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.

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)

Map Morsels V

March 24, 2011

Jonathan Frishtick, GIS/GPS Mapping

As always, please let me know if you find something particularly interesting or useful.

Supreme Court Upholds Resident’s Right to Navy Maps, Rules Against FOIA Exemption

1.From All Point Blog

“The Supreme Court rejected the government’s use of an exemption in the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to keep maps from the public. A Washington state resident wants Navy maps relating to its main West Coast ammunition dump. The individual will see those maps.

In a 8-1 vote the court threw out an appeals court ruling upholding the Navy’s decision keep the maps secret. The maps show damage expected from an explosion at the ammunition dump near Port Townsend in western Washington.”

2. From Geodata Policy Blog

Background: Supreme Court hears arguments in Navy FOIA case

by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, December 1, 2010

… The case before the court, Milner v. Department of the Navy, concerned the Navy’s decision to withhold documents requested under the federal Freedom of Information Act regarding U.S. Navy maps depicting the placement of explosives at a Washington state naval munitions site. The Navy refused area resident Glen Scott Milner’s FOIA request for safety maps and data that show the placement and potential blast ranges of ammunition stored in Naval Magazine Indian Island, located near Port Hadlock, Wash. Milner was seeking information on the potential dangers to the nearby communities of the Navy’s munition storage practices. …

For full text of the article, visit here.

Boston Globe Declares Cartography Boom

From Spatial Sustain

“The rise of new tools is leading to a cartography boom that offers new ways to see the world, states a feature this weekend in The Boston Globe.

Thanks to satellites, surveying, and ever-increasing computing power, mapping has become geographically accurate beyond the dreams of a medieval mind. But many of those same technological advances have also brought us full circle: Maps have increasingly become vehicles not just for telling us how the world looks, but for organizing and representing all sorts of information.

The article cautions that perhaps too much mapping tools are available today, with reference to the work of Edward Tufte who aims to translate data graphically through clear and creative design.”

TeleNAv Reveals Exactly How People are Using GPS

From Mashable

“The company has mined anonymous usage data from more than 20 million subscribers to its GPS products, providing us with these graphics and analysis.”

US Patent Office to License National Online Parcel level Map

From GeoData Polcy

“This patent is for locating a street address by displaying the boundary of the parcel in which it is located within a national multi-state database.  …”

Strange Agricultural Landscapes Seen From Space

From Wired Science

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

Visualising Global Earthquake Intensity

From Views of the World by way of The Map Room & Planet Geospatial

A cartogram showing earthquake intensity in relation to today’s population distribution, giving an idea of where most people are of risk related to seismic activity:

ESRI Technical Certification Program Live –  Training Seminar

Esri’s Certification Manager presents an overview of the Esri Technical Certification Program and discusses the benefits it offers to you and your organization.


From Free Geograpghy Tools:

“ESRI’s GovMaps.Org website (currently in beta), currently offers a searchable catalog of 88  data layers (and presumably growing) hosted at, mainly from the US Government, covering a wide variety of subjects areas. A random sampling:

Crushed Stone Operations In The US

NOAA_U.S. Historical Tsunami Database

USA Congressional Districts

USA Woody Biomass

USGS Stream Gages and Weather Stations

USA Fire Perimeters 2000 through 2009

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

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.

Create Aerial Cartography for Under $100

Symbolizing trees in ArcGIS 10: Randomly varying the tree symbol size and rotation angle

From: ESRI Mapping Center Blog

A blog entry on how to randomly vary tree symbol sizes

Map Morsels IV

March 14, 2011

Jonathan Fristick, GIS/GPS Mapping

Image of the Day

SP Crater, Northern Arizona

From: NASA Earth Observatory

A wonderful image of a basalt cinder cone and lava flow.

Modeling 3D buildings using Satellite Imagery

From: Google Earth Blog

An article on “a system to produce 3D buildings from stereo satellite imagery, in a way that be scaled to a fairly large region.”

Photo: Mad Dash To Catch the Space Shuttle Crossing the Sun

From: Wired Science

Printing Wall Maps from the World Topographic Community Basemap

From the ESRI Mapping Center Blog

Atlas of Rural Small Town America

From Spatial Sustain:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has just launched the Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America with the online mapping of more than 60 statistical indicators that include agricultural, economic and demographic data across the country.

Accessing Landsat Data and Using it in ArcGIS

From: AmerciaView Blog

As a GIS professional, have you been wondering how to take advantage of the availability of Landsat data? Our very own Jarlath O’Neil Dunne of UVM’s Spatial Analysis Lab created this instructional video on how to access the USGS Landsat archives and bring that imagery into ArcGIS. Thank you Jarlath.

Volcanic Activity at Kilauea Volcano

A new vent has opened at one of the world’s most active volcanoes, sending lava shooting up to 65 feet high from the Pu’u O’o crater at Kilauea volcano, Hawaii.

For a video of the recent ongoing eruption.

Another video of the lava flowing into a fissure. Notice the helicopter for scale.

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory with links to time lapse movies, maps and webcams.

We Are Infertile.

From: Pleated Jeans website

Vermont: infertility claim based on lowest birth rate of any state (10.6 births per 1,000) (tied with Maine)

But We Are Also Healthy

From: Political Language website

For more information on Vermont’s health, see, America’s Health Rankings.

