You are currently viewing archive for May 2010
Contributed by: David Nail, United States Geological Survey, USGS Geospatial Liaison to Indiana

The USGS is in the process of producing new digital US Topo maps for the State of Indiana. These new map are being produced using eight current GIS data layers available from The National Map (TNM). The new US Topo maps for Indiana are the 7.5-minute map series at 1:24,000 scale in GeoPDF format. Other map series include the 30 x 60-minute maps at 1:100,000 scale, and 1 x 2-degree maps at 1:250,000 scale.


The original USGS digital topo maps (or Digital raster graphics maps - DRG) were produced from 1995 to 1998 by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) by scanning the USGS's printed quadrangle maps. Development of this new generation of "US Topo" digital maps began in 2009. USGS uses eight data layers from TNM to publish the new GeoPDF maps. The layers include an orthophoto image layer from the National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP), transportation data of interstate and U.S. highways from the Census Bureau, geographic names from the Geographic Names Information System, contours, hydrography, a United States National Grid shown on 1,000-meter grid lines, and the metadata contained in the map border and collar information. The NAIP photography program acquires complete coverage of the 48 contiguous states every three years; thus, USGS will generate new US Topo maps every three years to follow the NAIP cycle. The 2010 US Topo maps for Indiana contain the 2009 NAIP imagery.

Click Here to go to the USGS map store site and download new GeoPDF Topo Maps of Indiana for FREE!


Be sure to turn on the [Show US Topo and "Digital Maps - Beta"] layer to see where new maps are already available. Until all of the new US Topo maps are produced for Indiana, the old DRG map are still available for download in the GeoPDF format, but there is only one layer in these files (the DRG layer) and only limited GeoPDF functionality is provided.

To view a brief summary of the 125 year history of USGS Topographic Mapping Click Here.
Contributed by: Chris Dintaman, The IndianaMap Support Team, Indiana Geological Survey

Twenty-one layers provided by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Office of Land Quality, have been updated. These layers can be found in the following IndianaMap folder: ENVIRONMENT/BIOLOGY > Environment. If you are an off-line user of these data, you may wish to re-download them by clicking on the layer name below:

Contributed by Christina McCullough, Geospatial Analyst, Joint Forces Headquarters of Indiana, Joint Operations Center

The extent and impact of the BP's Oil Rig disaster is difficult to comprehend. All levels of government, the media and the public are frustrated by the lack of information and transparency. It is understandably difficult for one single entity to track and report on such a geographically far reaching disaster. ESRI has stood up an interactive GIS web-map site to help track the spill and document its impact on the Gulf Coast environment. This mash-up integrates Official federal and state data; News Media RSS feeds from Reuters, CNN, New York Times and others; Social Media (crowd-sourced) posts from YouTube, Twitter and Flickr, as well as other Crowd-Sourced Shared Content that can be input directly onto this site. The Shared Content layer is very interesting and simple, yet powerful.

bp oil spill map

To open up the interactive map click on this link: http://mapapps.esri.com/disasters/oil-spill/gulf-2010/index.html
Over 2.5 million point addresses covering almost 70 of Indiana's 92 counties have now been published from the IndianaMap on OpenAddresses.org. Similar to OpenStreetMaps.org, OpenAddresses.org is an open source web portal for the management of Open worldwide geolocated postal addresses.

The map shown above zoomed into Indianapolis/Marion County can be viewed on-line HERE.

OpenAddresses is currently in BETA and not all of the functionality is currently in place. To date, Indiana is the third U. S. State to have joined this effort, joining North Carolina and Arkansas.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then is a map is worth a thousand opinions! There were already 65 opinions posted when I published this, and a number of them address issues with the map!

Click on the link below to read this story by Seth Slabaugh, Muncie Star Press, from May 17, 2010, as well as the interesting comments posted on-line.
URISA's 49 Annual Conference for GIS Professionals (GIS-Pro 2011) will be held at the new JW Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis on November 1-4, 2011. Since 1963, URISA members and friends from around the world have convened annually to learn about, share and discuss all things geospatial. Whether you are an established or emerging GIS Professional, the GIS-Pro Conference is for you.

