• Spatial Happenings

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Going Beyond Global Forest Change Modeling Toward Big Earth-system Sustainability

Matteoo Luccio in sensorsandsystems.com  1 July 2014

One of the more impressive earth observation achievements in recent years was the collaboration between Google and the University of Maryland to create a global forest change assessment and visualization. This effort was unprecedented in terms of the raw computing power applied to the substantial Landsat archive, and yielding results that opened a lot of eyes to the change occurring around the globe. Sensors & Systems (S&S) special correspondent Matteo Luccio recently interviewed professor Matthew C. Hansen of the Department of Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland about this effort that he spearheaded as well as the state of earth observation, global monitoring, and the need for Big-Earth sustainability efforts.

S&S: What first inspired you to become a scientist? Why did you specialize in remote sensing?

Hansen: I was into service. I was a Peace Corp volunteer in Zaire and was trained as an engineer. I did fish farming. When I came back from the Peace Corp I decided to go into geography for the simple fact that I like the spatial domain; in particular, I like atlases. I didn’t even know what kind of job you could get in geography, but I knew that I had a natural inclination for it. Within geography, I wanted to do something applied, not basic science.  I chose remote sensing, which is very applied:  you can clearly see what’s happening at a large scale with landscapes, land use, the way cities grow, the natural hazards therein, the way croplands are healthy or not, the way forest resources are used—it’s just a whole great perspective. My analytical or scientific background, coupled with the idea that this could be a really nice applied information domain, is how I got into it, but the key thing is that it was spatial.

S&S: What is your definition of geography? What is remote sensing’s role in the study of geography?

Hansen: For me geography is the study of space to understand how we interact with the natural world. It’s coming from the human perspective, because we are the biggest change agents on the face of the Earth. When I was growing up, they said, “The only object you can see from space is the Great Wall of China.” Actually, all you can see from space is human activity. What’s not modified by humans is a more appropriate question, and there’s very little of that. So, for me it’s the study of the natural space and, more importantly, how humans interact with it. It’s analogous to history, except in space: history is to time what geography is to space. It’s too big a field, really.

Remote sensing gives us a really good, internally-consistent set of facts from which we can quantify these different changing things in geographical space. So, this is a beautiful, wall-to-wall kind of dataset that is not influenced by other strange things that you might find in a set of samples. It is clean. It is a physical, quantitative, wall-to-wall measurement of the Earth. It’s just awesome.

S&S: Compared to 25 or 50 years ago, have only the tools changed or have the tools—GPS, GIS, advances in remote sensing, etc.—dramatically changed geography as a field of study and as a profession?

Hansen: There is no question that we have more data, more information, more analytical and quantitative tools at our disposal. Some geographers think that if you do GIS or remote sensing you’re just a technician. No, these are information domains that allow us to more quantitatively approach geographical problems and answer them. We can ask more questions knowing that we have better data sources and better tools to examine those data.  It has changed the way we ask and answer questions, but I think it’s also been a bit disruptive. Some of the more traditional people think quantitative tools and approaches are not legitimate geography, and I think that’s wrong. For sure, it’s made the discipline more valuable, the degree more valuable, because you can go out into the real world, in government, civil society, the commercial side, and solve real problems, study markets and connectivity and things like that. The new tools and data have made geography incredibly more relevant to the real world.

- See more at: http://www.sensorsandsystems.com/dialog/interviews/34284-going-beyond-global-forest-change-modeling-toward-big-earth-system-sustainability.html#sthash.aMkj54Xt.dpuf

Posted in Education, Geography, GIS News and Information, Remote Sensing, Thoughts on Geospatial | Leave a comment

Historical Hurricane Tracks

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This interactive mapping application easily searches and displays global tropical cyclone data. Users are able to query storms by the storm name, ZIP Code, city, state, geographic region, or latitude/longitude coordinates. Custom queries can track storms of interest and allow for data extraction and download.

Features

  • Searches and displays tropical cyclone track data by ZIP Code, latitude and longitude coordinates, city, state, or geographic region and then displays the selected tracks on a map
  • Displays coastal population data and hurricane strike data for coastal counties from Maine to Texas
  • Provides access to storm reports written by hurricane specialists at the National Hurricane Center. Reports are available for the Atlantic and East-Central Pacific Basins
  • Builds custom Uniform Resource Locator (URL) strings that users can follow from personal websites to the on-line mapping application with specific storm tracks
Posted in Climate Change, Geography, GIS News and Information, Thoughts on Geospatial | Leave a comment

Preparing For an Exploding Technology (UAS)

Bruce Joffe in sensorsandsystems.org  22 July 2014

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), already popular with hobbyists, are gaining the interest of map-making professionals. Perhaps you’ve played with a remotely controlled model plane or multi-rotor-copter. Within a year, Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles (also known as UAVs) – drones used by military services – will integrate into U.S. airspace for civilian, governmental, commercial, and scientific purposes. It’s an explosion of publicly available technology.

