September 2016
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OSGeo Kids’ Map Gallery

Even as FOSS4G 2016 was ending in Bonn barely two weeks ago, organizers are busily preparing for FOSS4G 2017 in Boston next summer. Among many other things, a Kid’s Map Gallery is being planned, with prizes to be awarded at the closing session. Since many children will not be able to attend the conference, the awards ceremony will be on video.

“…End result? They find maps unbelievably amazing, do all their homework, go to bed on time and grow up to be brilliant open source geographers, and yes, they save the world. That is the plan…”

It was hard not to pass this along.

MaptimeLA Headed to Catalina Island – Should be fun!

maptime_la_catalina_islandI’m passing this along…

Our friends at MaptimeLA are looking for folks interested in heading to Catalina (9/30/16 to 10/2/16). From their invite:

Join us for a weekend of camping, mapping and collecting 360 photos on Santa Catalina Island. We want to improve the data on the island and give them “street view” via Mapillary. Never walked around and added points to OpenStreetMap before, but always wanted to? This is just for you.

More information can be found on their site:

Link to the Catalina Island Conservancy (related site – not necessarily affiliated with this event):

LA County GIS Day 2016 Announcement

You are invited to join us for Los Angeles County’s 9th annual GIS Day!GISDay2016

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016
9:00am to 3:00pm
Los Angeles County Grand Park, Olive Court
200 N. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

This year’s event is titled Mapping LA County.  The event is designed for County residents, students, and other members of the public to:

*   Show how county and city governments use GIS to make better decisions;
*   Learn about opportunities for studying GIS at local universities and colleges; and
*   Discover how GIS technology is improving our daily lives.

LA County GIS Day will showcase more than 50 agencies and include speakers, demonstrations, GIS-equipped emergency response vehicles, map gallery, GIS games with prizes, and a GIS Day cake.

There are two ways to join in the fun – as an Attendee or Participant.


You do not need to register to attend this event; you may simply come and enjoy.


Register to reserve a booth for your organization, make a presentation, or post maps in the gallery.

We are actively soliciting your abstracts for presentations and maps for the map gallery.

Booth and map gallery registration:
Speaker registration:

More information about the event is posted online:

*   For general information:
*   Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
*   Photos from past years event:

For questions about the day, don’t hesitate to contact Martha Selig at

Click here to view or download the LA County GIS Day 2016 flyer

Red Cross Hiring a GIS Officer (DC Office)

Passing along…

.@RedCross GIS is hiring. Help us map the world and respond to disasters. @TheMissingMaps


Digital maps send all ‘bad’ requests to same coordinates; land of lousy data

If You Can’t Follow Directions, You’ll End Up on Null Island

Digital maps send all ‘bad’ requests to same coordinates; land of lousy data


The map of a fictional place called Null Island is encoded as a default location for mapping mistakes in many digital mapping systems. It is an inside joke among cartographers. Photo: Library of Congress


Robert Lee Hotz

Updated July 14, 2016 11:49 a.m. ET

Every day, countless people seeking digital directions on their computers and smartphones are diverted to an isolated spot on the Atlantic Ocean, 1,000 miles or so off the coast of Africa, where the Prime Meridian and the equator intersect. It’s called Null Island.

This lonely way station in the Gulf of Guinea is, according to its website, a thriving republic with a population of 4,000, a roaring economy, a tourism bureau, a unique native language and the world’s highest per capita use of Segway scooters. In the realm of digital cartography, it is one of the most-visited places in the world. The only problem for its millions of visitors is that there isn’t much to see.

Null Island doesn’t exist.

Continue reading Digital maps send all ‘bad’ requests to same coordinates; land of lousy data

GIS Courses at Rio Hondo College

riohondoPassing this along:

Rio Hondo College GIS courses start the week of August 22nd. Registration is open for classes on campus including a Cartography course located off site at the LA County Department of Public Works (900 S Fremont Ave, Alhambra).  Directions for applying for admission and registering for the classes can be found at

For additional information, contact Prof. Warren Roberts

eGIS Committee Meeting Agenda

The meeting agenda for tomorrow’s eGIS committee meeting is attached here: eGIS meeting notice and Agenda – July 26 2016

It is a full agenda, with discussions around the GIS exams, GIS Day 2016, LARIAC update, a handover of the chair of the committee, as well as presentations from Public Works about how GIS improves services, and ESRI providing an update on the road ahead!

See you tomorrow!

LARIAC4 Status Meeting and LARIAC5 Kick-off Meeting

Hello LARIAC participants,


This Thursday (7/28/16) we have our LARIAC4 status update, and LARIAC 5 kick-off meeting.  The agenda is attached.  This is an important meeting to attend.  Pictometry will be providing lunch after the meeting, so it is important that you RSVP so we can get an idea of how much food to get.

Please RSVP for the kickoff meeting here:




Congrats to Martha Selig (Regional Planning) Esri Conference 2016 Map Gallery Award Winner

Kudos are in order for our very own Martha Selig, Senior GIS Analyst with the LA County Dept. of Regional Planning.

Martha was awarded second place for her poster “Protecting Los Angeles County’s Scenic Ridgelines” in the Analytical Presentation Map category at this year’s Esri International User Conference 2016 Map Gallery.  Hers was one of hundreds of entries from her peers around the world, so well done. To see all of the award winners, go to

Los Angeles County was well represented at this year’s Esri UC. Thanks also to Tia Morita of our Internal Services Department for coordinating with our various departments and for working with Esri to group our entries together.


Martha’s poster


LA County “alley” at the 2016 Esri UC Map Gallery


LA County opening GIS exams for its GIS Series

gis examsI am please to announce that the County of Los Angeles is opening GIS exams for the recruitment of talented staff to fill a number of vacant GIS positions within the County and to support its GIS recruitment and retention efforts.  There are limitations on the number of applications that we will process, so be ready to apply when the exams open July 18th at 8 AM.

Download the flyer here, which links to salary and to the positions: GIS announcement 7-12-16.pdf

Important information

Some of the exams will close after the first 100 applications are received – I anticipate them filling very very fast!

These exams do not come around often – so if you are interested in working in the GIS profession with LA County, this is your best opportunity for the next year or so.  Don’t miss this chance!


The County’s civil service procedures may be arcane to students and other folks who have worked in the private sector – I’ll highlight the steps here here:

  1. Upon receiving an application, Human Resources will ensure an applicant meets the Minimum Requirements (MRs).  Each position that you may apply for has a set of MRs – make sure that you meet them, and prove that you do, otherwise you don’t move forward.
  2. A set of online tests will be administered for each position that requires one that will ensure you have the basic GIS skillsets that are required.
  3. If those tests are passed, you may be called for an interview if that is part of the requirements for the position.

The results of steps 2 and 3 are combined into a final “score.”  Candidates are then banded, with high scoring candidates in Band “A”, next levels in Band “B”, etc.

Being placed in a high band does not guarantee a position, but you have to be on a band to be hired.

At this point departments that have open positions will review the list of candidates, determine which one(s) they wish to interview for their specific needs, and then reach out to those candidates.

This process can be lengthy.  Sorry to say that.  However – I would say that it is worth it – the County is both an interesting and rewarding place for GIS professionals.

Good luck!