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SpatialNews Features

The following features have appeared on our site in the past. If you would like to suggest a new topic or are interested in partnering or working for us, contact If you're interested in contributing content please check out our Writer's Guidelines

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Getting Started with GIS - A LITA Guide By Eva Dodsworth. A solid introduction to a popular, cutting-edge technology emerging online in communities worldwide.

Scribble Maps Pro Review - Looking for an online GIS application? Read this review for Scribble Maps Pro, a Flash (browser-based) GIS application!

Maptitude Geographical Information System Software 5.0 Review - Take a look at this excellent review of Maptitude 5.0, a product for both the novice and professional GIS user.

Conversion of Shapefile to KML: An overview of tools available - Working with KML? Take a look at this overview of the KML tools available in various software.

A Comparison of Google Earth 5.0 with Google Earth Pro 5.0 - Interested in Google Earth? Take a look at this great overview of differences between the two versions.

GeoMarketing - Recently "something completely different" for GeoMarketing quietly appeared on YouTube in the form of a short animated film entitled "OBIA made easy". Read about it here!

Quantum GIS Software: Application User Review - Looking for an alternative to some of the GIS software? Read this review of Quantum GIS, an excellent free GIS software application.

Using Georeferencing Tools for Navigation and Research of Aerial Photography - Learning about the history of an area? Check out some examples of using GIS technology and historical photography to visualize changes in a location.

Transforming Lists into Maps: Using Online Tools to Geocode Non-Spatial Files - Learn how to use some simple online tools to geocode lists and other tabular data.

Using Google Earth as a Map Viewer - Heard of Google Earth? Thought it was just a simple, fun Earth viewer? Read this article and see how Google Earth (GE) can be used are more than just viewing your neighbor's yard.

MapWindow GIS: More than a Viewer - Looking for a user friendly desktop geographic information system (GIS) for Windows? Check out this review of an excellent open-source GIS application.

Earth Day 2008 - GeoCommunity WANTS YOU! to contribute.

Iraq & Middle East Maps and Data - a resource devoted to locating maps, data and imagery of the Middle East.

GIS Reponse to Terrorism News & Resources

A look at the population, selected characteristics and 2004 voting percentage of each state as it approaches its 2008 primary or caucus from the Census Bureau.
US Presidential election data You won't find this data ANYWHERE ELSE! Analyze the Presidential election results for yourself. GIS data coverage, by county, of the 2000 US Presidential election results. Coverage includes Florida recounts certified Nov 26.
Election data by Caliper The folks at Caliper describe how they produced an interactive WebMapping site highlighting the 2000 US Presidential election results by County.
Using Digital Orthophotos Using Digital Orthophotos to Support Land Registration on large areas (7000 hectares) where ownership has never previously been registered.
Bird Avoidance Model The US Air Force has developed a predictive Bird Avoidance Model (BAM) using GIS technology.
Maps and data from Australia Maps of the 2000 Olympics - Maps, imagery, data and photos of Sydney, Australia
GIS in Education The History and Application of GIS in Education - focuses on the history and application of GIS as a tool of data analysis in K-12 Education
GIS for Red Hat Linux GenaMap creates GIS for Red Hat Linux - Mapping The Route To A Better Product
Real-Time GIS Assists SCDOT Real-Time GIS Assists South Carolina in Managing Hurricane Floyd Evacuation
NOAA Airline Tragedy GIS Proves Valuable During Alaska Airline Tragedy at Channel Islands
Tapestry of Time A Tapestry of Time and Terrain - One of the most dramatic and beautiful maps of the United States, ever published.

ZIP Code Resources and Data

Benefits of GIS Integration with an EAM System - In this feature article Damon D. Judd, President Ala Carto Consulting describes that by spatially enabling the representation of the entire infrastructure in map-based views, and by utilizing tools to analyze spatial relationships, tremendous improvements in efficiency, cost containment, and better decision-making can be realized.

AutoCAD Tips & Rules on Scaling - Scaling in CAD is one of those slippery things with firm grasp. Barrie Mathews, President, Softco Engineering Systems Inc., offers up some advice

Translating CIR to True Color - Color Infrared images are created not so much for their color accuracy or aesthetic value, but because they are so useful for scientific analysis. This topic is discussed in detail in this special tutorial from Doug Armknecht.

