Overview to the Weekly GIS and Mapping Update

As of today, I'm starting a weekly update of GIS, mapping, geospatial, and geographical updates that pertain to my personal and professional life. The series of updates will include some successes, breakdowns, and future projects in relationship to my professional life as a cartographer and personal (geo-geeky) interest in maps / geography. 

Successes

I had a great week of work with National Geographic Maps. I felt that I was of value both creatively, productively, educationally, and through acknowledgement. Since the project I'm currently working on is under lock and key, I can only say that my project allowed me to start working in Avenza MAPublisher for geocoding, georeferencing, and creating GeoTiffs. I processed over 50 GeoTif images with georeferencing in the past week and a half. The images that we are working with are highly intricate. They must be precisely georeferenced for web display and I did a bit of this work this week. Furthermore, I am working with a colleague/supervisor to build a comprehensive spreadsheet of all the map images I processed with attribute information about each map, including a hyperlink to their eCommerce site for purchase. I'm excited that the public will have access to all these maps and I'm part of the process in making that happen. 

The only small hiccup with this project is that I have the Avenza MAPublisher license as a trial for 14-days. National Geographic is hesitant on giving me a full license and I completely understand why. I am a independent contractor with an uncertain future. Additionally, these licenses are expensive and they are trying to affect the bottom line as much as possible (even if they're technically a non-profit organization). 

Breakdowns

This section is not a criticism or a place to dwell on the problems that occurred, but more of an opportunity to see how to change, correct, and take action for the future when these same hardships arise. I was told by one of my supervisors that I am "too thorough with some of the work I perform". Thus, I dive too much into the research on why and how things are happening and don't just move onto the next assignment. He appreciates that I like to learn about the how and why, and he would like to see me balance that passion for learning with the given workloads (assignments and projects).  

Last week (October 8-12), I was slightly melancholy that I couldn't attend the North American Cartography Information Society's (NACIS) annual conference. It is the main conference in North America where I truly feel engaged, inspired, and learn a lot. There would have been great opportunities for new consulting contracts, networking, and project collaboration across current contracts. I went to NACIS last year in Portland, Oregon and they held it in Greenville, South Carolina this year. I will most definitely try and make the Pittsburgh 2014 conference next autumn. 

Looking Forward

This coming week I have a GIS data migration from one server to another, receiving more assignments from my supervisor in relationship to this confidential project and a future confidential project, following up with Will Meadows and his Geostory about canoes, following up a presentation to give at the GISCO fall meeting in Georgetown, Colorado. I will be presenting on National Geographic Maps' GeoStories product. Per the abstract I submitted to GISCO three weeks ago 

"Geostories is an embeddable geographic story-player for publishing an organization's geospatial and 

multimedia content. This publishing platform allows an organization to comprehensively combine text, photos, video, audio, and interactive maps into a dynamic web-player for their respective website(s). Interactive maps are chosen from a set list of live map services, including street, satellite, topographic, and the new National Geographic Map. Customs maps can be included from external map services or ArcGIS Online, as well as KML files. Geostories is a hosted solution that does not require installation or maintenance. The platform is licensed annually with multiple user accounts, tech support, and editorial guidance from National Geographic. "

This will be my first professional, industry-related presentation to GIS peers and colleagues ever. I'm very excited for the opportunity to present our product, answer questions, and potentially lead into GeoStories client relationships. My next installment of the GIS and Mapping update will include my observations, feelings, results, and possible futures from this meeting. 

Map of the Week

This week, I'd like to share the incubator maps for my passion of spatial awareness and international discovery. A placemat, like the one shown at the header of this post and below, was at my dinner table every night growing up. I'm so happy my parents introduced me to the World and United States at the table every evening. 

Credit: Placemutts