This will be a great opportunity for Indiana's geospatial community to shine, and to meet with colleagues and peers from around the world right here in Indianapolis. The new 34 stories, 1,005 guest room JW Marriott Hotel is being built to support the 2012 Super Bowl, and opens February 2011. This will provide an amazing venue for the 2011 URISA Conference.

More information will be coming soon!
Contributed by: Jim Stout, IMAGIS Program Manager

WASHINGTON -- Eleven questions that should shape the next decade of geographical sciences research were identified today in a new report by the National Research Council. Reflecting a time when populations are moving and natural resources are being depleted, the questions aim to provide a more complete understanding of where and how landscapes are changing to help society manage and adapt to the transformation of Earth's surface.

The committee that wrote the report solicited input from the geographical science community to identify research priorities and the approaches, skills, data, and infrastructure necessary to advance research. The strategic directions span from overarching issues of environmental change and sustainability to specific areas in the field that are transforming. They are grouped by topic area, but are not ranked in any order of importance.

How to understand and respond to environmental change:
· How are we changing the physical environment of Earth's surface?
· How can we best preserve biological diversity and protect endangered ecosystems?
· How are climate and other environmental changes affecting the vulnerabilities of coupled human-environment systems?

How to promote sustainability:
· Where and how will 10 billion people live?
· How will we sustainably feed everyone in the coming decade and beyond?
· How does where we live affect our health?

How to recognize and cope with the rapid spatial reorganization of economy and society:
· How is the movement of people, goods, and ideas changing the world?
· How is economic globalization affecting inequality?
· How are geopolitical shifts influencing peace and stability?

How to leverage technological change for the benefit of society and environment:
· How might we better observe, analyze, and visualize a changing world?
· What are the societal implications of citizen mapping and mapping citizens?

The report was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey, National Geographic Society, and Association of American Geographers. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies. They are independent, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under an 1863 congressional charter. Committee members, who serve pro bono as volunteers, are chosen by the Academies for each study based on their expertise and experience and must satisfy the Academies' conflict-of-interest standards. The resulting consensus reports undergo external peer review before completion. For more information, visit http://national-academies.org/studycommitteprocess.pdf. A committee roster follows.

Copies of Understanding the Changing Planet: Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences are available from the National Academies Press; tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242 or on the Internet at http://www.nap.edu. Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above). $33 for PDF Download

From the oceans to continental heartlands, human activities have altered the physical characteristics of Earth's surface. With Earth's population projected to peak at 8 to 12 billion people by 2050 and the additional stress of climate change, it is more important than ever to understand how and where these changes are happening. Innovation in the geographical sciences has the potential to advance knowledge of place-based environmental change, sustainability, and the impacts of a rapidly changing economy and society.

Understanding the Changing Planet outlines eleven strategic directions to focus research and leverage new technologies to harness the potential that the geographical sciences offer.
Indianapolis, IN (Friday 5/14/2010). The Indiana Department of Administration (IDOA) acting on behalf of the Indiana Office of Technology (IOT) today released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for new orthophotography for the State of Indiana.

The last statewide orthophotography project for Indiana was flown in 2005/2006. Under this new program, new orthophotography would begin to be flown in the spring of 2011. Funds for the statewide orthophotography program will come from state agencies, local governments, grants and other sources.

The Indiana Geographic Information Council (IGIC) and the Indiana Geographic Information Office (GIO) have worked closely together to develop this RFP and to develop a funding and partnership model to create this program for new orthophotography across Indiana.

A goal is to acquire imagery for at least one-third of the state per year in an ongoing rotation. The first year (2011) will be the middle third of Indiana (though this has yet to be finalized), since this provides the most challenge in terms of delivery in multiple coordinate systems.

state ortho areas

Delivery of all new products will be no later than September 30th of the year that the imagery is captured. The final extents and distribution of each resolution for this project will be fixed during contract negotiations.

