GIS & Mapping update for the week of October 20th through 26th, 2013. 


To start off the week, I zipped up a bunch of GIS data and uploaded it to the internal NGS cloud network so that a GIS analyst from the Education Division could access the data, arc server inputs, arc server outputs, and map document files (.mxds). I was in the National Geographic Maps office on Monday, so I was able to interface with Eric J about the original .tif map assets he has on file and some of the geoprocessing he and Frank have me assigned to. He realized our resolutions weren't at full-capacity because we were using the .tifs that were downsampled for Avenza a year or two ago. Thus, the majority of my work the week before was almost useless to Frank and Eric (but not to me because I learned a lot about GeoTifs and Avenza software). Eric told me not to work on the georeferencing in Adobe Illustrator anymore because he would run a script (he is a mapping software engineer) that would automatically pull the highest resolution image, add a 1 pixel black boundary around the entire image in Photoshop, and then georeference that image in Illustrator. I was very impressed that he could run such a function but now I have a question for images that have black pixels on the borders of the image (i.e. - Atlantic Ocean Seafloor Map from the National Geographic Ocean Atlas). 

Another breakthrough of the week was giving my first GIS-related presentation on Friday at the GISCO Fall Meeting in Georgetown, CO. I got to speak and answer questions for 30 minutes on the topic of GeoStories, one of the digital products I've been working on with Frank. I've uploaded the presentation below for you to check out.



I built this presentation entirely off the GIS in the Rockies keynote that Frank gave 3 weeks ago. I did so because I wanted to keep the content, messaging, branding, and overall delivery consistent. I had the urge to take Frank's presentation and re-build it in the Prezi (online) presentation software, but with other activities, work, and obligations throughout the week, it would have been more work than I could have handled. Additionally, I didn't charge Frank for the car-rental that was used to get up to the office Friday morning, gas for the entire day (Denver > Evergreen > Georgetown > Evergreen > Denver), and the hour of lunch during the GISCO meeting (which they provided). I had some a bit of sincere interest from a couple of the audience members at the GISCO meeting, which could potentially lead to demos and GeoStories year-long licenses (we'll see… fingers crossed).

Challenges or Missed Opportunities:

I missed the global seafloor geomorphology mapping webinar that Frank was invited to on Wednesday at 11am. I missed it because I was pairing down my presentation for Friday. I wonder if I could get a recording of that webinar? The other meeting I missed this week due to my workload was the Envision The James bi-weekly meeting on the same day.

I was frustrated twice when my University of Denver students didn't correspond with me about missing their tutoring appointments. But I did have some fortune when one student rescheduled from Friday to Thursday to accommodate my work schedule.

The newest challenge is to supplement the hours working with National Geographic Maps with new jobs, contracts, and opportunities here in Colorado (and nationwide / worldwide). Frank informed me that because of the holidays and the 2014 budget still being planned and prepared, that my hours will start to decrease below 20hrs on a consistent basis (Nov and Dec.)  

Next Week:

Looking forward, I am re-projecting an Arctic Ocean Seafloor Map and then using Photoshop and Illustrator to make some modifications to the map image. Then I'll be working on some additional ocean maps that complement the contracts the Frank lined up with certain organizations for the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014. 

I'm tutoring 5 hours this week (Wednesday and Thursday).  

I'm looking for new opportunities and messaging my GIS network in New York City because I'll be headed to the big apple November 15-18th. 


Map of the Week:

This week's map of the week comes to you from Avalanche Mapping.  I'm including this map for you this week because snow-season is upon us here in the Northern Hemisphere and I'd like to make sure all the snowshoers and back country skiers are safe out there this season. I love snowshoeing, and would love to get involved in back country skiing, snowboarding, and off-terrain snow-adventures (maybe even drive a snowmobile a couple of times). Avalanche Mapping is a Colorado-based GIS and mapping consultancy operating out of Boulder. Douglas runs the mapping duties as a one-man show. I haven't met him in-person yet, but I'm sure his knowledge, GIS experience, and field-experience (both personal and professional) are invaluable to individuals and organizations throughout mountainous regions in the northern and southern hemispheres. 

Another great resource for your upcoming (North American) ski or snowboarding season is the FRESHYMAP. I love this web-map, service, and the various tools built into the site. I have tested this web mapping application on iOS (Chrome) and it works just like it does on the desktop browser. Please donate to the Freshymap if you use it as a tool every weekend before skiing or snowboarding.


Other personal highlights this past week included rock climbing at Thrillseeks rock-gym, completing another dance-run for my #dancerunwater fundraising campaign with Water For People, watching the Oregon Ducks take down another opponent in college football, playing poker with some friends on Saturday night in the warehouse, and looking at a potential place to live in Evergreen, CO, near the National Geographic Maps offices.