Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I wear a County of Many Colors

Tonight I worked on my Geodatabase. I found some data for water and sewer pipes from the NC One Map project. www.NCOneMap.com I clipped them down to just Buncombe county. Pete is going to continue trying to get some better sewer data from MSD for me. I also got census data from NC One Map. It is quite detailed. I was working with symbolizing it based on total population for each block. I think I will further refine that by also using the area of each block to get a better idea of the population density. Above is one version of the map which I used the very bright color ramp on. That's how I got the county of many colors, which reminds me of The Blue Nile albumn called A Walk Across the Rooftops.

NB: Don't start your feature class names with zeros. Probably not starting them with any numbers is a good idea. ARC not like that, don't do what ARC not like, OK?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Diesel Fuel Expense Chart

My typical driving driving routines have not significantly changed over this period of time. The spikes are times I went on trips. This represents about 105,000 miles of driving.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

GeoCoding Again

Tonight we got globalized again. This time it was much less intense as we just briefly visited the blog of Pam Silvers who is Pete's boss and my friend and IT mentor. She is in India on another sort of exchange program like the one that sent Pete to Mexico a few weeks ago.

Next we learned about Geocoding and watched Pete demo the process. It's a way to turn text data into a location on the map. It is a powerful technique. Usually it takes an address and converts it into latitude and longitude and sticks it int he right place on the map. It is the way that you can put your address in an internet map site and have it find where your house actually is. We did this exercise:
We created an address locator for the whole state of SC and then used it to digest a big list of student addresses from a college in the Upstate. You can see most of them are clustered up there around Greenville. Sometimes parts of the data is not accurate and it can't figure out where to put an address. Then you can painstakingly fix the problems. Fortunately, we didn't have to do that for this exercise. That looks quite tedious.

Since I was all in the SC Street Centerlines file, I zoomed in on the sea shore area where I will visit with my sweetheart on spring break. I'm excited about that.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Golfer Kills Hawk

A professional golfer named Tripp Isenhour killed a hawk a few months ago, and it has hit the news this week. Read an article here. Or another one here.

He apparently was upset with the bird for making noise while he was trying to make an instructional video. He said, "It was unfortunate, but there'll be plenty of time for me to tell my story," and that it was foolish for people to believe he could have realistically hit the bird. "That's obviously people who don't know very much about golf," he said. "To say it's a one-in-a-million shot for an accident like that to happen, you know, and when it did happen, I was very remorseful, very upset that it happened." Another quote has him again referring to what happened as an accident.

An Accident? I could see this as an accident if he had hit the bird in the course of playing golf. Witnesses said he drove a golf cart toward the bird in order to hit golf balls at it from a closer location. "He was just going strangely out of the way to go after it," said Jethro Senger, a sound engineer at the shoot. "And it was almost, the whole thing was basically like a joke to him. The balls were getting closer and closer. 'Haha, look how close that one came.' 'That one was even closer.' "I yelled at him," Senger said. "I said, 'What did you expect was going to happen?," Senger said. "I said, 'You're a pro golfer, you're hitting line drives right at it.'"

He said he was only trying to scare the bird, so I guess he was trying to have the golf balls go really close to the bird to scare it away and the accident is that he actually hit the bird. I know intent is an important concept in the American legal system, so maybe he got some legal advice to comment only in ways that he never admits that he intended to hit or kill the hawk.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

2nd Geodatabase Project

Pete returned from his school related trip to Mexico this week. Very interesting stories about the sister city to Asheville, and a sister school to ABTech. There is the potential that there will be a GIS collaboration with the school and/or local agricultural agencies. He visited the Mayan ruin called Chichen Itza. I remember from taking the class called "Architecture, Design and Society" years ago tales of the long, tall, wide stairs that lead up the pyramid of Chichen Itza being covered with the coagulated blood of human sacrifices to the extent that they looked like a smooth slope rather than stairs.

Then I got to work on my 2nd Geodatabase project. Check this out:

That's just the county map with some zoning data on it.

Pete also turned us on to maps.live.com, a microsoft mapping product like google maps. They have a feature called "Bird's eye view" which is aerial photography, but not looking straight down. Instead, it is at an angle, so it gives a much better 3 dimensional view of buildings, trees, vanagons, etc. The data for Asheville was just recenlty added. Below is my house, with it's fancy new roof and the Golden Luvwagen in the driveway.