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:

Grants Awarded for Northern VT Parcel Mapping!

March 24, 2014


14 towns will receive funding from VCGI…

The Northern Border Regional Commission, whose focus is to help address the community and economic development needs of the most severely distressed portions of the Northern Forest region, awarded VCGI a grant for $169,100 in late 2013. The purpose of the project is to provide support to a subset of towns in Vermont’s Northern Border Region so that they can successfully contract with the private sector for the creation or update of parcel data for their town that meets the VT GIS Parcel Data Standard. Planning for a successful economic future in Vermont’s Northern Border Region requires visualizing current and future conditions. Maps are a vital tool in that process, and many towns in the region are hampered by old, inaccurate, or absent parcel maps. Modern mapping requires digital map data (also called GIS data) from a variety of sources, including municipal tax maps – the source of parcel data.

VCGI and its Regional Planning Commission Partners (NRPC, LCPC, NVDA) are looking forward to working with the following towns to support their effort to create or update and improve their parcel data: Derby, Troy, Jay, Glover, Holland, Waterford, Burke, Enosburg, Berkshire, Franklin, Sheldon, Wolcott, Eden, and Elmore.  In addition to providing about $160,000 worth of financial support, RPC and VCGI staff will provide technical specifications, template documents to guide the towns through a Request for Proposals process (in some cases), a mapping contract template, and support drafting a plan for future data maintenance to keep the data useful into the future.

This project is part of a larger effort to develop a statewide parcel data program in VT to ensure up-to-date, consistent, and useful parcel data is developed and maintained for all towns. The VT Enterprise GIS Consortium oversees that effort.

For more information: or 802-882-3002

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:


VCGI Web Services Expanded – Documentation Posted

February 27, 2013

VCGI, in collaboration with VT’s Enterprise GIS Consortium (EGC), has developed a portfolio of “web services” which 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 (a live internet connection is required in order for the images to appear in your GIS project) users can access a variety of resources.

VCGI provides Web Map Services (including a basemap and contours), Imagery Services (black and white, color, infrared, various ages and resolution levels), and Geocoding Services. Services are often available in two forms: 1) cache and 2) non-cache. Cached services (*_CACHE) are designed to be used in browser or mobile web applications which utilize imagery at specific scales and need the fastest rendering performance. Non-cache services (*_NOCACHE) render the imagery to the client application dynamically; this allows clients such as ArcGIS Desktop to ask for the data in different ways (eg: different stretch or band combinations). Many of the services are also available in VT State Plane or Web Mercator projection/coordinate systems.

Services available and information on how to connect is available at the VCGI website:

2011 Bedrock Geologic Map of Vermont Now Available

April 30, 2012

April 11th, 2012

The Vermont Geological Survey at the Agency of Natural Resources, the United States Geological Survey, and University of Vermont have participated since the early 1980′s in a cooperative venture to produce the new bedrock geological map of Vermont. The map has a 2011 publication date which is 150 years (sesquicentennial) since the first 1861 geologic map of Vermont and 50 years since the 1961 Centennial Geologic Map of Vermont.

The map incorporates 30 years of new approaches to geologic mapping and the technologies that support it. As a fundamental data layer, it is a show piece of the present understanding of Vermont geology. The map will be the geoscience base for years to come, helping us to address Vermont’s environmental issues and informing our interaction with and protection of our natural resources.

More about the GIS data, accessing PDFs of the Map, etc. Here:

Map Morsels IX

April 6, 2012

Jonathan Frishtick, GPS/GIS Mapping

As always, please let me know if you like one of these entries.

1.  Put learning Mandarin on the back burner and learn how to code. You have put it off long enough. You’ve been thinking about it for years. You know it will help you in whatever discipline you are in. It’s time to dive in.!/exercises/0

2. Threats from sea level rise and storm surge to all 3000+ coastal towns, cities, counties and states in the Lower 48.

3. Fonts in ArcGIS symbols, from Aileen Buckley, ESRI Map Center.                                                                     

4.  Google Earth Where in the World.   

5.  Google Search Features.                      

6.Google Voice Search.                        

7.  World Bank Announces Its Crowdsourced Map Data Will Be Free for the Crowd, via the Spatial Law and Policy blog.

8.  The National Archives and Records Administration has made individual records from the 1940 Census available to the public for the first time.

9.  From Google Maps Mania:The Outlook is Cloudy on Google Maps

Plane Finder, the real-time plane tracking website, has added options to view both the cloud layer and the weather layer on its Google Map.   To view the new weather layers on Plane Finder select ‘Map Options’, ‘Map’ and then select the ‘cloud’ and / or ‘weather’ check buttons. Martin Kleppe of Ubilabs has created a rather beautiful example of the cloud layer in action on a styled Google Map. This example map uses dark map tiles which contrast nicely with the new fluffy white clouds.

