Somewhere Here (Update)

Filed under: Maps & Cartography — geoLibro @ 4:36 pm

Updating the BBC story about a map-addressed letter. entchevdotcom is testing if the USPS can call Bude, UK’s postal prowess by sending a letter to a location rather than an address. Moreover, Ubikcan offers a little history of this trend.



Update on ArcGIS on OS X

Filed under: Mac OS X — geoLibro @ 2:35 pm

I think I’ve mentioned before that Parallels’ “Cohesion” is nearly priceless. I’m on build 3106 and its speed is really pretty good. It’s a little peculiar that the speed of the XP OS within Parallels is often much better than working with the Parallels .app itself. Anyway, I should report that last night Parallels crashed very suddenly, with nothing to report about why. Just instantly shut down. And right now ArcMap was drawing a pretty simple polygon layer and then just stopped, froze. The Parallels .app is still responding, but ArcMap (actually, entire Windows OS) isn’t and the “Send keys” option doesn’t do anything.

In better news, I managed to get the personal version of ArcSDE (inc. SQL Server Express) onto Parallels’ XP and somehow it was easier than doing it on my desktop. Permissions problems, I guess.


Somewhere Here

Filed under: Alternative GIS, Maps & Cartography — geoLibro @ 11:52 pm

I love this, love this:
The BBC is reporting a story about a letter that was addressed with nothing but a map and delivered as such. Article here.
somewhere here
This story renews my desire to compile user-built, hand-drawn, fake, or otherwise alternative. I intend to call the collection “Punk Maps.” Maybe I should copyright that right now. Anyway, I just came across a book that may have done this, already, anyway. I’m sure there are others (feel free to submit).


GIS Issue of Library Trends

Filed under: GIS in Libraries, GIS Literature — geoLibro @ 1:02 pm

Guess what: Library Trends v.55 no.2 is devoted to Geographic Information Systems and Libraries. Yep, the entire issue. Articles I am most eager to read:


Libraries as Distributors of Geospatial Data: Data Management Policies as Tools for Managing Partnerships
G. Steinhart
Library Trends 

Libraries can bring substantial expertise to bear on the collection, curation, and distribution of digital geospatial information, making them trusted and competent partners for organizations that wish to distribute geospatial data. By developing a well-thought-out data management and distribution policy, libraries can define the parameters of a data distribution partnership and reinforce a data provider’s confidence in the library’s role as a data custodian and distributor. In developing a policy, data distributors are advised to consider such issues as intellectual property rights, liability issues, distribution methods and services, data and metadata management practices, security risks posed by geospatial data, and user limitations. This article describes the most common elements of data sharing and distribution agreements and describes the development of a data management policy for the Cornell University Geospatial Information Repository (CUGIR).

Geospatial Web Services and Geoarchiving: New Opportunities and Challenges in Geographic Information Service
S. P. Morris
Library Trends 

Over the course of the past fifteen years the role of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has changed significantly. Initially the role of the map library was confined to that of building and providing access to collections of hard copy maps and imagery. Later, digital data, whether on CD-ROMs or network based, was added as a new type of resource within that collection and service model. By the late 1990s some academic libraries began to take on a Web map server role, providing interactive Web mapping access to collections of digital geospatial data. In the new era of distributed, interoperable map services, libraries will have an opportunity to explore new roles as portals to streaming content available in the form of geospatial Web services. At the same time, the increasingly ephemeral nature of digital geospatial content will make even more critical the need to address the long-term digital preservation challenges that are facing geospatial content.

Digital Preservation of Geospatial Data
M. L. E. T. Sweetkind, Julie; Larsgaard
Library Trends 

The selection, acquisition, and management of digital data are now part and parcel of the work librarians handle on a day-to-day basis. While much thought goes into this work, little consideration may be given to the long-term preservation of the collected data. Digital data cannot be retained for the future in the same way paper-based materials have traditionally been handled. Specific issues arise when archiving digital data and especially geospatial data. This article will discuss some of those issues, including data versioning, file size, proprietary data formats, copyright, and the complexity of file formats. Collection development topics, including what to collect and why, will also be explored. The work underlying this article is being done as part of an award from the Library of Congress’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP).

