April 2014
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LA County GIS Day 2012 – Save the DATE!!!

You are invited to join us for Los Angeles County’s 5th annual GIS Day!  Please share this invitation with all of your colleagues and friends!

Click here to download the “Save the Date Flyer”: GIS DAY 2012 SAVE THE DATE FLYER (pdf file)

This year’s event is titled GIS – The Power of Location.  The event is designed for County residents, government employees, and students to:

  • Show how county and city governments use GIS to make better decisions;
  • learn about opportunities for studying GIS at local colleges;
  • and discover how this technology is affecting our daily lives.

GIS Day will showcase more than 30 agencies, and include lectures, demonstrations, a map gallery, games, and activities focused on showing what we are doing with GIS.

Continue reading LA County GIS Day 2012 – Save the DATE!!!

New Job – GIS Web Developer

Passing a new job along:

New Job –  GIS Web Developer 

Continue reading New Job – GIS Web Developer

Full or Part Time Job Opportunity

I got this from a vendor and wanted to pass along…

VoyagerGIS is small software startup that is combining modern, high-speed, high-accuracy and resource-efficient web search technologies with geospatial data and maps.We are looking for a passionate individual who can help us create value for our customers by working in a testing, quality assurance, documentation and technical support role.

This is a great opportunity to be involved in all aspects of the software design, development and release processes as well as becoming part of the glue that keeps a small, agile software company successful.

The ideal candidate should be tired of traditional instruction-following work; work where you’re told exactly what to do.We’re looking for a creative person who can invent, lead, connect with others, make things happen and create order out of chaos. As a team we are geographically distributed (Los Angeles / San Francisco / New York) and have   9-to-5 office job a long time ago.You’ll need to be comfortable exchanging information digitally and attending occasional meetings – in person and virtually.Our company is growing quickly, so this role offers plenty of opportunity to advance.

Continue reading Full or Part Time Job Opportunity

Buildings built each year in LA County

Did you know that after World War Two, close to 100,00 buildings were being built per year?  Makes our recent “real estate boom” a bit smaller (although most of the recent building didn’t happen in LA County).

Take a look at the two graphs.

I was going through my hard drive and came across a couple of charts that I made a couple of years ago as soon as we received the Building outlines for the County of Los Angeles.  By geographically tying each building to the parcel and then looking at the earliest Year-Built code in the parcel file (since that actually refers to a building it makes sense) I was able to assign a year built to each building in the County.  At that point I was able to summarize the counts for each year and come up with a chart.

Next steps.  What I would really love to do is to make a video (like the ones I made about foreclosures) and show the growth of LA County building by building – but I haven’t been able to find a computer big enough to process the datasets :(


Grant Opportunities for Educational Institutions

David Peck passed this along – it sounds like a very good opportunity.  Paraphrased from the synopsis:

Investigations are encouraged to propose plans for research about the nature, causes, and consequences of human activity and natural environmental processes across a range of scales. Projects on a variety of topics (both domestic and international) qualify for support if they offer promise of contributing to scholarship by enhancing geographical knowledge, concepts, theories, methods, and their application to societal problems and concerns. GSS encourages projects that explicitly integrate undergraduate and graduate education into the overall research agenda.

Full announcement here:  http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2012/nsf12570/nsf12570.pdf

Program Title:

Geography and Spatial Sciences Program (GSS)

Continue reading Grant Opportunities for Educational Institutions

14th Annual American Public Works Association (APWA) GIS conference

Reposted with the agenda

I wanted to pass along this information about the Annual APWA conference.  I’ve been a few times and it’s a nice venue and sharp folks!

Download the registration flyer (pdf file)

Download the Conference Program (pdf file): Conference Program 2012 Final All Pages

Continue reading 14th Annual American Public Works Association (APWA) GIS conference

Improving your ArcGIS Web Performance

Here is another good trick I think would be useful for our web developers.  Thanks ESRI!

One of the most important parts of web application development and design is the overall performance of the application. It’s important from the beginning stages of development to implement code that does not hinder performance. There are a number of tools available to help monitor the overall performance of a web application during development.

Google provides a great web application development resource called Page Speed.  Page Speed works as an in-browser tool analyzing a browsed site’s client-side code. Once Page Speed has completed the analysis of the browsed site it lists a number of client side performance improvements that can be made. The improvements are grouped in order of importance with descriptions of each improvement that can be made.

Page Speed can be downloaded from Google’s Developers site. Downloads are available for both Chrome and Firefox.


View article


ImageMagick (visit the home page or the wiki) is a free, open source software suite, capable of reading and writing over 100 raster image formats. It is sometimes mentioned as an open source GIS software application because GIS users have found ImageMagick very useful for preparing scanned maps for creating seamless raster mosaics.

Instead of being a GUI-based image editor like Adobe Photoshop, ImageMagick is a collection of command line utilities you can run in a DOS or UNIX shell. Powerful scripts can be created that can process several images in a single batch file. A few of us were scanning some very large color maps that needed to be sent via email. After scratching our heads, we used the following ImageMagick script

convert image1.tif +dither -posterize 2 image2.png

To ‘posterize‘ an image is to reduce its file size by eliminating the number of colors. The number 2 is the lowest settting for color reduction. The script above started with a raw uncompressed TIF file image1.tif (our original scan was 400 MB) and created a much smaller file image2.png (1.5 MB). The PNG file format reduces its file size by eliminating unneeded colors.

After cropping and cleaning our PNG in a program like Photoshop, our last step was to write another script to convert the PNG to PDF.

convert image2.png image3.pdf

A great place to begin using Imagemagick is to try some of the numerous example scripts at http://www.imagemagick.org/Usage/. There is also a page for Windows users at http://www.imagemagick.org/Usage/windows/.

Spaces still avialable for GIS courses at Rio Hondo college

Warren Roberts wanted me to let folks know that there are a few seats remaining.


  1. GIS 120 ticket 70552 03:55pm to 6:50pm MW room Technology 102 (first class meeting August 20)
    GIS 120 Syllabus
  2. GIS 230 ticket 70554 07:00pm to 09:30pm Tues / Thurs room Technology 102 (first class meeting August 21).
  3.  This course will need a document (click here to download the waiver) signed by myself to waive a requirement (ET260) which has since been removed as a prerequisite but still remains as prerequisite for this last semester.  This Course covers an overview of GIS, working with raster modeling tool, suitability modeling and GPS (Pathfinder Office / Trimble) field work

Changing your default Geodatabase in ArcCatalog

This knowledge article is good news, since my home folder is on a network share drive, which means that everything takes longer to start up.  It looks like in 10.1 there is an easy to do this, but since I am still using 10.0 I thought I would share:

Link to the article