Map Morsel VIII

April 2, 2012

Jonathan Frishtick, GIS/GPS Mapping


LiDAR Mapping Helps Archeologists                                                                                                                          

Japanese disaster imagery one year later                                                                                                

WeatherMob, a Social Network Around the Local Forecast                                                                       

A Skeptic’s Lament: James Randi on the American psyche.                                                                               

Real time twitter feeds in a Google map interface:                                                                                                   

Do you want to receive an email when Google updates a particular location’s imagery?

In the wake of the Tohoku-oki tsunami, scientists now know that seafloor topography affects the strength and height of a tsunami even in the deep ocean and at great distances.                                                                 

Where has Aaron been?   Maybe he is just a tad obsessive.                                                                                

Map pages show threats from sea level rise and storm surge to all 3000+ coastal towns, cities, counties and states in the Lower 48.                                                                                                                                                 

Pareidolia: I see faces…                                                                                                                                                

Lyme Disease Surge Predicted for Northeastern US, Due to Acorns and Mice, Not Mild Winter                

New hardiness zones show warming trend in Vermont

Time-Lapse Video Shows Stars and Earth From Space Station                                                                        

Will 2012 be the year of the Open Map?                                                                                                           

Strange Days: NASA Earth Observatory’s land surface temperature anomaly map. Noted in the article was that Climate Central reported that in Rochester, Minnesota the overnight low temperature on March 18 was 16.6°Celsius (62°Fahrenheit), a temperature so high it beat the record high of 15.5°Celsius (60°Fahrenheit) for the same date.                                                                                             The Doors: Strange Days

Anything Frank Jacobs writes is worth reading.                                                                         

U.S. Defense Department Develops Map of Future Climate Chaos                                     

Map Morsels VII

March 19, 2012

This is the 7th post of hopefully, interesting geo-map-earth-tech related stuff which I have posted. It is amazing how much material is out there floating around in the cloud or more likely, on Google servers in The Dalles, Oregon and other locations. (See:

Because of the large volume of information bombarding us, I have pared down the descriptions so I can get this list of links out before it becomes stale. Check  out the Vermont geo contest at the end of the post.

If you see something you particularly like, please let me know.

Jonathan Frishtick, GIS/GPS Mapping

Use the Google Maps API for images other than maps.  Very cool!                                        

Fly through an ice rift in Antarctica. Cheaper than going there in person.                             

Where did you do it?  Mapping safe sex.                                                                                        

Know your nuclear facilities.                                                                                                                                      

Nokia and Microsoft take a fresh look at maps.                                                                                  

Video of patterns of daily life in the Netherlands. Genieten van.                                                                   

Use Google Docs in your ArcGIS Online maps.                                                                                                          

Google to sell heads-up display glasses by year’s end.                                                                      

The London Mugging Map.                                                                                                                 

My photos of the northern lights don’t look anything like this.                                                                       

If you are not taking advantage of the ArcGIS Resource Center, especially the Mapping Center, you should be!

All things lake ice related. Good for next year’s winter.                                                                   

This is true.                                                                                                                                         

Tell Garmin where to go…I mean what to do.                                                                                                    

Garmin’s 4th quarter earnings beat all estimates.                                                                         

You want to take a good look at this one. Simply beautiful images of Earth from space.                            

This is a great way to use Google Earth in a cross disciplinary fashion in the classroom. Do the latest JPL Where on Earth geoquiz.                                                                                                                                                                                                          

CONTEST! REWARD!                                                                                                                                                                                                 Do you know the significance of this mysterious marker? Send your response  to me at:  One winner will be randomly selected from the correct responses and an award will be sent to you.

VT GIS Update – February 2012

February 17, 2012

Leslie Pelch, VCGI

Coming Up

Webinars (all free)

Scheduled (click here for details and to register):

  • Free Online Mapping with ArcGIS Online: March 6, 2012, 10:30 AM
  • E911 PMF Map and Website Overview: March 13, 2012, 10:30AM


Ignite Spatial Vermont: Student Showcase

The event will be held in the evening on April 17, 2012 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Montpelier, VT; Cash bar and appetizers will be provided.  The “Ignite” format provides speakers the opportunity and the challenge to tell their spatial story in only 5 minutes! The quick pace means that participants can learn about a multitude of projects and then network and follow up on topics that caught their interest. In 2012, we invite students of Vermont’s colleges and universities to submit abstracts to participate in this exciting event along with  professionals from a wide range of private, non-profit, and public organizations that use GIS.

Visit the web page to learn more about this event, and to submit a lightning presentation abstract or register to attend (for free!):


VT College and University Student Map Contest

VCGI and a coalition of academic institutions in VT are pleased to present the first VT Map Contest (in a number of years, anyway). Any and all digital maps (dynamic or static) can be submitted! The only limitations are that the map must be viewable by the general public via a web link (URL – VCGI can provide a place to post the map if it is a PDF or image file) without the need to pay for special software, and the author(s) of the map need to be current full or part-time students at a VT institution of higher learning. Deadline for submission is April 1! Winner will be announced at April 17 Ignite event (see above).

Visit the map contest web page for more information and instructions on how to submit your map!


