July 2015
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County Presentations at the ESRI UC

For those of you who are going to the ESRI User Conference next week, check out the maps that LA County will be showing at the Map Gallery (we have a dedicated space this year).

As well, I will be posting the presentations that our staff will be doing below:

Information Description
Public Works


Marianne Jeffers

Francis Calasanz



8:30 – 9:45 AM

Room 23A

Benchmark Project


The Los Angeles County Public Work’s Vertical Control Network cover more than 1,700 miles of level runs and comprise of almost 9000 benchmarks. The elevation information associated with each benchmark is essential for surveyors and is available for download in the form of tabular data in pdf format. Converting the tabular data to points in GIS not only improved the delivery method via mobile devices but presented us with opportunities for process improvement and data mining.




Tom Weisenberger

Christine Lam



3:15 – 4:30

Room 31A

Mapping Fruit Trees: A Web Map Data Entry System


Detecting invasive insects is extremely important to protect California agriculture. A web mapping and editing application with mobile capabilities has been developed at LA County so that paper files stored in binders can be converted into a GIS database. The Pest Detection Viewer will be demonstrated to show how the latest GIS technology, database spatial queries, and tools provided by Esri and Latitude Geographics have enabled users to efficiently enter over half a million fruit trees


LA County GIS Data Portal reaches 1 million hits!

IMG_4459Late last week the LA County GIS Data Portal reached a pretty cool milestone – 1 million views!

We started our site to share the County’s GIS data back in 2009, and got 269 views that year.

In 2010, we ramped up to 6,706 views – but as you can see from the picture we have been getting more and more traffic each year as we have released more information, and made the data available more comprehensive!  Last year we topped 300,000 views!

The success of our site is really based upon the hard work of the County’s GIS community – keeping the information up to date, responding to questions, and focusing on the value of sharing.

We continue to work to share the value of our GIS efforts, and the power of GIS!


Southern California GIS users meet and greet at the ESRI conference

Hello everyone,

As we have done for the past two years, we have reserved a room at the ESRI conference for Southern California GIS users to meet each other.  So if you are at the ESRI conference this year, I encourage you to put names to faces, and get to know your GIS peers around you!

Here is the information:

Tuesday, July 21st
12 – 1 PM
San Diego Convention Center, Room 30E

GIS Position in San Luis Obispo County

slo_gis_jobThe County of San Luis Obispo is looking for a talented individual for the position of Geographic Information Systems Analyst I or II.  San Luis Obispo County Information Technology Department (ITD) supports the countywide technology infrastructure and approximately 2,500 users.  The County’s implementation of GIS crosses multiple departments and is coordinated through the County ITD.  Current vacancies exist in ITD as well as the County Assessor’s Office.

Link to the job posting


Map of California GIS Contacts

giscontactsThe California Geographic Information Association has released a map showing GIS contacts across the State.  This very useful map will allow you to connect with GIS professionals across the state, and hopefully will serve as a way to connect the GIS community in the state of California.

Using the map, you can:

  • Click on counties and cities and find the relevant GIS contact information, home page, GIS page, and data download page.
  • Search for federal, state, county, city, and user groups by name.
  • Download a complete list of contacts by clicking on “View Contact Data”
  • Suggest changes or request the ability to make changes through the “Update Info” tab.
  • Embed the map in your own site via an IFRAME:

<iframe src=”” width=”100%” height=”800″ frameborder=”1″ marginwidth=”1″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no”></iframe>

Please check it out, and make suggestions as necessary!

What is Open Street Map?

About a decade ago, a group of cyclists in the U.K. were frustrated with the lack of freely available street map data. Cyclists need to know how to get from here to there without freeways. This is what led to the founding of OpenStreetMap, or OSM, one of the world’s best known crowd-sourced projects. If we are not familiar with the OSM site, many of us may already be familiar with OSM base maps used in other places like ArcGIS Online, MapBox, CartoDB, and several others. What sets OSM apart from familiar commercial online map services is its copyright that allows free use and redistribution of its data. Note that OSM’s data is free for everyone to use, but its tile servers are not.

In the United States, the OSM Foundation recently held its annual conference, the State of the Map US in New York City. Video recordings of the many talks, panels, and workshops are available on the conference Program page.

A great way to learn more about OSM is to meet up at one of the various Mapathons. Senior mappers talk about OSM to new users, and new and old users alike socialize and update a very useful map.

LA County Enterprise GIS Services Catalog

services_catalogThe eGIS Services Catalog is the overarching document of the services offered by the Los Angeles County Enterprise GIS Group.  It describes in increasing detail (from overview to detailed technical aspects) the six services that are offered as part of the LA County Enterprise Program:

  1. Data Services
  2. Online Mapping Services
  3. Countywide Applications
  4. License Management Services
  5. Training and Support Services
  6. GIS Solutions

The document attached above does not include the detailed technical appendixes since those contain internal addresses and web service addresses, but it describes in detail the services that support the County’s GIS initiatives.  Internal County staff have access to the full set of attachments.

Referenced in the document is the eGIS Service Level Agreement (June 2015), which outlines the services levels and terms and conditions governing the use of the GIS resources.

The story of ETAK’s amazing car navigation system from 1984

William Montgomery passed this article along – when I started in the County, we had just licensed the Thomas Brothers dataset, but ETAK was another dataset that was commonly used in a number of departments (now we are all using Open Source data).

But the reason behind the creation of the data is an amazing one – I remember Peter Fonda-Bonardi talking about this amazing car navigation system.

Makes you realize that concepts can be around for a long time, but it can take other technologies (GPS, smart phones) to really make them succeed!

Read the article here

Senior GIS Analyst Position at San Diego County

The County of San Diego is currently accepting applications for a Senior GIS Analyst to fill one immediate vacancy in the Office of Emergency Services.

The Senior GIS Analyst is a lead or supervisory level job class responsible for providing technical guidance and leadership to professional staff; and may supervise GIS staff within a department.

Qualified Applicants Must Possess:

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university, or a certified foreign studies equivalency, in geography, earth sciences, civil engineering, urban planning, information technology, biology with an emphasis in GIS, computer science, or closely related field, OR, successful completion of a college level GIS certificate program; AND,

  1. Three (3) years of full-time experience as a GIS Analyst with the County of San Diego administering and operating a GIS system using ArcGIS Desktop or Server or similar type software to develop GIS data, digital maps, or other digital displays for spatial analysis; OR
  2. Four (4) years of full-time experience administering and operating a GIS system using ArcGIS Desktop or Server or similar type software to develop GIS data, digital maps, or other digital displays used for spatial analysis.

Visit the job announcement for more information and to apply.

2015 CGIA Awards

Tom Weisenberger (ISD), Max Regis (ACWM), and Christine Lam (ISD) won CGIA’s Outstanding Internet Application Award for the County’s Pest Detection Viewer. Congratulations!

Christine Lam accepts CGIA award

Christine Lam accepts CGIA award

The award is sponsored by California Geographic Information Association (CGIA) and was presented at the CalGIS Conference in Sacramento.

For full listing and descriptions of CGIA Award winners and their projects, click here.