Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Editing and Rapid City Memories

Tonight we worked on Editing. We edited Points and Lines and Polygons. It was fun. I liked making the shapes and moving them around and stuff. It was also a little window into the world of what is some probably some pretty tedious GIS work. editing data and making all these fussy little changes to make the data more accurate. Pete made it sound like in the GIS job world you might have to do some fussy editing, especially when you are new in the field.

Above is some editing we did. This is GIS data from Rapid City, SD. The upper section with the green lines was already done, and then we did the lower section with the blue lines. The blue lines represent parcels. For the outermost edges, we used the pavement edge layer as a guide. We drew in the shapes of the houses based on what we could see in the orthophoto layer, which is totally raster data.

At one point Mary said that I needed to say something funny so that she could get through the arduous book exercise which had something like 60 steps to follow. I consider myself funny, but, can't really do it on demand, it's generally a sort of topical, situational humor. Fortunately I was able to pull out of my ass something about her belt-sander-blog, and that worked. I think I better have some material prepared for the next class though.

I remembered being in Rapid City, and Mary asked what I did there and I told her that I did my laundry. I hadn't really thought about Rapid City in a long time, even in reference to that picaresque. But that memory of doing the laundry there really brought some old stuff back. It was 1985 and I was 21, and my vw van was 14, and we took 2 months and 12,000 miles, and somehow only $1100, to travel the US and southern Canada. Most of that trip was by myself. It was a significant, formative time for me. I think it was before Rapid City, I think it was Custer State Park in the Black Hills were I was camping. I was sort of lonely and felt ungrounded but couldn't put a name like that on the feeling at the time. One evening the sun was setting and the temperature was cooling and the light was beautiful orange on the the rocks. I was out wandering and climbing on some of the beautiful rocks. I got into the climbing around and jumping from rock to rock and stuff like that. I was climbing too high to not be on a rope. At one point I jumped from one rock to another and started to fall off the far side of the second rock. I was doing that swinging-the-arms-attempt-to-catch-my-balance thing. It worked and I didn't fall off the rock. That was a little bit of a wake up experience.

After my laundry was done in Rapid City, I went to a hot spring outside of town. There was a developed hot spring in the town, with water slides, and stuff. But a local pointed me to the wild one. It was full of a group of teenagers of a church group from Kansas. And that's about all I remember about that.


Jaime said...

I've never heard the Rapid City story. How far was the fall off the second rock???

And I never had any doubt you could do "humor on demand!" And you didn't have any props either...!

GREAT use of picaresque. :) Do you have pictures of your travels then?


Edward said...

The fall off the second rock would have caused an injury. Maybe a bad one. I think it was maybe 20-50 feet drop onto more rock.

I do have a nice slide show from that trip. Someday I shall scan them. There is a picture from that evening in the Black Hills, of the beautiful orange light on the rocks.

The problem is my slide scanner uses a proprietary SCSI card, and there are no drivers for XP, so I need a Win98 box. And it's just hard to get up the energy to work on that at the end of the day.

Jaime said...

Are they honest-to-goodness slides? I know somewhere you can scan them without Win98. :) Ask Dick-O.

Ouch. 20-50 feet. That would have left a mark. Thank God you've got good balance. You might have lost an ear, or something...