Government of Manitoba Opens Doors to Spatial Data Repository - In a radical departure from previous business models, Manitoba is providing all of its geospatial data free of charge for unrestricted use. Enter the Manitoba Land Initiative (

200th Anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition - The purpose of this new resource is to provide leads to some noteworthy resources relating to the Lewis & Clark expedition, and more specifically, to help understand "the past, present and future geography of the Lewis and Clark experience.

GIS Use in the Fire and Emergency Medical Services - This special contribution by Chief Myron Messak, Mayfield Fire District # 2, Mayfield, New York illustrates how G.I.S. and G.P.S. tools are being implemented in a small county in upstate New York, from initial inception in a single fire district to countywide expansion.

Lewis & Clark Revisited: Satellite Archeology Digs Out The Past - Thanks to a 21st century merger of remote sensing spacecraft, computer technology and special software, the pioneering Lewis and Clark trail is once again being surveyed. This on-going archeology from on high offers an enlightening high-tech flashback into America's ecological past. Read on in this interesting feature contributed by Alex Philp & the kind folks at

The OGC Explained... A recent discussion thread on the popular GISList concerning the Open GIS Consortium (OGC) resulted in some interesting discussion and feedback concerning the efforts and mandate of the OGC. Spawned by a lenghty question posed to the list, proponents of the OGC used the opportunity to explain and clarify to the layperson just exactly what the OGC is all about.

LAND INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS IN AN INTERNET ERA - This article illustrates the "transparent" flow of data coming in & out from different sources of different GIS software and addresses the issue of "data-sharing without conversion" by displaying them into a single Web/Internet Display. (PDF)

Where's the Revenue in LBS? - The market for Location-based services exists, however, recent findings from In- Stat/MDR reveals that its not the "killer-app" that it was once believed to be... read on for details.

Digitize the Entire Earth - NAC Geographic Products Inc. has developed The Natural Area Coding System, a revolutionary technology to digitize our planet and make it more convenient for all people living on it.

k12 Feature - Geography, GIS, and K-12 Education: Moving to the Web. Alex Philp, President, GCS Research LLC describes how teachers and students are investigating geographical information and exploring landscape relationships in unprecedented ways.

Spatially enabling e-Government, Education and Commerce - Laser-Scan’s Radius Topology software enables the vision of incorporating spatial information into mission critical planning, management, operations support and service delivery systems for e-government, e-education and e-commerce. Read on in this submission from Dr. Robert N. Starling.
Airborne Laser Swath Mapping: Applications to Shoreline Mapping - Airborne laser swath mapping is particularly well suited to mapping linear topographic features, and for the first time offers an economically viable method to map a wide variety of scientifically interesting features including shorelines and beaches. This topic is explored in this feature from the U of F.

Benefits of Topology in the Database - Laser-Scan has launched a topological extension to Oracle9i, Radius Topology. Applications which manage, query or analyse spatial data that is inherently topological can take advantage of Oracle’s database technology and security by accessing server side processing functionality. Read on for more in this feature contribution from our friends at Laser-Scan.

Featured Government Solution - More than 10 000 representatives, journalists and members of governments of 34 countries attended the Third Summit of the Americas held in Quebec City in April 2001. Map-based information regarding the Sumit was provided by Korem... read on!

From Ship to Shore to Satellites - It used to be that the Marine Communications & Traffic Services (MCTS) branch of the Canadian Coast Guard was primarily interested in any target than 50 miles from Canada’s shores. But then September 11th came... read on for more!

Sustaining Lobster Fisheries - Information on the ecology of Penobscot Bay has formed the basis for an intensive analysis of the bay's lobster fishery. By combining data from satellites and field sampling with the local knowledge of fishermen, the project has created a broader understanding of the fishery that includes much of its ecological context.

Imaging, Photogrammetry, Surveying and GPS - GIS Data Collection for the 21st Century - As GIS becomes a standard management tool throughout many organisations, questions are beginning to be asked about the creation, maintenance and quality of the data that resides in the database. This paper looks at the various methods of GIS database creation with an emphasis on new update and maintenance techniques from the surveying world.

