VCGI Webinars: Python, Phones, and data transformations….oh my

November 20, 2013

VCGI’s webinar line up for December:

Getting Started With Python

Learning to Map in an ”App” World: discover the power of mapping with your phone

Quantum GIS: Data Acquisition and Transformation (a repeat due to technical difficulties and lack of success recording)

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!


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