Margaret Davidson is the Senior Leader Coastal Inundation and Resilience at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She provided a thought-provoking speech on Environmental Intelligence and Resilience at the NSGIC 2014 Annual Conference in Charleston, SC. Afterwards, the entire audience engaged in a lengthy discussion about climate and resiliency. Extensive notes were taken during this session and they will be turned into actionable items for NSGIC State Representatives and for a new work group or committee that will deal with climate and resiliency issues. For those members who want to learn more, generate ideas for activities, or determine how to discuss the subject with naysayers, pick up the latest issue of Audubon Magazine (http://www.audubonmagazine.org/), with the cover on climate change and birds. Along with interviews with geospatial modelers and elected officials, there is a chapter on getting past “politics and paralysis” on the subject. Besides, birds are cool.
It’s that time again. The 2014 annual meeting kicked off today in Charleston. With some of the only free time in a traditionally packed agenda, many of us took the opportunity to check out some of the local cuisine, and stumbled on the Second Sunday festivities on King Street. Lots of local shopping and live music to enjoy along the way. I highly recommend checking out the Charleston City Market downtown on Market St. It seems to be THE place to go for locally made items like jewelry, palmetto baskets and an assortment of souvenirs to purchase for loved ones back home. The locals will certainly appreciate the business! We were lucky that the weather held up and the buildings and abundance of huge old oak trees provided some shade. Unfortunately that didn’t help with the humidity, but those of us from the east coast are lucky to be a bit more used to it then our partners from the west.
So what does one do when the majority of the group wants to go for BBQ and you have a broken thumb? You ask the waiter for something to cover it so you can enjoy your sandwich of course! Luckily for Ed Arabas they had rubber gloves that did the job. He had the recent misfortune of breaking his thumb in a bike accident. For anyone here, he’ll be happy to provide more details if you ask.
Now after a day of talking shop with our counterparts, it’s time to see how NSGIC hospitality combines with southern hospitality and for the real networking to begin. Hopefully our members, both new and old, followed the advice of our next president and past president, and hydrated well. A whole new day of meetings and information sharing starts early, so good to be prepared for anything.
This is an awesome series of historic maps of London that offers a glimpse of early cartography.
This article describes interviews with several CIO’s who have dealt with significant disasters. GIS is mentioned a few times; it’s certainly an interesting read!
This map shows where the wage gap between men and women is the most pronounced, and the most even. Depressing but true.
For those of you who have heard of CompStat, NYC has developed a similar tool to track lawsuits in relation to government services, called ClaimStat. This article describes how GIS analysis is being used to help reduce lawsuits and improve government performance.
This excellent article from Directions Magazine provides educational information about UAV’s (aka drones, but not the preferred term). Their increased use will certainly affect the GIS industry.
NSGIC member Jack Maguire spotted this blog article sponsored by the Washington Post. It has a very interesting collection of maps that range from a circa 200 AD Political Map to a map showing the range of North Korean missiles. These maps provide an interesting perspective on our World and the diversity of the people on it. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/08/12/40-maps-that-explain-the-world/?lines
NSGIC has begun documenting the hundreds of state, local and federal government business needs for addresses. By drawing attention to the importance of address data, we hope to justify efforts to coordinate address collection, management, and uses across all levels of government. While NSGIC still considers it to be a work-in-progress, this information is being tracked in a publicly available Google doc – Address Business Needs.
Sometimes, the use of an address is as simple as placing a letter or package into the mail system. Other times, a correct address location can save a life. The problem is that government doesn’t do a very good job of tracking addresses. Typically, a local “address authority” assigns an address and then notifies a few other (usually local) agencies about the new address. But no agency is assigned (or assumes) a custodial role of maintaining an authoritative database of addresses (and importantly, their physical location in space) that can be used by others in that local government or at other levels of government.
NSGIC’s initial list of government business needs for addresses includes well over 100 use cases. Our list of state uses is the most complete, with nearly two dozen generic agencies using addresses in at least 67 different ways. Since address assignments typically originate with local governments, each state government needs to coordinate with hundreds of local cities and counties to collect authoritative address data. The US Post Office and US Census Bureau also create and maintain data collection partnerships with local government, but are forbidden by law from sharing their compiled address datasets with other agencies or levels of government.
There are three separate tabs on the Google document to delineate governmental business needs – one tab each for local, state, and federal government. An initial tab provides an overview of the purpose, process, and contents of the document. For each business need listed, we list:
A. The agency/department that uses the address data;
B. The business function name/label within the governmental division;
C. The spatial function that the address data is created/collected to serve (e.g. delivery, district determination, service allocation, etc.); and,
D. A brief description of the business function that the address data supports
The initial response to these lists has been quite positive. Even states that have begun to coordinate addresses have found new agency use cases from other states that help to expand their user base at home.
Comments are welcome and can be added to the Google doc. Individuals or agencies wishing to add to these lists of business needs are invited to contact their State NCGIC Representative or leadership of the NSGIC Address Committee.
This interesting maps shows the relative happiness of folks across the country. How does your community fit in?
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the membership of the newly created Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC). As directed by Congress, the Council is tasked with developing recommendations for FEMA’s flood mapping program to ensure that flood insurance rate maps reflect the best available science and are based on the best available methodologies for considering the impact of future development on flood risk.
NSGIC’s Florida State Representative is Richard Butgereit, GISP, from the Division of Emergency Management. He was appointed to serve on TMAC in the category of STATE GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM (GIS) REPRESENTATIVE. For more information, please follow this link.
I found this article to be very interesting in detailing the incredible challenges facing our 911 dispatchers.
Heard this story on NPR Radio yesterday afternoon “Digital Homestead Records Reopen A Crucial Chapter Of U.S. History” – http://www.npr.org/2014/07/02/327797193/digital-homestead-records-reopen-a-crucial-chapter-of-u-s-history.
The Homestead Records Project seeks to digitize the over 800,000 Homestead Records from nearly 200 land offices in all 30 Homesteading States. Nebraska records were the first to be digitized, and they are now complete. Next up is Arizona, followed by Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, and Alaska (in that order), but for now the records for the remaining 29 states are only available in hard copy in the National Archives – http://www.nps.gov/home/historyculture/track-the-progress-of-the-homestead-records-project.htm.
http://www.nps.gov/home/historyculture/homesteadrecords.htm – NE Records are currently available on – http://www.fold3.com/title_650/homestead_records_ne/, but fold3.com is not a free site. This could be an interesting historical set of land records to geocode to our state GIS maps when they become available [and if they are free].
Posted for Phil Worrall, Executive Director, Indiana Geographic Information Council, Inc.
This article scratches the surface of what can be done with all the data floating around out there. How can you put it to work in your state?
This is a fascinating map that shows the average age of housing units by zip code block. It paints an incredible picture of demographic patterns across the country through the years.