Although the FAA is still developing regulations for civilian and commercial use of drones, aerial photography mappers are anticipating the benefit to geospatial data collection by learning how to integrate UAVs with photogrammetric mission planning, ground control, remote sensing, computer assisted visual recognition, workflow processing and field checking technologies. This new combination of tools is called Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

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Changes in the Air

To help mappers and GIS professionals understand this explosively emerging technology, and to acquaint them with the economics, business models, implementation strategies and regulations, a “Change is in the Air” UAS Symposium is being organized by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), October 21-22, 2014, in Reno, NV.

The symposium will offer presentations on UAS vehicles, sensors, data collection and processing, and emerging applications. There will be discussions on legal, insurance, and media issues, as well as international experiences. Attendees will be able to see the equipment, talk to experts, and gather contacts for teaming and collaboration with representatives from such well-known companies as Google, 3D Robotics, Trimble, Leica, SenseFly, GeoCue Group and Multirotor Service-Drone. Along with ASPRS, members from the Nevada Institute of Autonomous Systems (NIAS) and the Association for Unmanned Vehicles System International (AUVSI) will be on-hand to explain the technology. Representatives from USGS, NASA, and the FAA will highlight applications already taking place in US airspace.

Jeffs Quad Copter UAS CROPPED

Modernization Demonstrations

Working toward the deadline of September 30, 2015 to establish regulations that allow safe use of commercial drones (Cf.  FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012), the FAA has designated six test sites to demonstrate UAS capabilities, hazards, and technical applications. The first test course for UAS mapping is Stead Airport in Reno, which will host an afternoon of demonstrations for attendees of ASPRS’ UAS Symposium. Tests include the calibration, radiometry, resolution, and horizontal and vertical accuracy of photographic products derived from UAS applications. Reno’s prominence as the first test site has incubated a community of emerging high-tech companies which will fill the symposium with energy and optimism for this next-big-thing.

Photogrammetrists, surveyors and mappers are sure to gain important professional updates from the symposium. GIS professionals will advance as well by understanding these transformative technologies. As UASs are used to collect data for precision agriculture, pipelines, landfill and mining operations, transportation networks and wildfire response, GIS professionals need to understand the data’s creation and registration in order to integrate these data into multi-purpose geographic databases.

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Integration and Advice

Presentations on UAS technology will include the equipment and methods needed to fly autonomously and capture imagery, planning for automated flights, establishing ground control for aerial triangulation from sensors that are not metric nor calibrated, and automating photogrammetric workflows. Presentations on new technology being incorporated into UASs include the automated assembly of imagery, combining massive 3D point clouds with conventional imagery, modeling photo-interpretation to extract knowledge automagically from multiple modalities, image transfer and management of data compression.

Some practical commercial advice will be offered for incorporating UAS into professional services, including an overview of business models, market conditions, business opportunities, costs of owning & operating, regulatory standards requirements, and what it takes to be profitable.

The symposium will be held at the Reno Ballroom facility, across the street from the El Dorado hotel.  More information at http://UASreno.org

- See more at: http://www.sensorsandsystems.com/article/columns/34441-preparing-for-an-exploding-technology.html#sthash.CztDlGXG.dpuf

Posted in GIS News and Information, GIS Resources, Remote Sensing, Thoughts on Geospatial, UAS | Leave a comment

Some Different Maps

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Posted in Geography, Thoughts on Geospatial | Leave a comment

Is mapmaking becoming as easy as PhotoShop for the planet?

Matt Ball in www.sensorsandsystems.com  22 July 2014

At the rate that earth observation platforms are advancing, daily and even more frequent images of our world are becoming available. These regular updates are coupled with more automated processing tools as well as an increasing number of digital tools for cartography and artistic mapping. The continuum for more accuracy in our work has been accelerated by this digital data, and the availability of more accurate information has made high-quality mapping accessible to so many more creators.

