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Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 14:22
You can easily manage large collections of imagery and remotely sensed data using ArcGIS.
Friday, August 26, 2016 - 19:15

When changing point symbols, you’ll find many different ones to choose from organized in categories. In addition to these symbols, you can use any hosted image as a custom symbol.

Using an existing image

To use an image as a custom symbol, follow these steps.

Step 1 – Locate the hosted symbol you want to use, and copy the URL. The symbol must be at a URL location, and should point directly to the source image (and not an image viewer). For best results use a square PNG, GIF, or JPG file 120 x 120 pixels or less. Larger images will be adjusted to fit.

Tip: use a PNG or GIF with a transparent background if your symbol does not fill the square to avoid unwanted white space.

In this example, the following custom symbol will be used. Click the image to view it, and copy the URL.

Step 2 – In Change Style, select any category.

Step 3 – Click Use an Image. In the input box paste the URL obtained in Step 1 above.

Step 4 – Click the add button (white...

Friday, August 26, 2016 - 17:36

It’s been a while since I talked about training. After the epic episode of people deciding they would take the class then not pay for it – I’ve been deciding exactly how I change this up. This whole episode burned me out a bit so I took some time off teaching.

I had a respected peer ask (paraphrased) “What are you doing with your training classes? What is the plan?” and I didn’t have a good answer. So I’ve been trying to come up with a plan. Work has kept me busy enough that it’s not been a big deal BUT I don’t do much without a plan.

So without further adieu……

  • Classes are going to be offered 4 times a year. Once a quarter. I’m putting together 4th quarter 2016 as I type this and should have a date laid out by the end of August. Shortly after that
  • To register there will be a deposit of $125 dollars. If I cancel the class the $125 is refunded and if you cancel the $125 isn’t refunded.
  • Classes will be in Chattanooga TN. I’m arranging the space now.
  • I am going to be picky on who attends. I want this to be a good experience so it’s up to me to weed out the people who are not going to make this a good experience.
  • Classes are going up to $375 a person per day.
  • I am going to put some more effort into attending conferences and teaching this class. I taught this last at FOSS4GNA 2016 and it was a really...
Friday, August 26, 2016 - 17:02


Uncharted Atlas is a Twitter bot that generates a new fantasy map every hour. The brainchild of glaciologist Martin O’Leary, it uses algorithmically created terrain that is weathered by water erosion, a process he details on this page (All Over the Map’s post explains it in more human-readable terms). As Martin writes:

I wanted to make maps that look like something you’d find at the back of one of the cheap paperback fantasy novels of my youth. I always had a fascination with these imagined worlds, which were often...

Friday, August 26, 2016 - 13:43

Another profile of New World Cartography, the South Carolina firm that combines computer-generated cartography with hand colouring and custom framing, this time from local newspaper The Island Packet. [WMS]

Previously: New World Cartography.


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Census Data

SF1 Data in File Geodatabase Format:

County-Level Variables, version 9.3
County-Level Variables, version 10.0

Census Tract-Level Variables, version 9.3
Census Tract-Level Variables, version 10.0

Block Group-Level Variables, version 9.3
Block Group-Level Variables, version 10.0

The Data Dictionary can be found in Chapter 6 of http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/doc/sf1.pdf.

US Census Geography (Shapefiles):
Feature data is included in the US file geodatabases above, so these are in case you need a quick download of the geography only.

US County Shapefile
US Census Tract Shapefile
US Block Group Shapefile

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Summer Institute on Geospatial Technology

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 09:45

This summer, August 4th through the 22nd, the Washington College Geographic Information Systems Lab in Chestertown, Maryland is conducting a Summer Institute of Geospatial Technology aimed at adult professionals looking to hone their skills.

arcpy.da.Editor (Trials_and_Tribulations)

Friday, May 9, 2014 - 10:15

I was recently asked to create a Python Script Tool to facilitate an editing workflow.  The basic idea for the tool is that the user selects a feature from one feature class and the attributes of this feature are used to update the attribute values for a selected feature in a second feature class.  I created a test environment on my machine and got the basic tool working.  Once I tested it a few times, I understood why the client wanted it.  It really was useful and saved some steps in the editing process. 

Missed the Memo?

Monday, May 5, 2014 - 12:45

This is a rather eclectic post, but I thought I'd let you know about a couple of issues that I had lately that cost me a good bit of time.

1.  Once the 64-bit geoprocessing patch is installed, personal geodatabases can no longer be read by arcpy Python scripts.



GIS Memes


Convert KML to SHP while Preserving their Attributes!

Ever received a KML from a colleague or friend, open it up in Google Earth, click some features to see their attributes, and realize that you want to do more with it than just display it on Google Earth?? So then you request it in shapefile format to do further geoprocessing on it in another GIS. Sadly, they respond to you with a question of their own: What is GIS??"... Ouch. 

10.1 - Legend - Current Extent...

So, as Tundra and others that will be joining soon know, I like tools that make things simple for my end users.  In 9.3 through 10.0 we had a tool made by the BLM Oregon State Office called Legend by Extent.  THis tool was a simple check box on a toolbar to limit your legend items to only those showing in the current extent.  It had its quirks, but worked well, and was dynamic.


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by Dr. Radut.