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.