Images are already integral to the mapping process as the first source for making base maps and for comparison purposes to understand change. Professional tools make the most of digital imagery and cartographic illustration, but the ability to share maps and map stories is reaching the masses. Just as everyone with a camera now has a large number of tools such as PhotoShop to enhance those images, we increasingly can also access images of our world to create meaningful and visually interesting maps.

Painting vs. Photography

The progression of digital tools for mapping has traveled an interesting continuum from pixelated representations and actual pens on plotting devices and on toward much easier and true-to-life representations that can be reproduced by high-resolution large-format printers that spit out beautiful prints in quick succession. Imagery coupled with GIS systems are taking the path from film to digital photography where increasing access, and personal publishing platforms are largely replacing a service industry.

Today’s digital tools make it easier to find and layer data, to label and annotate a map, and to tell an underlying story with a progression of details related to places. It’s an era of great ease with mapmaking that has years of data collection to thank, and Web-based tools that provide for easy mapping through connections to significant geospatial data stores. As in photographic artistry, the years of digital progression have exposed and elevated true artists that stand out easily from the crowd with work that rises above the ordinary.

Accuracy and Aesthetics

Maps now have the means to become just as truthful as photography, but with the same underlying ability to manipulate. The always blemish-free Cosmopolitan magazine covers are one example of this caution, as it’s easy to make changes where there’s motive to enhance beauty. Just because the image came from a satellite or an aerial platform doesn’t mean that it is the truth. While such data collection can provide a great boost in accuracy, and unprecedented detail, it’s not beyond obfuscation.

While there is the power to shift and cover the truths about our planet, the multiplication of imagery inputs makes hiding the truth much harder. The same tools that can alter the image are also employed to beautify the map output. Digital artists can create their own pallets and processes to tease out the most visually compelling content that aids enlightenment. A new era of mapmaking is taking hold where those that artistically inclined are as likely to make maps as those that consider themselves professional mapmakers.

Pro to Go?

With this change, the role of the professional changes, but in the decades-long transition from paper maps to digital mapping, cartographic output has been just a sliver of what the digital workflow has enabled in mapping. Most GIS practitioners would hesitate to call themselves cartographers, even if they can make a mean map. They are instead skilled in many other things that have supported the missions of their respective organizations.

The fact is that GIS has taken over professional mapping for the most part, but instead of maps it relates to projects and products that convey plans or design or the underlying changes in our dynamic planet rather than simply static map products. Yes, mapmaking or cartography is accessible to a wider audience, but the shift in mapmaking to more people doesn’t include the professional skill set of managing via maps that is today’s geospatial professional. The professional’s niche of system administration, analytical mapping skills, development of application, and support of enterprise workflows is intact and on the rise in importance.

While we may not yet all make maps, even the most computer-averse person could do so with today’s technology. This new era of prolific mapping and map access has many realizing slowly that the next generation will scoff at the idea that geospatial is a difficult pursuit. The key to continued innovation and insight from mapmaking involves the embrace of newcomers and a will to take on the next challenge by applying skills and lessons learned, to unearth the next step in mapping’s progression.

- See more at: http://www.sensorsandsystems.com/dialog/perspectives/34442-is-mapmaking-becoming-as-easy-as-photoshop-for-the-planet.html#sthash.eJMVNFRV.dpuf

Posted in Education, Geography, GIS News and Information, GIS Resources, Remote Sensing, Thoughts on Geospatial | Leave a comment

GIS Technology Helps Eradicate Polio

By Alison Diana in www.informationweek.com  14 July 2014

World Health Organization uses geographic information systems to find and reach the few remaining locations where polio lurks.

In the battle to eradicate polio, even a 99% success rate is failure.

But the World Health Organization (WHO) expects that the efforts of its dedicated professionals — combined with vaccines, other local and international resources, and tools such as geographic information systems (GIS) — will eradicate the crippling and potentially deadly disease worldwide by 2018, according to Dr. Bruce Aylward, WHO’s assistant director general, who spoke to InformationWeek. The effort is known as the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Today all countries are free of polio except remote regions of Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. To eliminate polio, WHO must vaccinate every child under the age of five who lives in those areas. Aylward explained that sometimes the last remaining strain of polio found in these hard-to-reach enclaves requires two or even three vaccinations. Because polio, which transfers via person-to-person contact or indirect contact (such as sharing food or water), can show no symptoms, vaccination is the best prevention.

