A collection of various GIS related links, information and other GIS blogs.

Friday, October 05, 2007

GIS Helps Times Books Revolutionize Atlas Production (GISuser.com):

Redlands, California—The 12th edition of The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World, published by Times Books, part of HarperCollins Publishers, was released in September 2007 with the help of ESRI geographic information system (GIS) software for data maintenance, quality assurance, and map creation. The atlas is fully up to date, stylish, and contemporary and continues to be a leading authority with its selection of detailed maps and index of more than 200,000 places and features. The data gathered for the atlas reveals interesting information on climatic extremes' effects on the earth, the urbanization of world population, and the dramatic growth of China.

Four years in the making, The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World was painstakingly researched by a dedicated team of more than 50 cartographers, with changes to the database made every 3.5 minutes using a 24-hour-a-day news feed. Data was validated from approximately 500 organizations and experts.

“ESRI’s GIS software has increased throughput and lowered the cost of map production,” says Sheena Barclay, executive director, Collins Geo, HarperCollins. “Equally important, we now have a more creative and flexible range of products. We use GIS to target our specific needs, opening up new opportunities and managing information in new ways.”

HarperCollins relies on ESRI’s ArcGIS database-driven GIS software and Maplex, a high-end cartographic design software for atlas production. This solution allows HarperCollins to automate, store, edit, and manage all of its geographic data. Maplex alone has given the publisher a powerful solution to a time-consuming and laborious process that plagues all atlas and map publishers—text placement. Using Maplex, HarperCollins has automated this process and finds it is now 90 percent faster than before.

Thousands of changes have occurred since the previous edition of the atlas, including approximately 20,000 mapping updates and more than 3,000 changes to place and feature names. A new 1:5,000,000 map of Alaska and Northwest Canada has been added as well as dramatic new continental satellite images.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Quotes: Yes, this is off topic, but I just love running across misuse of quotes. So when my brother had one of his photos used on this blog that is focused on this topic, I just had to check it out. You can lie with maps. And you can most certainly make a simple statement or sign more confusing by using quotes. The funny thing is, I would guess that people are thinking that the quotes will make the sign or statement "clearer" by the use of quotes! =) http://quotation-marks.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bridge Reroute Application Helps Minneapolis Cope with Disaster - Government Technology: During Minneapolis' evening rush hour on Wednesday August 1, a bridge spanning the Mississippi River crashed into the water, taking 13 lives with it. Miraculously, a school bus stopped just short of plunging over the edge and the children on board suffered only cuts and bruises. But Interstate I 35-W, the city's main artery, had been severed, and rescue operations closed many major streets. City managers needed an immediate solution to the problem of getting people to work and keeping businesses open. "When the I-35W bridge collapsed," said Minneapolis' Chief Information Officer Lynn Willenbring, "in addition to needing to support all the emergency responders and doing the rescue and recovery efforts, it was critical that we get information out to everybody who lives or works in Minneapolis. People needed to know how to get around and circumnavigate this major artery that was no longer available for getting in and out of the city. So, we contacted ESRI, to talk about putting up a Web application where citizens could easily see what routes were open and quickly create personalized from/to routes that could direct them from their home addresses to specified destinations within the greater Twin Cities area. "The solution we wanted needed to incorporate attributes that were not available in the widely available public options such as MapQuest or Yahoo Maps or Google Maps," said Willenbring. "This is because the solution needed to include specific up-to-date city information about what streets were recently closed to traffic, what streets were primary detour routes, and what streets were going to have expedited traffic flow. The application needed to incorporate all of that data into a knowledgeable routing system for citizens to use." Using the ArcWeb Services Flex API, ESRI senior software architect, Mansour Raad, quickly put together a two-tiered Web application that consists of a public-facing Web page, and an administrative Web page. The administrative Web page allows the city administrators to define barrier locations. These barriers changed from day-to-day because of disaster command-post needs. These continue to change in response to cleanup efforts. For example, a street that is closed in the morning may be reopened in the afternoon and another street closed, so a commuter's route to work could be very different than the return route. The city posts this dynamic data immediately on its Web site. "It's very easy to make the changes," Willenbring noted. "That's one of the reasons that we like the ESRI products. We are a complete ESRI shop ... including our computer dispatch system for emergency responders is fully integrated ESRI." more...