VCGI Update

April 14, 2014


Request for Information posted re: VT Open GeoData Portal:

The VT Center for Geographic Information (VCGI) currently hosts Vermont’s Open GeoData Portal (herein referred to as the GeoData Portal), which allows users to access and use geospatial information and services. This Request for Information (RFI) is designed to gather information from geospatial technology providers regarding the development of a new VT Open GeoData Portal. The results of the RFI may or may not lead to the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP).

The full RFI has been posted here

NOTE: All questions related to this RFI should be emailed to by April 28, 2014: 3PM EST. All questions and associated responses will be made publicly available by May 5, 2014: 3PM EST on VCGI’s website.

All 2013 Orthoimagery has been posted:

Ortho imagery covering the northwest portion of the state as well as the Barre-Montpelier area was collected in the spring of 2013. All of the northwest corner was collected in 4-band color infrared as well as black and white with .5 meter pixels. Additionally, much of Chittenden County was collected at a resolution of .15 meter pixels, with the more mountainous eastern edge of the county being collected at .2 meter pixels.  The Barre-Montplelier area was collected as a resolution of .3 meter pixels.  More info here:

Mapping it up in VT and NH (webinar) scheduled:

VT and NH both have powerful, newly updated online map viewers.  While each viewer is customized to the state’s GIS resources, they share a common framework and much of the same functionality.  Come for a tour of the new interface(s), layers and tools for both viewers. Participants in this webinar will learn how to make maps from the layers provided by VCGI and NH GRANIT, add your own data to the maps, save your map as an image or to print, and more.

Date:  Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

VT Parcel Boundary Map Service Now Available!

February 13, 2014

Leslie Pelch, VCGI


VCGI has posted a Parcel Boundaries Web Map Service that will be updated at least annually as we receive updated parcel data. Web map services allow users to bring map layers and imagery into their GIS projects or map mashups without actually downloading any data by connecting to the service of choice via the internet.

Contact Leslie ( or 802-882-3002) if you need help understanding how to connect to this service. More info here:


Vermont LiDAR Initiative Data Announcement

January 2, 2014


Mike Brouillette, VCGI

With technical support from our partners in the Enterprise Geospatial Consortium LiDAR Workgroup (a.k.a. VTeam LiDAR), VCGI is happy to announce the initial offering of LiDAR “derivative data” under the umbrella of the “Vermont LiDAR Initiative” effort. For more information on the effort, the state LiDAR plan, status graphics and other support data please visit the new VCGI LiDAR web page at

Current data availability includes 1.4m resolution Digital Surface Models (DSMs) “ElevationOther_DSM1p4m” and Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) “ElevationDEM_DEM1p4m“ covering the Missisquoi subbasin and a majority of Bennington County. 2’ Contours from these areas will be integrated with the existing 2’ contour layer “ElevationOther_CN2T” early in the New Year. See the LiDAR web page for status graphic, project data extents and more.

To download these data select the “download” icon located in the “All new or updated data” of the “Data and Imagery” page All LiDAR raster data is in the Erdas Imagine file format and organized at two levels for flexibility in downloading:

1) Ortho 9 tiling scheme; and

2) Original project “footprint” extent – as delivered by vendors.

Index maps and Index shapefiles are provided in the download data folders to help users find tiles of interest, e.g., “_Index_ElevationDEM_DEM1p4m.pdf” and “”.


For a readily available advocacy/information brochure please see the “VT LiDAR Initiative Brochure” on the web page.


  •  Addison County Data - Release of the data is still pending QAQC issues with the vendor. No firm delivery date is available.
  • Essex County Data – Missing data tile discovered upon regenerate DEM & DSM from source point cloud has slowed release of this extent. Efforts underway to recover it and move forward. Original vendor delivery only included a 3m resolution DEM/DSM though data supports 1m resolution, thus the recreation effort. IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE THE ORIGINAL “POINT CLOUD” SOURCE DATA FOR 2005 ESSEX COUNTY PLEASE CONTACT ME!
  • ALL-LDR Product – External hard drive containing all available LiDAR data including “point cloud” and all derivatives. For information and links to vendor supplied “point cloud” metadata see -
  • Secondary derivative layers: “ElevationOther_ASPECT1p4m”, “ElevationOther_HILSH” (hillshade), “ElevationOther_nDSM” (“normalized” DSM) and “ElevationSlope_SLOPE” raster layers will be made available via the VGIS as time permits in 2014. These are available on the ALL-LDR product for project extents they have been generated for (ATM: Missisquoi subbasin and Bennington County).

Please feel free to contact me directly with questions and/or feedback about the data, the VT LiDAR Initiative or the LiDAR web page etc: or 802-882-3008

Democracy Depends Upon Access to Government Geodata

December 12, 2013

From Sensors and Systems:



“Is my property being taxed fairly?”
“Are zoning variances being granted in a consistent manner?”
“Is my flood insurance rate justified?”


These are the types of questions concerned citizens may ask, both in their own interest, and in the interest of maintaining a responsive and equitable democracy. Our democratic system of government is supposed to conduct the public’s business fairly and consistently within the explicit directives of the citizens’ elected representatives. But how can citizens know if that is happening? And how can citizens know that their representatives are actually conducting “the people’s business” rather than their own? Transparency is required for maintaining our governments’ accountability to its citizens.


Transparency means giving citizens access to their governments’ records, to the same information that government agencies themselves use to make decisions and conduct operations. With it, interested persons can understand, verify, and possibly challenge a governmental action. Since most governmental actions impact specific locations, geographic information is critical to governmental accountability, and GIS technology and professionals are critical to analyzing that information.

