Monday, September 27, 2010

New Global Mapper

Version 12.0 of Global Mapper has been released. I am looking forward to upgrading.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Global Mapper

Sorry it has been a long time since I posted. I am looking forward to downloading the new version of Global Mapper. Should be out soon.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I heard a short blurb about a "space storm" causing problems with GPS yesterday. Did anyone else hear it? More details? I can't seem to find anything.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I have check out a few Geocache's the past few days. It is sort of a hobby that extends my work a bit. Unfortunately, I did not find them even though I was very close.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Global Mapper

The newest version of Global Mapper has added a feature to get USGS aerials at no cost.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mapping and Garmin

My "inexpensive" mapping GPS is a Garmin 76CX. I find the accuracy to be reasonable for my needs. You can use the Garmin's software to convert to shp files, or use DNR Garmin Developed by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. DNR Garmin is hand little free program.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Affordible Handheld

I attended Farmworks training this week. For about $250 you can get software to make your PDA into a credible GPS. You might also need a receiver. A bluetooth receiver for under $100 is a good alternative.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Good Article

Here is a good article on affordible GIS. Very good basic information.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What to keep track of?

I should have a guest writer for today. I can imagine the location and condition of Utility lines would be at the top of my list. The location of trouble spots would be useful to illustrate where capital improvements might be needed. Some municipalities track locations of crime to make decisions about where to concentrate enforcement efforts. Street type and condition, sidewalk type and condition, etc would be useful to keep track of. Parks and park facilities would seem to have potential for record keeping. I am sure that elected and appointed officials can think of many more things to keep track of than I can.

Friday, February 12, 2010

GIS and planning and zoning

One of the most important features of GIS is that it can make planning and zoning much more manageable. Existing data layers such as soils, floodplain boundaries, and undermined areas, can be used to make decisions about appropriate future development. Planning and zoning is not about telling people what to do with their land, it is about avoiding expensive mistakes both for the developer and the unit of government.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What about google earth?

Google earth and google maps are very useful, free maps. You can take data either direction. Either use google earth as your base map, and darw on it, or upload your finished maps to google earth and use it as your background.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Who can learn to do this stuff?

The first time you turn on your GIS, it will look very foreign, but with a day or 2 of training, most people can learn what they need to know to get a good start. No special talent or education is needed. Just be willing take the time to learn. Also, keep in mind that even if you can't remember how to do something, the fact that the software is capable of doing something is the first step in the learning process.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mapping my information

You can map the information you want to track in 2 different ways. One way is to use a good base map such as aerial photos or USGS topographic maps and trace your features onto those. Another way is to get a downloadable GPS and collect the data on site. Down load the data and display it on your base map.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Data available

It seems like there is more and more data available on line for free all the time. Illinois Geospacial Data Clearinghouse has lots of data. USDA is another good source.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Difficulty of using GIS

GIS's are not really difficult to start using. It is sort of like playing golf or fishing. Once you get started, there is lots of room for improvement. At first you will likely be most concerned with making nice looking maps. This is the easy part. Data analysis can be done by displaying certain data and also by by looking at numbers statistically.

Monday, February 1, 2010

What are maps

Maps are a representation of what is actually on the ground. As we move into RTK and Survey grade maps, the get close to being what is actually on the ground. The user needs to determine how accurate the maps need to be.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What do you want to track

Users need to Remember a GIS is just a database. One of the features in the database is locational information. In designing your database, you need to think about what you want to track at each location you are recording.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What can be tracked

Almost anything that locational can be tracked with a decent GPS setup and a downloadable GPS.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Small Towns

I suspect many small towns think they have no means to set up their own GIS. I think it is not only possible but productive to do so.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Looking for Afordable GIS?

If you are looking for an affordable GIS for personal use or for your village, municipality or other governement entity you have come to the right place.