Thursday, January 21, 2010

Examining the Last 7 Days of Earthquakes

Aloha All:

On the ArcLessons library is a short set of guidelines that walks you through the process of downloading and examining the last 7 days of earthquakes around the world, in ArcMap:

I revised these procedures this week because I wished to analyze why the Haiti earthquakes were so unusual compared to historical earthquakes in that region. Using the above procedures, I found my answer. So will you if you do the same.

And speaking of the tragedy in Haiti, one good thing that is happening is that the GIS community in academia, government, nonprofits, and private industry are coming together to assemble data sets to help in the relief effort. When you think about it, everything they do in terms of getting supplies and medicine to where it needs to go, and finding out where it needs to go in the first place, alternative routes when roads and airfields are destroyed, etc, requires base maps. It is good to know that GIS is helping even in the face of a disaster.

--Joseph Kerski

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bizarre Map Contest for Students

"Bizarre Map Challenge" (BMC): A National Map Design Competition
Hosted by the National GeoTech Center ( and San Diego State University.
Contact (Q&A) email address:

Goal: To promote spatial thinking and geospatial technology awareness in high schools, community colleges, and universities in the United States. To inspire curiosity about geographic patterns and map representation for students and the broader public.

1st prize: $5000 cash
2nd prize: $1000 cash,
3rd prize: $600 cash,
4th - 10th prizes: $200 cash for each

Competition Rules
1. Competition participants must be full-time students in high school, community college, or a university (undergraduate students only) in the United States. The cartographic work and map design must be the original work of the entrant.
Visit the website for the complete list of rules.
March 1st - March 22nd, 2010 : Accepting map entries (on-line form) from the BMC website (URL to be announced on March 1st, 2010)

Coastlines GIS Project - An Opportunity for Teachers!!

CoastLines 2010 Application is Online!

/CoastLines/ is a three-year Comprehensive Project for Students and
Teachers funded by the Innovative Technologies for Students and Teachers
(ITEST) program at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The project is
introducing fundamental concepts about information technologies (IT) to
grade 7-12 schools. /CoastLines/ is accomplishing this goal by involving
teachers and students in using geographic information systems (GIS) and
global positioning system (GPS) technology to conduct scientific studies
of coastal ecosystems in the NSF’s Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER)

The /CoastLines/ project is now accepting applications from teachers to
participate in the 2010 project cohort. The online application form is
located at: Teachers in the Santa
Barbara/Ventura, California, region are particularly encouraged to
apply. Other educators will be accepted on a space-available basis.

For more information about joining the project, click the Overview tab
on the /CoastLines/ Web site. Click the 2010 Application tab to access
the application form. The application should take approximately 15
minutes to complete.

Applications for the 2010 project must be submitted no later than 11:59
PM local time on Sunday, 31 January 2010.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

GIS Data for Hawaii - A MUST SEE

Looking for Data to Download specific to Hawaii?
This is one of the best sources!

The Hawaii Statewide GIS Program hosts downloadable data sets on everything from Ahupua'a to Census Data to Elevation Contours, some statewide, some island-wide. This is every Hawaii GIS User's dream come true! A MUST SEE!

From the homepage, click on GIS Data in the lefthand side bar. From there, download, unzip, and begin your spatial analysis of Hawaii within your GIS desktop software!