“There’s very little room for error in disease eradication — you’re either infected or you’re not,” says Aylward. “A lot of what we’re doing has huge benefit to other areas. We’ve learned where people are, how to access them, and how to get coverage to them.”

Dr. Bruce Aylward has worked on polio eradication for 20 years. (Image: World Health Organization)

Dr. Bruce Aylward has worked on polio eradication for 20 years. (Image: World Health Organization)

 Locating children in these isolated locations is challenging. The regions lack roads and signage and are largely unmapped, Aylward says, so WHO relies on satellite imagery and Esri’s Arc GIS, a technology WHO uses to find populations that are unvaccinated. In prior initiatives, Aylward says, regions were better mapped, smaller, or more heavily populated, so the lack of more sophisticated technology didn’t hold up vaccination efforts.

“In Cambodia 10 years earlier, we had to rent a plane, fly over the Mekong River, take pictures out of a plane, and then try to figure out where we were when we took that picture. That might work over a stretch of the Mekong, but it wouldn’t work over [India's vast] Koshi River Basin with so many people.”

Aylward and Vincent Seaman, senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Polio Support Team, made a keynote presentation on GIS’s role in polio eradication at the 2014 Esri User Conference on July 14. In addition to finding unvaccinated children, the organizations use GIS to assess the effectiveness of its initiatives. WHO is also working with Esri on ways to predict where reinfection may occur in the future, Aylward told us.

The ability to combat a virus on a global scale will not necessarily empower WHO to take on all diseases. To date, Aylward notes, there have been six eradication attempts; only smallpox elimination was successful, and measles could be the only other virus that meets all criteria for future initiatives. “Very few diseases are eradicable. Polio is one of those rare diseases. In this country [measles] is preventable or usually minor. In Africa it kills. It’s a dangerous disease in much of the rest of the world.”

To combat polio, WHO also relies extensively on mobile providers, partnering closely with regional phone and national companies like Vodaphone to track employees, volunteers, and patients who have received vaccinations.

In Nigeria, for example, Dr. Mahmud Zubairu remotely monitored vaccination teams via phone trackers that transmitted their location in real time to satellites, Zubairu told Agence France-Presse.

The phone-tracking concept, developed by WHO, helps increase coverage and supervision and reduces fraudulent data manipulation. Looking on the website, Zubairu immediately knows which areas have received vaccinations, which ones have not been visited, and which homes workers must revisit to educate families on the merits of the polio injection. While technology and dedication have eliminated polio from most of the world, distrust and propaganda remain perhaps the biggest enemies to total eradication

Posted in Geography, GIS News and Information, GIS Resources, Remote Sensing, Thoughts on Geospatial | Leave a comment

China Prepared To Launch High-Resolution Satellite Gaofen-2

From the Shanghai Daily, reprinted in wwwsensorsandsystems.com  21 July 2014

China will launch Gaofen-2, a high-definition Earth observation satellite, to space this year, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND). As one of China’s major science and technology projects, the Gaofen satellite series will help in geographic and resources surveys, environment and climate change monitoring, precision agriculture, disaster relief and city planning.Read more in Shanghai Daily

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Duck Migration Study Reveals Importance of Conserving Wetlands

University of Missouri in www.sensorsandsystems.com  17 July 2014

During the 2011 and 2012 migration seasons, University of Missouri researchers monitored mallard ducks with new remote satellite tracking technology, marking the first time ducks have been tracked closely during the entirety of their migration from Canada to the American Midwest and back.  The research revealed that mallards use public and private wetland conservation areas extensively as they travel hundreds of miles across the continent. Dylan Kesler, an assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife in theCollege of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at MU, says these findings illustrate the importance of maintaining protected wetland areas.

“We have lost nearly 90 percent of wetland areas in Missouri in the last century and 50 percent of wetlands across the country since the early 1800s,” Kesler said. “This loss has affected migratory bird populations and migration timing and routes. Our research shows the importance of these wetland areas to maintain healthy populations of migratory birds and other species, especially in an age of budget cuts for government programs protecting these few remaining wetland areas. If we don’t maintain these wildlife preserves it will put dozens, if not hundreds, of wildlife species in danger.”

For the project, the MU researchers attached small solar-powered tracking devices to the ducks, which transmitted their locations every four hours. Using the new technology, researchers monitored the ducks’ progress in real time.

