker is Fast, Easy, and Free. Anyone can sell anything, anywhere, completely for free. Reach your street, neighborhood, city, state, and the whole world. No site registration required. Totally free. Simpler than eBay, and no listing fees. Communication options make it easy to sell: privacy-protected email, phone, Skype, AOL Instant Messenger, and more. Printable versions of your ad are perfect for coffee rooms, residence bulletin boards, or wherever. Create a classified or wanted ad, or post any message or announcement that you'd like people to see. And, its all easy and fast to do! Creating you ad takes only three simple steps: Show us where the item is by choosing your location; Fill in your contact and pricing information, and describe the item; Preview and confirm your ad, and its instantly online!" Check it out at

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Society of Women in GIS

Hola! Believe it or not I don't have any meetings today. It's a good thing because I have alot to catch up on. I spent a few hours last night working on the mini-conference we will be having here in East Texas. It should be a great event and you will be hearing more as the preparations come together. On a personal note, the girlfriend has me eating healthy and working out. I had tofu for dinner the other night and I actually enjoyed it! Also, my arms and stomach are so sore from pushups and crunches which I don't really enjoy. Wish me luck! Also, for the other bloggers out there, has anyone had trouble uploading pictures to blogger? Frustrating!

"The Society of Women in GIS (SWIGIS) was founded in 1999 in response to the need for an organization for women employed or studying geographic information systems (GIS). Historically underrepresented in the field, women now are making strides in geography and GIS. SWIGIS members come from all fields and are employed in many areas: government, academia and the private sector. SWIGIS will serve as an organization of mutual support to all women employed in GIS. It will strive to improve the recruitment, retention, and education of women in the field of GIS. Objectives include: A. Promote opportunities for women so that the field of GIS may adequately reflect the diversity of the GIS workforce. B. Promote the retention of women in GIS by providing a support network where female members of the GIS community can find out about current happenings in the field, educational opportunities and discuss GIS technologies. C. Build coalitions with like-minded organizations in order to promote common objectives." Check it out at

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Alertdude Groups

Well I have read through my 150 emails at least once from being out last week. It almost doesn't pay to leave town. Anyway, I've got several meetings today. First, we are setting up our WebEOC product all day. Unfortunately, I have to miss part for a meeting about City owned property and the Supervisor's Network. This month's topic is Media Relations. I'm also going to do my best to spend some time on the planning of our little mini-conference here in East Texas tonight. Have a good one!

Groups is a site that let's "people map easily, and organize their interests into groups. The purpose of a group is to organize common interests. Some examples include 'Jobs', 'Houses', etc. A group can be anything you like, and can map anything you like. You can list in any group as many times as you like. You create listings within groups. A listing can include a title, a description, and one picture. It can be about anything you want, but should be related to the group it's in." I added myself to the GISUser Group that is tracking GIS professionals. Check it out at

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fantom Planet

I survived the ESRI UC! It was an incredible, but busy week. As you can tell I only got two posts out. Next year I will do better. Although, I met all my other goals of the conference. I learned more about ArcWeb Services and found an easy way to replicate/transfer data between us and the appraisal district using ArcGIS Server. If you haven't heard the mid range version of this will be delivered free of charge to those that already own ArcIMS and ArcSDE. Of course my other goal was to meet up with friends and make some new ones. I was fortunate enough to do both. What a week!! Look for pictures and more info in the coming days.

Occasionally, I like to point out other blogs out there. "Fantom Planet is "some random geographer's" opinionated output about all things geospatial, geotechnical, and whatever else on location based information and services." Fantom Planet put together the Geoblogger meetup at the ESRI UC which I regrettfully missed. Maybe I'll catch it next year! Anyway, Fantom Planet talks shop with alot more humor than I can ever come up with. Check it out at

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

26th Annual ESRI User Conference - Day 3

As you can tell, I missed day 2. Too much is going on here. We had our South Central Arc User Group social last night and the turnout was incredible. We had good food, good drinks and good fun. Today has been a series of technical sessions and the one I just left for ArcWeb Services was GREAT! I had no clue that you could also easily create a mashup using ESRI software. What will call these? I guess it will have to be the ESRI mashup!! Gott run to another session. I'll try again tomorrow.