Prioritizing Preferable Locations for Increasing Urban Tree Canopy in New York City

From: Letters From The SAL

This paper presents a set of Geographic Information System (GIS) methods for identifying and prioritizing tree planting sites in urban environments.

Conference: Conservation Connections: Building Partnerships for Action

“Join a lively gathering of fellow conservation leaders, town officials, citizens, volunteers, conservation organization staff and other partners! Explore a wide range of issues and solutions, share resources and inspiration, strengthen core capacities and connect with individuals working on conservation and food systems initiatives in communities across Vermont.”

Lots of wonderful groups sponsoring this conference.

Saturday, April 2, 2011
9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
College of St. Joseph, Rutland, Vermont

ArcGIS Online Task Server and Services Updated

From: ArcGIS Online Blog

The ArcGIS Online task server ( was recently upgraded to ArcGIS Server 10 SP1. Existing services were updated with the latest available reference data. In addition, new geocoding services are published that are built using the latest geocoding engine in ArcGIS 10. See Migrating address locators created with ArcGIS prior to version 10 in ArcGIS Desktop 10 Help for details on what’s different in locators created in ArcGIS 10.

CDC Launches the Chronic Disease GIS Exchange

From Spatial Sustain:

“The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has launched a prototype “Chronic Disease GIS Exchange” website meant to provide a forum for sharing examples, ideas and techniques for using GIS to inform policy and document geographic disparities to help prevent heart disease, stroke and chronic diseases. The site includes GIS resources, GIS training, and a map gallery to view or add maps that have made a difference. This resource for GIS health practitioners has been developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, and Duke University.”

Watch Entire 2009 Hurricane Season In One Minute

Zombifying Ant Fungus

For all you closet mycologists out there, check out this article from Wired Science. Includes fantastic photographs of brain manipulating fungi.

Map Morsels III

February 24, 2011

Jonathan Fristick, GIS/GPS Mapping

Earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand

From NASA’s Earth Observatory:

“At 12:51 p.m. local time on February 22, 2011 (11:51 p.m. February 21 UTC), a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported. Several smaller aftershocks followed. The quake occurred near the city of Christchurch, a community of some 400,000 residents on the east coast. The initial death toll was 65, according to news reports, and authorities warned that the toll could rise sharply as search-and-rescue efforts continued.” Also see the associated image.

Resources for the Latest Christchurch Earthquake

From the Google Earth Blog.

A survey of sources for information.

Shields Up: Why Last Week’s Solar Storm Was a Dud

From Wired Science.

An explanation of why last weeks’ solar storm did not affect your GPS unit. Includes a wicked cool animated image of the Sun.

Blizzard Watch with ArcGIS Online

Do you stay up at night a little too late because you are keeping a sharp eye on the impending snow storm which never really lives up to expectations? Do you constantly scan NOAA, NWS, AccuWeather, and The Weather Channel?  If you answered yes, then take a look at this ArcGIS Online Blog entry:

“You can keep an eye on the storm and current weather conditions and make your own maps using ArcGIS Online. Here’s some of the real-time weather resources that you’ll find. At click gallery to view featured maps. You’ll find a map showing the current snow forecast among those listed.”

Use ArcGIS Online Basemaps For Free

From the ArcGIS Online Blog:

“As of the end of January, ArcGIS Online basemaps published and hosted by Esri are now available at no cost, regardless of use.  This is true regardless of whether your use is commercial, noncommercial, internal, or external use.”

Color Tools For Map Makers

From the ESRI Mapping Center Blog.  Tools to use to improve color selection.

After iPad’s Head Start, Rival Tablets Are Poised to Flood Offices

From the New York Times:

“Companies as diverse as General Electric, Wells Fargo, Mercedes-Benz and Medtronic are putting Apple’s iPad to work in their offices. And as a string of devices tailored for the office enters the market — from the likes of Motorola, Research In Motion, Samsung and Hewlett-Packard — tablets are all but certain to flood America’s workplaces.”

Are you using a tablet for GIS/GPS fieldwork? In the office? Do you have suggestions for other GIS professionals who may be in the market for one?  Write a comment below and tell us how it’s going.

Hydrogen Cartridges Fuel Laptops and Phones for Outdoor Enthusiasts

From: Science Daily:

“This week, SiGNa Chemistry Inc. unveiled its new hydrogen cartridges, which provide energy to fuel cells designed to recharge cell phones, laptops and GPS units. The green power source is geared toward outdoor enthusiasts as well as residents of the Third World, where electricity in homes is considered a luxury.”

The Winkle Tripel Projection,  An Alternative to Web Mercator Projection

From the ESRI Mapping Center Blog:

New York City 311 Map

From the Map Room:

New York City’s 311 service, which handles non-emergencies, has a map showing the number of service requests by community board district.

Google Opens Public Data Explorer to Your Data

What is the Google Public Data Explorer?

“The Google Public Data Explorer makes large datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate. As the charts and maps animate over time, the changes in the world become easier to understand. You don’t have to be a data expert to navigate between different views, make your own comparisons, and share your findings.”