Make a list of 6 everyday

Thanks to the great monthly email from Kevin Rose (Screen Savers & Google fame) – what a great way to organize the chaos in our daily lives.

If you are not getting Kevin’s email you are missing some great information! Go here to sign up:

This 100 year old to-do list hack still works

Ivy Lee
The picture above is that of Ivy Lee. Back in 1918, Lee was tapped to help Charles M. Schwab increase the productivity of his workers. Lee developed a simple productivity system that accomplished that.

“The Ivy Lee Method:

  1. At the end of each workday, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.
  2. Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
  3. When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
  4. Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
  5. Repeat this process every working day.

The strategy sounded simple, but Schwab and his executive team at Bethlehem Steel gave it a try. After three months, Schwab was so delighted with the progress his company had made that he called Lee into his office and wrote him a check for $25,000. A $25,000 check written in 1918 is the equivalent of a $400,000 check in 2015.”

I’ve personally been using this method for a couple weeks now and love it.

Full story here (Fast Company, 4 min read)

2015 December update – Yes, it has been a while…

OK – I will admit that things got busy. There were many times I came in to do updates, but only updated the lists I have on this site. Make sure you check these out and if you find others let me know.

Resources Wildland Fire

Resources Lightning Strikes

Some other notable highlights:

  • Esri International Users Conference – I managed to get here again after USFS cancelled just about everyone going due to lack of funds. Sad to see so many upset colleagues. I managed to get Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) to pay my way so I did not get cancelled. I presented a paper on the lab and did work with the FGDC on the Geospatial Platform –  National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA) Lifecycle Maturity Assessment (LMA) effort.
  • NGDA LMA – the self assessment survey was opened in June and closed at the end of September. We spent a month working with Dataset Managers to get them to complete the survey – in the end we had 187 datasets assessed and hit a 99% completion – now the analysis and how to use this starts. More to come on this.
  • Enterprise Geospatial Portal (EGP) from NIFC was a hit this year – I spent a lot of time supporting the internal one loading fires daily, training management, and providing situational support to the USFS Regional Office for 8 weeks. Go check it out! There is a public version now available as well.
  • ASPRS UAS Reno 2016 – I did all of the videos again for this event. This time they were published on YouTube – the sound is tough on some – recorded on my iPad from the front row – use headphones!

There was a lot in the Twitter feed – I use Feedly Pro as my aggregator – I understand it allows sharing of the categories now. I have not tried it, but if you use Feedly let me know and I don’t mind sharing!


Podcasts Favorites 12/16/2014:

Podcast: Looking for the OpenStreetMap Road Map –

KQED – How California’s Water Rights Make It Tough to Manage Drought –

Science Friday – Best Science Books of 2014 –

Science Friday – Alan Alda Challenges Scientists to Answer: What is Sleep? –

Geo for Good – Commonwealth Club of California – Rebecca Moore, Lead, Google Earth Outreach Program and Google Earth Engine –

Perpetual Ocean – visualizing ocean currents

This animation of the ocean currents is fascinating! In 7th grade I wanted to become an Oceanographer – I think that was influenced by my Dad and his love of SCUBA diving and his hero Jacque Cousteau. I went on to study Earth Sciences, Marine Science, Hydrology, Geology, etc. and discovered the mapping sciences as a great way to analyze and visualize complex data.

This posting produced by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio is a great example of #BigData and #Mapping:


Add the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio to your favorite list:


Visualizing Wind and Wind Forecasting

This provides some interesting insights to wind and may be helpful to many. I like the Windyty Forecasting tool. Thank you Cameron Beccario for a great open source tool! More available at: Via FB on and via Twitter at @windytycom

This is using data from the NOAA Global Forecast System (GFS) –  

The current conditions resolution is about 18 miles and the forecast resolution about 44 miles – the model couples together 4 models (atmosphere, ocean, land/soil, and sea ice). I could not find if this was surface winds and how high in the atmosphere these go. I am assuming this is just surface conditions. It would be interesting to see upper level winds and model those in 3D! #JustSaying


The Windly About link states: is advertisement free and a strictly non-commercial project.

GFS forecast model, produced by NOAA, is the major source of weather data. Forecast data are updated four times a day. Beautiful forecast for location detail are produced by and are based on NMM, NEMS or GFS mathematical models with different resolution, based on location (more info here).