Monday, August 07, 2006

26th Annual ESRI User Conference - Day 1

Day 1 has been full of surprises!!! The morning started with Jack's normal enthusiasm about GIS. He discussed themes such as the GeoWeb and being able to serve GIS data. He addressed Google Earth in a surprising light. He said it was good because it helped open the World's eyes to geographic information. Although he was clear to point out that it is not GIS and that Explorer will have that ability. Their was much more that I will cover in the coming weeks. The afternoon provided an insight into the work that 4-H is doing with GIS. Former senator Bob Kerrey gave an excellent speech about how we need to continue doing the work we are doing and that we must think on a global level. Again, their was much more, but I must run to the map gallery social. Pictures will have to wait until I return. I'll try to post more tomorrow.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Happy Friday! As the week winds down I still find myself trying to get those loose ends tied up that I have been mentioning all week. Hopefully, I can get that accomplished before five today. If not, I'll be working late on a Friday. Yuck!! In addition we are installing the GIS portion of our WebEOC application today. The great part is that I have not seen the documentation and I'm not even sure what it does. That's what happens when another government agency buys things for you. Anyway, for those that are going to the ESRI User Conference, maybe I'll see you out there. For those that aren't going, I'll be thinking about you while I'm basking in the 70 degree weather. I'll do my best to post some pics and give a recap everyday. Have a great week!

"WinTopo is a high quality software application for converting TIF, JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP files and scanned images into useful vector files suitable for CAD, GIS and CNC applications. WinTopo comes in two flavours: Freeware and Pro. The freeware version is completely free for everyone to use. This is a highly capable piece of software which produces better results than most expensive commercial alternatives. Over a million users worldwide have already taken advantage of this powerful converter. For most people there is no need to look any further (or to spend any money). Download it right now and start converting your images with the One-Touch Vectorisation button." They also have a video online that shows you just how easy this is. I'm downloading my copy right now. Too cool! Check it out at

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Good morning! I hope day two of Intro to ArcGIS is more exciting than day one. I only have five folks in the class and they are not giving much feedback. I'll see if I can spice it up a bit today. I'm also trying hard to get some loose ends tied up before the big ESRI UC next week. If you are attending and want to meet some of the authors of your most popular GIS blogs and possibly yours truly, try to make it to the Geoblogger meetup. Fantom Planet put this together at the Mister Tiki Mai Tai Lounge at 801 5th Ave at 8 PM. On the home front, we had an awesome game of tennis last night. It went 7-7 and then the tie breaker ended in 6-4. What fun!

"GeoDa is the latest incarnation in a long line of software tools developed by Dr. Luc Anselin's Spatial Analysis Laboratory (SAL) in the Department of Geography at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. It is designed to implement techniques for exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) on lattice data (points and polygons). The free program provides a user friendly and graphical interface to methods of descriptive spatial data analysis, such as spatial autocorrelation statistics, as well as basic spatial regression functionality. The latest version contains several new features such as a cartogram, a refined map movie, parallel coordinate plot, 3D visualization, conditional plots (and maps) and spatial regression." Check it out at

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I've been teaching Intro to ArcGIS all day and I just got a chance to make a post. It's going to be an action packed end of the week as I prepare for the ESRI International User Conference. I want to get as much out the way prior because I know it will be a beast when I return. Although, I'm getting very excited about the conference. Do you know of any 'can't miss' events this year? By the way, I will be doing my best this year to blog from the conference by posting pictures and a recap of the day. Stay tuned!

"Christine is a useful, easy-to-use tool that brings geographic information to your desktop. Christine gives you the power to visualize, explore, query and analyze data spatially. A key feature of Christine is that it's easy to load tabular data, such as dBASE® files and data from database servers. Using Christine you can display, query, summarize, and organize this data geographically." Did I mention it is free!!!! Check it out at

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I'm up early today! I've got some reports due by noon and a meeting this morning so I've got to get started. We are meeting with our local University to discuss addressing their buildings. It seems they have never had addresses for each individual building, but one address for the entire campus. That's a little dangerous in an emergency situation. I also have a meeting this afternoon to discuss collaboration between multiple counties in the area. This is our first meeting on the subject so I'm interested to see how it turns out. Also, for those attending the ESRI User Conference in the South Central region be sure to stop by the SCAUG social on Tuesday afternoon. It should be a good time!! On a final note, the geoblog just had it's best month ever with a 1,000 unique visitors. It sure is nice to know someone out there is reading!

"GeoRSS describes a number of ways to encode location in RSS feeds. As RSS becomes more and more prevalent as a way to publish and share information, it becomes increasingly important that location is described in an interoperable manner so that applications can request, aggregate, share and map geographically tagged feeds. To avoid the fragmentation of language that has occured in RSS and other Web information encoding efforts, this site has been created to promote a relatively small number of encodings that meet the needs of a wide range of communities. By building these encodings on a common information model, we hope to promote interoperability and "upwards-compatibility" across encodings.
At this point we have completed work on two encodings which we are calling GeoRSS GML and GeoRSS Simple. GeoRSS GML is a formal GML Application Profile, and supports a greater range of features than Simple, notably coordinate reference systems other than WGS84 latitude/longitude. It is designed for use with Atom 1.0, RSS 2.0 and RSS 1.0, although it can be used just as easily in non-RSS XML encodings. GeoRSS Simple has greater brevity, but also has limited extensibility. It can be used in all the same ways and places as GeoRSS GML." Check it out at

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