I happen to know a very good barista. I'm biased of course, but my son started informally doing reviews of other coffee shops as he visited them. Living in Eau Claire, there are a lot. He kept all these reviews in his leather-bound journal for later. (a real rustic one, with the long leather straps, like Hemingway) . He said it was mostly for his own notes. You know, because he enjoys it.
Paul worked for Cloudpoint Geographics for 4 years as one of our most trusted GIS Experts. In November of last year, He moved out to Carson City to be closer to family and try that desert life. Paul is an avid outdoors person, disc golfer, Ultimate champion, and hiker. After dozens of Instagram pictures of hikes, all while we were experiencing a midwestern winter 1,500 miles away, We asked Paul to make a story map of his adventures...
Hoops Tracker is a Esri Story Map that displays information for the 2018 Class 1A and 2A Boys Basketball Tournaments in separate web mapping applications, paired with a view of IHSA's interactive ScoreZone web page and other IHSA links.
Given the wide scope of work that GIS professionals complete, it's important for organizations to stay on top of the progress of various projects that are going on. No tool allows you to do this better than the Operations Dashboard application from Esri. The Operations Dashboard allows organizations the ability to monitor work, track field work crews, and view the status of tasks related to specific projects.
The Web Map and Widgets are the foundation of creating apps in Web AppBuilder (WAB), but there are customizations you can make to add a finishing touch to your app and make it unique.
Our travels here at Cloudpoint take us to many places throughout the state of Illinois (as well as many other states). In the spirit of our connections to the Prairie State, as well as our varied tastes in music, here is a Story Map that focuses on a selected set of songs that contain Illinois place names in their titles-The Prairie State Playlist.
The Prairie State Playlist is constructed using Esri's Story Map Journal template. Maps of each location comprise the "Main Stage", while information and a link to the song are in the "Side Panel." The maps for the Prairie State Playlist were created in ArcGIS Online as webmaps, and then converted to apps using Web AppBuilder, which allows for a better interface and the inclusion of widgets such as a Legend, Basemap Gallery, etc. The webmaps alone can also be included as content in the Story Map, as well as videos, images, and web pages.
Please browse the Prairie State Playlist and enjoy the music tour through the Land of Lincoln. Along the way, you might pick up some information about Bob Dylan, Tornadoes, and an EPA Superfund site.
One day as I was working in my county engineer's office at Stark County, IL, a delivery driver stopped in and said "Why are these roads labeled incorrectly on my GPS map?" At first I blew it off thinking that's something beyond my control and I had more important things like ongoing construction projects. After all, we as the local agency were the knowledge experts on local names and places and if these big companies wanted our data they could "come and find us" with their "incorrect" GPS navigation devices. But then I realized what a tremendous benefit this would be to not only the local deliver driver but also emergency response, tourism, and many others.
So how do we get these basemaps updated? First of all, these basemap companies are BIG and there are only a few key players. By basemaps I mean the foundation for GPS navigation on consumer-grade electronics.
There's not exactly a 1-800 hotline that you can call as a one-stop-shop to update everyone in the universe (although that would be nice). There are however, tools that allow you to edit or update the information on your own. This is called crowd-sourcing, where anyone / anywhere can contribute to updating basemap information to benefit the traveling public. Here are some ways to do this for some of the bigger basemap providers out there:
- Esri Community Maps is a collaborative effort by Esri and the ArcGIS community to build the Living Atlas of the World
- Open Street Map is a crowd-sourced application that allows to edit and update street map information used by consumers around the world. All you need is to create a login and learn their simple editing tools.
- HERE, A Nokia Company, who recently purchased acquired Navteq is also a major provider of basemaps. With HERE you can go to their site:
https://mapcreator.here.com/mapcreator/ Map editing tool sign up for an account
https://content.ext.here.com/ Data upload portal (Upload GIS data here)
- Google Maps has a Base Map Partner Program that allows agencies to submit their data in vector format with specific instructions regarding format. In addition to vector data, Google also allows users to contribute to their collection of Cities in 3D, Imagery, and parcel data.
Remember, sometimes it takes some time for it to become active. Yes, real people typically look at the information you submit and actually take time to verify its accuracy.
If you have more ideas, thoughts, etc. please leave them in the comments below.
Two weeks ago we loaded up the family truckster and headed out on a 10 day 9 night camping vacation. No worries: we're campers, it's not a big deal to myself, my wife or my four kids to plan and enjoy 7 days sleeping in a tent.
