Category Archives: Mapping

CA Statewide Wildland Fire Maps – Cal OES

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) GIS team is providing daily maps for wildland fire situational awareness. Additional resources from CalOES:

Today’s map:

CA Statewide Fire map from CallOES
CA Statewide Fire map from CallOES

CIA Declassifies its map collection – provided on flickr

Nice write up from Geoawesomeness:

“CIA realized that quite early and launched its Cartography Center back in October 1941. Since the beginning the mission of the unit was to provide a full range of maps, geographic analysis, and research in support of the Agency, the White House, and policy makers.

Over the years The Cartography Center produced thousands of maps. As you might imagine almost all of them were classified. Recently in honor of the unit’s 75th anniversary, the agency has released an amazing collection of declassified maps. These collection of 130 maps and over 200 images of old cartographic tools possibly played an important role in many significant events in the world’s history.”

From the CIA Flicker site:

This photo collection represents official photos archived by the Central Intelligence Agency. Information presented on this Web site is considered public information and may be distributed or copied freely unless identified as being subject to copyright protection. In return, we request only that the Central Intelligence Agency be cited as the source of any information, photos, and images copied from this site and that any photo credits or bylines be similarly credited to the photographer or author.

One of the maps I liked was on vegetable tannins – production and international trade:

CIA Vegetable Trade

Voyager Open Data Network (ODN) – single searchable geospatial catalog of global content – FREE

Voyager has pointed their geospatial search tool at free content on internet to create VoyagerODN (Open Data Network) and are now providing us a single searchable geospatial global catalog. Free, but you must enter your email address to access.

If you have issues finding your data – this may be a great solution, especially for geospatial data.

Other using Voyager include BLM Navigator:

About Voyager:   VoyagerODN (Open Data Network) is our public open data portal offering a single, searchable geospatial catalog of global content. Built upon VoyagerTM, the leading spatially enabled enterprise search solution, VoyagerODN provides an online search community to help individuals and organizations to find, share, use and collaborate on a variety of content. Leveraging the best of breed in open source technologies including Solr/Lucene, VoyagerODN allows users to do keyword-related and wildcard searches, easily and quickly discover data, download it, transform it, share it, and much, much more.

The VoyagerODN Community
VoyagerODN was developed to be an ever – evolving, interactive community search portal. Have feedback, questions or suggestions? Have content you would like to see added? Please visit Contribute to VoyagerODN.

Start searching here

Try out something like this:  Administrative boundaries in USA:

Search for Administrative boundaries USA results


Eclipse watchers – join the Eclipse Megamovie – Citizen Science

The University of California at Berkley is leading an effort to coordinate scientists and citizen scientists in gathering images of the sune and its atmosphere, the corona. Volunteers armed with standard photography equipment—a camera, telephoto lens, and tripod—will capture photos of the eclipse as the moon’s shadow passes over their part of the country. Once this huge dataset is collected, it’s Google’s turn. We’ll use our technology to algorithmically align and process the images submitted by citizen scientists to create a continuous view of the eclipse: the Eclipse Megamovie. More on what this effort is:

Eclipse Megamovie 2017 site:

The final movies should be very cool! Add your pics!

Safely watch the eclipse – guidelines here (search “2017 eclipse viewing safety”):

Photographing the eclipse – guidelines here (search “2017 eclipse photographing”):

More Citizen Science sites to contribute to –


3D Mapping with NASA World Wind

This has become a very sophisticated system. Patrick has presented for those of us in California a few times. Google Maps Mania has a nice write up on this at:

NASA’s World Wind is a free, open source platform for creating interactive 3D globes. It can be used as a tool for visualizing global data on top of a fully interactive 3D globe or 2D map.

You can get a good idea of the capabilities of NASA World Wind by looking at some of the applications that have been built using its API. WorldWind Explorer is a basic demo which shows how different base maps can be used and how different overlays and datasets can then be visualized on top of these base maps. NASA World Weather uses World Wind to visualize and display climate and weather data around the world. SpaceBirds is an impressive visualization of all the satellites orbiting the Earth.

To get started with World Wind you will probably want to have a look at the web Developers Guide. You also might like to check out the WebWorldWind GitHub repository and the World Wind Forum to get help from other users of NASA’s interactive 3D globe platform.

Survey Markers and Memories

This article is very detailed on survey markers – BOTTLES, POTS, & PANS? – MARKING THE SURVEYS OF THE U.S. COAST &  GEODETIC SURVEY AND NOAA

Reminded me of being in Ephesus, Turkey and coming across Roman survey markers.

 20061105_1_Kusadasi 048


We saw these in many other places on our travels.

20061105_1_Kusadasi 049


This was one of the most interesting in the examples here.

20061105_1_Kusadasi 050a


The shopping area after the tour – why lie? 🙂 I was temped to buy one, but then I had a watch…. 🙂



Projection Demonstration

I am always looking for ways to show staff how projections really impact our work in GIS. This is a very nice example of this. put together 8 projections, all at the same scale with the same center – not surprisingly show that change.

Click on each to see the projection legend. So what is the correct projection? Well that depends on what you are doing with the data! Check out the USGS publication “Map Projections – A Working Manual” overview on Plate 1.