Welcome to my website:  RKB Mapping

My name is Richard Baron. I am offering my skills and experience in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Cartography that you might find useful for your project. I, also, have a background in Landscape Visualization and Computer Graphics that brings an artist sensitivity to map making.

I work as a Free-Lance GIS Analyst and Cartographer.  I like working  as part of a TEAM, offering my technical assistance to a project, but not in the traditional 40 hr per week format.  I can and love to work at home.  I have access to what I need to accomplish a job. I believe in telecommunication, and using the internet to pass work back and forth and to complete a job, though I am readily available on a short-term basis to be onsite locally (Chico, California).

I am not part of a corporation, but rather a small sole proprietor, who keeps my overhead really low so I can offer fair and reasonable rates.

23 Years Experience in GIS and Cartography. 
Low overhead means lower costs for you. 
Flexible and Personable, Easy to work with.
World Cities by Michael Smith

World Cities by Michael Smith

This book by Michael Smith (2009) really is cool.  It shows maps overlaying present day satellite photos (well boxes where the earlier maps would lay).  It is very inexpensive to buy from Amazon or Barnes & Noble to other sites.  I noticed Michael Smith has a whole other slew of books that he and others did.

I looked at a shareware software this morning called “Universal Maps Downloader 6.87. It is shareware, so you get a free (trial) version which is limited, but you can BUY the full version for $59.95.  Check it out at: www.softonpc.com/umd/. I haven’t tried it yet.  It is said to work with Google Street Maps, Google Satellite Maps, Google Terrain Maps, Yahoo Street Maps, Yahoo Satellite Maps, Microsoft VirtualEarth Street Maps, Microsoft VirtualEarth Satellite Maps, Microsoft VirtualEarth Hybrid Maps, and OpenStreet Maps.

One of the problems seems that it is not to be used for COMMERCIAL USE.  Which brings me to what I have been doing with Google Earth.  I do not have a $400 Google Pro license.  In my work using GIS for WETLAND DELINEATION I have experimented with different techniques using the superior imagery of Google Earth.

In the first method I screen captured with “SnagIt Editor” (a fantastic screen capture utility for not a lot of $$) multiple images at the same scale.  The reason I used SnagIt was that saving a clipped image in Google Earth pixelizes very quickly when going closer in.  I used Photoshop to merge the images as one.  Then I georeferenced the image into my project.  That was fine until I read more closely the Copyright permissions of Google Earth.  And it doesn’t work well if you have a large area to cover or you combine it with images from other sources.

The second method I tried was mapping on Google Earth the paths (in the case of stream locations). Then I took the KML and converted them into shapefiles, projected, etc.  Being in California, I was using Digital Orthophotos (DOQQs_combined_color-nir-orthophotos) from NAIP (National Ag. Inventory Program) from Cal-Atlas as a background.  It worked but it took a long time and seemed somewhat repetitive. Also you couldn’t really make edits to the paths in Google easily and interactively.

Finally, I realized that the best way to do it for me for the job was to use Google Earth as a reference on a second monitor but do the actual mapping on the orthophotos in your GIS program.  That way you could interactively edit and attribute, you could save a step by not having to create paths in Google Earth, and you don’t have to worry about copyright issues.


I have been trying out GEOGRAPHIC IMAGER by Avenza. I was looking for a tool to allow me to change the look of DOQQ and TIF images in Photoshop, including all the filters, etc. while maintaining geographic coordinates. So far a lot of what is in GI I can do with other tools, such as mosaicing, transforming, georeferencing images, etc. But I want to go through the entire tutorial.

What It looks like now is that I would get the minimum license which would give me the ability to use Photoshop tools to enhance, change, etc the images, maintaining the coordinates. I don’t think I need all the other tools that comes with it. But I will see.

February 1, 2013

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