What's different about this trip was the "urban-ness" of the campground. Greenbelt Park is a nice enough campground. The sites were fairly level, bathrooms tolerable, (see my Yelp review) water was cold and accessible. That's all an aside, what is important now is what I used to navigate from Greenbelt Park to downtown Washington DC and back and getting around while we were down there. Yes we planned on driving downtown, taking the Metro downtown from Greenbelt roundtrip for 6 people was $48.
For a few days I banged my head against the marble walls using Apple Maps and BestParking apps. too frustrating.
This was not a 'no tech' vacation. A flatlander in Washington DC trying to keep track of 4 younglings while searching for the best parking space or photogenic angle of any one of a dozen different memorials NEEDS a smartphone.
My first premonition should have been the LTE. Verizon LTE was spotty, Oh I had coverage, it just seemed to be bogged down. Lots of apps wouldn't work without LTE. Apple maps was one of them. Google Maps? Flawless on 3G. I should have switched then. Also Apple maps insisted that I make a U-turn about every other block, (without missing a turn). Their options are so limited it make me wish for my Garmin eTrex. You don't notice it when you are cruising around highways of Illinois or I-80, but in downtown DC in the height of bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic, I cannot make a u-turn. Eventually for general navigation I chose Google maps over Apple maps & Waze. The 3-D view of Washington in Apple Maps was cool, but I still say 3D is not practical.
The BestParking app never actually pointed me in the right direction, it puts a pin on the general side of the block. want directions? That's an in-app purchase. Also they seemed to advertise specials, or prices for hybrids or some such thing not daily or hourly prices. After a few stressful searches, I ended up using 'ParkMobile', an app advertised on DC's own parking meters. I could even "feed the meter" from the app*. Also just biting the bullet and paying for a parking garage helped too. To find the garage again, I usually marked the location with a star on my Google map app. Simplicity. Did I mention how bad traffic was?
Overall Needed DC apps
The National Park Service has a GREAT app that's a simple map with pins on it It's called 'National Mall'. I used that map several times each day, it was a life saver and a must-have for tourists. It has locations of main attractions as well as public bathrooms. Note: the National Aquarium has not been around for several years, but it's still on the map. Also on the one day that we took the Metro downtown the best app was the simplest. 'Metro Map' showed your location and the locations of the trains. That's all it did. No planner, no purchase of tickets just a simple map. Done. After that use logic and common sense. Of course when we did splurge and eat out, I used Yelp to find appropriately priced eateries for a family of 6. I also purchased the National Zoo app for $1.99 but that was mostly for Family Share so that my daughters could see the webcam of the Giant Panda cubs.
The simpler the app the better. The Time & Navigation Exhibit in the Air & Space Museum was the best, but the t-shirt is $38. Parking on the street changes at rush hour. It's 2 miles from Lincoln to the Capital. The Potomac is kinda smelly. You can get soft-serve ice cream and $1 bottle waters from street vendors. The Archives charges twice as much for their copies of the Constitution as the Smithsonians. Parking tickets in DC are $100. Security guards in the Capital do not smile. Aaron Shock's office is still red. View from the steps of Lincoln is awesome. Meet Larry the volunteer at the National Zoo.
It's safe to say that the smaller the block, parcel, or lot; the more difficult it can be to accurately represent your features in a GIS system. When it comes to cemetery lots, this can be just the case as we start to go from feet to tenths to inches. If your objective is to just locate a grave with respect to a certain area or section within the cemetery, then maybe a simple smart phone app searching for relative points may be all you need. However, if you need to see the layout of lots, blocks, and graves, using polygons to identify specific graves (which may be the case for cemetery management tools) then high-accuracy GPS is the way to go.
This sample project consisted of collecting cemetery markers with a Trimble Geo-XH 6000 (cm Edition) GPS unit to obtain high-accuracy coordinates which were used as control points to lay out the blocks, lots, and graves or the cemetery. Once the layout was completed, GIS data was populated from an existing database of information obtained from personnel responsible for managing the cemetery. OK, so your next question is "where does the high quality imagery come from?". Google??? NO, this was actually collected with a unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or commonly known as a drone) outfitted with GPS guidance and a professional grade camera. You can read more about the drone project in separate upcoming blog. The surrounding ground around the cemetery markers was painted with a white "X" to be used as ground control points when stitching the photos together. The final map was served up as a feature service on ArcGIS Server and can be searched by last name using the magnifying glass search tool in the top right corner. Notice how the head stones appear in the aerial image with precise accuracy over their designated grave polygon. There will be more on these tools and methodology to come.
Roanoke Apostolic Christian cemetery location...