Attend a Conference and Make Geography Great Again
Most of us have been geographers all our lives whether or not we realize it. Those years before we began formally studying or working in the field have formed our basemap. Our basemap has some things we want, but it doesn't have everything we need. When we're active in geography (and life) we begin filling in the gaps on our basemap. We make the discipline better. We make each other better.
There's never a bad time to consider attending or contributing to a conference. Often our geographic work is constrained to a specific industry, geographic region; or both. Attending peer conferences encourages specialization without singularization which allows us to teach and learn from each other. Don't squirrel away your experience in an obscure geodatabase somewhere - share it with us. Let your experience be reflected on our basemap.
As geographers, we're molded by our interactions with space and place. Our geography expands when we use our senses to gather information about our surroundings. Our geography evolves when we allow ourselves to consider our gathered information in the context of ourselves and our communities. Let's gather, let's evolve!
Hope to see you there.
Maps on the Hill 2017
Salt Lake County GIS on the Hill 2017
Maps on the Hill
is an annual event sponsored by
UGIC, and held during the Utah legislative session as a means for professional and student mapmakers in Utah to share their maps with elected officials and the public. On Wednesday, January 25threpresentatives from three Salt Lake County (SLCo) agencies participated in
this year’s event.
Rudowski, SLCo Public Works Flood Control Engineering presented WASATCH FRONT CYANOBACTERIA BLOOMS 2016 map. Communities along the Wasatch front will likely recall the summer of 2016 when environmental conditions produced toxic algal blooms throughout the region’s waterways. Warnings, issued at local
and state levels, urged residents to stay out of the water and not to use impacted water for irrigation. Contact with high levels of cyanobacteria can result in sickness and even death. The figure below is a timeline illustrating cyanobacteria levels at sample sites and the corresponding risk posed to humans
who come in contact with the bacteria.
Casey Sledge, SLCo
Recorder’s office presented a story map about AREAS IMPACTED BY THE HOUSING MARKET CRISIS – A Study of Parcels with a Notice of Default filed in Salt Lake County 2007 – 2010. When a property owner falls behind on their payments to a lender, the lender will typically file a document called a Notice of Default
with the county Recorder. During the housing market crisis, the volume of these documents skyrocketed. By finding the parcels associated with defaults, we have created a map to determine the geographical areas most affected by the recession. What caused certain areas to be impacted more than others? If we can
identify those factors, can we prevent future downward housing trends from having such a large effect?
Emily LaMunyon and
Rachel Manko, SLCo Surveyor’s Office presented a story map about PROTECTING THE CENTRAL WASATCH – Mapping Current Canyon Initiatives in Salt Lake County. The Central Wasatch Mountains are the distinguishing feature of Salt Lake County. As the County’s million-plus population continues to grow, we must find
balanced solutions that will preserve the watershed and ensure the Wasatch Mountains remain available for residents and visitors to enjoy. There are canyon initiatives coming this 2017 legislative session and the County Surveyor’s Office created a story map to help visualize and bring the
supporting information into one place.
For more information check out the
Maps on the Hill Book 2017 or visit the Maps on the Hill
Picture from right to left: Alex Rudowski (PW Flood Control Engineering), Rachel Manko (Surveyor’s Office), Emily LaMunyon (Surveyor’s Office), Phil Lanouette (Surveyor’s Office), Casey Sledge (Recorder's Office), Izabela Miller (Information Services).
Go with the Flow - Watershed Program Launches New Monitoring Website
So far this year there have been 102 days in which a precipitation event has been recorded in Salt Lake County. Each time it rains, precipitation gauges around the valley activate and begin measuring and reporting rainfall back to the base station at the county government center. This data is decoded and displayed on the Watershed Planning & Restoration team’s
monitoring and gauging program website.
Watershed Program is responsible for maintaining 32 stream and rainfall gauges throughout the county. Their new website replaces an outdated version that helps the team monitor gauging sites and provides a platform for the public to access gauge data.
“There’s no better way to display this data than spatially,” said Bob Thompson, Watershed Program Manager. “With respect to the data, this website provides a more user friendly graphical interface than our previous page.”
(Screenshot of data from a flow monitoring site along the Jordan River.)
In addition to flow and precipitation totals, data is also available on parameters relating to the status of each gauge and when it last reported. This information helps field crews identify peak flows, heavy precipitation events, and malfunctioning equipment.
Users can view data in a few different layouts. The
map view shows the location of each gauge and displays real-time data when a site is selected. The
dashboard shows real-time data for all active gauges. Users can also download gauge data in spreadsheet format.
(Samuel Taylor, Hydrologic Technician, checks the reporting mechanism on a tipping bucket precipitation gauge.)
Ghosts of West Temple - South Temple to 200 South
In 2015, the first "Ghosts of West Temple” online exhibit was released, providing some history of the buildings along West Temple between 100 North to South Temple.
Ghosts of West Temple II expands on the first exhibit. Continuing south along West Temple between South Temple and 200 South, this new exhibit focuses on providing a view of some of the families and businesses that once existed along this street from approximately 1850-1940s.
This area was initially the site of the houses of some prominent families of Utah, including Wilford Woodruff, Sarah Brackett Carter Foss, and Jesse W. Fox. A number of businesses and several well-known hotels also catered to travelers along this street.
By the 1880s, liveries, a mortuary, two newspapers, and even an indoor hot springs pool were replacing houses along each side of West Temple, and the area became business-centered.
At the turn of the 20th century to the 1930s, a large number of hotels, saloons, and stores became a main stay of this area.
Join us as we continue exploring the history of West Temple!
ESRI shines national spotlight on the SLCo Cool Zone web application.
ESRI has written a national article highlighting the SLCo Cool Zone web application that helps citizens who may not have air conditioning find places (Cool Zones) they can retreat to in the summer heat. The interface is easy to use and allows the user to type in an address, use the locate tool, or simply click on the map and find the Cool Zones closest to them. This map is the result of a partnership between SLCo Aging and Adult Services and the Surveyor's Office and showcases how GIS can help the citizens of Salt Lake County.
"Before this GIS technology existed, the collaborative delivery and coordination of services that have a direct impact on people's lives would have been inefficient, time-consuming or impossible," said Salt Lake County surveyor Reid J. Demman. "The Cool Zone map is interactive and simple to use and allows our at-risk population to locate safe havens from the summer heat. This is a great example of the practical application of GIS technology to a real-life human need."