Cranksgiving 2016 map

This map is for Cranksgiving 2016, bicycle competition and food raiser for God’s Pantry Food Bank. I put it online this year since the race had about 5x as many grocery stores. Check out the printed manifest and the mobile map: https://outragegis.com/cranksgiving [Read more…]

Chicken Chase map

Map of chicken houses in Lexington, Kentucky

Map of chicken houses in Lexington, Kentucky

Downtown Lexington has a large number of chicken coops. A coop tour has been an annual event for years. In 2016 Floyd’s Farm & Home asked us to make a map of a tour centered on 6th Street. We used the artwork created by Homegrown Press (whose studio is located at 6th and Limestone) and tried to style the map in a similar fashion.

East End Preservation Project map

East End Preservation Project map

East End Preservation Project map

A map historically significant homes and structures in the Martin Luther King and William Wells Brown neighborhood associations; many have connections to African-American work and life over the past two centuries. It was a pleasant afternoon walking Onabits, aka lil’ blue eyes, and taking photographs in my neighborhood. With the growth of the north Limestone corridor and the planned development of the Midland and 3rd street area, it’s important to recognize the history that resonates through downtown Lexington. We’ll come back in 10 years and see how many of these structures remain.

Base map for Salt Lake City hiking

East of Salt Lake City

East of Salt Lake City

A client needed a base map for an upcoming hiking guide to areas east of Salt Lake City. We came up with a simple, clean photoshop file using NAIP aerial imagery and 1/3 arc-second seamless DEM. The NAIP was used to create an NDVI and estimated canopy cover and the DEM was used as a shaded relief and to generate 40 ft contours. The NDVI and shaded relief were used for emphasis and helped make the aerial ‘pop’ a little more. Lakes and perennial streams were added, but as you can see the don’t register perfectly with the aerial image.

Norris Watershed Trail Map

Norris Watershed Trail Map

Norris Watershed Trail Map

Over the past year, we’ve refined a trail map for the City of Norris, Tennessee. The Norris Watershed Trail Map is probably printed by now and offers GPS mapped trails and mountain biking opportunities. The WPA era dam is pretty cool, too.

[Read more…]

City of Rocks and 3D mapping offer teaching moment

City of Rocks example visual

City of Rocks example visual

With the quality of elevation data increasing, especially with the availability of LiDAR data, we have an opportunity to make unique visuals. Recently Wolverine Publishing needed maps developed for the climbing area, City of Rocks in Idaho. The project needed high-resolution maps and the data was available through public sources. We like making the physiographic base maps for recreation areas and this offered a special challenge. [Read more…]

Swift Camp Creek Trail interactive 3d map

Explore a 3D view of Swift Camp Creek

Explore a 3D view of Swift Camp Creek

This interactive 3D map was built in QGIS using a add-on named QGIS2Threejs. The add-on builds the model from digital elevation model in QGIS and drapes the layers symbolized in map view over the model. It utilizes javascript to make interactive in browser.

Explore the Swift Camp Creek Trail in the Red River Gorge with this 3D map. Learn more about this trail in our hiking trail page.

Lexington’s Urban Canopy

An exploration of canopy cover measures

An exploration of canopy cover measures

How much tree canopy covers the urban service area of Lexington, Kentucky? Inspired by the Davey Resource Group’s October 2013 study of canopy cover using 2012 NAIP imagery within Lexington’s Urban Service Area, a GIS class at the University of Kentucky created a similar, though limited, evaluation. [Read more…]

Pine Mountain Canopy Tour

Canopy zipline tour mapping assignment

Canopy zipline tour mapping assignment

What wild weekend and mapping task! Boyd led an undergraduate GIS class at the University of Kentucky and endeavored to map and analyze environmental tourism assets on Pine Mountain. During discussions with Pine Mountain State Resort Park, we discovered a canopy zipline tour, one of the first in the state, was being installed in the park. [Read more…]

Robinson Forest Camp Trail Map Exercise

Robinson Forest Camp trail map

Robinson Forest Camp trail map

As part of UK Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences 2015 Summer Camp, I taught a one-day GPS and GIS exercise to map the interpretive trails around base camp. With seven undergraduates and their mobile devices and one Trimble ProXRS, we split into three teams. One team focused on the trail network and GPS mapped trail alignment and intersections. A second team mapped interpretive sites on the left-side of trials, while a third-team mapped right-side features.

In the second-half of the day, we worked in the classroom and on laptops to make a map in ArcGIS. Some students had GIS software experience and helped their fellow classmates to make a map as a geospatial PDF and use on their mobile devices. A GeoPDF is a mobile map that doesn’t require a cellular data connection to function.

Topography and Hemlock Habitat

Elevation range in feet within an area 164-foot square

Elevation range in feet within an area 164-foot square

Sheltered coves and north-facing cliffs are hemlock habitats in Eastern Kentucky. This map shows range of elevation change within a 164-foot square area. Red areas indicate the highest relief, which are mountain slopes in the coal fields, and cliffs along the Pottsville Escarpment and Pine and Cumberland Mountains fault. Since most cliff is sandstone, areas indicated as cliffs would presumably have sandy soils, which is a condition for other evergreen species habitats, e.g., mountain laurel and rhododendron.

This is first-run test. Further analysis would include adding aspect, evergreen canopy cover, and soils to better refine predicting hemlock habitat.

Town Branch Trail and Density of Healthy Canopy

Which property has the healthiest canopy?

Which property has the healthiest canopy?

Town Branch Trail is a developing shared-use trail connecting downtown Lexington with the city’s outer countryside. The exercise shows the completed and funded phases for the trail, and assesses the extent and health of trees along the trail.

Using National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP 2012 imagery an NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) was created and then shown as a ratio per parcel area. After viewing the initial results, a student said, “This is a realtor’s map!” and then quickly visited the PVA website to compare property values to its ‘green index.’

Mapping Kentucky’s Wildland Fires with Satellite Imagery

KentuckyWildfires_2012-2014Kentucky has damaging wildland fires, while also using prescribed burns to manage habitat. An unfortunate statistic tells us that most wildland fires in Kentucky are from arson.

This student lab uses MODIS Active Fire Detection products and Landsat 8 near-infrared bands to locate and analyze the largest fires between April 2012 and October 2014. I hope to get point locations of smaller fires from Kentucky Division of Forestry to compare with satellite-based observations.

 

Students Like Field Trips

Arboretum Woods Poster

Arboretum Woods Poster

What can students do with a smartphone, ArcMap, and a linux server? More than just have fun outside!

15 student teams from two GIS courses at the University of Kentucky mapped, measured, and photographed 603 trees in the Arboretum Woods. Each team (which adopted colorful team names) was given (approximately) an acre zone. They used common mobile devices and low-cost apps to GPS and photograph the most significant trees. 

Each team made a poster and presented them during a 2014 International GIS Day event in the Thomas Poe Cooper building on UK’s campus. It was widely attended and praised for the strength of student teams’ achievement. 

UK_Arboretum_WebMap_LinkSince students photographed each tree, we made an interactive map that shows these photos and can be used for geolocation while in the woods. Using Leaflet, GeoJSON, and a Linux server, student SWEB accounts host data that feeds this interactive map: Look at trees now!

A Neighborhood’s ‘Green’ Index

NeighborhoodGreenIndex_MLKNAA map showing ratio of property parcels covered in healthy canopy in the Martin Luther King Neighborhood Association in Lexington, Kentucky.

Using National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) 2012 aerial imagery, a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was created. Values greater or equal to 0.3 were assumed healthy canopy and (mostly) verified by visual inspection from imagery and summer field observations.