Thursday, July 20, 2017

GIS 4048 - GIS Applications - Student Spotlight

Module 7Minimum Essential Dataset (MEDS): Protect

The MEDS protect lab wrapped up our investigation of GIS in homeland security and law enforcement.  This was a two part lab, with students first compiling and preparing a Minimum Essential Dataset for the Boston Metropolitan Statistical Area, then using the MEDS to identify critical infrastructure, define security checkpoints, and set up clear view surveillance points in the vicinity of the Boston Marathon finish line location.


This week, we would like to highlight the outstanding work of Andrew Stevens!



Andrew did a great job compiling the critical infrastructure and surveillance maps.  The infrastructure map utilizes military template with an easy to use grid to facilitate ease of finding features.  The checkpoint inset map provides street labels so checkpoint locations are easily understood.  The locator inset map is set to the appropriate scale so the user easily understands where in Boston the event zone is located. Local level roads are included in the map, which is important as the Boston Marathon occurs on this street network, but the roads are symbolized subtly so the information does not overwhelm the map.  The surveillance map provides street information and incorporates enough transparency to see the aerial imagery beneath the viewshed dataset.  Each surveillance point is located by number and associated surveillance elevation height that will allow a clear line of sight.  The LOS with the most obstructions is presented in a graph so it is clear where the obstacles are located.  And again the locator inset map is set to a scale that communicates where in Boston this area is located.  

Excellent work Andrew!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

GIS 4048 - GIS Applications - Student Spotlight

Module 5: Crime Analysis

The Washington D.C. Crime Analysis lab kicked off the Homeland Security and Law Enforcement topic.  Students utilized crime data from the DC Metropolitan Police Department to determine crime patterns in proximity to police stations and to identify underserved area(s) potentially in need of a police substation to curb crime.  Additionally students utilized density analysis to locate hot spots of certain crimes.


This week, we would like to highlight the outstanding work of Adam Edmundson!



Adam’s crime analysis map stood out as a spotlight for its crisp and clear presentation and the ease to which it communicates results.  The range graded police shield symbols are classified and symbolized for quick data acquisition--it is clear at a glance which police stations handle the most crime.  The numeric station labeling adds additional information without crowding the map. The added subtext on the map provides useful information such as an overview of DC crime patterns, the location of the proposed substations and why.  The crime graph easily communicates the crime dynamics of city. Overall, excellent page layout and map organization.

Excellent work Adam!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy 4th of July!


Whether you are celebrating with fireworks cookouts or studying, we hope you have a great 4th of July holiday! 


Did you know?
  • There are thirty-one places nationwide with "liberty" in their names. The most populous is Liberty, Missouri with 29,581 residents. The state of Iowa boasts four such towns, which is more than any other state: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty, and West Liberty.
  • Thirty-one places are named "eagle" after the majestic bird that serves as our national symbol. The most populous community is Eagle County, Colorado, with a population of 51,359, then Eagle Pass, Texas, with 26,401 residents.
  • Twelve places have "independence" in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, Missouri with 109,400 residents.
  • Nine places adopted the name "freedom," including Freedom, California, with 6,000 residents.
  • There are five places in the country that are named "America," the most populous being American Fork, Utah, population 25,596.
  • There is one place named "patriot" - Patriot, Indiana, with a population of 195.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

GIS 5103 – GIS Programming - Student Spotlight

Module 6: Geoprocessing


In module 6 GIS Programming (GIS 5103) students built on the previous weeks lab of geoprocessing with ArcGIS ModelBuilder, by considering how to automate workflows directly with Python scripting. For the assignment, students write a script that performs three separate geoprocessing functions: adding xy coordinates, creating a buffer and dissolving spatial features. As is required by all labs, students complete a flowchart depicting the logical flow of their scripts.  

This week, we would like to highlight the outstanding work of Robert “Taylor” Moore. Taylor’s flowchart is shown below illustrating how his script accomplished the three geoprocessing tasks:

Taylor successfully completed all parts of the assignment and the associated quiz with distinction! His blog post is extremely detailed and something to be proud of. He did a great job describing the steps taken to complete this module including an informative flowchart that used the correct standard symbols illustrating the steps he took to automate the geoprocessing steps. 

Taylor is currently work as an Environmental Specialist for a small consulting firm based at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base. In a recent weekly virtual session Taylor discussed a potential topic for the end-of-semester project focused on automating via Python geoprocessing task for a work-related project. This is very exciting because we love to see students taking what they learn in the classroom into real work applications. We look forward to watching Taylor’s continued success with GIS. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

GIS 4048 – GIS Applications - Student Spotlight


Module 2: Lahars

The first GIS application investigated in GIS 4048 is Natural Hazard planning and mitigation.  For the lahars lab, students utilized DEMs and the Hydrology toolset found within the Spatial Analyst extension to determine potential drainage flow around Mt.Hood in a potential volcanic event.  After streambeds  were determined, students overlaid census data to determine the at risk population.  Lastly, the data was compiled as a cartographically polished map to effectively communicate the information.

This spotlight goes to Erin Padgett! Erin correctly completed the DEM analysis to generate streams and adjacent low lying hazardous areas.  Although the analysis workflow was tricky, presenting the information was equally as difficult.  Erin did an excellent job differentiating map elements and information to allow for quick data acquisition and interpretation.  The excellence is in the map’s simplicity.  The underlying DEM imagery was phased out for a neutral background a few shades lighter than the symbology for the hazard areas which really promoted the map’s content. The different label styles are simple, but very effective at communicating different features. Overall, this map’s generalized content enables quick acquisition of the hazard areas. Including DEM imagery in the map could also be relevant, but the trick is to use subtle symbology so the hazard areas are still easily visible.  See her blog post for more details about this assignment. Great job Erin!


