Woodland Art Fair time, 2014!

Come down to the Woodland Art Fair this Saturday and Sunday, August 16 and 17,and check out our new Sheltowee Trace North map. We have a couple neat projects in the works and would like to hear your trail adventure stories.

Cover wrap of our new Sheltowee Trace Map

Cover wrap of our new Sheltowee Trace Map. Click to enlarge.

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Sheltowee Trace North map

Trails in the northern half of the Daniel Boone

Trails in the northern half of the Daniel Boone

We are now printing the Sheltowee Trace North map, which covers the ST and official trails between the Northern Terminus and Mckee in Jackson County, Kentucky. That’s 138 miles of ST and  130 miles of official trail. The map is same scale as our previous ST south maps, but the sheet size has been enlarged to 19″ x 27″ and packs down to 4.5″ x 6.5″. We will also offer a lamination and heat press service to make these maps bomber in the field.

Cover wrap of our new Sheltowee Trace Map

Cover wrap of our new Sheltowee Trace Map. Click to enlarge.

A couple unique additions to this title might be useful for the serious trail enthusiast. The map is formatted to show the trail network of Cave Run Lake and Red River Gorge on single, separate sheets. The new ST reroute around Morehead and new trails in Cave Run are located. Groceries, public libraries, power lines, and pipelines are located. We’ve added 1,000 m UTM grid. What else? Lots of love and devotion for the trails of the Daniel Boone.

Overview

Low resolutions drafts of the press sheets (note these previews require Flash). These have been altered in final version. The only way to see the finished map is to hold it in your hand!

Northern Terminus
Cave Run Lake
Red River Gorge
Southern Gorge, Turkey Foot, and McKee

Just like the South ST map, when the ST leaves a sheet it has a letter in a red box as label to match the trail on the next sheet. Just follow A…B…C… for 138 miles.

Thanks for the input in correcting thre above drafts!

A Postcard from Puerto Rico

Photos and a block diagram of NE Puerto Rico

We recently visited Puerto Rico and explored the island’s public parks and forests. Spanish forts in San Juan are wonderfully preserved by the National Park Service and the El Yunque cloud forest is the only tropical rain forest maintained by the National Forest Service. These ares are public treasures and hard to capture by photography alone. You might have seen postcards with extruded maps of mountainous areas and tourist destinations. That’s the quick experiment here, but done just two-dimensionally.

Working on a Cumberland Falls map

July draft of Cumberland Falls trail map

July draft of Cumberland Falls trail map

This July we have started a topographic trail map for the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. The map will use aerial photography, 20-foot elevation contours, and GPS mapped trails. This two-sided 13.5″ x 19″ full-color map will show the entire park and connecting trails into the Daniel Boone NF, including Dog Slaughter Falls. This map is at 1:15,000 scale. The second map will zoom into the central area of the park and show trails at 1:5,000 scale. We anticipate this will be an awesome map, especially when used under a moonbow.

Some downtown Lexington destinations

Sample of custom guide for Lexington destinations

Sample of custom guide for Lexington destinations

Imagine a lot of new people arriving to a downtown hotel and you need to recommend unique destinations for dining. I guess you could give a list that they could yelp, but wouldn’t a paper map add a nice, personal touch?

A small map of interesting places to eat and play

A small map of interesting places to eat and play

We have marveled at the growth of mobile maps that tap in largest collective database ever generated and, unfortunately, the subsequent loss of interest in paper maps. While mobile can help locate you in an unfamiliar city with GPS, the map data can be uninspiring and wildly inaccurate. The problem I suggest is the zoom, since we expect ever complex revelations with increasing zoom levels. We all know it’s a big bummer when you zoom into a blank screen, right? We think a static maps can better stimulate imagination and invite navigation into unfamiliar areas.

This is a small experiment integrating 3D maps, photography, and a few SketchUp models to give a quick sense of place and provide a simple navigation tool to explore the city.

McConnell Springs Trails

3D map

3D map

A perspective view of trails and destinations in Lexington’s McConnell Springs park. This historic location host notable destinations such as the Blue Hole, The Boils, the Old Bur Oak, and the Final Sink. This map will be offered to park after some additions and modification, perhaps adding a more realistic model of the Science Center.

Cliffview Resort Perspective Views

Mass Elevation Points

Mass Elevation Points

A project to develop a large-format printed document that helps visitors navigate the resort and better understand the unique ridge. This map requires developing a terrain dataset to model cliffline and dams, because the resolution of the elevation data is not sufficient for this scale. These samples focus on the zipline tour in the resort. Hopefully, this completed map will be released in late June.

