Friday, December 11, 2015

Final Report for GIS 4035 - Photo Interpretation & Remote Sensing

I have definitely lost my mind...but I know where it is. My final project for GIS 4035 - Photo Interpretation & Remote Sensing, was to apply remote sensing data and image processing techniques that I studied and used during this semester. I utilized concepts, data types, processes, and techniques I learned in ERDAS Imagine, and ArcMap. What an experience this has been! My project was to examine the Lake Tahoe basin area and determine the change, if any, in healthy vegetation from the period of 1999 to 2010. The guiding question for my research is: How much has healthy vegetation decreased in the Lake Tahoe basin area from 1999 to 2010?

It was a fun project and I certainly have learned a great deal this semester. Please see my Final Report at the link below. Here is my final map:

Lake Tahoe:1999 to 2010 -Decrease in Healthy Vegetation

Brevard County Food Desert - Palm Bay & West Melbourne

This has been a crazy-fun experience. My last project for GIS 4930, Special Topics in Geographic Information Systems is to create a webmap using Open Source GIS tools. The subject of this last project continues to be Food Deserts. For my project, I selected two cities in Brevard County: Palm Bay and West Melbourne.I used QGIS (Quantum GIS) as a FREE and Open Source, ArcMap -substitute to conduct most of my analysis. I had to use ESRI's ArcMap for the Near tool to compute where the Food Desert and Food Oasis existed relative to my cities above. After running the tool in ArcMap, the QGIS table looked like the below:

I used the 2010 US Census data. The first red circle represents the Census Tract information; the second circle is POP2010. I used the tract information to compute the centroids of the population so that I could measure a Euclidian distance of one mile from the grocery store layer. The last column is the Near_Dist data derived from ArcMap – Like I said, I could not use QGIS to do everything I wanted – This Near column is the result of executing the Near Tool with a one mile search. Any item that returned a -1 is farther than one mile from the grocery store and hence in a Food Desert by my definition.


I used Google Earth to collect the Grocery Store information and the US Census data to compute population centroids. I used a number of FREE Open Source GIS tools, such as QGIS, Mapbox, and Leaflet, and I gained valuable experience doing so. Below is my QGIS and Mapbox maps.

My Mapbox Link: Mapbox Brevard Food Desert

The data I created is very good and highly useful for the purpose of determining Food Deserts. I believe that my data fairly represents the Food Desert situation in my study area.

Here is my final presentation for GIS 4930:

It has been a pleasure conducting this brief study and I look forward to many more years of using free and open source tools for GIS analysis.

My Raven GIS Portfolio

I have assembled a collection of my GIS works and created a website to host and showcase my skills, experience and a resume for all to view. I would like to share this website with you and would appreciate if you visit this site.

Raven GIS Portfolio

This is still a Development website and I plan to add more info as I progress and gain more GIS experience. Check back later to see what I have added.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mapbox and Brevard County Food Deserts

This week we continue work on our Food Desert maps using open source GIS tools. I learned an incredible amount about Mapbox and Leaflet, but I am no where as comfortable with these Open Source tools as I am with ArcMap. Nonetheless, this has been a great learning experience.

I used data from Google Earth to collect and compile my grocery stores layer and I used the population centroids, based on the US Census data for both Palm Bay and West Melbourne. The US Census data indicated that the census blocks were farther apart as you traveled south from the center of Palm Bay. This meant to me that the population was much less dense. As I reviewed the aerials of south Palm Bay I discovered this area is very rural. If I did this lab exercise again, I would use a greater distance from a grocery store, perhaps five miles, for south Palm Bay, however, I would have to determine a definition to confidently say where Palm Bay turns rural.
I gained valuable experience using TileMill and then loading my Tiles (file extension = .mbtiles) to Mapbox.  However, the link above tells us that TileMill is no longer in active development; looks like I'll be using Mapbox Studio Classic instead.As an Open Source program, Mapbox is constantly changing, so this made the lab a little more challenging. In the end I was able to compile a Mapbox Dataset that had a basemap and both my Food Desert and Grocery Store layers. Below is what my map looks like at this point.

As you can see, there appears to be a no grocery stores south of Malabar Road. That is why so much of Palm Bay is a Food Desert. I suspect that more grocery stores may move into south Palm Bay in the future.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Open Source tools and Food Deserts

What a week. Happy after Thanksgiving to everyone. This week was about open source GIS tools. I learned about TileMill and Leaflet. Great tools for building web maps. I had a challenge to get all the tools on Leaflet to work properly for me. Tools such as the Layer Control or Geocoder. Leaflet is an html based program that allows you to upload maps using Tiles (Tilemill) and customize them by essentially copying the html code. However, even individuals that have extensive experience with code struggle with getting the correct, code, spacing, punctuation, and the case of letters. Needless to say, this week was a challenge. Given more time and coffee, I am sure I will enjoy using both TileMill and Leaflet in the future.

The objective this week was to develop a map showing Food Desert locations surrounding Pensacola Florida. Below is the link to my Food Desert map. It is a work still under construction. Please check back later to see what features and tools I have added.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

GIS Day - Brevard County

I have been conducting my internship with Brevard County Survey & Mapping Dept. In past years, the Brevard County Commissioners have passed a decree recognizing GIS Day (here's a link to the 2012 GIS Day Proclamation). So far this year, I have not seen nor heard that a decree was passed. So, with no official activities for GIS Day at Brevard County Government Center, I spent my day discussing how to compute Geometry and input coordinates on my new "Speed Hump" map. I had been working on a project for the Transportation Dept mapping all the Speed Humps in Brevard County - all 459 of them...and Iwas at the point of conclusion so I was working on completing my map. It is a good feeling to actually complete a project for a "customer."

Friday, November 20, 2015

Open Source GIS: Food Deserts

This week we are working with an open source GIS tool called QGIS (Quantum GIS). Open source programs are a great way to work as a community toward a common goal. This week we are preparing data to compile a Food Desert map of Southern Escambia county. The final project will be to create a Food Desert map of an area of my choice. A food desert is defined as an urban area with a grocery store or fresh food source, that is greater than 1 mile away and in a rural area, a grocery store located greater than 10 miles away. I took the data from Escambia County and the US Census data for this area and applied a layer for grocery stores. Below are the Food Desert maps I produced. 

The first QGIS map shows Escambia County in relation to all Counties in Florida. 

  The second map created in QGIS shows the relative  location of Escambia County and the Study Area in the inset, and the two data frames with the study area that depict the Food Desert and Food Oasis locations: