Category Archives: web mapping

geospatial Professional Certification options

OGC, the Open Geospatial Consortium, is hosting a survey to collect thoughts on OGC-related Professional Certifications. I’m a huge fan of the mission of OGC and its methods as well, and to allow someone to earn a credential in this area should increase the likelihood of advancing towards greater adoption and implementation. Being anxious about credentials – designed and managed and articulated-well – is short-sighted.

Live ocean mapping in the South Pacific

Just today I learned about NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer current trip in the Pacific. Apart from the live (and previously recorded) narration that I’m finding mesmerizing, I can’t stop watching the “live” mapping taking place on one of the media feeds.  For someone who has spent her entire professional career accessing geospatial data to use in mapping projects, that fact that I’m watching new digital data being produced – LIVE – where there was no data before – is blowing my mind.  About 8 or 9 yrs ago, I actually watched people buy shoes from Zappos in real-time. We’ve come a long way, baby.

On using ArcMap Collector as a mobile app for SSV

Experimenting with reblogging some worthwhile posts.

on translation, spatial thinking, data visualization

Since its inception, Stories of the Susquehanna has been a collaborative, interdisciplinary Screenshot 2014-05-08 21.41.18digital project that has at its core a geospatial interface. What started out as historical/cultural mapping of the Native American landscapes of the Susquehanna in ArcMap Desktop with maps published in static image format (as discussed in the interviews of me and Emily Bitely) has evolved through the iterations of ESRI’s software development.

About a week ago, one of our Digital Scholarship Coordinators and SSV  project manager, Diane Jakacki pointed to to the fact that ESRI was now publishing apps. photoAt first skeptical, I proceeded to delve further into the Collector app and battled my way through tutorials designed for insurance adjusters gathering data in the field (no, I don’t need fields labeled “Habitable” or “Partially Destroyed”) to create a feature layer that could be added to any map in ArcMap online. This feature layer was supposed to be…

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Documenting Slum Space in Kenya

A great story this morning on NPR about mapping projects in urban slum areas of Kenya, both involving collecting data on roads, housing, community structures, open spaces, and where people are conducting their activities of daily life.  One project using GPS, the other traced over a satellite image to make a draft map.  I liked how he referred to the “rectangles” of houses; as he said that, my mind instantly translated to “polygons.”  Like those instantaneous translators working at the United Nations.

The story made for a driveway moment for me.  So great to have these mapping stories becoming more common.

new Holocaust Geography site

I’ve been following the various projects that research the Holocaust through its geography, often using GIS.  I’m most familiar with the work of Anne Knowles (video), connected in one part to the Spatial History project at Stanford.   The US Holocaust Memorial Museum also maintains a collection of geographically-based exhibits.

Today I learned about a new site, Exploring the Vilnius Ghetto.  The map interface is the standard organization framework to arrange geotagged media. Nicely designed.

H/t to Heather King.

more examples of linking geography and history via maps, some digital

My friends at the UVa Scholar’s Lab shared with me their new Neatline project earlier this week. I don’t know much about Omeka, but I always trust these guys to do good work with a wide range of OS tools. I do like the interface, the rapid loading of georeferenced maps, and the additional interactive functionality on the main screen. If I can figure out more about this, I have a stack of projects ready to try!

In Time & Place is oriented to secondary school learning. This will be a good resource for my Spatial Literacy students, and I’ll see about modifying things for my higher ed students too.  Not sure how I wandered across this site this week. I need to click on fewer windows to make h/t’ipping easier.

Conflict History is a Google Maps mashup. I like the timeline and the thorough “info” available.  This interface and collection really highlights the disparity between how few military conflicts we’ve had on US soil versus the rest of the world, and how relatively high Europe and Asia are. Not news, but interesting to see it in this way.  H/t to Google Maps Mania.


mega-size xkcd cartoon finds a navigational platform with Esri

I love the cartoons on xkcd.  This week one was larger-than-life, requiring its own “overview” map to find one’s way around.  Frankly, after the first few moments of panning in its native environment, the amusement factor quickly faded and I lost interest.  I know I *should* enjoy taking the time just to pan,  wandering across digital space until I tumbled upon something pleasurable, but my Protestant work ethic (and spirit of capitalism?) keeps kicking in!

