June 2016
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Santa Claus is Coming to Town (and he uses GIS)

It’s December 24th, and Santa Claus is coming to town. Also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, or simply “Santa”, this legendary, folkloric figure has many different cultural traditions around the world.

This interactive Santa Map created by ESRI depicts 30 variations of Santa across four continents, including the “Yule Lads” in Iceland, the Dutch “Sinterklaas” who traditionally rides a white horse, and “Father Christmas” in the United Kingdom who takes a goat if the white horse isn’t available.

It’s 2013, therefore I’m betting Santa is tech savvy and uses a GIS to make all of those stops. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Santas Around the World

Mapping the 7 deadly sins

Thanks to Tim Smith for passing this along:


Countywide Services Locator version 3 released

sl version3It’s finally here! the Countywide Services Locator now is embeddable.

Here is the home site (updated to Google API version 3): http://maps.lacounty.gov

Here is the embeddable version: http://maps.lacounty.gov/SL_Body.aspx


There are three different parameters that you can pass to either of these two sites.

  1. address_string – this is where you pass the address that you want to show.
  2. Cat1 – where you select the primary category (the tab) that you want to show
  3. Cat2 – you can open the specified category2 (the relevant cat1 tab will also open

As an example, I want to find all of the Safe Havens near zip code 91208.

I can embed this with the following parameters: http://maps.lacounty.gov/SL_Body.aspx?address_string=91208&cat2=Safe+Havens

Here is an example

Or you can pass the same parameters to the main site using a box on your end (like the lacounty.gov box): http://maps.lacounty.gov/?address_string=91208&cat2=Safe+Havens

Here are more detailed instructions, and an example of embedding

Can I download the data?

Yes – the data is managed by the Countywide Location Management System which contains a broad array of information – beyond even what is shown in the Services Locator.  To download, go to the LA County Data Portal.

December eGIS Meeting Agenda

Please find the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting attached here: December 2013.eGIS meeting notice and Agenda

We will discuss the status of LARIAC, the results from GIS Day (GIS Day 2013 Survey Results), and have a presentation about GISP from some County staff.

As well, I definitely recommend reading the NY Times article that Vijay posted last week – it makes a very interesting read, especially the section about Google maps vs. Open Street Map, to me which leaves me wondering a bit about how we coordinate proprietary and open maps, along with the work that we do (how it might get into both maps, and perhaps what is the long term role of our own work).

See you tomorrow!

In the battle for digital dominance, victory depends on being the first to map every last place on the globe. It’s as hard as it sounds.



In the battle for digital dominance, victory depends on being the first to map every last place on the globe. It’s as hard as it sounds.

Where are the Geospatial Education Programs in the Country?

gis_programsThe GeoTech Center, which built the Geospatial Technology Competence Model, which formed part of the basis of the County’s new GIS classifications, has a useful map showing the locations of GIS programs around the Country.

If you are an educational instituation, they also have the ability for you to update the information directly too at this link.


GeoTech Competency Model

GeoTech Competency Model

Fourth Annual Los Angeles Geospatial Summit – Call for Papers

Passing this information along: (Call for Papers and Posters)

Attention: Undergraduate and graduate students in GIS and related geospatial disciplines

The Fourth Annual LA Geospatial Summit is now accepting proposals to present 10-minute papers with five-minute Q & A or posters, an important career development opportunity.

The summit is a one-day event presented by the USC Spatial Sciences Institute in collaboration with other Southern California GIS programs, to explore emerging trends in geospatial science, technology, and applications. Students will have the opportunity to hear panels and presentations by industry leaders and network throughout the day, including at the new Industry Fair and closing reception.

To apply, submit your 200-word abstract to your academic program director by Monday, January 13, 2013. Download the proposal form. The USC Spatial Sciences Institute will notify selected students by January 31, 2014.

Please click here to register!
Students must be registered to present
Student Registration Fee: $40 (includes continental breakfast, lunch, and reception)
Attendance qualifies for GISP credit

Friday, February 21, 2014
8:30-5:45 p.m.
Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Collaborating programs

California State University, Channel Islands • California State University, Long Beach • Cal Poly Pomona • Claremont Graduate University • County of Los Angeles • Loyola Marymount University • Rio Hondo Community College University of California, Los Angeles • University of Redlands

Cal State Pomona officers GIS Certificate

Passing this along from CSU Pomona

I wanted to let you know that we are offering the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate this coming winter 2014.  The courses are offered on campus for 4 Saturdays from 9am to 5pm.  Corporate and group discounts available, please visit Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate (http://www.ceu.csupomona.edu/courses/dynamic_content/certificates/default.aspx?certid=2042 ) for program information.

Below is the schedule of classes.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.







Coming up in winter 2014 – REGISTER NOW!

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Best Regards,



Edith Barahona-Castro
Program Development Assistant
College of the Extended University
Cal Poly Pomona University
3801 W. Temple Ave., Pomona, CA   91768
Fax 909-869-5077

New Professional Concentration Program at UC Davis Extension

For those GIS professionals interested in continuing education, UC Davis has some new courses (the Python Programming would be good).

Here is the email I received, and here is a document with details.:  New GIS program at UC Davis Extension

As a GIS professional, you know the benefits and enrichment that come from staying connected to others in your field, and also recognize the importance of continuing education, particularly in such an evolving discipline. I’m writing to let you know that UC Davis Extension now offers a Professional Concentration in Geographic Information Systems. The program is designed to enhance the skills of experienced professionals and GIS beginners.

Additional information is available on our website along with a list of upcoming courses, including a new Python Programming for GIS course – which may be of interest to other GIS professionals and students in Los Angeles County. I’m hoping you will share the information with colleagues, students and/or on your website.

I also have attached more in-depth information about the program. Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information.

LA County Hall of Administration in 3D

HOA_3DI wanted to share this 3D model that ESRI created based upon as-built drawing submitted by the County.  Each floor can be turned on and off, with interior walls all there!

I am happy to make the County a guinea pig for the next major change to GIS technologies – moving indoors and into three dimensions.  The interactive nature of this model is very impressive, and I can see a lot of value for a number of things, including:

  • Space management (finding open offices)
  • Asset management (imagine locating where all of the printers are)
  • Personnel management (where to people sit)?
  • Emergency response – this could help direct 911 calls to the correct location and give directions.
  • Evacuation routing.
  • Helping the public find the place to go in the Hall to answer questions:

I’m interested to see what other folks would use this for.

It’s a big file, and you’ll need a pretty good video card, but check it out: http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=897659c034d045659b4c414f7ca2a1ae