UVM Staff Award Results in Geospatial Trophy!

May 28, 2014

From  http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmpr/?Page=news&&storyID=18463

OCG Trophy_05.01.14_crop OCG Trophy_05.01.14_toponly

“Six UVM staff members were recognized for their extraordinary contributions and overall impact on the university on May 5 at the inaugural President’s Our Common Ground Staff Award recognition breakfast in Billings Library.

Honorees were chosen from a pool of 24 nominees for exemplifying the qualities of the University of Vermont’s Our Common Ground, the statement of aspirations and shared values of our community: respect, integrity, innovation, openness, justice and responsibility.

Honorees were presented with a hand-crafted award designed by local artist Chris Reck that UVM President Tom Sullivan said embodies the values expressed in the President’s Our Common Ground award. Anchored by a piece of red cambrian sedimentary rock known as Monkton quartzite used in many of the university’s buildings, the award features the Our Common Ground statement transposed on an intricate woodcarving map of the campus.”

Chris Reck of Direct Design contacted VCGI for ideas regarding who might actually create the 3D wood topo map featured in this trophy. Leslie Pelch of VCGI sent a message out on the VT GIS email list serve and several people got in touch with Chris to say they might be able to help. In the end, Spencer Wright of Bristol Contours (802-355-0800) was able to create the maple topo map of a portion of the UVM campus.


VT Interactive Map Viewer BETA 2.0 Released

April 29, 2014


The VT Center for Geographic Information (VCGI) is pleased to announce an “open beta release” of the new VT Interactive Map Viewer (VT Viewer).

You can participate in a guided tour during the free webinar on April 30.

This BETA 2.0 release includes numerous enhancements

  • The toolbar has been rearranged to make it more intuitive.
  • The look-and-feel of the VT GIS basemap has been significantly improved.
  • Several dozen new data layers (including parcel data) have been added to the viewer.
  • User can change the symbology of any layer.
  • Complete set of VT imagery and imagery indexes.
  • Several new supplemental background basemaps have been added such as contoured hillshade and the latest USGS Topographic Maps.
  • All layers have links to full documentation and downloadable data files.

Now we need to hear from you! Please take the new VT Interactive Map Viewer (BETA 2.0) for a test drive, then let us know what you think by completing the Feedback Survey.

VT Viewer (BETA 2.0): http://dev.maps.vermont.gov/vcgi/vtmapviewerbeta2/

User Survey: http://dev.maps.vermont.gov/vcgi/vtmapviewer/survey.html

The BETA 2.0 release will be available as an “open beta” until May 31st, 2014. After that VCGI will be reviewing all survey feedback and applying any needed adjustments/fixes to the site. We plan to release the final version by July 1st, 2014. It will replace the current VT Interactive Map Viewer.

You can participate in a guided tour during the free webinar on April 30.

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 http://vcgi.vermont.gov/rfps

NOTE: All questions related to this RFI should be emailed to steves@vcgi.org 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: http://vcgi.vermont.gov/2013_imagery_available

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: lesliep@vcgi.org 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 (lesliep@vcgi.org or 802-882-3002) if you need help understanding how to connect to this service. More info here: http://vcgi.vermont.gov/warehouse/web_services/map


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: http://vcgi.vermont.gov/warehouse/web_services

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: http://ow.ly/aBQEa

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. http://www.codecademy.com/#!/exercises/0

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

3. Fonts in ArcGIS symbols, from Aileen Buckley, ESRI Map Center.                                                                               http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2012/03/28/fonts-in-arcgis-symbols/

4.  Google Earth Where in the World.             https://sites.google.com/site/sightseerwhereintheworld/

5.  Google Search Features.                                http://www.google.com/insidesearch/features.html

6.Google Voice Search.                                  http://www.google.com/insidesearch/voicesearch.html

7.  World Bank Announces Its Crowdsourced Map Data Will Be Free for the Crowd  http://techpresident.com/news/21989/world-bank-announces-its-crowdsourced-map-data-will-be-free-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. http://www.census.gov/1940census/

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                                                                                                                                    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/03/archeology-lidar-mapping/

Japanese disaster imagery one year later                                                                                                          http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2012/03/japanese_disaster_imagery_one_year.html

WeatherMob, a Social Network Around the Local Forecast http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/10/sxsw-weathermob-a-social-network-around-the-local-forecast/.                                                                                 http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/weathermob/id463729367

