Whats (not) New


    Hello World, I'd like to announce the Yukon GIS Users Group online forum http://www.nabble.com/Yukon-GIS-Users-Group-f16243.html

    In recognition of the fact that only myself and a couple of others have contributed meaningfully to the user group wiki at http://yukongis.ca/bin/view ;that every time I rouse myself to do up a newsletter-style message and email it around to all and sundry I get a chorus of appreciative replies; that we regularily have problems keeping the distribution list address book current; that it's difficult for new members to get on (or off) that list, not because we keep 'em out, but you just have to talk to the right person at the right time; and that I've finally seen a public forum site I think I'll still enjoy using many moons later, I've started this forum with that aim of serving our community better.

    Please note: this is a public forum, world readable, joinable by anyone interested. If you have something to say which you don't Jon Doe in Tokyo to casually overhear, don't post here. Our contact details are available in the usual places. The forum is not intended to replace the current email-only distribution list. There is still a need for mailng stuff around, while keeping it more or less "in the family", and not archived and accessible for posterity via the auspices of Google and companions. (The curent maintainers of the distribution list are Bailey Staffen & Kaori Torigai by the way).

    cheers and enjoy,



    16 June 2006

    Hi Folks,

    Here's my list of must see sites for the middle of June, when you aren't sleeping anyway:

    Carlos Furti talks about Map Projections - http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Normal/TOC/cartTOC.html Probably the best balance of technical detail and illustrative figures I've seen, quite clear and easy to understand. Espcially fun are the pdf maps of origami-like globes. (http://tinyurl.com/ok8b2)

    <<<advance >> </advance>

    ExploreOurPla.net - http://exploreourpla.net/ Integrates information from a variety of sources, focussing on environmental themes, and mashes them together for good effect. It tries to be smart about recognising where you are coming from by looking up your computer's ip address, but get's dreadfully wrong for our neck of the woods. But hey, Mountain View US is close in name anway, and pretty darn pretty to boot: http://tinyurl.com/fbq67 (tip: use mouse scroll wheel to zoom in/out).


    GeoNames.org - http://www.geonames.org/ - one of the data sources for EOP above. Not only does it sport the increasingly common Google Maps point bubbles for sites of interest, you can edit them. Good thing too, else Carcross might forever have been listed as a place with a population of 0 with no elevation (http://tinyurl.com/ele4c select Carcross pin and click History), and the mouth of the Watson River would have been half a kilometer out in the middle of the lake. wink There are some user interface things to work out, especially in the realm of performance, but on the whole I'm quite impressed with this project.

    A couple of other collective-editing map projects to take a gander at are http://www.terrawiki.com/ , http://www.wikimapia.org/ ,and for something a little closer to home and more focussed to our lives up here, take a look at the Rockies Road Watch site which invites people to submit observations of wildlife along the Crowsnest Pass highway corridor: http://www.rockies.ca/roadwatch/submit.php





    03 November 2005

    Hi Folks,

    frown Unfortunately I'm going to have to miss the second YGUG meeting in two months. So I've mashed together this collection of snippets to go in my stead. Who knows, maybe that's preferable 'cause you can smack the delete key instead of listening to me yammer on. smile


    Re: Agenda item, YGUG Purpose and Structure: yes it does seem to be that the meeting have lost pizazz and freshness, with people coming more out of hope for something interesting to occur than confidence that it will. One of the ideas we've discussed occassionaly is to rotate the meetings around the group to various offices. I think this is a great idea. I truly only have the vaguest idea of what the rest of you are doing or even where your offices are. It would be wonderful to see your work in-situ and on screen. If people are hesitant to open their space, since my cavernous office is flying solo for the foreseeable future I offer it up for the December meet; we might as well make it a Christmas Party while we're at it (anybody have a plasma tv to donate to the event?).



    New Free Data

    Maybe this is old news to some, but it was new to me so I'll share it: the Canadian Geographical Place Names Database is now free & libre, which probably means the Yukon Gazateer is also (but to be safe just use the one from geobase for redistribution). http://www.geobase.ca/geobase/en/data/cgn1.html


    *Stats Canada has released their attributed (street names!) road network as free data:* "The Road Network File (RNF), 2005, is the first official release from the 2006 Census Geography suite of products and services. The RNF is a digital representation of Canada's national road network, containing information such as street name, type, direction and address ranges." I haven't had a chance to see how it lines up with the National Road Network yet. They also have a bunch of other geographic data which may be useful to some: http://www.statcan.ca/cgi-bin/downpub/freepub.cgi?subject=3119#3119 The complete national data file is 256mb, which isn't that big for a broadband download but their server seems slow so anyone who's interested in a copy send me a note.