I wasn’t the only one who thought about how useful an overview map would be!  What a great surprise to find that this one was built and hosted on Esri’s map services!  Thank you, the zooming is just what we needed. I love it when we use our conventionally-geographic mapping interfaces for non-geographic topics, and I’ve written before about them.  This is the first time I’ve seen an Esri-built one, quickly and reactively and in good humor, and I’m glad.

Wish I had the h/t for the blog that directed me to the Esri site. Will share it when I uncover it again.

using Google Maps for non-geographic representations

I just finished teaching our annual Short Spring Spatial workshops, and as usual, I had a blast updating my list of “web mapping” applications and projects. One of the categories of “maps” that continue to fascinate me are those that leverage the Google Maps API for innovative and non-conventional “spatial” thinking.  What I value here is the clever outcome that these developers don’t need to spend time/money creating a “new” platform for navigation, when the Google navigational functionality (expressed via their iconic pan and zoom icons) is all we need.

Previously I’ve known about Google’s Art Project, where you can explore the (indoor) collections of many museums around the world (click Museum View and Floor Plan to put yourself indoors) .  They’ve definitely expanded their museum coverage since last year.  I do find it curious that they’ve bothered to keep the compass functionality (which you can suppress). Perhaps someone might really want to consider whether there are patterns to the type of artwork on southern walls across different museums?  Many art museums don’t go out of their way to have large windows because they’re limiting the amount of sunlight that fades paintings.  We could systematically go through these museums and evaluate this? Maybe a project for someone’s rainy day (but not mine…).

Unfortunately, another very creative Google project using their Maps API, one that allowed you to explore fractals, is now untethered and not kept up. It was a lovely one.  And didn’t have the compass built in!

This year I have found a number of medically-oriented sites, all new to me.  These include the Zygote Body (only works with my Chrome browser), the Genome Projector, the Virtual Microscope, Brain Connectivity, and the KESM Brain Atlas (tiny mice brains).  Most of these are obviously targeted towards a particular audience for specific educational objectives, but I particularly love playing with the Zygote Body site! Clever use of overlay that’s both “horizontal” and “vertical” through the layers.  My biology-studying children found it fascinating too.  No north in these sites!

One of these days I need to teach myself how to use the API so I can have some fun. My first project will be to create Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell, Seven Terraces of Purgatory, and Nine Spheres of Paradise.  Seriously.  It’ll be a great spatial humanities project on my next rainy day.

h/t to GoogleMapsMania for many of these.

national poetry month, exploring through maps

April is National Poetry Month. (Sure, why not? It has to be sometime, if we can’t have National Poetry Day year-round!)  There are several map-using-poetry-sites I’ve become aware of lately, including:

  1.  Places of Poems and Poets (part of an online poetry collection done by the libraries at the University of Toronto)
  2. Poetry Atlas (created/maintained by Tam Tam, a media company in the UK)
  3. a National Poetry Map, from
  4. a World Poetry Map, focusing on poets representing scarce-spoken languages, funded by the NEA and others.  (Is that really the dividing line between Europe and Asia? Really?)

Basically these are all mashups with point locations that document an author’s birthplace or native state/country, or maybe the landscape about which the poem is based, etc.  Simple geocoding or geotagging has taken place. So in every case the maps are simply an organizational template for the poems,  not something that necessarily give any new insights.

What would be even better?  A site that uses other geographical “filters” to discover poems.  That is, show me poems about waterfalls AND show me the images of where those waterfalls are.  Or, if it’s a poem about a gritty urban scene, show me some gritty urban scenes.  A poem about a historical time at a particular place?  How about linking it to HistoryPin or WhatWasThere?

And while we’re at it, how about a little audio, people?  Reading poetry is terrific, but I love listening to it too.  It’s easy to record someone reading a poem and link to that recording in the placemark.  It could even be done in native tongue and then a translation.  And, while you’re at it, how about with the sound of waterfalls in the background too?

If anyone knows any sites that creatively uses poetry and maps, please share them.

h/t to Google Maps Mania for some of the sites.

Happy to have stumbled across GIS Stack Exchange

New to me: GIS Stack Exchange. A great site for questions, answers, and thoughtful discussions!