February 2017
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Maps and Charts for Valentine’s Day (from Geoawesomeness)

From our friends at Geoawesomeness (is that a place?  sounds cool!  it’s a blog, actually)

Top 14 maps and charts that explain Valentine’s Day

Here’s the link:  http://geoawesomeness.com/top-14-maps-charts-explain-valentines-day/

The Undiscovered Country

If you are a regular user of PostGIS, you probably already know that Paul Ramsey is its most well known champion. In a keynote he gave at Geomatiqué 2016 in Montreal, he provided some insights on where GIS is evolving.

He explained how GIS tends to lag about five years behind most other technologies. Concepts like Big Data, the Internet of Things, and Machine Learning are not all that new. What drives technological change is not the breakthroughs as much as the mass accessibility to those breakthroughs.

Yes, he borrowed the title of his presentation from Star Trek VI, but if you take the time to go through his well remarked slides, you might really enjoy his insights into how our GIS infrastructure is changing. You’ll see the often recurring quote,

“First it becomes possible, then it becomes so cheap that anyone can do it… and that’s where it gets interesting.”

San Diego International Airport Interactive Map

San Diego International Airport developed an interactive map (mobile Geocortex viewer) to show locations for dining, shopping, relaxing, etc. with photos and information. I think it’s worth checking out!



Los Angeles Geospatial Summit on Feb 24th

The Seventh Annual Los Angeles Geospatial Summit is an annual one-day professional development and networking event presented by the USC Spatial Sciences Institute. It will be on Friday, February 24, 2017 .

Topics include:

  • Learn about Google Geo and the power of location-based services and analysis in all parts of the business enterprise in the opening keynote address.
  • Get the industry lowdown on the potential and opportunities from drones with GIS.
  • Hear how the City of Los Angeles GeoHub and the impact of open data on government.
  • Find out new “tips and tricks” for GPS data collection.
  • Get mentorship advice.
  • Network with industry professionals throughout the day.
  • Gain experience in presenting and listening to “lightning talks” and poster presentation.
  • Talk with company and organization representatives at the lunchtime Knowledge Network tables:
    • BAE Systems
    • California Geographic Information Association
    • California Surveying and Drafting Supply, Inc.
    • County of Los Angeles
    • Esri
    • SoCal URISA

Registration Fee (includes continental breakfast, beverage breaks, and lunch)

Students: $40
CGIA and SoCal URISA Members and USC alumni: $60
Professionals: $70

Qualifies for GISP credit

Intro to GIS Course and Online GIS Certificate at UCLA Extension

UCLA Extension is offering an online Introduction to GIS course starting on January 16, 2017.  Enrollment is open to the public and will continue until January 23, 2017.

This course is the first course in UCLA Extension’s online certificate program in geographic information systems (GIS) and technology.  This fully-online, one-year certificate program provides a comprehensive introduction to state-of-the-art methods and techniques within the field of geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial technology. All courses are designed to accommodate the schedules of working professionals, and no prior GIS experience is required or assumed. Participants who complete the program can expect to be sufficiently prepared for an entry-level job in GIS and/or related geospatial industries.

Registration and more information can be found at: https://www.uclaextension.edu/LandingPages/Engineering/gis.html

Intro to GIS Course at Santa Monica College

Santa Monica College is offering an Introduction to GIS starting on February 16, 2017.

GIS 20, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, 3 units

Transfer: UC, CSU   •   Prerequisite: None.

GIS are computer-based systems used to collect, store and analyze geographic information. This course will present the concepts of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) science and its applications to spatial data management. Topics include: Identification and acquisition of GIS data; Assessment of vector and raster systems, scale, resolution, map projection, coordinate systems, georeferencing and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Spatial analysis and modeling with GIS will also be presented.

GIS 20 is the same course as Geography 20. Students may receive credit for one, but not both.

4212   6:45p-9:50p Th   BUS 250   Liu J

Here is a link to the college home page so that you can register:

Rio Hondo College GIS Courses

Rio Hondo College GIS courses start the week of January 30th.

Apply for admission and register for classes entirely online. Available courses include two Introduction to GIS (GIS 120) courses including one located off site at the LA County Department of Public Works (900 S Fremont Ave, Alhambra), also offered is Cartography (GIS 221), Crime Mapping (GIS 281) and Intermediate GIS (GIS 281).

To register for classes, you must first apply for admission (entirely free online). Directions for applying for admission and registering for the classes can be found at https://www.riohondo.edu/admissions/apply-for-admission/.

For additional information, contact Prof. Warren Roberts wroberts@riohondo.edu  (P.S. Did you know select Rio Hondo GIS courses are transferable courses to CSU and other universities?)

2017 GISP Map Contest

The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) is proud to announce its 2017 Map Contest.

This year’s challenge is to show us how GIS can be, or has been, used in either disaster preparation, response, or recovery. Scenarios can be real or imagined. More information is available, including eligibility and prizes, on GISCI Announcements.

The GISCI Outreach Committee extends its heartfelt apologies for not having 2016’s winning entries displayed at last year’s Esri User Conference Map Gallery, due to GISP Exam scheduling logistics. All efforts will be made to not repeat those mistakes this year.

The GISCI does have high hopes for a high number of contestants in 2017. After all, when it comes to disaster planning, are not GIS professionals considered heroes-in-waiting?

Open Data Discovery

Open Data Discovery is an interesting project that tracks and displays 306 open data portals around the globe.

“These data portals are established by nations, provinces, cities, and institutes worldwide, which are main force of the global activity of data opening. With the effort of constantly observing these portals, we hope to provide an overview of how data is opened worldwide from more perspectives and more dimensions.”

Try zooming to your city, and see who has your data.

URISA Leadership Academy

I’m passing this along from URISA. While our love of geospatial technology drives us in our professions to do many wonders for society, the URISA Leadership Academy offers a great opportunity to help us overcome that gap many of us might have in our education. Every organization needs that rare individual with the genuine talent to ‘make the trains run on time’ and spread GIS technology.

Unlike traditional technology management training programs, this one week event was created by GIS Professionals who know our industry and the issues we face. Due to an increased demand, URISA is offering two academies in 2017, including one in San Diego, California.

Words to the wise: Don’t wait. These events fill quickly!


Since uploading this post, I was inundated with quite a few emails, so let me try to answer some questions.

Some of us feel the best candidates for this event are people currently staffed in GIS management positions or qualified de facto managers of small, one-person GIS shops. Remember that your office training budget is a major factor.

Remember that your best resource for needed self improvement skills will likely be your own supervisor or college instructors. If you are a Los Angeles County employee, our Human Resources Department offers some excellent training sessions on supervision, providing your boss wishes to send you.

While this one week seminar offers valuable information that can benefit your organization, please remember it should not be viewed as a substitute for your local university Business or Public Administration program.