This new program will include imagery acquisition, and subsequent delivery of digital color orthophotography and selected optional mapping products, at resolutions of 18-inch, 1-foot, 6-inch and 3-inch imagery. Depending on pricing and availability of funds, IOT intends the base product to be 18-inch pixel resolution orthophotography statewide, plus ancillary data products. Local and regional government entities, and other groups will be encouraged to participate in this program and buy-up from the base product resolution as well as purchase ancillary and additional data products. All orthophotography and ancillary data products produced through this contract shall be public domain data without restrictions on distribution or use.

Vendors will be asked to provide quotes for the following:

Orthophotography Product Set Deliverables:
Color Orthophotography and Ancillary Products (3-band, 24-bit GeoTIFF tiles) at 18-inch pixel (Base product), 1-foot pixel, 6-inch pixel and 3-inch pixel resolution.

Optional Product Set Deliverables:
- Orthophotography tiles in Enhanced Compression Wavelet (ECW) format, compressed at 20:1
- New bare-earth digital elevation model (DEM) suitable for holding orthophotography
- LiDAR mission (1-meter post spacing, at least first and last returns) and classified (ground/non-ground) point cloud
- Two-foot contours produced from the LiDAR mission data
- Near infrared Orthophotography (false color, CIR)
- Additional products: may include planimetric capture, feature extraction, breaklines, contours, spot elevations, true orthos, oblique photography, stereo photography, etc.

Proposals are due back from the vendors on June 9, 2010, with the goal of having a signed contract in place by late summer. This schedule will provide plenty of time for program outreach, education, budgeting and buy-ups before the spring 2011 flying season begins.

Here is the link to access the RFP: http://www.in.gov/idoa/proc/bids/rfp-10-89/

To: Indiana’s GIS Community
From: Kevin Mickey, Indiana State Fair Subcommittee Chair

I am writing to share some exciting news as well as to offer you an opportunity to participate in an important new collaboration that is anticipated to significantly enhance awareness of IGIC and the IndianaMap in the State of Indiana. The Indiana Geographic Information Council (IGIC) has partnered with the Boy Scouts of America and the Indiana State Fair to offer a series of activities at the 2010 State Fair that will be taking place from August 6 to August 22.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Scouting in the United States and in recognition of this important event the State Fair has agreed to the construction of a permanent Scout Camp exhibit at the Fairgrounds. In addition, on selected days during the Fair the Scouts will have an additional presence in several areas of the Fairgrounds including Main Street. Many of the activities that Scouts promote are directly related to the work that we do in the GIS community. Examples include orienteering, geocaching, environmental management, and much more.

IGIC has been invited to have a presence in the Scout Camp throughout the entire Fair in 2010 and, depending on the success of our efforts this year, to possibly having a permanent presence at the Fair. While we are still working out the details of our 2010 program, ideas currently being explored include developing an adventure activity that leads people around the Fairgrounds to learn about Indiana Agriculture, wildlife, science, etc and then has them come back to the BSA Scout Camp area to learn about Scouting. One possible element of this experience might include viewing the IndianaMap to see where Scout units are located around the state. We could also develop one or more activities that integrate various types of Scout craft (orienteering, map reading, plant identification, etc.) Scouts that complete these activities could earn credit for merit badge requirements. Another thought is that we could provide demonstrations on topics, tools, and skills that have relevance to GIS and geography as well as to Scouts. These demos could include how to use a GPS unit, how to do geocaching, etc. and could be offered both in the Scout Camp and in the Adventure Base area.

The value to IGIC in being involved in this collaboration is clear. This will provide us with an opportunity to show those that we serve what the value of GIS is to them on a practical level. Not only do we have the potential to reach thousands of Indiana citizens, it is also reasonable to expect that many local politicians and members of the media will also have an opportunity to visit with IGIC members and to hear about what our work means to them.

The key to making this initiative a success is securing enough volunteers to staff the different activities. At minimum, IGIC volunteers (members and others) will need to be onsite during the three weekends that the Fair is taking place. Those dates are August 7/8, August 14/15, and August 21/22. August 15 is an especially critical day since that is the official Scout Day at the Fair. On that day there will be three different sites where Scouting is being promoted and where IGIC has been invited by the BSA to be present. Those areas include (a) Main Street (b) the Scout Camp and (c) the Adventure Base area by the Free Stage on the west side of the track. As an FYI – Adventure Base is a traveling 10,000 square foot exhibit that promotes Scouting. In addition to the weekend dates, we are also strongly encouraged to have a presence on a least one weekday – more if possible.