A Skeptic’s Lament: James Randi on the American psyche.                                                                                         http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/03/opinion-randi-maya-skeptic

Real time twitter feeds in a Google map interface:                                                                                                             http://tweereal.com/

Do you want to receive an email when Google updates a particular location’s imagery? https://followyourworld.appspot.com/

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.                                                                           http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=77331

Where has Aaron been?   Maybe he is just a tad obsessive.                                                                                          https://geoloqi.com/blog/2012/03/data-portraits-powered-by-3-5-years-of-data-and-2-5-million-gps-points/

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

Pareidolia: I see faces…                                                                                                                                                          http://urbanhonking.com/ideasfordozens/2012/01/14/machine-pareidolia-hello-little-fella-meets-facetracker/

Lyme Disease Surge Predicted for Northeastern US, Due to Acorns and Mice, Not Mild Winter                          http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120316094452.htm

New hardiness zones show warming trend in Vermont http://vtdigger.org/2012/03/15/new-hardiness-zones-show-warming-trend-in-vermont

Time-Lapse Video Shows Stars and Earth From Space Station                                                                                  http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/03/stars-time-lapse-space-station

Will 2012 be the year of the Open Map?                                                                                                                http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/daily-report-some-sites-bypass-google-maps/               https://plus.google.com/u/0/118383351194421484817/posts/foj5A1fURGt

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.                         http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=77465                                                                              The Doors: Strange Days  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NSz-9qqgKE

Anything Frank Jacobs writes is worth reading.                                                                                   http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/all-hail-sealand/

U.S. Defense Department Develops Map of Future Climate Chaos                                               http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=us-defense-department-develops-map-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: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/21973).

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!                                                  http://blog.mikecouturier.com/2011/07/create-zoomable-images-using-google.html

Fly through an ice rift in Antarctica. Cheaper than going there in person.                                       http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/earthmatters/2012/02/29/a-little-more-on-that-ice-rift-in-antarctica/

Where did you do it?  Mapping safe sex.                                                                                                  http://www.wheredidyouwearit.com/index.php/map/

Know your nuclear facilities.                                                                                                                                                http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/11/map-nuclear-bombs-power-weapons

Nokia and Microsoft take a fresh look at maps.                                                                                            http://www.vector1media.com/spatialsustain/nokia-and-microsoft-take-a-fresh-look-at-maps.html

Video of patterns of daily life in the Netherlands. Genieten van.                                                                             http://flowingdata.com/2012/02/22/patterns-of-daily-life-in-netherlands-from-above/

Use Google Docs in your ArcGIS Online maps.                                                                                                                    http://blogs.esri.com/Support/blogs/arcgisonline/archive/2012/02/21/using-google-docs-in-your-arcgis-online-maps.aspx

Google to sell heads-up display glasses by year’s end.                                                                                http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/google-to-sell-terminator-style-glasses-by-years-end/

The London Mugging Map.                                                                                                                           http://googlemapsmania.blogspot.com/2012/02/london-mugging-map.html

My photos of the northern lights don’t look anything like this.                                                                                 http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/02/rocket-launched-aurora/

If you are not taking advantage of the ArcGIS Resource Center, especially the Mapping Center, you should be!      http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2012/02/21/updating-the-mapping-center-web-site/

All things lake ice related. Good for next year’s winter.                                                                             http://lakeice.squarespace.com/about/

This is true.                                                                                                                                                   http://thedoghousediaries.com/3438

Tell Garmin where to go…I mean what to do.                                                                                                              http://www8.garmin.com/contactUs/ideas/

Garmin’s 4th quarter earnings beat all estimates.                                                                                   http://www.gpsbusinessnews.com/Garmin-Q4-Earnings-Growth-in-all-Segments-Beats-all-Estimates_a3486.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

You want to take a good look at this one. Simply beautiful images of Earth from space.                                      http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/03/envisat-anniversary/

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.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www-misr.jpl.nasa.gov/quizzes/?ImageID=345

CONTEST! REWARD!                                                                                                                                                                                                 Do you know the significance of this mysterious marker? http://bit.ly/xnhQYp. Send your response  to me at:  gis.gps.mapping@gmail.com.  One winner will be randomly selected from the correct responses and an award will be sent to you.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 53 other followers