    ...which brings up a question for the group: should there be a shared space for things like this? Would it be appropriate to use Geomatics Yukon's ftp site or should that be reserved for made-in-yukon data? Yukongis.ca is a natural candidate but it doesn't have that much room and we use big data sets; we could probably negotiate for more. I dunno, maybe it's just easier to tell people to go download it themselves. Thoughts?



    Global GIS for the masses

    It seems like everybody these days is yakkin' up Google Earth, and yeah, it is pretty cool, if you want to look at Montreal, Vancouver, New York or Moscow. When you look at Mayo, Dawson, Watson Lake or Whitehorse though it ain't so hot. So we called them and asked if we could help improve their data. They said yes. So now Matt is beavering away filling up a hard drive or two to mail down to them. Slated for inclusion are DEMs, Community & Transportation Services Orthophotos, and Forestry Orthophotos. Diedre is checking out if we can also add the NRCAN orthos while Peter is looking at just how much we need to downgrade the satellite imagery before we're allowed to give those away.

    Not being one to take a small bite if he thinks he can swallow the whole darn horse Matt has also decided Google might as well get the dems for the rest of Canada too mosaicked into chunks to fir 500k NTS tiles. They're on \\Galaxy right now, dunno if they'll be allowed to stay though.

    Not wanting to be completely committing to Wholesale Google Domination, Matt is sending the same data to the NASA WorldWind folks and maybe the University of Fairbanks (c.f the imagery viewer Jason sent around a couple of months ago). Matt will keep a local mirror for anyone else who wants to send him a hard drive to fill up (the Geomatics Yukon ftp site is probably too small).

    ArcGIS Explorer, the so-called Google Earth Killer, is at this point still vapour ware not due until sometime in 2006, though I understand it is in beta-testing right now. Interesting nonetheless though because this is one product that ESRI really can't afford to stay gaseous. http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcgisexplorer/index.html http://geovisualisation.com/WordPress/?p=173 http://www.edparsons.com/?p=113



    Link Fest

    http://www.virtualparks.org/ - shaded relief maps of US National Parks, some free some for sale (very cheap), maps created with Illustrator; 360 degree quick time panoramas of wilderness locations (inc. some in Alberta & BC); all in all a nicely put together site with a lot to offer, well worth some of your time.

    http://www.earthslot.org/ - EarthSLOT? , a collection of 3D GIS and terrain visualization applications designed to allow scientists, resource managers, educators, and the public better understand our planet and the earth science that goes on here.

    http://www.saga-gis.uni-goettingen.de/html/ - SAGA GIS :: System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses is a hybrid GIS software. The first objective of SAGA is to give (geo-)scientists an effective but easy learnable platform for the implementation of geoscientific methods, which is achieved by SAGA's unique App

    http://www.mywikimap.com/about.php - My WikiMap? beta - add custom tags, in this case gasoline & diesel prices though it could be anything, to google maps, wiki style; great idea! needs work

    http://gmaps.tommangan.us/tphoto.html - TPhoto: A Google Maps API Extension - embed alternate aerial photographs inside your Google Maps. The added photos pan and zoom along with the main map view, without interfering with any clicks on the map.

    http://chris.narx.net/ - Chris’ GISmos tells us how to use arcims wms layers in google maps

    http://web.media.mit.edu/~nvawter/projects/googlemaps/ - A Huge Gray Area - how to make large (2048x2048 ) google maps

    http://geoweb.blog.com/ - Geo-Web - explores geographic and keyhole markup language in detail (GML & KML)

    http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/UsefulData/UTMFormulas.HTM - Converting UTM to Latitude and Longitude (Or Vice Versa), an excel spreadsheet with formulae, allows datum selection, appears to be quite accurate. Also detailed description on how the conversion works,

    http://opensourcegis.org/ - an attempt to build a complete index of Open Source / Free GIS related software projects. It's pretty much just a link farm with no effort (yet) put into categorising or evaluating, still it's a valuable counterpart to http://freegis.org/ which has narrower scope.

    That's all folks!

    -- MattWilkie - 03 Nov 2005





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