Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wake Forest Virtual Arboretum

The Wake Forest Virtual Arboretum is online. Here you can find photographs, natural history information, and maps showing the location of 17 species of trees planted on the Hearn and Manchester Plazas of Wake Forest University.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Real-world classification Lab

Hey guys, as you saw last week classifying features in satellite images is hard in some cases and easy in others.  Some things were easy to distinguish--say water and land--while others were more difficult, say urban areas versus wetlands.

This is where the science of remote sensing kicks in.  Different features absorb and reflect in different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, ranging from microwaves all the way down to UV.  Today we are going to continue with landsat satellite images and do three things:

1. Download landsat images from the USGS or Brazilian Space Agency links:

3. Download time series of landsat data and classify them to answer real-world conservation/science questions.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Line-Drawing Made Easy

Here's a useful tool for connecting points to make a line. In Hawth's Tools (see the entry below), under 'Animal Movement' use 'Convert locations to Paths'. It's much quicker than playing connect-the-dots with the sketch tool!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Landscape ecology article

Here is  a link to a GIS project where they go through the steps of their model for landscape connectivity.  

Add-ons for ArcGIS

Hey guys, 

Here is a link to Hawth's Tools--add-on tools to ArcGIS that do things that we do a lot and that is difficult or not straightforward in Arc.  It might be worth adding them.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Spatial Analyst Trouble

Hey guys --

If you have a problem with Spatial Analyst appearing as a toolbar, but not in the ArcToolbox, try this solution (from the ESRI tech support):

Enable them for use in both ArcMap and ArcCatalog via the Tools menu > Extensions option.

Once you have enabled the extensions, please try the following to add the Spatial Analyst Tools to your ArcToolbox:
1. Launch either ArcMap or ArcCatalog
2. Right-click any area within ArcToolbox and select "Add Toolbox"
3. In the Add Toolbox dialog, select the "Look in" drop down and choose "Toolboxes"
4. Double click the "System Toolboxes" and add the "Spatial Analyst Tools" toolbox.

Hope this helps!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Unpacking ISO files

There are several programs you can download to unpack ISO files. I used one called "MagicISO" to unpack the ISO file directly to my hard drive. Opening the program after downloading, it looks like they want you to buy the program, but I clicked the "Try it" button and it worked.

Here's the link to the file:

Magic ISO

Thursday, October 9, 2008

african invasive

Hey folks,
For those of you on the 'invasive' team, your invasive is Cayratia japonica. It's related to grape. A link with a picture can be found here.

Pretty cute.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sites for data

Two sites to check out: USFW (US Fish and Wildlife Service) and NBII (National Biological Information Infrastructure. The USFW site especially has a wide range of things to download. NBII has some very specialized things and is still in development in some respects.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thanks WCU!

Hey guys -- I stumbled open some great spatial data for the North Carolina coast courtesy of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) at Western Carolina University. The PSDS has mapped and inventoried coastal engineering projects that are designed to impact sediment transport along the coast of NC. This page has shapefiles for beach nourishment, erosion control structures, dredging, berm/dune construction, sandbags, and the shoreline.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Let's get it started in here!

Okay guys, let's kick off the GIS repository.  I'll chip in this link to NC OneMap.  It's very far off the hook.  Check out the data download page.  It is beautiful.  I feel light headed...must return to browsing excellent geospatial data...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Typhoon Etang Angst

So, remember how I told the scary war stories in class about the Old Days and projections problems, coordinate systems problems, and all that?  Well, there is an error in GTK ArcGIS in Chapter 18 exercise b that will give you a little flavor of that.  The exercise has you doing something very important--importing location data from a text file.  You'll do this a lot in your own work with GIS, and it is a great way to exchange data among GPS systems and different remote sensing programs.  But, as you try the exercise, you run into a problem as you try and "Display XY Data."  You get an inscrutible error message and then no points come up on the screen like the book.

If you want to solve this for yourself, stop reading here.  If not, continue reading the post here.


Hey guys, we're going to be starting to gather our own spatial data, and one of the tools you'll be using is a high precision GPS unit.  To get some background on GPS, it turns out that the Wikipedia entry is one of the better ones out there.  Start looking over this information and we'll discuss it in a few weeks when we get closer to taking our own data.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hurricane shape files

Hurricane season is upon us, and what better way is there to start looking at spatial data than with these storms?  The National Hurricane Center has GIS data for their storms.  This is also a good introduction to the potential nightmares of downloading spatial data. Make sure to read the page about the program that you have to use to convert some of the kinds of data into shapefiles.