ESRI International User Conference 2002 - The Annual ESRI User Took place July 7-12 in San Diego California and SpatialNEws was there! Be sure to visit our 2002 ESRI UC Home for news, reports, images from the show, and exhibitor information.

GIS Viewing Tools You Shouldn't Be Without! - We've identified some of the best GIS Data Viewing tools that every GIS geek should have in his/her tools folder. We list the product features and where to find them.

Autodesk Map Series 5 Customer Q & A - Autodesk has announced the release of the New Autodesk Map Series for GIS (see Press) a single suite of software that combines Autodesk Map 5, Autodesk Raster Design 3, and the new Autodesk OnSite. Any questions you may have about the product are answered in this Q & A.

The key to the warehouse - An historic, multimillion pound agreement offers hundreds of government departments and agencies a year's free access to Britain's most detailed digital map data. They now have more power to exploit geographical information in their day to day activities, including posting maps on websites and in other public information services. VDatum Transformation Tool - VDatum is a tool for the transformation of elevation data from one vertical datum into another. This document is part of the "Tampa Bay Bathy/Topo/Shoreline Demonstration Project" - if you are involved in hydrographic and/or bathymetric mapping and working with DEM and topopgraphic data we encourage you to learn more by visiting the Tampa Bay Shoreline project website.

FDNY Mobile Recovery Database Developed at Ground Zero Using GPS - On Sept. 12, 2001 LinksPoint joined with FDNY and other City, State and Federal Agencies to discuss automating the process of capturing location information for items recovered at the site [ground zero]. We offer up an exclusive look at the technology used in developing the database.

Water & Wastewater Systems Rise to a New Level with ArcGIS and Geodatabase - The Augusta County Service Authority (ACSA), located in Virginia's central Shenandoah Valley, needed a more comprehensive management and decision tool for its water and wastewater utility systems. This contribution from GeoDecisions explains the process and the solution.

ASTER DEM - John Childs discusses this free source of International DEM data - Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER). The quality of this data is excellent, equivalent in resolution to USGS 30m SDTS DEM data. Read on for another good piece from John!

The SRTM global Mapping Mission... 2 years later! - Can you believe that it's been almost 2 years since we provided detailed coverage of the SRTM mission? This SRTM feature serves to bring you up to date and will help you locate and download the derivative SRTM data products.

Extracting DEMs from Topographic Maps - Few people realize that the shaded relief maps appearing on the front pages of our national publications were not produced from satellite data because that data is classified. Instead, they were derived from the most primitive but reliable source of DEM data that we have: paper topographic maps. More on this from John Childs.

Location-Based Services And Topology - This paper describes the important role played by topology in Location-based Applications and the value of a web enabled database centric solution where all spatial data relationships are maintained and managed directly in the database itself, without the need for any specialized or proprietary GIS application.

Are You Motivated to Migrate to MicroStation V8? - John Leavy offers up his take on migrating to the latest version of Microstation, V8. He identifies three goups, the "Heck no, we won't go!" bunch, the "Can't wait to open the box" crowd and the "fast-followers"... which one are you?

USGS and FIU Join Forces to "Fly" - The Editor looks at TerraFly. this new site will allow users of all levels to explore these seamless data using Internet Explorer or Netscape web browsers. In addition to browsing the database, users will be able to purchase digital or printed images over the Internet. TerraFly was developed in cooperation with NASA, the National Science Foundation and IBM.

Using USGS DEMs in ArcView GIS - As GIS technology goes mainstream, we at the GeoCommunity have found a dramatic increase in the number of people downloading freely available data only to then be stumped when it comes to actually viewing or using the data. Data that is particularly troublesome for users is USGS SDTS formatted data. This article briefly examines how users can easily download USGS DEMS and use them in ArcView GIS.

Importing SHP or MIF Data in MapPoint - Those of you interested in using your existing ArcView SHP or Mapinfo MIF data inside MapPoint are now in luck! A recent addition to the MS download area is the MapPoint 2002 Spatial Data Import COM Add-in. This add-on allows you to import ESRI SHAPE files and MapInfo data into MapPoint.

