New GOES-16 satellite imagery for Kentucky

High-resolution weather imagery from GOES-16

Though GOES-16 is not officially operational, the availability of imagery has steadily increased. We found the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison hosts a set of imagery. The satellite will become fully online in November and undoubtedly many other data sources will be available.

This weather satellite captures 16 spectral bands with time resolutions as quick as every 30 seconds. The spatial resolution (the size of each pixel) is between 0.5 km and 2 km and the visible grayscale image for the continental US is 12,000 x 9,000 pixels and is collected every 5 minutes.

We wrote a series of crontab jobs to automate the processing of weather imagery to display on our website.

Real-time satellite image maps

Great Smokies solar eclipse images and animations

2:45pm looking across Rich Mountain and Cades Cove

For over a decade we’ve collected views from reliable weather web cams to build daily time-lapse animations for the Great Smoky Mountains. We’ve called the project Yesterday in the Great Smokies and offer a daily archive for the past three calendar years.

The August total solar eclipse in the southern Great Smokies offered a great opportunity to showcase some unique images from the archive.  [Read more…]

Maps at the Woodland Art Fair, August 19-20

2016 Cumberland Gap trail map, hiking information

2016 Cumberland Gap trail map and hiking information

The update to our Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is now available. Much like the old map, our 2017 version is a 1 inch to 1/2 mile scale map with 50-foot contours, trail elevation profiles, and  GPS-mapped trails shown in vivid full-color printing. This year we added a layer that shows the density of canopy coverage and GPS-mapped Caldwell Gap Trail. The size of the park has increased since our last update, so we’ve included most of the additional land.

 

Gap weather page using Dark Sky weather data

Weather Station

We also have updated our weather page for the high mountain elevations for Cumberland Gap using hourly forecast information and time-lapse satellite photography. This will help plan your latest adventure to unique mountain environment of Cumberland Gap. You can find the weather station here: https://outrageGIS.com/weather/gap.

[Read more…]

Cumberland Gap weather station

Gap weather page using Dark Sky weather data

We’ve updated our Cumberland Gap National Historical Park weather station! With the release of our 2017 trail map for the Gap, we decided to go in a new direction for our weather station. Our stations for the Daniel Boone and Great Smokies pull data and images from the National Weather Service. We then use ImageMagick and other UNIX utilities to process the data. It is kinda old-school, but it has worked well for years.

With the Gap weather station, we decided to go with the Dark Sky team. They made a big impact a few years ago with their weather maps so we decided to try their extremely detailed point location forecast data.Their API is well documented and we use mostly Javascript to build the weather page. We focused on weather conditions at the top of the mountain since the park has over 2000 vertical feet of elevation relief. We couldn’t the same detail from the NWS. As we explore the mountains we’ll compare the relative advantages of both of these data sources.

You can find the mountain top weather page here: https://outrageGIS.com/weather/gap

Kentucky River trails

Trails and hikes along the Kentucky River and in the greater Lexington area.

We’re excited to start compiling great hikes near Lexington and along the Kentucky River. Often we feel compelled to travel long distances to find natural areas to enjoy. While the Daniel Boone and Big South Fork forests provide multiday excursions, we can find challenging explorations along the Kentucky River and shared use paths in the Bluegrass. We also wanted to focus on opportunities to enjoy our tree canopy since most of our surrounding countryside is dedicated to private pasture and farmland.

Our goal is to do good research and offer a free map here to use on your mobile device. We will focus on five types of trails.

  1. Rugged and remote trails along the Kentucky River where on can explore the unique ecosystem of the Palisades.
  2. Shared-use trails that connect different parts of a city and provide opportunities to explore the urban edges.
  3. Walking trails, which are typically paved, that families can use to exercise and take a break from street sidewalks.
  4. Bike trails in the area, which are typically mountain bike and technical, but try to suggest trails that young cyclists can use for off-road fun.
  5. Canoeing opportunities on our public streams.

Enlarge map: https://outrageGIS.com/maps/bluegrass

You can follow our explorations on Pixel’s Travels. Here is 360 photo of the John Holder Public Trail in the Lower Howard’s Creek Nature Preserve.

Students map Town Branch Trail

Town Branch Trail in maps

Students create many maps and a website for the soon-to-be-built Town Branch Trail during the Spring 2017 semester in the GEO 409 (Advanced Topics in GIS) in the Department of Geography, University of Kentucky. We used mainly open source GIS software QGIS and GitHub to create and publish our maps.

We used mainly open source GIS software QGIS and GitHub to create and publish our maps. For the final project, students grouped into separate teams for web page production, field GPS and photography, story production, and 3D mapping.

An interactive map of the content produced for the final project can be found in the following map:

[Read more…]

Robinson Forest NRES camp 2017

360 photography at camp

This is the third year teaching at the UK NRES (Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences) summer camp. This course was a one-day GPS and GIS exercise to map the interpretive trails around base camp. With seventeen undergraduates and their mobile devices, we split into two teams. One team focused on the trail network and GPS mapped trail alignment and intersections. A second team mapped points of interests and interpretive sites along the main hiking trail up to the fire tower.

We worked in the camp classroom with QGIS, the leading free and open source GIS software, to make all of our maps. We imported our GPS data as KML or GPX formatted text files, which we then edited in QGIS. We created a shaded relief base map from DEM data (using the Terrain plugin!) over which we laid the cleaned trail data. We finally exported a GeoTIFF which could be loaded on mobile devices and used to locate position without requiring a cellular data connection.