“The tracking devices allowed us to evaluate the ducks’ behavior and biology on an exceptionally detailed scale throughout their annual migration cycle,” Kesler said. “Previously, we only knew when the birds left and when they arrived and some other small things. Now, we have an extensive data set from which to understand the role of different habitats and other factors in migratory populations. We can begin to understand migration in a way that it has never been understood before.”

Lisa Webb, an assistant professor of wildlife in CAFNR and a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey Cooperative Research Unit, says the information gathered will be useful to conservationists looking for ways to ensure healthy duck populations.

“Our research shows private lands enrolled in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) have become a critical component of ducks’ migration,” Webb said. “The WRP provides landowners with technical and financial support for restoring and maintaining wetland areas that have conservation benefits. Also, this information is important because it shows how decisions and habitat preferences exist throughout the birds’ annual life cycles and can help waterfowl biologists better manage for the habitat needs of birds.”

Sanctuaries on public areas such as the National Wildlife Refuge System, the largest protected area network in North America with more than 150 million acres of land stretching from Alaska to the Caribbean, also are used frequently by migratory ducks.

This research has now created baseline information for future research into what influences duck migration flight paths, landing site selection and foraging behavior. Kesler also says that scientists now know more about the pre-migratory feeding habits of the ducks. A duck’s ability to gain weight before its long flight is an important factor that determines if the duck will make it to the northern breeding grounds and southern wintering stations.

“In addition to their pre-migration habits, our data also revealed that during the non-breeding season, ducks forage food for up to 20 miles away from their roosting areas,” Kesler said. “This discovery shows how conservation areas being used by migrating ducks can be improved.”

The research was a collaboration among the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, the U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Department of Conservation, the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission, Ducks Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited Canada. The team plans on conducting future research to further determine behavior of migratory ducks. The results were published in Biological Conservation.

- See more at: http://www.sensorsandsystems.com/news/top-stories/biodiversity/34413-duck-migration-study-reveals-importance-of-conserving-wetlands.html#sthash.erScDXy8.dpuf

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ESRI UC Hot Topics and Activities

Thanks, Ann Johnson (GeotechCenter.org) for your insights form the ESRI User Conference and ESRI Education User Conference!

Activity Report on Esri EdUC and UC – July 12 to 18, 2014 – Ann Johnson

1)      New product:  ArcGIS Pro.  If you “get” (have licenses for) ArcGIS Desktop, you automatically get access to ArcGIS Pro.  You MUST have an ArcGIS Online Organization account to use it. Some details:

  1.  Is work in progress with release in Q4 (maybe).
  2. It is a 64 bit multi-threaded software but will NOT run on a 32 bit system.
  3. Uses “smart ribbons” that expand depending on what you are working on (ala Windows Office).
  4. Can be on same computer as ArcGIS 10.3 and have the same “level” – basic, standard or advanced (old level names were ArcView to ArcInfo) and use all extensions.
  5. Can have multiple layouts, 2D and 3D with Scene or Globe.
  6. Can import .mxd and create .aprx projects.  BUT you can’t export back into ArcGIS 10.3.
  7. Has new “Task” tab with functionality where you can create a “named” task that has a “list of steps” that are displayed when you click on a Task with steps (functions) that need to be executed  in order to execute your defined task (analysis).
  8. Can bring in Landsat 8 as a tiled image that displays the “5 best” images for area you review.  You can then carry out a lot of predefined functions on the L8 images.  The Functions will be available “free” on the Esri Resource page.
  9.  Includes all geoprocessing functions in desktop but adds additional functions.
  10. Uses Python 3.4 (so you will have to have two versions 2.7 for desktop).

2)     ArcGIS Online for Organizations and Site Licenses:  Lots of updates and geoprocessing functionality now or will soon be available.  The big news is that all K-12 schools can get an Organizational account and can be used with GeoMentor Program..  Also all current education licenses will get 500% more credits.  The new credit limit should come out in the next month or so.  Organization administrators encouraged to customize their “users” so they cannot geocode.  Also there is a credit estimator.  Note that ArcGIS Online is for Education and Research use ONLY.  So not Administrative use.  Students will get access to the new (latest) version of 10.3 “soon.”  Take a look at connected.esri.com for a detailed, step by step introduction to using ArcGIS Online with Skill Builder Activities.  See also esriurl.com/HigherEdWiki

3)     EdUC Expo:  This was a really good activity.  Lots of traffic as food was served both Saturday and Sunday from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.  Lots of questions and handouts.  Luggage tag maker a big hit.  Projecting of website – used a sheet.  It really showed that we had a lot of work needed on the design of website.