What Makes A Good GIS Analyst? - the GeoCommunity editor asked the Community what skills/attributes contribute to an excellent GIS analyst. Here's what he found.

Afghanistan DEMs - Follow the latest international developments with these DEMs and DEM overlays of north central Afghanistan from the author of the "Terrain Modeling and Mappin and DTED Data" website.

IKONOS DEM Overlays - The author demonstrates how one can easily use free ortho rectified, aligned and georeferenced satellite imagery along with free data from the gisdatadepot and create stunning 3D imagery. This is all easily done using 3DEM.

NOAA Remote Sensing Expertise Aids WTC Recovery Efforts - NOAA's National Geodetic Survey and Aircraft Operations Center mapped the wreckage of the World Trade Center in support of recovery and cleanup efforts following the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. More details provided by NOAA.

GIS Database Developed for New York WTC Recovery Efforts - the GeoCommunity editor takes a look at the development of a GIS database being used in the disaster recovery efforts.

Intergraph Inside? - This interesting piece provide by the Huntsville Times takes a look at the ongoing litigation between Intergraph and Intel.

LizardTech's DjVu easily implemented into GIS - Greene County, Ohio Optimizes Online Delivery of High-quality Documents using solutions provided by LizardTech. Complete details are provided in this special submission.

A Look at iSITE 4.7 - With iSITE, users ranging from senior management to support staff can produce presentation quality analyses via PC, Web or Palm Pilot in minutes, with little or no training

Mt. Rainier Challenge: Superior Overlays using 3DEM - John Childs briefs The GeoCommunity on how you can easily create stunning 3D output using low-cost software and free data from The

CITY INSPECTION STAFF GOES WIRELESS - At 13:15 on the 8th of November, 2000 a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit Glendale, CA. Using the KIVA remote inspector product on hand-held Sony Vaio picture book and HP Jornadas connected via CPDP, city inspectors were able to log the damage in real time.

MIGRATING FROM ARCVIEW 3x TO 8.1 - The GeoCommunity Editor takes a detailed look at what you can expect from migrating from AV3x to the 8x series.GeoComm International is an authorized ESRI business partner and reseller of ESRI products and will gladly provide product information and pricing to U.S based customers (non-US clients should locate a distributor near you). Click Here to request the latest GeoComm ESRI Product Guide Price list

Distance Ed. in GIS & Geo-Spatial Technologies - By popular request, we've put together a comprehensive guide to distance learning in GIS and geo-spatial technologies. Additional contributions are welcome!

Working with DOQQs - A primer providing you with a wealth of information to help you understand DOQQs. Descriptions, tools, resources,and pointers to loads of info are provided.

view documentInternet Mapping with XML - Recent technical developments by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) provide a foundation for non-proprietary, open source Internet Mapping. As these XML technologies become better known, extending GIS configurations with Internet Mapping will become much easier and economical. More on this in this paper by Randy George.

view documentLatitude/Longitude Classes - A treat for you programers! The author of this piece has developed two control classes that would provide for the consistent entry and display of latitude and longitude values. complete details and a demo program illustrates the capabilities of these classes.

view documentIntergraph VS Intel - This interesting piece provide by the Huntsville Times takes a look at the ongoing litigation between Intergraph and Intel.

view documentTop 10 Benefits of Using GML - The GML approach is a great improvement over the historical reliance on simple GIF/JPG image maps for a number of reasons. Details are provided by Galdos Inc.

view documentGeography, Creating Communities and - Last week at the annual ESRI User Coneference held in San Diego, Jack Dangermond kicked things off by discussing the role that Geography and GIS in particular plays in creating communities. We take a closer look and introduce you to

view documentIntroducing The ICNRC - The GeoCommunity Takes A Look At The Inner Coastal Natural Resource Centre Stream Habitat Mapping Project and web mapping innitiative from B.C., Canada.

view documentIntroducing MapPoint-L - The GeoCommunity is pleased to announce MapPoint-L - an email-based discussion list and resource base for users of Microsoft's MapPoint desktop mapping products.

view documentMaking The Move From ArcView 3x to ArcView 8.1

view documentHere Comes ArcView 8.1 Gets A New Look - Several weeks ago ERDAS launched a completely revamped website at The GeoCommunity offers up a closer look at what you can expect.

