Weather archive updates

We collect imagery from national park webcams in the Great Smokies and Mammoth Cave parks and then make animated gifs of those webcam images. In 2011, I penciled this quick note:

110629 Nice time-lapse photography for all cameras and satellite. Make movie?

Beginning in 2012, we started archiving these animations.

New webcam added to animation archive

Turns out, we had Mammoth Cave working for the entire 2021 year, but didn’t have them accessible via a web page. With a little grep and sed action, the gifs were added to the default page for the Great Smokies archive. Visit the interface here.

Weather and animation archive

We plan on having at least the last year covered in the archive. At 60 GB a year now with HD cameras, it can get expensive hosting multiple years. I do have the years back to 2012 stored offline.

New Red River Gorge map

Over the past spring, we’ve been revamping our popular map for the Red River Gorge. The map should be available in early June. One of the additions is a new Bird’s Eye View map that user lidar elevation data and Blender 3d modeling software. You can view a zoomable image with this link

New map in our printed series for the Red River Gorge
New map in our printed series for the Red River Gorge

2020 Census data

Time to explore the data on a map. The experiment is show block group data for select demographic data, which was used for redistricting. This interactive presentation is a test of concept to show population density. Eventually, an UI element will be added to symbolize block groups by precent population in self-identified racial group – as defined in Census categories.

Kentucky Population density, 2020 Census with selected racial demographics by Block Group
uky-gis.github.io/ky-2020-block-groups/

Custom shaded relief maps

After a few weeks fiddling with the Blender 3D application to make smooth shaded reliefs, I decided to create raster tilesets that could be used with web mapping applications for a unique look. While the shading is not as accurate as multidirectional shading techniques used in GDAL and ArcGIS Pro, it makes a more artistic rendering.

To view a web page with samples, check out boydx.github.io/hugo-maps and also learn about the New Maps Plus program at the University of Kentucky).

Examples

Open ground features (click for high-resolution 13k version)
Kentucky bare-earth hillshade (click for hi-res 23k image)

An archive of message boards

phpBB

Back in the early 2000s, this popular messaging board (and others like it) was where online interaction happened. Many were focused on local groups and activities. Then, Facebook, spambots, and more dangerous hacking emerged. These boards couldn’t keep up and users eventually found more immediately gratifying social media platforms.

I have taken two popular boards and retired most of their functionality. One can view posts, but cannot add new ones or search (sorry).

Mapping the Sheltowee Trace from SheltoweeTrace.com
Lexrides from BikeLex.com

Eating a PB&J by oak tree

Point cloud of kid eating lunch by a tree
Lidar point cloud from a handheld sensor

Having fun with lidar

Lexington has a awesome fall event called, Paint by Nature, which encourages folks to create artwork around notable trees in the city. These trees aren’t necessarily the largest or showiest in their area, but are highly suitable plantings for their ecological settings.

While I didn’t make a submission, I did map the trees and used various lidar sources to visualize them. Visit this 3D visualization powered with Potree point cloud renderer. A growing list of similar visualizations can be found here.

Map of trees

Visit the trees in the Paint by Nature program on this page.

Web site of maps

Toward a scenic trail index

Sheltowee Trace, Daniel Boone National Forest, and Big South Fork scenic trail index
Visit the web page

Over the years we’ve pursued some measure that reveals the character of 900+ miles of trail here. Often we talk about a trail’s length or steepness with other dimensions gleaned from the base map. In this experiment, we are creating zones at discreet locations along trails and estimating the character of that location.

Over 14,000 polygons are shown on this 3D Mapbox map. The color indicates the type of scenery and height shows how much relief is the area. Future additions to this map include adding a searching tool and summary statistics for each trail.

Time-lapse animation

Downtown Lexington, Kentucky in July evening

Red River Gorge t-shirt

T-shirt front

Looking for a new fashion statement?

We’ve printed a map of the Red River Gorge on a 100%-cotton, heavy-weight t-shirt.

This double-sided t-shirt will be first available at the Kentucky Art Market, which is adjacent to the Woodland Arts Fair. This August 2019.

T-shirt back

West Sixth Farm trail map

Took an afternoon to GPS map the trail network at the West Sixth farm outside of Frankfort, Kentucky. You can download the map here https://www.westsixth.com/farmtrailmap.

West Sixth Farm trail map
Preview of the map

The farm maintains a mountain bike trail with technical features and one-way trails. Enjoy a ride and then a brew.

lidar point cloud render
View an interactive 3D map of the area

As an experiment, we added a 3D map from a lidar point cloud viewable here: https://outragegis.com/pointclouds/w6.

OSM highways

OpenStreetMap highway lines
Using QGIS layer blending mode to imply population density

Selected attributes symbolized from the North American extract: download.geofabrik.de/north-america.html

New Maps Plus projects

Visit the full-screen map.

I began teaching at New Maps Plus in October 2015. Students have made many awesome maps since then. This ‘map of maps’ shows projects going back to early 2017. Many of the early projects utilized CartoDB (now CARTO), which has evolved considerably over the years. While technology and visualization techniques change, a map is also an artistic pursuit and perhaps can withstand the ebb and flow of tech design styles.

New images and data from GOES-16

Visit the page to view and download imagery

Over Christmas break, it was time to automate collecting and displaying the incredibly detailed imagery from the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager. A problem that plagued previous efforts was not accessing the raw data, a netCDF formatted file for the contiguous U.S. which can be downloaded freely from a variety of cloud data hosts. With the raw data, one can project, modify and use it in web mapping libraries like Leaflet.

This page offers a slippy map of grayscale and color imagery and is updated every 15 minutes. You can download GeoTIFFs of rendered layers that can be used in GIS applications.

Arches mapping project

During the Fall 2018 semester, students mapped and visited arches and waterfalls in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge Geological Area. They adopted an arch or waterfall and produced maps, analyses, 3D visualizations, and a web page that explores their arch. Visit the site.

Arches in the Red River Gorge

Article about Boyd’s mapping classes

Thanks to students and crew in the University of Kentucky’s Natural Resources and Environmental Science (NRES) for this article in their Fall 2018 Newsletter.

Article about Boyd’s teaching experience at UKy (with little Ona in tow)
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