4)     UC Academic Fair:  I don’t think this event is worth doing as it is expensive and very short time period with audience mainly industry (4:30 to 7:00 pm and $1,000 plus cost).

5)     UC Exhibit Hall:  Excellent access to many industry exhibitors.  Most were interested in education.  Need to have “team” focused on this next year to make firm contacts.

6)     Presentations:  both EdUC and UC had many presentations that were specific to education or curriculum.  GeoTech has purchased the Technical Workshops and will receive a thumbdrive with them on it in the next month.  We can “host” it to Team and to “members” behind a login. This should be an excellent resource for learning or updating content.  I found the ½ hour technical sessions really valuable with good access to the individuals building the “product/function.”

7)     Hot Topics:  Esri is going to do a MOOC.  Hopes for 40,000 attendees.  Esri is also going to do Badges.  Not a lot of details on this yet.

8)     Unconference sessions at EdUC:  I did not attend this,, but think Wing did – maybe he can tell us about it and how we should participate next year.

9)     Plenary Session:  hot topics included the difficulty of spreading GIS across campus and career pathways (K-12 to University).  Look at www.P21.org/exemplars for info on P21 and its use of GTCM and defining skills and competencies.  Buzz words – Personalized Learning, Competency Based Learning, Outcomes based learning, UAV, Lidar, Look at Lumina Foundation – push for college success.  Session on using GIS and campus mapping was excellent including U of MN System and U of KY.  Need to talk with U of KY and work together.  Look at CityEngine for campus mapping.  Try http://bit.ly/esri3dcampus or http://bit.ly/campus – have not checked these URLs.  Also see GeoNet below.

10)  Great Maps Session and relationship to our Website redesign:  This was two 1.5 hour sessions that really gave great hints for maps, but also for any graphic (poster) or websites.  Main takeaways were:  Know your audience (what they need) and sketch out design before moving to technologyPLUS keep it simple – 3 click rule to content!

  1. Web site:  a way to communicate to a specific audience.  Within 3 seconds the “audience” should:  know what it is about, find it appealing and want to “stay” and engage with content.  Use 3 second rule – flash site and ask if others know what it is about, is it appealing and what did the “see.”
  2. Website is a “Stage.”  Use 1/3 Layouts (divide page into 6 parts and align items within the parts).  Tell your story using balance of items and eye flow.

 

  1. Colors:  Use appropriate colors with important things in “brighter colors.”  The color pallet should compliment logo and be “consistent with branding.”
  2. Fonts:  should be consistent in hierarchy with size, style and color for specific uses (headings, links, text, etc.)
  3.  Design Process: Determine Audience, Story for Audience, Sketch it out after picking color pallet, font style and hierarchy, test layout design (3 second), THEN go to technology and create layout – with 3 click rule in mind to access content.

                                                    i.     Pitfalls:  No defining message, no hierarchy – all parts same level of importance (headers, graphics, fonts, elements), titles and headers not clear and simple, disorganized content (not on a grid), poor color choices (hue, saturation, etc.); trying to reach too broad of an audience. Too many clicks to content.

11)  Community Building – GeoNet launched:  a “platform” for sharing questions and resources with peers.  Can have subgroups – there is one for Campus mapping.  See https://geonet.esri.com/welcome

Posted in Conferences and Seminars, Education, GIS News and Information, Thoughts on Geospatial | Leave a comment

ESRI Certifications (update, July 2014)

New Exam Releases
Version 10.2 of the ArcGIS Desktop Developer Associate, Web Application Developer Associate, Enterprise System Design Associate, and Enterprise Administration Associate certification exams are in the final stages of development. Public registration is expected to open in April and May.

Exam-Preparation Resources
A group of no-cost, self-paced web courses designed to help certification candidates prepare for desktop, developer, and enterprise exams is available on the Training website. The web courses provide sample questions that mimic the structure of actual exam questions and the rationale behind each sample question’s correct answer. Tips for exam-taking strategies and links to additional preparation resources are also included. View the list of available web courses at esri.com/skillsreview.

The Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate Certification Study Guide, authored by Esri instructor and certified ArcGIS Desktop Professional Miriam Schmidts, includes step-by-step exercises and access to ArcGIS for Desktop 180-day trial software. View detailed study guide information at esri.com/esripress.

To view the skills measured by each exam and get the latest registration information, visit esri.com/certification.

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