Thanks again to Cameron Beccario for a great way to visualize wind data. See also my previous post on Earth Animated Map – Wind on the Globe –

What I am listenting to this week…..

Great weekend and week catching up with podcasts and picking out those that stand out. I hope you enjoy these as well:

Commonwealth Club – Innovating Women – Kim Polese, Alison van Diggelen, Vivek Wadhwa – great discussion on women in technology and business –

Commonwealth Club – Nick Carr: An Automated World – how technology influences us and what we are doing about it. Does Google make you dumb?

TED – Uldus Bakhtiozina – Wry photo that turn stereotypes upside down – a Russian female perspective.

TED Mac Barnett – exploring and living in creativity and wonder. Watch out! You will be howling in laughter!

TED Avi Reichental – 3D Printing and inventing – making it!

TED Kenneth Cukier – Big data is better data – what is next for machine learning, self driving cars and human knowledge

TED Francis de los Reyes – microbiological techniques in biotech – poop, yup, poop – some fascinating insights!

TED Daria van den Bercken – Handel on the piano – wow – I want to play like this!!!

Science Times podcast – Bill Nye ‘Undeniable’ A fight for the young creationist mind. Go Bill!

ASPRS UAS Symposium in Reno, NV

I was at the ASPRS UAS Symposium this week and we were treated to an outstanding set of talks, exhibitors, and events. If you are not a member of ASPRS then why not?? ASPRS Northern California Chapter did an outstanding job organizing this event!



The event organizers took us to a hobby event where we could do some observations of the variety of UAS/drones. Here everyone is waving for a #dronie – when I find the picture I’ll add the link.



#Dronie time!



And on the screen is imagery from the hand waving event.



More on #dronie pictures from Twitter.

More on UAS with ASPRS.


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…. 🙂



Search & Rescue – Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Spent a great fall Sunday with many of the local CERTs doing a Search & Rescue (SAR) training drill. Team 1 GPS track is below. Team hiked 2 miles with 250′ elevation gain/loss.



I also created a handout for the teams to better understand what GIS is and how it is used in SAR – 2104_MapSAR_Handout

Training session before heading out – getting assignments.


Team 1 and 2 had a picture opportunity at the Marshall Monument.


Also practiced a line search – after action review photo.


More on CERT here:


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.



Castle Peak Hike

What a beautiful day – sunny, 70 degrees F, light breeze and blue skies. Pictures, videos, and a map (Castle_Peak_Hike)

Reviewing the map – we briefly intersect the Pacific Crest Trail at the top of Castle Peak Pass.



Castle Peak from the 4 WD road – yes you can cut off a mile either way by driving to the parking lot under the pass. We saw light trucks up here, but the road has lot of large rocks, dips, etc. 4WD & high clearance = easy.

Video from just above Castle Peak pass – CastlePeak_08

Great geologic discussion available from California Geological Survey – North Lake Tahoe-Donner Pass Region.

It was pretty clear that the area had lots of volcanic activity. Hiking andesite blocks imbedded in ash was common, volcanic plugs and dikes made for many stops and great photo opportunities, but this also made for some slippery steep slopes.


Last part of the hike was a scramble – recommend you wear good treads for this. Sneaker hiking not recommended.

Video (CastlePeak_32) from Castle Peak (not the highest point, but high enough for today!

The GPS track and elevation – total 7 miles and 2,190′ elevation gain/loss.



2014 – Sept 26-Oct 4

Busy week on line – lots of interesting things this week – still trying to figure out how to use this blog….

Free Climate Science/Modeling Class – Started Sept 29th – free on line adaptation of a college level class for non-science majors!

Data Playlists from School of Data – record and contribute your own!

Transformative Research workshop discussion from Esri – interesting items here.

NGA Advisory on Web Mercator problems – with response and discussion from Esri.

Ig Nobel Prizes for 2014 – worth the time to listen to and laugh!

OpenStreetMap training this week with the NORCAL URISA Chapter taught by Randal Hale (@rjhale) and Christina Boggs (@rockoncali)

URISA to present Certified Workshops Online – shared by Directions Magazine.




just an odd ball collection of information – numerous and varied; greatly diverse; multifarious