July 2016
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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 http://www.esri.com/events/user-conference/exhibits/map-gallery-results.

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!


City of Los Angeles GeoHub Presentation at ESRI

Congratulations to Lillian Coral and the City of Los Angeles for a great presentation on the value of GIS and how it is benefiting the City of Los Angeles.  It’s a 9 minute video:

LA County buildings being loaded into OpenStreetMap (in 3D!)

Since we made our Building Outlines public a few years ago, I have received requests here and there for that information in order to load that information into Open StreetMap (OSM).  The scope of the project is huge (over 3,o00,000 buildings) and OSM doesn’t allow, as far as I know, the ability to just upload a massive file (that would make this really easy).  So I figured it would never get done.

But I was wrong!!!  MapTime LA has been working on this over the past few months, and I wanted to give them kudos for embarking on this massive project.  Jon Schleuss from the group (and LA Times) let me know that they are progressing well, and even kept the height attributes that we had requested, which allows the buildings to be visualized in 3D!!  He passed along a link which will show the buildings the way that I hoped they could be shown!

Take a look in a WebGL browser like Internet Explorer


Every Single Trail in California on One Map

cali-hiking-map-fullThanks for a couple of folks passing this along.  Pretty amazing work by one person – although it would be hard to take this one with you 🙂



Big Data Day L.A.

What is ‘Big Data’? If we gathered all the digital data our civilization has collected from the beginning of time until the year 2000, it would be less than what we now create in a minute.

The dramatic rise of internet usage by phone and the use of other smart devices is something that Esri and many other software companies are paying attention to. Feel free to visit Esri’s Hadoop page. Even today’s economy cars have more sophisticated electronics than the original lunar spacecraft that landed on the moon. Luckily, there is an event!

Event: Big Data Day LA 2016
Date: July 9, 2016
Location: West Los Angeles College, 9000 Overland Avenue, Culver City, CA 90230
Cost: Free
Description: Big Data Day LA is the largest conference of its kind in California, packed with informational speakers.
Homepage: http://www.bigdatadayla.com/
Hash: #BigDataDayLA

OpenStreetMap Building Import Party

The Los Angeles Times is hosting an OpenStreetMap building import party at their downtown office this Saturday from noon until 4 p.m. RSVP here.

For those that don’t know, OpenStreetMap is an open-source mapping database that anyone can edit and use.

The Times, Mapbox and local mappers are using the county’s building file (combined with data from the Assessor file) to add all the buildings to OSM.

More than half a million buildings have been added already, with about 2.5 million left. They’ll have folks on hand to introduce you to OpenStreetMap and the editing software JOSM. You can also jump in and start adding buildings today by following the import guide.


I am moving to become the LA County Chief Data Officer

I wanted to let folks know that I have accepted the position of the Chief Data Officer of the County of Los Angeles, effective today, Thursday, June 16th, 2016.

After 10 years as LA County’s Geographic Information Officer, and over 20 years working with GIS, I am excited for this new opportunity, and look forward to bringing my background with geospatial intelligence and analysis into the broader data world of the County.  Becoming the Chief Data Officer will give me the opportunity to expand the scope of my work to include all facets of the County’s operations and information, and helping the County leverage data to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its support to the 10 million residents of LA County.

My success is wholly and completely due to the energy, expertise, collaborative spirit, and generosity of the County’s GIS community.    I have always seen myself as the cheerleader of these great people, and that will always continue.  You have made these years rewarding as I saw the growth of the impact and influence of GIS.  Both within the County, and through the wonderful collaboration with cities, agencies, educational institutions, and the public, I have learned so much from everyone around me.

I am really proud of the work that has led to the LA County GIS Data Portal, the LA County GIS Viewer, the Solar Map, and the many other applications and datasets that have made GIS more available and visible to everyone.   Most importantly, the creation of a GIS Classification series I think will have the greatest impact on the County in the long term, with the ability to recruit and retain talent, and partner with educational institutions meaning that GIS will continue to thrive long beyond any one person is gone.  The fact that 140 County staff are recognized and compensated as GIS professionals is already having ripple effects across the Country, since LA’s size and scope makes it a leader nationally.

OK – I’ll get off my soapbox.


What comes next

I will be at the next eGIS Committee Meeting on July 26th to hand over the reins of that great group.

My email address, phone number, and office will remain the same, since I will still be within the Chief Information Office of the County.  So it isn’t as large a transition as it might have been, and I will be available as necessary as the County finds a new GIO who can continue geo-enabling the County.  I expect to work closely with the new GIO, since most of our data is location-based, and GIS will be critical for sharing and analyzing it.

Until a new GIO is appointed, I am providing a list of contacts who will temporarily take responsibility for major initiatives is below, and more importantly, answer and direct questions.

I will still be available to provide occasional support, and provide guidance on GIS matters, but the experts listed below will be able to take over my work seamlessly.


Enterprise GIS General Questions

Enterprise GIS Steering Committee and Executive Committee

Enterprise GIS Systems and Services

Enterprise GIS Repository and GIS Data Portal

GIS Software Licensing        

County GIS Services to Cities

Countywide Address Management System (CAMS)

Los Angeles Regional Imagery Acquisition Consortium (LARIAC)

Location Management System and Services Locator


Census and Demographic Support


For a more detailed set of contacts, please refer to the County’s GIS Services Catalog.

Mark Greninger
Geographic Information Officer (former)
County of Los Angeles


Free Crime Analysis course package

cime_analysis_courseThanks to Wendy Harn for passing this along …

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) used to offer training courses for ESRI ArcGIS. They have recently released their training materials, now updated for 10.1, that were updated by their Geospatial Center of Excellence, Rand. Thought they may be of use to some of you!



What: The U.S. Census Bureau will conduct a series of free data access webinars to all interested data users. Attendees will learn how to access demographic, socioeconomic, housing and business data from the decennial census, American Community Survey, Local Employment Dynamics, economic programs and more.


When: June 1 – Aug. 31, 2016

To learn about and register for our webinars, visit census.gov.

Additional webinars will be added to the schedule on June 10.

This webinar series will offer a variety of thematic sessions using data tools such as American FactFinder, QuickFacts, DataFerrett, Census Explorer, Local Employment Dynamics, Business Dynamics Statistics, Voting Hot Reports, etc. All sessions are conducted by a representative from the Census Bureau and will last between 30 minutes to two hours. If you are not familiar with the American FactFinder tool, we recommend that you attend an introduction to American FactFinder or the Quick Data Reports webinar prior to participating in other sessions.

Important to Know:

  • Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. A waitlist is available for all sessions.
  • Most webinars will not be recorded in order to reduce the risk of technical issues.
  • We recommend that you test your computer at least 30 minutes before your first webinar to ensure that you have the appropriate software installed.
  • Audio is provided via conference call.
  • Materials will be sent to participants before or after each webinar.
  • Feel free to reach out directly to your training instructor.

For general questions about the webinar series, please send an email to clmso.ddb.questions@census.gov