Link to interactive map (6 MB)

We also touched on how to make interactive 3D maps. QGIS offers one of the richest environments to experiment with GIS data. We introduced a plugin, qgis2threejs, that is perhaps the easiest method to make online 3d maps. Take a look!

Robinson Forest

Robinson Forest Camp trail map

Robinson Forest Camp trail map

Last year, we GPS mapped the road to the fire tower. During the first year, we spent time making a static bird’s eye view of the main trail up to the fire tower. Since the first year, some students have asked about updating the map in the trailhead kiosk. It is a block diagram of the trail and its style is dated. This year, we discovered that theqgis2threejs QGIS plugin can make similar block diagrams. Maybe one year we can get one of these maps in the kiosk!

3D map with 2014 aerial photography (25 MB)

Ohio River bend at Dayton, Kentucky

Newport levee system

Dayton levee system

Dayton, Kentucky depends on a levee system to prevent flooding by the Ohio River. From this overlook at Eden Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, we can clearly see in the left half of the image how much the city is protected. The inside channel of the meander (the Kentucky side) historically had a much lower slope created by the mechanics of stream flow. As stream flow congested and slowed on the inside channel, sediment dropped from the river that mounded into a point bar and usable land.  However, periodic high river flows would inundate the whole point bar and the challenge became flood management. Dayton’s point bar was secured by this artificial levee system that is only so high. Our engineering of cities depends on knowledge of climate change.

We have created a zoomable photograph that you can use to inspect this levee:

Full-screen view of the photograph.

 

Eagle Rock and Boulder Canyon views

Eagle Rock climbing area in Boulder City canyon

We’ve made a series of 3D views for Wolverine Publishing’s climbing guidebook for Boulder Canyon, Colorado. This image shows Eagle Rock and was made with high-resolution aerial photography and LiDAR elevation data. The data was supplied by Boulder Canyon Climber Community.

Drafts of Cumberland Gap map

Map packaging artwork

We’ve been hard at work finishing our trail map for the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and surrounding area. This project is an update of our first Gap trail map. We’re hoping to have the maps in stock by Memorial Day, 2017.

Our new map is on a larger sheet size (39″ x 13.35″ divided into two sheets for convenient use) and at a scale of one-inch to a half-mile.

Please explore the drafts via links below and let us know if you have any suggestions.

Artwork drafts

Map side: https://outragegis.com/gap/map

Elevation profile side: https://outragegis.com/gap/legend

Map packaging artwork: https://outragegis.com/gap/cover

 

 

Cumberland Gap NHP interactive map

Interactive 3d map using Leaflet

Interactive 3d map using Leaflet

A bird’s eye view map of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park created in conjunction with our 2016 new release of the park map. This map is not georeferenced to real-world coordinates and uses a javascript mapping library, Leaflet, to generate the interactivity. We think of the developing project as a gateway for multimedia about the park’s environment and history that we want to share.

https://outrageGIS.com/gap/3d

 

Pilot Knob State Nature Preserve student mapping project

Students in NRE 355 (a GIS calass at the University of Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences program) visited the 740-acre Pilot Knob State Nature Preserve on September 21, 2016, and used mobile devices to collect GPS data for the existing trail network. They mapped approximately 3.2 miles of trail then used ArcGIS and CARTO to measure the trails and create a 2D map and 3D visualizations of the nature preserve. Students then created websites to showcase their work.

http://sweb.uky.edu/~blshea1/nre355/pksnp contains maps, animations, and links to student pages.

3D views and animations of Pilot Knob State Nature Preserve

3D views and animations of Pilot Knob State Nature Preserve

Elevation profile of connected interior spaces

Preview_LexingtonProfile

Enlarge this graphic

It’s downtown Lexington, summer, and hot. Poor air quality and oppressive heat are hazards for older walkers and those with cranky babies. An interior (mostly air conditioned) pedway exists that connects various buildings downtown and is a walking convenience for many folks. When Lexington has more shady pedestrian paths away from city streets, walking inside wouldn’t be so inviting and necessary. [Read more…]

Cumberland Gap trail map at Woodland Art Fair, August 20-21

2016 Cumberland Gap trail map, hiking information

2016 Cumberland Gap trail map and hiking information

The update to our Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is almost complete. Much like the old map, our 2016 version is a 1 inch to 1/2 mile scale map with 50-foot contours, trail elevation profiles, and  GPS-mapped trails shown in vivid full-color printing. This year we added a layer that shows density of canopy coverage and GPS-mapped Caldwell Gap Trail. The size of the park has increased since our last update, so we’ve included most of the additional land. [Read more…]

Audio driving tour on SoundCloud

Listen to audio

Listen to audio

We’ve added our audio driving tour for Cumberland Gap and Pine Mountain to SoundCloud. This self-guided tour will show you over ancient buffalo traces and Native American trails that frontier settlers cut into roads seeking the fertile lands of Kentucky. You will walk through Cumberland Gap where the Wilderness Road and the Warrior’s Path meet and look out upon America’s First Frontier. Along the Kingdom Come Scenic Parkway, you will hear the rushing headwaters of the mighty Cumberland River.

https://soundcloud.com/boydx

Download audio and maps: http://www.firstfrontier.org/tour/FirstFrontier-Audio196kbps.zip