Collaborating in geospatial context since 2000!

Monday, April 30, 2007

USGS Slings the GeoPDF

Dag, no one tells me anything! The USGS went live with their Map Locator and Downloader at the USGS Store. I had seen a test version of this a while back, and have been chomping to see it go online. Closer... closer...

UPDATE: New link for Locator...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


The Library of Congress Geography and Map Reading Room has a couple of maps. From the site:

The Geography and Map Division (G&M) has custody of the largest and most comprehensive cartographic collection in the world with collections numbering over 5 million maps, 72,000 atlases, 6,000 reference works, over 500 globes and globe gores, and numerous plastic relief models, and a large number of cartographic materials in other formats, including electronic. The online Map Collections represents only a small fraction that have been converted to digital form. These images were created from maps and atlases and, in general, are restricted to items that are in public domain, meaning those which are not covered by copyright.

Loads of Geospatial Data from Canada

More online data than you can shake a stick at: GeoGratis. From the site:

Geospatial data available online at no cost!

Sounds good... What is it:

GeoGratis is a portal provided by the Earth Sciences Sector (ESS) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) which provides geospatial data at no cost via your Web browser.

The data will be useful whether you're a novice who needs a geographic map for a presentation, or an expert who wants to overlay a vector layer of digital data on a classified multiband image, with a digital elevation model as a backdrop.

The geospatial data are grouped in collections and are compatible with the most popular geographic information systems (GIS), with image analysis systems and the graphics applications of editing software.

Love it!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Map Cruncher

While making the rounds at the Location Intel Conference, our GeoPDF Evangelist Phil Lee met some some Microsoft cat working on the very cool Map Cruncher. I don't know who the particular cat in question was, as Phil likes to play his cards close to the vest, but from the site, it looks like there are four hackers involved. The project lead is Jeremy Elson. Jon Howell is listed as a primary developer. Danyel Fisher and John Douceur are listed as contributors.

One of the slick things about Map Cruncher is its use of either an affine or quadratic polynomial approximation to do a quick-and-dirty rectification/reprojection for more-or-less arbitrary imagery. There's more in the tutorial. Transforming arbitrary data into geospatial data good enough to be practically useful is a huge step forward.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ray Caputo's Article on GeoPDF

One of the things about the current state of affairs at My Fair Startup is that everything is so tight lipped that I can't talk about anything, which makes for slow traffic at ye olde blogge. Fortunately, TEC's Ray Caputo has stepped up with his article Acrobatic Mapping. Lots of juicy tidbits! Here is some good between the lines stuff:

GeoPDF files can be sent to all kinds of field personnel, from engineers on the scene of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina to soldiers in the field who can utilize Adobe Reader to manipulate the maps. No special training is required, and most computers come with a reader already installed. So a simple, free plug-in from TerraGo is the only requirement for command chain users to view the GeoPDF map. Files are small and nimble, yet are embedded with powerful capabilities that allow engineers to work in connected or disconnected modes.

As well:

Given all of this, we began the Army GeoPDF project, which is now ongoing. We contacted Headquarters Marines to let them know what we were up to, and they jumped on board. We are now able to easily create products using the data we have and deliver that information up and down the command chain in a familiar file format that works with a viewer already loaded on their computer.

Ray's got more GeoPDF goodness on ESRI's website: Army Use of GeoPDF for Demand-Based Replication and Dissemination.

Thanks, Ray!