Map Morsels VI

October 13, 2011

Jonathan Frishtick, GIS/GPS Mapping

1.  Create Custom Google Maps for Android

“The app lets you quickly create a custom map for your Android phone from any map image or photo file. The image can be a photo or scan of a paper map. It could even just be the photo of a map posted at the beginning of a trailhead or at the entrance to an amusement park, which you can capture with your smartphone camera.”

2. Searching the Earth for Art From Google Earth Blog

Searthing was created by Mack Lazarus and Tim Schmauch, who are behind the similar site. The two site both focus on artistic-looking imagery, but Searthing is designed in a blog format to show off much more of it.

3. Occupy Wall Street on Google Maps from Google Earth Blog

The Daily Kos has created a Google Map of over 200 Occupy Wall Street events and Facebook pages throughout the United States.

4. State halts work on Lowell Mountain Wind Project.


Construction on the Kingdom Community Wind Project is temporarily on hold after the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources issued a stop-work order.

Green Mountain Power, the utility that is building the project, violated part of its Clean Water Act permit when it failed to comply with part of its sediment control plan.

5. Strange Agricultural Landscapes Seen From Space

From Wired Science

My favorite is the Bolivian soybean fields. They look like snowflakes.

6. Find out where the Google Street View cars are currently on the road

7.  Best Mars Images From Orbiter’s First 5 Years

From Wired Science

Truly phenomenal photos. You can actually see the Mars rover Opportunity in some of the photos.

8. New ArcGIS Online Basemaps

“We added an entry for the new Light Gray Canvas basemap which provides a neutral basemap that makes your thematic data really stand out… We renamed the  ‘Physical’ basemap to ‘Physical and Ocean’ and added the Ocean basemap into this as a layer. “

9. Sea Ice Extent Animation updated for 2011

From Google Earth Blog: As they’ve done for the past few years (here is 2010), the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has produced their annual Sea Ice Extent data

While 2011 wasn’t a record year for ice loss, it came close, ending just slightly above the mark set in 2007. You can view the data for yourself by loading this KMZ file .

10.  The Guardian newspaper has created a Google Map showing Murder rates Around the World. The map was created using data from the UNODC.

11. Running for Mayor,  Ed Lee uses Google Earth to show his plan for San Francisco Job  Growth

From the Google Earth Blog:

“I don’t know the details of Ed Lee’s political agenda, and that information is irrelevant for this post, but he’s recently used Google Earth in a very creative way. In one of his recent TV ads, Ed made great use of Google Earth to help show off his plan for creating new jobs across the San Francisco area. Details on how the video was created aren’t available, but it appears that they simply took some carefully-planned Google Earth footage and then added all of the labels and highlights in a video editing suite like Final Cut Pro. As such, no KML or tour are available.”

12. Google partnered with NASA, ESA and JAXA to launch a new YouTube channel called Space Lab. Commander Mike Fossum, from the International Space Station, invites you to come up with a science experiment for space and upload a video explaining it to YouTube.

13. Display Real Time Lightning Strikes in GE

From Google Maps Mania: works with a community of users, who have built their own lightning receivers, to automatically display live lightning data on a Google Map.”

14. Yipes! From WIRED Threat Level blog:

California Gov. Jerry Brown is vetoing legislation requiring police to obtain a court warrant to search the mobile phones of suspects at the time of any arrest.

“The Sunday veto means that when police arrest anybody in the Golden State, they may search that person’s mobile phone — which in the digital age likely means the contents of persons’ e-mail, call records, text messages, photos, banking activity, cloud-storage services, and even where the phone has traveled.”

15. From Spatial Sustain:

“Boston Rare Maps, a specialist dealer in rare and unusual antique maps, has launched, an online exhibit of maps of America from 1782-1800. The exhibit was originally hosted at the Harvard Map Collection, and illustrates an evolution in the country and its mapmaking ability.”

If you particularly like an item or have comments, please email me, gis.gps.mapping(at)



October 11, 2011

David Brotzman, Executive Director, VCGI

First, and probably most importantly, the staff at VCGI is now back in the offices at 58 South Main St. in Waterbury. We are still getting organized and not all of the replacement equipment has been delivered, but we are back and the doors are open. We really appreciate the terrific work done by Ed Steele, our building owner, and his contractors for the seven days a week / 30 day effort they did in getting our space completely reconditioned after the flood. Its great to be back in the Waterbury community.

I want to express my personal appreciation to the staff at VCGI who continue to do extraordinary work under extraordinary conditions.  Everyone worked to clean out the space, move salvageable equipment to storage, set up temporary capacity, home offices etc., and then move equipment back out of storage and do what was necessary to bring the organization back into our offices. All of this was done while trying to recover from the disruption of our normal systems and still support those in the public and private sectors who needed geospatial
data and services. Everyone was flexible, creative and selfless in their efforts and I am proud to work with you. We are not back to normal yet, but I think we can see normal from here.

I also want to thank everyone who provided support to keep our organization and our services functioning, most notably the folks at the Department of Information and Innovation, VT Telecommunications Authority, and the UVM Spatial Analysis Lab. We also appreciate the support and services offered by all of you in the larger community immediately following the flooding. This is a caring and generous community we work in, but we all already knew that.

There have also been some positive changes at VCGI that I want to make you aware of.

Dejung Gewissler has been promoted to Senior Project Manager. Dejung’s skills, abilities and contributions to the organization certainly warrant this promotion. Dejung supports our state partners in Public Safety as well as the Regional Planning Commissions. Along with his project management responsibilities Dejung also supports VCGI’s website and web services, both of which are areas that we plan to focus on for further development.

Steve Sharp has had a job title change. Steve is now Director of Enterprise GIS Services for VCGI. This title change reflects VCGI’s recognition of the priority focus that Enterprise GIS support requires from our organization in the future. It also reflects the knowledge and skill set that Steve Sharp is able to bring to the task of supporting enterprise GIS development for the state. Steve will still have many of the same project management responsibilities that he has supported in the past, but more of his time will go to supporting the Enterprise Geospatial Consortium and the enterprise needs of the state.

I want to offer apologies for the brief interruptions in service and availability that have occurred over the last month, but under the circumstances I believe VCGI has done very well. Many homeowners and businesses were impacted much worse than VCGI was and our thoughts continue to be with them in their recovery. As we all move forward in the upcoming months and years there are clearly more challenges and opportunities ahead for all of us. I believe VCGI can make the best of the creative destruction that this experience brought to us and come out better for it.

Thanks everyone, congratulate Steve and Dejung when you see them, hopefully this is the last you will hear from me about flood damage for a long while.