Monday, May 15, 2017

Summer is here!

Summer is here and the GIS at UWF team has hit the ground running! 

Certificate program students have the option of enrolling in GIS Programming (GIS 4103/5103) and GIS Applications (GIS 4048/5100). Summer also marks the beginning of our graduate level certificate courses and a great time for all students to start thinking about internships. We are happy to report that we have an outstanding bunch of students registered and we can’t wait to share their hard work and growth through the student spotlights. You will begin seeing weekly spotlights starting next week. In addition to spotlights, we plan to also post MOOC updates for the next few weeks. It’s nice to be back blogging – we’ve missed you!

Today also marks the first day of our Introduction to GIS MOOC (Massively Open Online Course). There is still time to register if you are looking to refresh your GIS skills or simply find out what MOOC’s are all about. We welcome all current students, alumni and friends to "summer" with us!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

GIS6005- Communicating GIS - Student Spotlight

Module 6: Choropleth Maps

During week 6, students explored choropleth mapping. This is the most widely used type of thematic map for quantitative data. Choropleth maps are used for normalized data - in contrast to proportional symbol maps which are used for total counts. Choropleth maps are also one of the most complex type of maps to design. You have to make decisions on normalization, classification and color ramps, among other things. Different design decisions can result in a very different map for the same data, so more than ever it is important to be aware of your design process. 

We would like to specifically recognize Jeremy Mullins for his excellent cartographic work in this module and the class so far. In addition to his lab deliverables being professional and well organized, he has shown an eye for creativity and critical thinking. This makes Jeremy’s work stand out because good cartography is both an art and a science. For example, in the choropleth lab title choice for a population change map of Georgia draws the map readers in by providing a slightly-tongue-in-cheek, but geographically accurate, description of the maps’ purposes.

Jeremy’s blog post is also well written and shows the corresponding maps he has produced for each lab. 

Jeremy is a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the GIS Certificate Program and we are so happy that he chose UWF! Keep up the great work Jeremy!

Friday, March 31, 2017

GIS 3015 – Cartographic Skills - Student Spotlight


Module 9: Flowline Mapping


Module 9 required students to undertake Flow Line Mapping. Flow maps utilize lines of varying width to depict the movement of phenomena between geographic locations. Students utilized Adobe Illustrator to create a distributive flow map to illustrate global immigration figures into the United States. Lab materials provided base maps produced in ArcMap, and left students with the task of rearranging continents and creating proportional flow lines and corresponding legends in accordance with design principles.

The spotlight this week goes to Rachel Gwin! Rachel’s flow line map stood out for its clear presentation of data. Her systematic map organization and inclusion of supplemental information information is the map’s selling point. Flow lines and U.S. immigration data stand out above all other map elements. The map’s design demonstrates a competency with Adobe Illustrator--the flow line styling and placement is subtle yet effective, the corresponding line and continental colors facilitates easy map interpretation. The choropleth legend has contiguous legend swatches in keeping with textbook choropleth legend design. The horizontal legend orientation is ideal for legend placement within available map space. The map elements are balanced throughout the page, with all objects being sized appropriately for easy viewing. Map information provides correct data sources, projection as well as other helpful information to aid in correct map interpretation. See Rachel's blog post for more details about this assignment. Excellent work Rachel!!


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Student and Professional GIS Competitions

The GIS industry is full of student and professional competition opportunities. Here are a few upcoming opportunities that we would like to share:
If you aren't sold on participating, here are just a few reasons why you should at least think about it.



If you know of another GIS competition, please email gisonline@uwf.edu with details so was can feature it on our blog and Facebook pages.


Friday, March 3, 2017

GIS6005- Communicating GIS - Student Spotlight

Module 3: Typography

Communicating GIS is a course within our M.S. in Geographic Information Science  Administration (GIS) degree plan. This course begins with the basic theory of graphic design, cartography, and map production and distribution. Students then learn to communicate specific types of spatial and analytical information through maps, written and oral explanations, graphs, tables, charts, and interactive web mapping applications. 

During week 3 in GIS 6005- Communicating GIS, students learned about using effective type as part of effective map design. Well-designed and implemented type is a very important component of the professional appearance and clarity of maps. Therefore, a review of the basics of typography, as well as some widely used approaches to use type effectively to enhance maps was covered in this module.  The lab for the module had students experiment with different typographic styles and apply type choices within overall map design. 


We would like to specifically recognize Edward Walther for excellent typography work on the maps produced for module 3. We should also mention that in week 4 of Communicating GIS Edward led a discussion on the usage of color in Cartography, where he very effectively discussed the differences in categorially data types and color scheme usage within cartography.  

Edward has been a pleasure to have in the class.  Edward works as a project manager for the South Florida Water Management District specializing in water quality. Mr. Walther's previous work experience in Delaware had him developing suitability tools using GIS to explore alternatives for waste water. His education and experience has served him well in Communicating GIS this semester. In the final deliverable of the lab, students brought together the labeling of the cities, states and rivers of Mexico. Edward’s map provides a great example of effective typography for a variety of different map features and strong overall map presentation. 

Great work Edward!