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geospatial matters

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Friday
Sep192014

How Scotland voted

Reds are Yes, blues are NoHere is a map of voting results from yesterday's historic independence vote in Scotland. Overall the Nos carried the day - 55% - 45%. Interestingly, Motherwell and Hamilton, two towns in my family's life, were split. Motherwell voted Och Aye and Hamilton voted the Noo.

From http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/how-scotland-voted-map-of-referendum-results-1.2014138

Friday
Sep192014

King fire update

Blodgett looks like it is going to be OK, but the King fire is burning through the SNAMP Eldorado study area. This is where the SNAMP owl reasearchers are doing their work. We are getting a response from them to post on the SNAMP website.

Center for Forestry map of the King Fire

Inciweb (why don't they publish the fire boundary file any more????)

We will keep our eyes on it.

And Happy 100th Anniversary Berkeley Forestry!

Tuesday
Sep162014

King fire near Blodgett Forest Research Station

From UC Center for Forestry.

9/16 16:30 - The King Fire started the evening of September 13 east of Pollock Pines. On 9/15, it grew to 3,900 acres. By the morning of 9/16, it was over 11,000 acres and 5% contained. 

As of the afternoon of the 16th, the fire is alarmingly close to Blodgett Forest Research Station. All staff are being evacuated.

We will provide updates here as they come in. We anticipate the perimeter update will be updated every 24 hours in the early morning (as the data becomes available).

The last update was 9/16 at 10:00AM.

EVACUATION INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND HERE http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4108/

For questions, please contact carlinstarrs@berkeley.edu

For more information visit: 

Tuesday
Sep092014

Meadow fire update, burning in Little Yosemite Valley

It's now on Inciweb. The Meadow fire is burning near Yosemite, at the east of Little Yosemite Valley.

From Yosemite NP:

As of 11-9:

The Meadow Fire has progressed rapidly and in multiple directions. In order to maintain the safety of park visitors and allow fire management operations to continue unimpeded, the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park is designating a portion of Yosemite Wilderness as closed. The area will be closed until further notice is given.

As of 11-8:

"Meadow (37 42.738 x 119 30.541 – Mariposa Co., 7,870’, August 16) A fire, that may be a spot fire, from the Meadow lightning-caused fire, was discovered at approximately 12:30 PM, Sunday September 7. The fire is approximately 2,582 acres. It is burning within the Little Yosemite Valley (LYV) on both sides of the Merced River. All trails in the area are closed. Approximately 100 hikers and backpackers were evacuated from the fire area in LYV. The fire is burning in Yosemite Wilderness. The High Sierra Camps were seasonally closed today."

Scott Stephens says it is growing fast. We will keep our eyes on it.

Monday
Sep082014

Fall 2014 class ideas...

Here are the tag clouds from this year's GIS class: the why, how and what of our upcoming semester's projects. Word clouds from Wordle.

The Why: what are the key problems class members want to focus on...

The How: possible methods we will use...

The What: some of the datasets that might be used...

Monday
Sep082014

New VTM reshot, from Tim Hanson

This one from Tim Hanson. The caption from the photos (286747. 286748, 286749, 286750) reads:

"Butte County. Panorama looking SW, S. SE and E from Neal Road. Note Juniperus californica in ravine. Woodland grass type of blue oak and digger pines with occasional Ceanothus cuneatus, Arctostaphylos manzanita and Rhus diversiloba."

There is still California juniper in the ravine, including far right of the new photo, which is uncommon in Butte County. The rare Monardella venosa grows in patches of dense clay soil in the flats of the canyon. The Wieslander picture was taken on 6/24/1933 and his picture was taken on 5/3/2011.

 

Sunday
Aug242014

That was a long, rolling quake

From Live EarthquakesWe felt the 6.0 quake here in Berkeley as a long, rolling, continual shimmy. Up in Napa it was considerably more than that. Lots of news about lost wine etc. There have been a number of small aftershocks since 3am, we haven't felt them here, but Napa valley is jumping this morning.

 

Wednesday
Aug202014

New VTM photo reshoots from Joyce - check it!

Joyce Gross is our most avid VTM photography buffs. Here are two new VTM reshoots for our viewing pleasure. Her original post here, and here are all her new photos on CalPhoto.