Working with DOQQs - A primer providing you with a wealth of information to help you understand DOQQs. Descriptions, tools, resources,and pointers to loads of info are provided.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About SDTS! - Finally, a comprehensive directory of articles, tutorials, tools and downloads dedicated to the SDTS data format.

Viejas Fire Mapping With ArcPad - The Viejas wildland fire was the first incident in which Tom Paterson of the NPS at Joshua Tree National Park collected and displayed data in real-time on handheld Pocket PC's using the ESRI ArcPad mapping program.

GIS Movers and Shakers Target LBS - We offer up our own definition and explanation of LBS and take a look at a number of traditional "GIS" players and how they've re-packaged their content to focus on a "sexier" industry with hopes of grabbing the lions share of the market.

LBS Trends in Great Britain, France, & Germany - In January 2001, AirFlash conducted this market research study in the UK, France and Germany.

Chat Room Acronyms
Have you ever surfed into a chat room only to find yourself having no idea what people are talking about? Here's an exhausting list of chat room acronyms that will help you out.

2000 Year-End Review
Top News Features from GIS, Geo-Spatial, and Location-Based Services (LBS) industry for 2000...

Physical Geography Glossary of Terms V 1.0
Get details and download the Physical Geography Glossary of Terms. This is a FREE e-book that runs on PDAs using the Palm operating system ...

K-12 School Tools
ESRI Canada has released version 2 of this popular toolkit developed for the k-12 GIS Community...

Using Nautical Charts with Global Positioning System
This presentation focuses on the inherent limitations of nautical charts when plotting positions from GPS...

Affiliate and Reseller Programs for GIS, Geo-Spatial and Location-Based Content Websites
Our research has turned up a number of partner or affiliate providers that may be of interest to you...

World Geography Factbook
World Geography Factbook 2000 is a FREE e-book that runs on PDAs using the Palm operating system...

Digital Image Conversion Utilities
This feature looks at how Florida State University has assembled a collection of DOQQ and DRG utility programs to easily perform these tasks using ARC/INFO...

Processing DRGs Using ARC/INFO
A tutorial on converting USGS DRGs from State Plane East NAD 27 to UTM NAD 83 using and Removing the Map Collars using ARC/INFO GIS (AMLs included) ...

Demystifying Advancements in Digital Orthophotography
A special discussion paper by Surdex Corp...

The .geo Top Level Domain!
SRI International has provided us with the full Executive Summary concerning the proposal to ICAN for a new top level domain ...

More on Digital Orthophotography
Using Digital Orthophotos to Support Land Registration...

US Air Force BAM!
Details of a GIS based Bird Avaidance Model...

ArcIMS 3.0 - An Application Developer's Perspective
ArcIMS 3.0 from ESRI provides a fair amount of "out of the box" functionality to allow internet neophytes to deploy their spatial data. The latest production release became available in June of 2000, and many questions still exist about its capabilities. The author has deployed two custom applications with this product for two different organizations, and will use this paper as an opportunity to share his experiences and observations. Thanks to Andrew Waxman, Chief Technology Officer, Telemorphic Inc., for this contribution.

A primer on E 9-1-1
Get the low-down on enhanced 911 (e 911). We offer up some introductory material, check out the latest industry advancements, and take a look at e911 around the web....

GIS Politics Survey 2000
(09.01.00) The results are in... see how the GIS industry feels about the 2000 US presidential candidates....

Serious Java Programming For The Wireless World
(08.15.00) Port of a full-featured GIS (Geographic Information System) program from the Java SE (Standard Edition) to the Java ME (Micro Edition) KVM environmentfont.

Geo Spatial Job Site Review
(08.04.00) A Look At GIS & Location-Based Industry Job Sites...

GPS Review
Joe Mehaffey provides a comprehensive review of a number of GPS products...

Java Location Services
The advent of JAVA in 1991, how it has led to the development of geojava, and discusses Java, XML and the GIS Standards World ...

AutoCAD 2000
(07.24.00) Managing Object Coding, Lineweights, And Plotstyles ...

Los Alamos Fire
(06.01.00) We look at mapping the Los Alamos Wild Fires...

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