Now to the opportunity! In order to make this program a success we need your help. If you are willing to donate a few hours of your time on one or more days of the Fair to staff one of the IGIC exhibits or to do demonstrations, please contact Janet Tomlin at jtomlin@igic.org or 317-489-0091 no later than May 17, 2010. We encourage you to spend a few hours helping out with the IGIC activities and then spend the remainder of your day with your family and friends enjoying the delights of the Indiana State Fair. If you have questions about this information or ideas about activities that you would like to share, please contact the IGIC Indiana State Fair Subcommittee Chair, Kevin Mickey, at kmickey@iupui.edu or 317.371.4479.

Contributed by: Chris Dintaman, The IndianaMap Support Team, Indiana Geological Survey

The IndianaMap Atlas is an interactive map and data repository that contains more than 200 layers of geographic, geologic, environmental, and other data for the state of Indiana. The IndianaMap is produced and managed by the Indiana Geological Survey at Indiana University.

Updated Layers
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has provided four updated data layers named "Dams (IDNR)," "Trails (IDNR)," "Managed Lands (IDNR)," and "Water Wells (IDNR)." The dams and trails layers can be found in the following folder: INFRASTRUCTURE > Other Infrastructure. The managed lands layer can be found in the following folder: ENVIRONMENT/BIOLOGY > Management Areas & Misc. The water wells layer can be found in the following folder: HYDROLOGY > Hydrogeology. If you are a user of these data, you may wish to re-download them.

Maps of the Month
(The following links were created using the “Hyperlink” tool on the IndianaMap)
- Map showing Dams (IDNR)
- Map showing Trails (IDNR)
- Map showing Managed Lands (IDNR)
- Map showing Water Wells (IDNR) in Marion County

An example of the IDNR Managed Lands layer - RANDOLPH WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA in Randolph County is shown below:

Contributed by: Jim Sparks, State of Indiana Geographic Information Officer

I had the great pleasure recently to address Michigan’s GIS community about the amazing progress that we are making in Indiana. I also spent a little time on the subject of GIS funding. In particular, I noted the disparity between the amount of data that is created at the local level and the richness of detail of that data, with the funding that is dedicated to GIS. More detail is created at the local level than the state. More is created at the state level than at the Federal level. Likewise, the richness of the data is greatest at the base of the pyramid and less at the top. Unfortunately, the amount of federal funding dedicated to GIS is inverted, and does not match reality.

Which of the following shapes does not match the others?
3 pyramids

I think we are all aware of the large amount of money that is spent at the federal level on geospatial activities. How about diverting a few percent from the federal pot to the local level in support of GIS? “Righting” the upside-down funding pyramid will go a long way toward facilitating a true national map in which local data rolls up to the state and state data rolls up to the national level. In this way, the very best geospatial data would be available to all.
To that end, IGIC and the Geographic Information Office are advocating at every opportunity for an improved and more realistic configuration of the three Great Pyramids of Geologia!
Contributed by: Katharine Springer, State Data Center Coordinator, Indiana State Library

I am happy to announce that The Compass Product series has been cataloged and will be shelved and ready for use in the Indiana State Data Center on the Ready Reference shelves. These handbooks are all about understanding and using the American Community Survey, the Bureau’s annual survey of population characteristics. They are very useful – both for direct patrons use, and to use ourselves.

Here are the seven titles that are available:
- What State and Local Governments Need to Know (purple)
- What Federal Agencies Need to Know (brown)
- What PUMS Data Users Need to Know (dark pink) PUMS=Public Use Microdata Sample
- What Congress Needs to Know (turquoise)
- What High School Teachers Need to Know (red)
- What Researchers Need to Know (indigo)
- What General Data Users Need to Know (green)

I recommend the last two titles. These guides are easy to spot – with huge compasses on the covers.

The guides are also available in PDF on the Census Bureau’s website, here: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/UseData/Compass/handbook_def.html