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Author Archive

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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Preparing For an Exploding Technology

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.

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Saving and Using the Geodetic Control Infrastructure

GIS professionals familiar with the National Spatial Data Infrastructure’s seven Framework Data Layers know that these are just the beginning of a multitude of layers and themes compiled to build effective GIS databases.  Many states have plans for additional statewide framework layers to supplement the Federal NSDI.  California has prioritized eleven.  These map-data layers are

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Democracy Depends Upon Access to Government Geodata

“Is my property being taxed fairly?”  “Are zoning variances being granted in a consistent manner?”  “Is my flood insurance rate justified?”   These are the types of questions concerned citizens may ask, both in their own interest, and in the interest of maintaining a responsive and equitable democracy. Our democratic system of government is supposed

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Public Issue Participation Can Prevail

  Throughout two contentious California lawsuits to uphold Public Records Act (PRA) access to county GIS parcel basemaps, many GIS professionals got involved with this issue.  They informed themselves, they spoke out, they monitored online discussion groups and contributed opinions.  Some GIS professionals used their expertise to analyze the content and structure of contested basemaps;

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Speaking to Mapmakers About Our Social Machines

Good data, more data, more accurate data; these are not sufficient to solve our world’s social and environmental problems. With these data, we can map the polygons of poverty like we map political preferences or climate change, but they are not sufficient to explain the social mechanisms that create and maintain poverty. Without understanding and