Thursday, October 19, 2017

GIS 4035 - Remote Sensing & Photo Interpretation - Student Spotlight

Module 3 - Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) Classification 

For Week 4 in GIS 4043, students were instructed to locate and identify features using Google Maps street view, construct an unbiased sampling system, and calculate the accuracy of Land Use/Land Cover classification maps.  

The blog postings for Week 4 illustrated that a number of students had a good understanding of how to conduct an accuracy assessment on a LULC classification. However, this week, we would especially like to highlight Daniela Sabillion!

Her blog post is easy to understand, provides an excellent overview of the accuracy assessment techniques learned in this week's Module, and demonstrates a high level of understanding of the material. Daniela provides a brief review of the two main types of accuracy assessment: in-situ and ex-situ.  Despite not having the highest accuracy (which has a lot to do with the differences in scale of the imagery vs the scale of the ground truthing), her blog post provides a good description on how she developed a stratified random sample using a fishnet grid created in ArcGIS. In addition to the description, she also provided graphics of both (a) different sampling methods and (b) her table of sampling points with accuracy assessment (yes or no) with notes. These additional graphics greatly assist with interpreting the process she used for conducting the accuracy assessment.  

In addition, her map demonstrates a keen design. It is easy to read, the map elements are extremely well balanced, and the colors she chose make it very easy to distinguish the different LULC classes.  Overall, Daniella's blog posting was very good!



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

F2F GIS 4043 Lab - Introduction to GIS - Student Spotlight

Module 4: Sharing GIS Maps and Data


In this week's face to face GIS 4043 Lab "Sharing GIS Maps and Data", attention is shifted to designing for web maps vs paper maps.  Specifically, students learn how to share GIS maps and data with others as a KMZ file accessible through Google Earth and as a map package viewable on ArcGIS Online or Desktop.  Both results can be easily shared with others via email or similar.  Students were asked to develop their own "Top 10" list/rank of locations of their choice, map, and then share.

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

We liked how Adam researched his top ten list topic and chose a topic that hits close to home. He provides background information and methods on his blog post so others could duplicate the project if they wanted. Pensacola is ranked #8 on water quality scale. Check out his post to learn more.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Online GIS 4043 Lab - Introduction to GIS - Student Spotlight

Module 3: GIS & Cartography


The goal of this week's lesson in Introduction to GIS is to present some fundamental cartographic design principles that will help you produce more accurate and aesthetically pleasing map products using a GIS.  Fundamental map design elements are described that can lead to high-quality cartographic products (e.g., layout, balance, use of color and symbols, the figure-ground relationship, north arrows and compass roses, scale bars, metadata). Detailed information about mapping point, line, and area features using a GIS are presented with examples. Students created three maps of Mexico this week, implementing cartographic design principles. 


This week, we would like to highlight the outstanding work of Jason Lewis

Jason created a nice set of maps this week that combined everything we've covered in class so far. We really like his color choices and labels that all easy to read and understand​.




Wednesday, October 4, 2017

GIS 4930 - Special Topics in GIS - Student Spotlight

Module 1: Project 1 Report Week

During the first 3 weeks of Special Topics in GIS, undergraduate students completed preparation, analysis, and reporting on (at the time) hypothetical hurricane evacuation routes for Tampa, Florida using ArcMap’s Network Analyst extension. Local, state, and federal governments work together to manage disaster relief and rescue operations. After identifying storm surge zones and potentially flooded roads, students presented these routes as maps within useful pamphlets for hospital patients and their families, for supply routes to shelters, for use as flyers to evacuate downtown Tampa, and as chyrons for local news stations. While preparing their work, Hurricane Irma formed and struck the exact area of interest for this project; students were able to show just how important these spatial analytics are in saving lives.

This week, Special Topics in GIS would like to spotlight Rachel Gwin’s amazing work. In her blog, she created a great flyer detailing the routes downtown Tampa citizens could take to their designated shelter as well as providing a professional chyron for use on network television. Her flyer is well-constructed and easy to read, making her work perfect for the intended audience. Her chyron matches evacuation zone colors with the color of font used to describe each shelter location, as well as providing in-depth instructions on what to bring and what to avoid. The blog itself does a good job detailing what each of the four deliverables entailed. Fantastic work, Rachel!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

GIS 6110: Advanced GIs Final Project

GIS 6110: Advanced GIs Final Project

During Advanced Topics in GIS, students learned about SQL database technologies and Web GIS, which included HTML, server-side scripting via PHP and Python, mapping APIs and MapServer. For their final project, students were asked to take a typical desktop GIS workflow and put it online in prototype or pilot form. Students were then asked to record a demonstration of their project.

This week, we would like to highlight the outstanding work of Samuel Song! Samuel's project was chosen due to his excellent utilization of concepts learned throughout the class and presentation.



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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!