March 2018
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Why We Code

Paul Ramsey’s keynote address from FOSS4G 2017, Why We Code, is now online. Open source software is everywhere around us, and this video presentation provides insight into the economics of open source ecosystems. Different people contribute to open source projects for many reasons, and his presentation dispels numerous myths.

FOSS4G (Free and Open Source Software 4 Geospatial) is the world’s largest annual conference dedicated to open source GIS software, drawing attendees from over 40 countries. The event rotates to a different continent each year. This year’s event was hosted in Boston, and 2018 will be a first for the African continent, hosted in Dar es Salaam.

FOSS4G 2017’s Post Conference Information is worth visiting, and we are starting to see a trickle of conference videos being uploaded on Vimeo.

Interested in a Master’s in GIS or Geospatial Science?

Passing this along:

If you are interested in pursuing education & careers in the data science field, Master’s in Data Science recently expanded their coverage to include geospatial science and geographic information systems (GIS).  Take a look at is a project of Degree Prospects, LLC, which was incorporated in 2008, and creates education-focused websites across a range of subject areas and student populations.

Nobody Knows What Lies Beneath New York City

Passing this along.  Thanks Thierno Diallo (LACDPW) for forwarding to us:

We have been doing projects here in the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning that remind me of some of the efforts mentioned in this article. While we are not mapping the underground, we are scanning and georeferencing maps that are 50 years old and beyond.  We have lots of different sets of maps as well, from old wall sheet maps to older zone change ordinances, certificates of exceptions, etc.  This is important information that we are able to serve via GIS web mapping applications to our staff.


GIS Analyst Position Open at Santa Monica

The City of Santa Monica is looking a full-time GIS Analyst. The annual salary is $94,548.00 – $116,724.00!!

Job Summary

Designs, analyzes and maintains the City’s Geographic Information System (GIS) applications databases and manages GIS related projects.

Click here for a full description


Got Story Maps?

I wanted to put together a collection of resources on Story Maps. The County of Los Angeles is really getting into using these more and more. We even put together a training program to show staff how to create them.

Here are some of my favorites…


Story Maps
1 An Introduction to Story Maps (Esri) Esri Story Map - Introduction to Story Maps
2 My Story Map About Story Map Types Nick Franchino's Story Map About Story Map Types
3 LA County Park Needs Assessment Story Map LA County Park Needs Assessment Story Map
4 The Cambridge, MA Story Maps Story Cambridge MA Story Maps Story
5 LA County GIS Day 2016 Story Map LA County's GIS Day 2016 Story Map

BTW…In case you didn’t realize, you can embed story maps within story maps. So there are way more than 5 examples here.  Enjoy!!!





Santa Monica College GIS classes begin Aug 28

GIS Classes at Santa Monica College. Fall semester begins Mon, Aug 28, 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.

4246 5:15p-6:35p TTh BUS 250 Liu J

Arrange-2 Hours

GIS 23, Intermediate Geographic Information Systems 3 units

Transfer: CSU • Prerequisite: Geography 20 or GIS 20.

Formerly same course as CIS 23.

This course emphasizes GIS principles and methodology used in both the private and public sectors. Hands-on applications using both raster and vector data and technology will expose students to more advanced understanding of GIS. Students will learn various methods of data acquisition, including Global Positioning Systems (GPS) as well as the World Wide Web. The add-on modules extend the analytical capabilities of ArcView and allow input of map features and conversion of feature themes from raster to vector. This course will also provide an introduction to several of ArcView’s extension including Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst. Students will complete a Model Builder to be used in siting new solar sites. Spatial Analysis will include slope and aspect maps, neighborhood and zone analysis. The course will present single and multi-layer statistical operations including classification, coordination, and modeling analysis.

GIS 23 is the same course as Geography 23. Students may receive credit for one, but not both.

4247 6:45p-8:05p TTh BUS 250 Liu J

Arrange-2 Hours

Rio Hondo College GIS Fall Semester Classes Start Aug 21

Pursue your GIS Certificate at Rio Hondo College.  Registration has started.  Apply for admission and register for classes entirely online. Fall semester classes include two Introduction to GIS (GIS 120) courses including one located off site at the LA County Department of Public Works (DPW) at 900 S Fremont Ave, Alhambra.  Also offered is Cartography (GIS 221) and Intermediate GIS (GIS 220). For more information visit


URISA: Save the Date

Passing along a ‘Save the Date’ from URISA:

Event: Combined GIS-Pro and CalGIS annual conferences.
Date: October 8-11, 2018
Location: Palm Springs, California

CalGIS is the GIS conference hosted by the four California URISA chapters and rotates to a different part of our state each year. GIS-Pro is the annual GIS conference hosted by the parent URISA organization, which rotates to different cities in North America each year. In 2018, both of these events will simultaneously occur in Southern California.


The City of Downey has an Opening for a GIS Intern

The City of Downey has an opening for a GIS Intern (deadline is 7/17/2017).

Please see the flyer – click here.



Los Angeles County Geographic Information Officer (GIO) Position is Open

Los Angeles County has opened its Geographic Information Officer (GIO) position to outside entities.  This is a great opportunity for those seeking the challenge of running a large GIS operation in the most populous county in the United States!

View job posting

$126,684.00 – $166,152.00 Annually
More about Los Angeles County, click here.