Introduction to ArcGIS 10 Training in Randolph, June 11-13

This 3-day training is still being planned, but the location and dates are set! Keep an eye on the front page of VCGI’s web site for details and registration link. The training will be conducted by UNH Extension in partnership with VCGI and the fee will be $350 (nonprofit, school, public enployees) or $495 (private sector).


NEARC Spring Conference – call for papers

The NEARC Spring Conference will take place Tuesday, May 22 at the Smith College Campus Center in Northampton, MA. Submit your “presentation proposal” by March 23!   See the schedule of the day and link to the submission form here:

There are many different ways that you can participate in this fun and dynamic event: Extended Talk (45-60 Mins.), Panel (45-60 Mins.), Standard Talk (20-30 Mins.),   Workshop (60 Mins.), Lightning Talk (5 Mins.), Video Poster, Poster.

Other Features of the NEARC Spring Conference include Lightning Karaoke, the Pub Social and more!




BNDHASH Updated! – Steve Sharp ( )

BNDHASH has been updated and is available for download here.

Significant Boundary Changes – Summary (2011A)
1) Saint George / Shelburne Town line.  Adjusted to match Survey “Town Line Agreement between Towns of: Shelburne & St. George Chittenden County State of Vermont” conducted by a licensed land surveyor employed by Civil Engineering Associates, Inc. and dated March 9, 2011.  Boundary codified by VT Legislature in 2011 H. 452 (ACT 0015).  Recieved copy of survey boundary in shapefile format from CCRPC.

2) Braintree / Rochester town line.  Adjusted based on latest matching Braintree/Rochester parcel data provided by TRORC.

3) MA / VT boundary.  Adjusted MA / VT boundary based on survey point data provided by MassGIS which was derived from 68-volume MA “Harbor and Lands Commission Town Boundary Atlas”.

Minor Updates (2011A)
1) Tweaked Norwich/Harford boundary based on the latest parcel data to correct a problem.

2) Updated LEPC boundaries based on new information.

3) Adjusted boundaries for several villages to match 2011 boundary information provided by VTrans from their HMS system.


VTrans County/Town Maps Updated, Sara Moulton, GISP

An updated set of the County-Town Map Series has been posted online and is available from the Mapping Unit Publications web page

The major change is the note in the legend identifying that Minor Collectors are not Federal Aid eligible.  Other changes included small cartographic changes plus the road centerline data that has been updated since the previous map set was produced in September-October 2010.


Links to the Past


Webinars Recorded and Posted (click here to access):

  • Web Mapping Made Easy I – Leslie Pelch, VCGI, February 2, 2012
  • Linking Parcel Maps/Data and Grand List Data – Pete Fellows, Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission, January 12, 2012


ESRI Seminar Materials re: ArcGIS Online


Municipal and Irene Mapping Conference Presentations Posted

Click here to go to the Event Archive where all conference presentations are posted (as they come in, check back if they one you want isn’t posted yet!)



From Jonathan Frishtick:

  • From GPS TrackLog:”The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) wrote the FCC yesterday (PDF) saying they had concluded “that LightSquared’s proposed mobile broadband network will impact GPS services and that there is no practical way to mitigate the potential interference at this time.” Shortly thereafter, the FCC announced that they would “(1) vacate the Conditional Waiver Order, and (2) suspend indefinitely LightSquared’s Ancillary Terrestrial Component authority to an extent consistent with the NTIA letter.”

Holiday Gifts for Map Geeks

December 6, 2011

Leslie Pelch, VCGI (with help from Jonathan Frishtick!)

Churchill Globe – mentioned at GIS Lounge (see below)


Here are some resources for those seeking unique gifts for lovers of maps and geography:

“If you’re trying to figure out the ideal gift for the GISer or geographer on your list, check out these great ideas for your Christmas and holiday gift shopping. This list will be updated as new deals and unique geography themed gifts are discovered for the 2011 season.”

Scrambled States of America Puzzle and Book – Read the book, then do the puzzle! In the hilarious illustrated paperback story The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller, you’ll learn all about how the 50 States were bored and tired of staying in their same spots all the time. So they threw a party, and decided to trade places.

Charting the World: Geography and Maps from Cave Paintings to GPS with 21 Activities (For Kids series)

“As soon as early humans began to scratch images on cave walls, they began to create maps. And while these first drawings were used to find hunting grounds or avoid danger, they later developed into far more complex navigational tools. Charting the World tells the fascinating history of maps and mapmaking, navigators and explorers, and the ways that technology has enhanced our ability to understand the world around us. Richly illustrated with full-color maps and diagrams, it gives children an in-depth appreciation of geographical concepts and principles and shows them how to unlock the wealth of information maps contain. It also features 21 hands-on activities for readers to put their new skills to the test.”

Even better, a list of cool map-related books at Amazon. The list author says: “I love reading maps created for literary worlds. I also enjoy reading books that are illustrated with maps (like Barbara Hodgson’s novels) and any books with unusual map trivia.”

Please share your gift ideas in the comments area below!


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