geoMP3s of the Week

Filed under: Uncategorized — geoLibro @ 6:37 pm

geoMP3s for the last two weeks (Paul Simon doing Johnny Ace’s “Pledging My Love” and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot doing Lillian Bos Ross’ “The South Coast”) are available at the new location



geoMP3 of the Week: Leonard Cohen’s “The Stranger Song”

Filed under: Uncategorized — geoLibro @ 12:39 pm

Blog defunct. Posts migrated elsewhere.


This Blog is Moving/Has Moved (2007 May 22)

Filed under: Uncategorized — geoLibro @ 2:09 pm

This blog is defunct. 


Bad Map Hits Close to Home, or Craptastic Map Leaves Backyard Swirling the Bowl

Filed under: Uncategorized — geoLibro @ 3:21 am

I was in Chicago two weeks ago waiting for a flight to Phoenix when I got a call from my wife, who had dragged the shop-vac out of the garage for some…cleanup. The toilet overflowed, see, and it turns out (and I have to admit I suspected it) that it wasn’t an ordinary local clog. That is, plunging didn’t do anything to fix the proble, because the problem was deeper than that. Well when I returned we called a plumber who asked me over the phone if I had a lot of trees in my yard. I laughed because hell yes we have a lot of trees. "It’s roots, then," he said. "I see it all the time." Because we don’t have a clean-out anywhere on a property, my new plumber friend "Walter" was going to have to get a map of the underground from the city, dig down to the sewer line, and A) install a clean-out and B) root out/cut away whatever was blocking the pipe.

Walter and his guys arrived on Friday morning, plunged the backhoe bucket into the ground and found…nothing. Turns out the map was wrong, which meant they essentially had to begin guessing where to dig. That might sound trivial, but wherever you "guess" to dig with a backhoe becomes a giant hole in short order. So when they guessed wrong the first time (so that’s two holes so far), a decent chunk of what made our house worth anything was gone. Just a couple swings of that bucket.

incorrect sewer map

Anyway, they guessed right the next time (on the other side of the original hole), but no thanks to that decrepit, monochromatic, cro-magnon photocopy of cartographic degradation the city gave them. Never mind that the pipe they finally found was way below grade and had been crimped by the weight of the garage built 6-7 feet above it.

the carnage

I love bad maps, but this one hit close to home (seriously, they ended up digging right up to the foundation to install a bypass). And we’ll always remember that week in 2007 when everything that we expelled from our house went straight into an open hole in the backyard. (Wife, pointing: "I remember you!")



More Love for the MacBook

Filed under: Apple Computer, Mac OS X, Uncategorized — geoLibro @ 12:06 pm

Well, first here’s the most recent Rumsfeldian metric: another in my line of running tallies of unread RSS articles is the following (a new record):


That’s right: I got so far behind this last week that I had over 7,000 articles waiting for me. Hm. Groan. Eh, if you’re not busy you’re not doing enough, perhaps.

Another thing waiting for me was VerySpatial’s Part 1 of a series on GIS on Macs. Naturally, I haven’t watched/listened yet.


Indiana Bolsters Google Earth

Filed under: Data Sources, Geographic Exploration Systems, GES, Uncategorized — geoLibro @ 7:22 pm

It looks like the hint Senator David Ford let out at IU’s GIS Day keynote is true: Google Earth has been updated with very high-resolution imagery that looks to be courtesy of the Indiana State government. And all of those rural areas whose states haven’t provided Google Earth with high-res coverage are just going to have to groove on that.


Well, It’s Here (9.2)

Filed under: Uncategorized — geoLibro @ 12:00 am

I guess this is better…

Anyway, our 9.2 Desktop discs showed up yesterday (no server), but I haven’t had any time to lean on it, make it spit out cool new stuff. The Identify tool is better, the file database seems fast, ArcMap does indeed have an animation toolbar, but the personal SDE/SQLExpress combination bit it on the first attempt. It sets itself up during a wizard install, but I had to guess at the connection string (different from their instructions) and once I made the connection I got a license error. What might be worth it all is the Batch… option for model input. It’s not very option-rich, and it seems cumbersome to use (From ESRI?! On Windows?!) but it might work out just fine.

9.2 Goes Up


3007 Unread Articles

Filed under: Uncategorized — geoLibro @ 5:59 am

Yikes. It’s really come to this:

Ordinarily I can knock off scanning and reading my RSS articles by midnight or so. The last few days, however, represent the tail end of a couple of weeks that were mad. And so it was that earlier today, as I sat with a future viticulturalist watching that pompous, presumptuous Excel “fix” her mean temperature values and lat/long pairs, my unread RSS article count climbed up over 3000. I was behind in a grand fashion.

Well, first of all let me come clean: I don’t read non-RSS news, blogs, or websites. Not even my wife’s, which I’m relieved to say does have a feed available. Why? Because everything except RSS is a waste of my time, that’s why. I spend plenty of time online, and I most certainly don’t need to see that generic “old classmate” with the curled-under bob and comically-oversized eyeglasses every again. It doesn’t help my work. I need to see information. So it’s RSS or the skunk-eye, and that might mean I have too many feeds coming in. It’s only 255 (that doesn’t seem like too many to me), but apparently they generate a decent amount of traffic.

But 3007 unread messages? The reasons include many email and office visits with grad students whose class I visited over a week ago; my first ever trip to Bloomington, IN, home of Indiana University; a long time slogging through mostly-undocumented EPA emissions data (maybe the closure of all those libraries caused this?); and the fact that I’m flooded with excellent, engaging, even fascinating GIS/Library work, some of which will show up in this blog sometime soon. Good reasons, but it will make a chump unable to even scan the 3007 RSS articles that pile up while he works morning to night.


Google Maps and iPhoto (Yawn)

Filed under: Uncategorized — geoLibro @ 12:52 am

So everyone is aflutter about the Google Maps/iPhoto integration recently discovered within the iPhoto package. Ed Parsons discusses it, as does OgleEarth, and MactelChat. There’s even a MAKE entry that points to a YouTube how-to video. Oh, and the obligatory Digg entry. Let me spare you the trouble of visiting this last one:

1stParty: Good job, Apple.
2ndParty: <sarcasm>Well if Apple did it, it must be good.</sarcasm>
3rdParty: Can we not do this, please?
4thParty: Why don’t you both just use Ubuntu?

…and so on.

Anyway, it seems like weak news to me. Maybe it’s a harbinger of big things to come, but if everybody was already using Craig Stanton’s Geotagger or GPS Photo Linker you may be so busy tagging your photos and emailing shareable kmzs that you can’t bring yourself to care about a little gray button.

Besides, do people still care about Google Maps? They’re so…flat.


ESRI’s New Training and Education Site

Filed under: GIS Literature, Uncategorized — geoLibro @ 12:23 am

Hm, how fancy. ESRI has gone live with a site called “ESRI: Training and Education” that’s devoted to, you know, training and education. A lot of this seems to recycle material that was already available, but one thing that’s now up front is a link to search the Training and Education Library. I like it. But what they need is a site devoted to teaching me how to geocode a decimal address.

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