Building a Library GIS Service from the Ground Up
R. Houser
Library Trends 

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) services in academic libraries tend to differ, based on availability of GIS data, software, hardware, and staff expertise. GIS services at the University of Kansas are closely aligned with support for government information, data, maps, and statistics. Thus, our responses to users’ needs are often naturally collaborative, optimizing the expertise of multiple staff members and various types of resources. The GIS and Data Specialist assists campus researchers with spatial data and software, as well as facilitating access to GIS data. Lab space for research and coursework involving spatial data is a core component of GIS services. In addition, various levels and types of GIS workshops are offered each semester, and custom training sessions are also available. “Word of mouth” and hands-on workshops are some of the most effective methods of outreach.

Centralized vs. Decentralized Systems: Academic Library Models for GIS and Remote Sensing Activities on Campus
J. Aufmuth
Library Trends 

Academic libraries are a prime example of an enterprise whose mission is to support the information needs of its institution. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) are popular topics for academic research and are used globally. Two major enterprise information service and data delivery models, centralized and distributed, describe how enterprises approach information sharing. Simply stated, centralized systems provide services and data through a single individual or departmental unit. Distributed systems rely on many interconnected individuals or units to supply services and data. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, which may lead to a hybrid model of combined elements or a movement away from one and toward the other. This article discusses centralized and distributed enterprise information service and data delivery models and how two Florida university libraries deploy these models to deliver enterprise GIS services and data to their institutions’ user communities.

Turns out that’s just about all of them, but it’s not often entire editions of a journal — a library journal, no less — is devoted to my specific job. The toc and article URLs can be found here.


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.


It’s True and It’s Awesome (ArcGIS on OS X).

Filed under: Apple Computer, Mac OS X — geoLibro @ 4:09 am

Mostly. Quickly, I have to register this news about my new ability to run ArcGIS 9.2 from within my nice, easy, powerful, beautiful OS X. The Intel Macs can do it either through Boot Camp (maybe this weekend) or via Parallels. The Parallels version now offers (in beta) an operating mode called “Cohesion” that makes it seem very much like you’re running OS X and XP apps (ArcGIS 9.2, though, which is another story) right next to each other. It works and it’s fast.


Edit for the coolest part yet (Cohesion works with Expose):



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.


Wow, That Did Not Take Long

Filed under: Geographic Exploration Systems, GES — geoLibro @ 4:30 pm

Not 12 hours after I first heard that ArcGIS Explorer has been released comes the first (of many, no doubt) instance wherein somebody chooses Google Earth over Explorer because of GE’s name recognition. They even chose to limit functionality in favor of the easy factor GE provides. And I don’t blame them. ESRI and ArcGIS Explorer have a big hill to climb, I’m afraid.

Worse Again, but ArcGIS Explorer is Out

Filed under: Apple Computer, GIS in Libraries — geoLibro @ 12:49 pm

Eeeegh [pulls on collar]. It got pretty bad again…
Anyway, 9.2 arrives and my IT guys suddenly can’t find server space for us to mount .iso images of the discs I want to put up for authenticated download. I think they’re all busy with a little thing called MetaLib that they’re trying to get up before mid-December or something wild like that. So I’ve been duplicating discs and making my own .iso files and none of it is fun or efficient or novel like it was supposed to be.

I’m otherwise knee-deep in data preparation and grant preparation and a number of other project-planning activities and this blog gets bumped every time. But there is news to report:

ArcGIS Explorer is out. Download link is here.

I got a MacBook Pro from the North Michigan Av. Apple Store and it kicks. Very fast, remarkably smooth display. I’ll be attempting the Parallells/ArcGIS combination sometime this week if I can crawl out from the hole I’m in.

And finally: 9.2’s Batch… does work, but it takes about a day to run a very simple process on ~250 files. Not. Cool. I have a ticket in for ESRI about it, but I think the problem is that when you give the input table your list of files to be processed and corresponding list of output paths, it runs a very, very, very, very long check on whether those inputs are valid. I’d rather they be invalid and the process to choke than sit around waiting for this verification. It’s grueling. If anybody knows more about this, I would love to know.


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

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