The State’s GIS Users Group, while focused on GIS at the state level, is open to anyone interested in their work. Christina Boggs from the California State Department of Water Resources passed this along, and this is an opportunity to get involved with State GIS folks.
“Before I get into the details, I wanted to announce some happy news. Future meetings are going to be open to Federal, Local, Education and other awesome people. The focus is still going to be on topics and items that pertain to California State government but we are implementing an open door policy for this group.”
From the last meeting:
Here are the meeting notes, including links to download the powerpoints of the presentation pieces – download here
During the meeting there were a couple of quick suggestions that I started:
Contact list to facilitate community networking, thereby giving people the ability to find expertise from other departments – here is the link to add your contact information, after you post yours the list will be visible to you
Location to share projects and pieces of work – I created a GitHub organization for us to put snippets of code or other open-source projects for sharing – become a member here https://github.com/CaliforniaStateGISUserGroup (it’s empty, let’s fill it!)
The Los Angeles Regional GIS will serve as a forum for local and regional government agencies to collaborate and share information, ideas, strategies, best practices, and solutions and form partnerships with educational institutions, and State and Federal agencies regarding the implementation and management of GIS in Los Angeles County.
If you are part of a government agency at any level, educational institution, or other group supporting the public mission, you are encouraged to attend to make connections and help move our region’s GIS forward.
Congratulations to Scott Gregory (GIO of California) and his team – it’s a great start!
My quick take:
The sound clips talk a lot about mobile apps – looking forward to what that means
I really like the application carousel – it’s a pretty cool interface – but it doesn’t work in Google Chrome.
My favorite map could be the Parcel Viewer – but it isn’t working.
The Viewer leaves a lot to be desired – throwing data on a map without any tools that provide context doesn’t help too much. I think that Philadelphia’s map viewer is a bit closer to what we need – where you can switch between maps. But on that map, too there aren’t tools that let you interact with the information in a way that is specific to each map.
If this portal is for California, why is there Oregon data there?
Under the gallery, the organization by theme is really cool, but some of the links are just PDFs – don’t know if that is really what we need. BUT as this part fills out I look forward to it – I just hope that the search capabilities are robust enough to clear out clutter.
GRASS (Geographic Resource Analysis Support System)
Just as every skilled craftsman accumulates a variety of tools for the daily work, GIS professionals continually expand and evolve their software knowledge base.
While ArcGIS users are accustomed to working within the framework of Basic, Standard, and Advanced levels of licensing, open source GIS users gather their tools from a multitude of places. GRASS will be the first of the desktop applications this series will cover.
GRASS is the granddaddy of all open source GIS applications. With roots almost as old as ESRI’s ARC/INFO, it was originally developed by the U.S. Military as a tool for managing military-owned lands in the early 1980s. Today, GRASS’ software development is managed by a multinational team, licensed under the GPL.
GRASS is free, extremely powerful, and contains over 350 programs and tools for managing and analysing data. There is a learning curve for first time use; luckily, not too long ago, GRASS’ coordinator Markus Neteler uploaded this introductory full day workshop with videos. Plenty of supporting documentation is also available on the homepage, and there is a useful book on the subject.
If GRASS’ learning curve isn’t for you, fret not. The other upcoming software applications covered in this series are gui-driven and extremely user-friendly.