She says: This was the first VTM photo site I've found that required a hike to get there. Not only was the photo not taken from a road, but it was not taken from a trail. The hike from my car to the site was a little over a mile, but it felt like more. It was all uphill, and we didn't really know where we were going. The first 2/3 of the hike was along a narrow, rocky road (image below). The last third of the hike involved somewhat random wandering over rocks and around bushes towards a view we hoped to see but weren't sure exactly where it was. My Garmin GPS, and Gaia GPS on my iPad, were my friends on this hike, helping us get to the photo location and, especially, helping us get back. Thanks Joyce!

Upper end of French Lake and Black Buttes. One of the largest natural barren areas on the Colfax map.Joyce's photograph

 

French Lake and English Mt. Looking north, 45 degrees west. Large area of barren and semi-barren Quercus vaccinifolia.Joyce's photograph of French Lake

Wednesday
Aug202014

Measuring Development: Energy & Environment

I spoke yesterday at the CEGA-DIME* co-sponsored event: Measuring Development: Energy & Environment.  This was a terrific day of interesting talks, thoughtful conversations and great networking.

This workshop brought together engineers, social scientists, donors, and practitioners to discuss the use of novel measurement tools--including sensors, sensor networks, microsatellite imaging, and other remote sensing technologies--in energy and environment research. 

I presented an "ignite" talk on some of our mapping work and talked about the idea of "Spatial Data Science". There were a number of highlights. Matt Hancher from Google gave a great overview of Google Earth Engine and asked: "What if the micro-satellite imagery revolution works. What will you do with the data?” Great and timely question. Big Spatial Data workshop to the rescue! We heard from people at the Energy Institute at Haas who are looking at smart sensors, iButtons and billing networks to understand energy usage around the world; Ronald Cohen from the Climate Readiness Institute spoke; there was tons of discussion about low earth orbit micro-satellites from Skybox and the Spire company (they monitor AIS beacons on ships yet they also can still find them as they move back and forth through fishing zones and turn off their beacons); there was a great idea from Tony Vodacek from RIT on the need to develop “a remote sensing playbook”: What are the sensors, resolutions, bands that are needed for a particular task?. David Lobell from Stanford highlighted some of his great work in remote sensing of crop yields; and Sol Hsiang from the Goldman School outlined his fascinating work on natural disasters, economies and violence.

Background: Technologies for measuring the adoption and impact of development interventions have seen substantial innovation over the past several years—examples include the use of microsatellite data for mapping weather patterns and agricultural yields, sensors for tracking behavior change, smart meters for recording real-time energy use, continuous emissions monitoring systems for measuring particulate matter, and platforms for smartphone- and tablet-based survey data collection. At the same time, network protocols for data management, visualization, and analysis have drastically improved.

*CEGA =UC Berkeley's Center for Effective Global Action; DIME = World Bank's Development Impact Evaluation Initiative

Monday
Aug182014

Graduate Certificate in GIST up and running

The UC Berkeley Graduate 
Certificate 
in
 Geographic 
Information 
Science 
and
 Technology
 (GIST)
 has been approved, and is up and running. This certificate will provide
 an 
academic
 structure 
for 
an 
interdisciplinary 
exchange 
of
 ideas 
around
 geospatial
 information 
and 
analysis.

Certificate
 students 
will
 not 
only
 participate 
in
 a 
cutting‐edge 
program 
and
 receive
 explicit
 recognition
 of 
specialization 
in
 GIST
 by 
virtue 
of
 the
 Graduate
 Certificate 
but
 will 
be
 well
 positioned
 to
compete
 for
the
 most
 desirable 
jobs 
in 
geospatial
t echnology,
 both 
in
 academia
 and 
in 
industry.

Requirements include at
 least 
three 
courses, 
or 
a
 total
 of
 90 
hours
 of
 instruction, 
and
 earn 
a
 minimum 
grade
 of
 B, and participate in a GIST Roundtable (such as the geolunch series from the GIF). The full proposal detailing requirements can be found below. Please note that acceptable courses will be updated as new courses are offered. 

For more information, please click here.

NOTE: THIS CERTIFICATE IS FOR CURRENTLY ENROLLED GRADUATE STUDENTS AT UC BERKELEY. It is not a professional GIS certificate for non-students.