Tag Archives: kml

Summer GIS Workshops


gis_logo_smallWe’ve put together a GIS workhsop series starting this week Wednesday 5/25 and running just about every Wednesday  through early August.

The workshops focus on both core GIS skills such as understanding coordinate systems & projections, georeferencing and geocoding and a couple workshops focusing on Model Builder, ArcPy, Google Earth Pro and working with KML.

The Intro to GIS workshop is this Wednesday, 5/25 at 11am in Lehman Library, room 215. Registration is now open.

With the exception of the Model Builder and ArcPy workshops, attendance to a previous workshop isn’t necessary, just keep in mind that most workshops require some basic knowledge of GIS to attend.


NYPL Map Rectifier


 NYPL has a new toy tool for rectifying digitized historic maps from their collection called the NYPL Map Rectifier.

After creating an account, browse through the various maps and collections, choose a map to rectify, clip or mask the image, and finally export out to either a KML (for Google Earth) or a WMS base URL for use in a GIS software. Some maps have the option to export into either PNG or TIF formats as well.

There is also a vectorize option for a few of the rectified maps (I didn’t see this option on most maps, I’m guessing because it’s still in beta). For these, the vector layers can be downloaded in several formats including shapefile.

NYPL has also created a site called Relief Map Warper and has uploaded maps for Haiti which after georeferencing, the maps will become available in Open Street Map for tracing, and also made available for use on the ground by relief workers. I highly recommend joining and helping out if you can.



GIS workshop – working with ArcGIS & Google Earth

We’re offering a workshop on ArcGIS & Google Earth on Friday November 20th in EDS from 10:30am – 12:30pm.


I plan on covering and comparing some of the tools for exporting vector layers into KML & KMZ format.

I’ll also discuss symbolizing and labeling data,  adding a legend as a screen overlay, and importing Google Earth layers into ArcGIS.

An introductory level knowledge of ArcMap is required to attend the workshop, registration opens one week before.

NYPL Mapping NYC

Matt Knutzen has done an amazing job putting together a KMZ index of digitized NYC map collections from the NYPL Map Division.

Check out his post with some recommendations on how to use it, and then download it.

There’s also a short video called Mapping the World which is part of the Treasures of NYPL Video Series which is worth checking out.

It’s narrated by both Alice Hudson, the Chief of the map division and Matt Knutzen, the Assistant Chief.

New KMZ records in the Spatial Data Catalog

The CU Spatial Data Catalog now contains 21 records for datasets in KMZ format.  These datasets were produced by EDS in partnership with the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) for use in the Journalism 6001 (Reporting and Writing I) and Religion 2800x (Religion and the Modern World) courses.

However, we are making the layers available for download to Columbia affiliates, including datasets detailing crime data, land use, census data, and transportation maps in New York City.

Meiji era Kantō region web map

Historical Agricultural Environment Search System (rough translation of 歴史的農業環境閲覧システム)

For those of you who are interested, there is a new web mapping service up showing seamless georeferenced maps of the Kantō region in Japan during the early to mid Meiji era. Overlayed on top of this are current road, river, and land use to view change. And as a added plus, a KMZ file is also available to view the full Meiji era maps in Google Earth,which ran a little slow when I tried it but was worth the wait.

Although the site is entirely in Japanese, it’s still easy enough to navigate around if you can’t read the characters.

Either choosing a location from the right hand side or just clicking on one of the places (marked by red circles) on the map opens up the mapping application – all the components are open source. If you overlay the 1997 land use data (it’s a little coarse compared to the 1880 data) you can see some of the changes.

The legend for the 1997 land use data on the map is in the FAQ – here’s a rough translation.

Left column – rice field (水田), other agriculture (その地農用地), forest (森林),  waste or unused land (荒地), built up area (建物用地)

Right column – transportation (幹線交通用地), other land (その地の用地), water bodies (河川および湖沼), beach (海浜), golf course (ゴルフ場)

If anyone has a better translation let me know and I’ll update the English categories.


onegeology The OneGeology Portal is relatively new and is the product of a 2007 accord calling for the creation of 1:1 million scale (or better) global, regional, and national geologic map data.

There are several participants and currently there are data for a handful of countries and regions but a fully operational version is scheduled for release in August 2008.

A nice feature is the ability to export to either a KML for Google Earth or a WMC which you can load back into OneGeology at a later time and will return you to the same scale as and remember which layers you loaded.