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Heat Risk Program and Interactive Map

June 21, 2017

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It is that time of year again when the temperatures in Utah heat up and the National Weather Service (NWS) has created a new heat risk warning system to alert the public and help them avoid heat-related hazards. The NWS has partnered with the Salt Lake County Health Department as well as the Surveyor’s Office who created an online tool that allows a user to easily locate public places to cool off near them. The closest cooling centers can be found by entering an address, using a locate tool, or simply clicking anywhere on the map and the results include additional information as well as directions to each place. 

 The Heat Risk program and the interactive map were recently featured on NPR. 


heat risk cool zones map

Attend a Conference and Make Geography Great Again

March 16, 2017

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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

January 26, 2017

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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.

Alex 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.

algal bloom map



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?

housing map


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.

protecting the central wasatch map


For more information check out the Maps on the Hill Book 2017 or visit the Maps on the Hill  blogpost. 

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).


maps on the hill group