Mass Elevation Points

Mass Elevation Points

Zipline

Zipline

Zipline

Zipline

Zipline

Zipline

Block Diagram

Block Diagram

Style sample

Style sample

Modeling University of Kentucky’s Campus

Campus pedestrian network

Campus pedestrian network

We’ve been visualizing campus paths with new GIS data provided by UK’s Facilities Information Services. Students have GPS mapped cut-through paths (they lovingly call cow paths) and other students have placed SketchUp models for campus town buildings. This is a preview of some of the data, so stay tuned for a featured analysis.

Outstanding Geography Teacher Award

Outstanding Geography Teacher Award, 2014

Outstanding Geography Teacher Award, 2014

Boyd Shearer was awarded the Outstanding Geography Teacher Award for his GIS courses at the University of Kentucky Department of Geography. The award was presented by the Geography Majors during the department’s annual Semple Day awards presentation on April 25, 2014. He’d just like to say, awesome! and he’ll keep trying his best to make mappers.

New Weather Graphs

Weekly graphs of weather variables

Weekly graphs of weather variables

Weather Underground’s weather stations are an awesome resource. Volunteers with weather stations feed their observations to site’s ‘big brain’ and make it publically available. We inserted weekly weather graphs for two stations near the Great Smokies; one on the west side in Tennessee and the other on the east side in North Carolina. Visit our GRSM weather page and tell us what you think.

Cold Mountain web cam back up

Cold Mountain in May

Cold Mountain in May

After a severe winter, the Cold Mountain webcam is back in operation. As we move into summer, we hope all cams remain healthy so we can collect and archive animated scenes.

What we have now is pure spring delight, so please enjoy.

GEO 309 analysis in Herald-Leader

Article by Jim Warren, Herald-Leader, May 4

Article by Jim Warren, Herald-Leader, May 4

If you ride a bike around Lexington, there are some places where pedaling with extra caution might be wise, a new study suggests.

“Mainly, they’re places where bicycle facilities change, such as where a bike lane abruptly ends. They seem to be the trouble spots,” said Boyd Shearer, a University of Kentucky geographer who led the study of bike-vehicle collisions in Lexington.

GEO 309, Fall 2013 Collision Analysis

GEO 309, Fall 2013 Collision Analysis

Shearer and some of his students recently studied 396 collisions between bikes and other vehicles that occurred on Lexington streets and roads from October 2008 through October 2013. The five-year list included 293 wrecks that caused injuries and three that resulted in fatalities.

After collecting wreck data from police reports, the researchers analyzed the results using a computerized mapping system called GIS that can reveal underlying relationships, patterns and trends.

“I thought it would be an interesting project to do, and that it might help the city,” Shearer said.

A bicyclist himself, Shearer has worked with Lexington planners on other bike-related projects.

He said the new study shows the area around UK had the greatest concentration of bike-versus-car wrecks. That’s not surprising, he said, given the large number of students who ride on campus.

Perhaps more surprising was that 25 percent of the riders involved in collisions during the five-year period weren’t wearing helmets. Another surprise: 21 percent of the accidents were hit-and-runs.

Most notable overall, he said, was that riders often got into trouble in places where bike lanes ended abruptly.

“The bike rider is rolling along in a lane by himself, and that lane suddenly ends,” Shearer said. “You never win against a car if you’re on a bike.”

One such spot, according to Shearer, is near where Winchester Road, East Third Street and Midland Avenue come together. A bike lane along Winchester Road ends at Walton Avenue, and an extra traffic lane for cars opens up between Walton and Midland, he noted.

“Bikers kind of get squeezed,” Shearer said.

He and his students also identified “critical segments” of four streets — mostly near UK — with high numbers of bike-car crashes during 2008-13.

They were: South Limestone north of Virginia Avenue, six wrecks; Euclid Avenue east of Woodland Avenue, five; Winchester Road near East Third Street, four; Rose Street from Euclid to Columbia avenues, four; and Rose from Columbia to Huguelet Drive, three.

Ultimately, Shearer said, he hopes to see Lexington’s bike trails linked together, which would allow riders to bike long distances sheltered from vehicular traffic.

“The Town Branch Trail isn’t connected yet,” he said. “But if it reaches downtown and the Legacy Trail is linked with it, riders could use them in lieu of streets to get in and out of downtown, not just for recreation but for real bike commuting.”

Analysis of all bicycle collisions up to May 5, 2014 with focus on fatalities and injuries.

Analysis of all bicycle collisions up to May 5, 2014 with focus on fatalities and injuries.

Scott Thompson, Lexington’s bike and pedestrian coordinator, said planners were looking at ways to “separate bicyclists from traffic,” whether that’s through more bike lanes or putting small barriers between bike and traffic lanes.

