VT GIS Training and Professional Development Opportunities – Summer 2012

June 27, 2012


Leslie Pelch, VCGI

There are a number of GIS training and professional development events coming up in the next few months:

Improve yourself! Sign up now…

An object-based system for LiDAR data fusion and feature extraction

June 12, 2012

Jarlath P. O’Neil-Dunne, UVM Spatial Analysis Lab

An object-based system for LiDAR data fusion and feature extraction is the title of an article headed for publication in Geocarto International, but what it boils down to is our experience doing high-res land cover in Philadelphia.  Before I highlight the key points (who reads anything more that 140 characters anyway?) I did want to thank Sarah Low, formerly with the City of Philadelphia and now with the Forest Service, for all of her help and valuable feedback.  Funding came from ARRA grant, “Restoring Ecosystems in Fairmount Park” (10-DG-11244419-025) ……


For the rest of this article, click here: http://letters-sal.blogspot.com/2012/06/object-based-system-for-lidar-data.html

A Primer for Getting Started With Open-Source Web Maps

June 1, 2012

Bill Morris, Geosprocket, LLC

Now that you know why I care about telling compelling stories with widely-distributed maps, let’s look at a few of the many tools that are out there to help the process. I confess to narrow experience here; I use MapBox and CartoDB for the majority of my projects, and there are plenty of alternatives to those. But as a starting point I think that these open-source web map design platforms are perfect – they minimize the amount of code required, they use the best graphic rendering engine in the field, and they are extremely cheap (or free) to use, even in an enterprise or high-traffic environment. I’m avoiding ESRI’s “ArcWhatever for Server” options because of a.) the high price tag, and b.) the actual user-facing sites are only as robust as the javascript or flash developer who builds them. My preferred options give you a lot more to work with out of the box, for free. Read the rest at Bill’s blog:

Browser Cartography: A Manifesto

June 1, 2012

“Toner” tiles by Stamen Design

Bill Morris, Geosprocket, LLC

Hear me out for a minute . . .
. . . I’d like you to make maps intended for online viewing. 

This is partially a selfish impulse; I’m going to throw a rock through the window if I see another “PDF Download” link masquerading as a web map. I’d also like you to do this to save a few trees from their 24″-by-36″-poster fate, but mostly it’s because we’re at an inflection point in cartography . . .

. . . I think the public – the folks who show up to input forums for development projects, and who want to know how far it is to the next lean-to on the trail – are now fully-literate in maps. Mapquest started this process and Google advanced it, but now there are tools beyond those to help you engage your audience on computers and mobile devices (No, Trimble, I am not referring to the Juno. Screw that.). Many of these tools happen to be open-source . . .

See Bill’s blog for the rest of this article: http://geosprocket.blogspot.com/2012/05/browser-cartography-manifesto.html

Orthophotography Program Changes

June 1, 2012

David Brotzman, Executive Director, VCGI

With the recent signing of the Miscellaneous Tax Bill (H. 782) the Governor created Act 143 of the 2013 Vermont Legislative Session. Act 143 has numerous changes relating to the Tax Dept. that are not my focus here. However, Act 143 does contain changes to the existing statutory language supporting the Vermont Orthophoto Program (see Sec. 34. 32 V.S.A. § 3409).

The first change eliminates the existing state ownership of copyright for the orthophotos produced under the ortho program. It also eliminates the potential $1000 penalty for unauthorized copying, duplication, or sale of the orthophotos.

The second change provides legal transfer of the hardcopy orthophoto originals to the State Archives. This will make the hardcopy orthos more accessible and provide professional maintenance of the materials. State Archive and Tax Dept. employees are working now to affect the legal transfer of the hardcopy tax maps. The materials are currently and will continue to be available for research at the Archive building in Middlesex. The Reference Room is open Tuesday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. The public can reproduce sections of the orthophotos using a digital camera, but they cannot reproduce entire orthos at this point.

A final change to the language updated much of the terminology in the statute from “maps” to “imagery” thereby more accurately reflecting the product (orthoimagery) that is currently being created by the state for the towns. The language in this section is still not perfect, but the terminology is updated and it does a much better job of describing the product as it has evolved over time to best serve the needs of the community.

VCGI will be updating the metadata for future ortho releases to reflect these changes. We also ask those that are using the orthophotos in products, websites and academic work to please cite the State of Vermont as the provider of the state orthophotography. Continued recognition of the orthophpto program is important to sustaining legislative funding for their acquisition.

We believe these changes will improve the safety and availability of the hardcopy imagery and eliminate any barriers to the use and distribution of both digital and hardcopy orthophotography by the towns or the public.