Story Maps

I work with a client, a wildlife biologist, who has always told me to create maps to TELL A STORY.  Working with him, I create maps about wetlands and water ways on a potential property, called wetland delineation.  What struck me though is the idea of TELLING A STORY, about how water runs in certain ways, or different times of the year, etc.  Symbology helps me TELL THAT STORY, so that those in positions to make decisions, can interpret and plan based on the story I portray in a map.

But there are other types of Story Maps.  For example, ESRI has created templates and discussed the use of Story Maps as INTERACTIVE ONLINE stories about places, many different types, different formats, all to inform the public in a rather non-technical way, to discuss the Geographical Story of a place.  See the discussion on www.webmapsolutions.com/geography-story-maps-location-technology or go the http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2012/10/25/story-map-templates/ to see how ESRI provies Story Map templates.

Story Maps are used in education as well.  For example, the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development uses STORY BOARDS (http://www.eed.state.ak.us/TLS/FRAMEWORKS/sstudies/part4a16.htm) that “provide a visual means for conceptualizing and organizing information.  It seems in these days of overwhelming gobs of data and information, the idea of a STORY MAP,  a STORY BOARD, and TELLING A STORY with maps and ancillary media and information, is an excellent way to educate, describe and show the general public how geography enriches the world we live in.

 

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.

 

Welcome to GISandART

Welcome to my website:  GISandART

This website is about offering my talents, experience, and interest in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), ART, Cartography, Visualization and all those things I am interested in and think you might find useful for your project.

My idea of a business or service is to be part of a TEAM, offer 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.

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.

I also want to maintain a blog as well as a website, because I am curious and interested in many things that I can share. GISandART is an “COLLAGE”  of my interests and experience.

WHY WORK WITH GISandART?
  • 20 Years Experience in GIS
    Low Overhead, Reasonable Cost
  • Flexible, Personable
  • Work with GISandART from ANYWHERE using Web
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