- See more at:

Bethel Emergency Management Volunteers Leverage Neighbors and Technology

October 3, 2013

Todd Sears, Bethel, VT (excerpted from the VT Council on Rural Development Web Site, see link below)

“…C+ is actively exploring ways by which information technology (IT) and web functionality can enable and enhance the role of the citizen during an emergency. This could involve how to best harness social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Front Porch Forum and others like them to expand and add an extra layer of communication and trust to the information created and used about the disaster by the affected municipality. Where yesterday we were concerned with the conventional media outlets and actions, today we must embrace and take advantage of other more progressive options as well.

One of the more exciting applications C+ is experimenting with is called Ushahidi, a freeware, crowd-sourced geospatial information application which allows near real-time plotting of various forms of media onto a map from the field. Imagine a scenario where a stranded neighborhood member, after the worst of a disaster has passed, walks his or her area to take stock of the situation, comes across a neighbor with an injury, a fallen power line, a washed out road, or a collapsed bridge. With a smartphone loaded with a free app and a few button clicks, that person can take a picture (or a video, or write a text narrative) of the situation, and immediately have it plot out onto a web-based map in the municipal Emergency Operations Center or Incident Command Post. An icon appears on the map where the incident has occurred; the operator at the workstation clicks on it, and sees a photo of the phenomenon, with amplifying descriptive information. The implications for immediate response and future planning are staggering.”

More here:

VCGI Webinars Scheduled

September 20, 2013
We have 4 webinars scheduled for late October and November. There are three slots open in December if anyone has a topic they would like to present! Dates and times are very flexible, I am just trying to schedule one per week (other than holiday weeks).

Please get in touch if you would like to present or have a suggestion (! In the meantime, check out what we have scheduled so far…

Getting Started with ArcGIS Online for Organizations – Mark Scott, ESRI

Introduction to Quantum GIS (QGIS), Leslie Pelch, VCGI

Quantum GIS: Data Acquisition and Transformation, Leslie Pelch, VCGI

Using GPS and Bringing the Data into GIS, Leslie Pelch, VCGI

Vermont Open Data Summit: October 8, Montpelier, 1-4 PM

September 3, 2013

Leslie Pelch, VCGI


The Vermont Open Data Summit on October 8 in Montpelier will bring together Vermonters interested in learning and talking about Open Data in the Green Mountain State.  Learn more about Open Data and the Summit here (and register!):

Young Hacks Academy Uses VCGI GPS Units

August 30, 2013


Young Hacks Academy was an exciting day camp for 10-12 year-olds to explore programming basics and create interactive stories.

Young Hacks Agents developed collaborative problem-solving skills through daily missions in front of and away from a computer. By weeks end, graduates of Young Hacks Agent Training had sharpened their powers of creativity and communication, while making some new friends along the way.

As teams of three, students walked around Colchester High School in search of 6 Young Hacks Academy “geocache” containers. Inside each container was a riddle that related to the location of the next container on the list of waypoints. The kids had a blast using their tracking devices as a compass.

Here are some pictures of the kids using VCGI’s GPS units (available for free loan to towns, nonprofits, and schools/camps!):

crouch_sm   bleacher_sm

Results of VCGI Data Warehouse Survey

August 30, 2013

Leslie Pelch, VCGI

VCGI asked constituents to provide feedback about their priorities for the future VCGI Data Warehouse through a 100 point exercise. They were each given 100 points to distribute among the various user requirements in order to indicate which were of greatest importance. The results of that survey can be viewed here: Data Warehouse Survey Results

The top ten user requirements based on average scores:

  • As a User, I want “authoritative” datasets to be discoverable and clearly identified.
  • As a User, I want access to aerial photos (eg: VT orthos) with no downloading required (ie: as a web service).
  • As a User, I want a robust and easy-to-use search engine to help me find the geospatial data, web services, and web/mobile/desktop applications.
  • As a User, I want access to historical aerial photos.
  • As a User, I want a browser-based Data Warehouse solution that does not require a browser plug-in.
  • As a User, I want to download aerial photos (eg: VT orthos) so I can use them on my computer.
  • As a User, I want access to VT GIS data layers with no downloading required (ie: as a web service).
  • As a User, I want to download VT GIS data layers in ESRI shapefile format.
  • As a User, I want access to imagery organized by year (whether for download or web service).
  • As a User, I want all data that I find to be available for download (not just a link to an external website).


Help Design The New VT GIS Data Warehouse

July 30, 2013


VCGI is working with the State’s Enterprise GIS Consortium (EGC) to redesign and rebuild Vermont’s GIS Data Warehouse.  A Warehouse Redesign Workgroup has been setup to spearhead this initiative.  The current GIS Warehouse has been around for nearly 12 years! The Workgroup believes that needs and expectations have changed significantly over time, but we want to know what you think.

The Workgroup has put together a survey to help us prioritize the functions that are critical for a new data warehouse to store Vermont GIS data.  There are a lot of features that could be built into the future data warehouse, but picking the most important means prioritizing among a range of good options.

We need to hear from you!  What are your needs and priorities?  Please let us know by completing this survey (you might even win a cool prize!).

Please complete the survey by Friday, August 9th.

Prize?  If you complete the survey you’ll be entered into a prize drawing.  Prizes include one license of ArcGIS Home Edition and a really cool Map Atlas coffee table book (total of 2 prizes).  Thanks to ESRI for donating both of these prizes!!  You must enter a valid email address to be entered into the drawing.  You must also complete the survey by 5PM August 9th.

Thanks for the feedback!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 52 other followers