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/05/04/3227487/analysis-of-bicycle-accidents.html#storylink=cpy

Winter into Spring, Kentucky 2014

Winter to Spring in Satellite Images, 2014

Winter to Spring in Satellite Images, 2014

After an unusually long and cold winter, Kentucky has finally emerged to full-blown spring weather. These five images show the clearest, cloud-free day for each month from January 1 to May 5. Snow is clearly seen in the first two months and it’s striking how defined the snow lines are, perhaps 20 miles. You could have heavy snow in Lexington, but snow free in Richmond.

In the January image, we can see the hemlock and pine forest in the Red River Gorge and recently mined ares in eastern Kentucky. In the February image, Cave Run Lake appears frozen.

Another interesting observation is the rate pastures and forests leaf out. Kentucky’s pastures became green in early April, while the forests leaf out by the first days of May.

March is my favorite image. The sun is the highest while the vegetation is at the minimum.  Soon, the explosion of photosynthesis will sweeten the earth with life.

No wildfires are seen (maybe one in April image in eastern Kentucky).

Lexington Walkability Analysis

How close do you live to a pedestrian path?

How close do you live to a pedestrian path?

A Pedshed is used to show how many people are connected by pedestrian paths and sidewalks with either a five-minute or fifteen-minute walk. Only roads with sidewalks are included in the analysis. It is assumed that people can walk faster on pedestrian paths (3.4 mph) than roads with sidewalks (2.8 mph).

Paved paths and sidewalks were attributed and digitized from 2010 aerial photography by students in University of Kentucky Department of Geography’s GEO 409 course, Spring 2014.

This analysis has a focus on existing access and potential future access (of various completed designs)of Lexington’s two longest shared-use trails, the Legacy and Town Branch Trails.

How more connected would Lexington be if the Legacy Trail and Town Branch Trail were completed?

How more connected would Lexington be if the Legacy Trail and Town Branch Trail were completed?

Analysis Results

Five-Minute Walk From All Existing Pedestrian Paths
Approximately 149,000 Fayette County residents (50%) live within a five-minute walk (on a sidewalk) of an existing paved pedestrian path, such as shared-use trail, park walking trail, and school walking path.

Fifteen-Minute Walk From Existing Town Branch & Legacy Trails
Approximately 11,500 Fayette County residents (approximately 3.8%) live within a fifteen-minute walk (on a sidewalk) of existing Town Branch Trail and Legacy Trail facilities. View a dynamic map of this scenario here.

Fifteen-Minute Walk From Completed Town Branch Trail Phase III Without Bridge Across Town Branch
Approximately 12,800 Fayette County residents (4.3%) would live within a fifteen-minute walk (on a sidewalk) of Phase III of Town Branch Trail and Legacy Trail facilities. This option does not include a bridge across Town Branch.

Fifteen-Minute Walk From Potential Future Town Branch & Legacy Trails (with bridge across Town Branch)
Approximately 38,900 Fayette County residents (12.5%) would live within a fifteen-minute walk (on a sidewalk) of finished Town Branch Trail and Legacy Trail facilities.  View a dynamic map of this scenario here.

Pedestrian V. Car Collision Analysis

Maps and Analysis

Maps and Analysis

Point locations for collisions were downloaded from the Kentucky Collision Analysis for the Public (http://crashinformationky.org/) hosted by the Kentucky State Police. Analysis was performed for Kentucky’s Fayette and Jefferson Counties for data period January 5, 2003 – February 23, 2014 as part of University of Kentucky Department of Geography course GEO 409, Spring 2014.

Combined Maps. Click individual county for map.

Combined Maps. Click individual county for map.

Louisville Statistics

  • AMONG ALL COLLISIONS
    4,592 pedestrians v. car collisions occurred with 173 pedestrian fatalities (3.8% of total) and 4223 pedestrian injuries (92% of total).
  • AMONG ALL COLLISIONS WITH PEDESTRIANS USING ALCOHOL OR DRUGS
    257 pedestrians v. car collisions occurred with 26 pedestrian fatalities (10%) and 227 pedestrian injuries (88% of total).
  • Rate: 6.1 collisions per 1,000 current residents
  • Download Map

Lexington Statistics

  • AMONG ALL COLLISIONS
    1,689 pedestrians v. car collisions occurred with 47 pedestrian fatalities (2.9% of total) and 1580 pedestrian injuries (94% of total).
  • AMONG ALL COLLISIONS WITH PEDESTRIANS USING ALCOHOL OR DRUGS
    130 pedestrians v. car collisions occurred with 9 pedestrian fatalities (6.9%) and 118 pedestrian injuries (91%).
  • Rate: 5.5 collisions per 1,000 current residents
  • Download Map

Analysis and maps by Boyd Shearer.