Showing posts with label Geodata. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Geodata. Show all posts

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Playing with GIS (Data)

freeware genus - Freeware to Get Started With GIS And Explore Mapped Data

"As the Web and the world have become increasingly data-driven, GIS is just another tool to process that data. GIS stands for Geographic Information System, a system which manages spatially-aware data. GIS is a booming sector even though it’s been around for a while and makes for a great direction to steer your career.

Data can be anything worth recording. For example, say I made a list of all the reported car accidents in my county. Each accident would be a data point and make for interesting conversation on an elevator ride, but that’s about it. Let’s say I got even more detailed with the data I collected and recorded what type of accident it was (rear-ender, head-on collisions, cross-over accident, etc.) and the GPS coordinates of where each accident occurred. After collecting enough data and putting it into GIS so I can visualize it, I might be able to conclude some patterns about the accidents and find solutions to reduce their number like lengthening an intersection’s yellow light, reducing the speed limit, or adding a street lamp.

[Editor’s note: this review was written by Freewaregenius contributor Jason H. Check out his tech blog: 404techsupport.com].

ArcGIS is hardly the only GIS software but it’s one of the most popular and well known. It’s like photoshopping an image with any image editor. ArcGIS is made by Esri and comes with a variety of licenses that allow a variety of functionality but cost a pretty penny. Fortunately for the freeware crowd, Esri produces a free application that allows you to explore GIS data called ArcGIS Explorer Desktop.

..."

esri - ArcGIS Explorer Desktop

ArcGIS Explorer Desktop is a free GIS viewer that gives you an easy way to explore, visualize, and share GIS information. ArcGIS Explorer adds value to any GIS because it helps you deliver your authoritative data to a broad audience.

With ArcGIS Explorer, you can

  • Access ready-to-use ArcGIS Online basemaps and layers.
  • Fuse your local data with map services to create custom maps.
  • Add photos, reports, videos, and other information to your maps.
  • Perform spatial analysis (e.g., visibility, modeling, proximity search).

image

..."

Also interesting is the online explorer (written with SilverLight  :)

http://explorer.arcgis.com/

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So how would you use this? How about doing a little research into what's happening in Japan?

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Or maybe nuclear?

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Once you've selected a map, you can then navigate, zoom, mark it up, add additional maps, etc

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And what I thought really kind of cool, is that you can then build presentations with the data.

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And this is just using the free online version...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Interested in about “a billion” (approximately) Spatial Data elements for SQL Server 2008? A step by step getting U.S. Census TIGER/Line Shapefiles into SQL Server on the cheap (i.e. free)

Adventures in .NET - SQL Server 2008: Importing TIGER/Line Spatial GIS Data

“If you’ve been itching to use the spatial data and query features of SQL Server 2008 but haven’t figured out a way to get data to use, you’re in the same boat I was. Until today.

I have a whole slew of address information, but no way to convert that into latitude/longitude values to do any meaningful spatial querying – I was pretty much limited to Zip Code statistics only. Then I remembered that the US Census Bureau puts out a freely available database of everything from roads to highways to railways to geological and political borders with their coordinates called TIGER/Line. …

It would be quite a bit of effort to try and parse the TIGER/Line data yourself, so the use of a utility greatly helps here. Download SQL Server 2008 Spatial Tools to follow along with this blog post, although Microsoft has a sponsored project on Codeplex which I haven’t used called SQL Server Spatial Tools as well.

Finally we can see what we’re working with! It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but it helps you quickly visualize the spatial results of your query.

Using functions like STDistance, you could do things such as finding all customers within a range of a certain latitude/longitude point, which I hope to explore in a future blog post. But once you overcome getting data into your system, it’s just SQL queries from here on out.

Oh, and did I mention that this is all free? :-)

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SharpGIS - SQL Server 2008 Spatial Tools

“The SQL Spatial Tools consists of two tools to make it easy to get experience with the new spatial capabilities of SQL Server 2008 (click for more info) :

  • Shape2SQL : Uploads ESRI Shapefiles to Microsoft SQL Server Spatial.
  • SqlSpatial Query Tool : Queries MSSQL Server 2008 and displays geometry output on a WPF-based interactive map.


Requirements:


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U.S. Census Bureau - 2008 TIGER/Line® Shapefiles

“The TIGER/Line Shapefiles are extracts containing selected geographic and cartographic information from the Census Bureau's MAF/TIGER® (Master Address File / Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing) database. The MAF/TIGER database was developed at the Census Bureau to support a variety of geographic programs and operations including functions such as mapping, geocoding, and geographic reference files that are used in decennial and economic censuses and sample survey programs. Spatial data for geographic features such as roads, railroads, rivers, and lakes, as well as legal and statistical geographic areas are included in the product. Other information about these features, such as the name, the type of feature, address ranges, and the geographic relationship to other features, also are included. The TIGER/Line Shapefiles are made available to the public for no charge and are typically used to provide the digital map base for a Geographic Information System or for mapping software.

The 2008 TIGER/Line Shapefiles contain current geographic areas (boundaries of governmental units as of January 1, 2008), Census 2000 vintage geography, and Economic Census geography. The shapefiles also contain some additional feature updates reported in the Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS). All counties have now been realigned as a result of the MAF/TIGER Accuracy Improvement Project (MTAIP) and are included in the 2008 TIGER/Line Shapefiles. For more information about the MTAIP please refer to the 2008 TIGER/Line Shapefile Technical Documentation available in [PDF] or TEXT.

The TIGER/Line Shapefiles contain attribute data only and do not include mapping software. They are designed for use with geographic information system (GIS) software. The TIGER/Line Shapefiles do not contain demographic data from any census or survey, but do include the geographic entity codes, which provide a link between the Census Bureau’s demographic data and the TIGER/Line Shapefiles.

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…”

The data available is simply staggering and all just a download and conversion away from your SQL Server 2008 Spatial Data usage…

 

Related Past Post XRef:
US Zip/City/County/State spatial data all ready for your SQL Server 2008… Just download, SQLCMD/import and go

Sunday, April 19, 2009

US Zip/City/County/State spatial data all ready for your SQL Server 2008… Just download, SQLCMD/import and go

CodePlex - US Census Data for SQL Server 2008

Project Description
This is a repository for US Census Data for SQL Server 2008 with spatial information. Some of the data that is and will be included will be for states, counties, cities, and zip codes. The project will be updated as the data is available in SQL Server 2008 format.

Please note that this tables contain geometry data types made for the "Flat Earth Model."

Data downloaded from http://www.census.gov and imported using the SQL Server 2008 Spatial Tools (http://www.sharpgis.net/page/SQL-Server-2008-Spatial-Tools.aspx) by Morten Nielsen

Florida

FloridaCounties "

…”

US Census Data for SQL Server 2008 - State and County Table

“…

State Table
source code, 1785K, uploaded Today

County Table
source code, 14132K, uploaded Sat

Release Notes

The State and County Table are based on the 2000 Census Data and was normalized to the best of my knowledge. Please note that the the County table requires the State table. Both scripts contain the create and insert of the data.

The State geometry was derived by grouping all of the counties of each state using the User Defined Function found here: http://conceptdev.blogspot.com/2007/12/sql-server-2008-geometry-stunion.html

…”

US Census Data for SQL Server 2008 - Version 0.0.1.0

"...

State
source code, 1528K, uploaded Today - ...

County
source code, 7148K, uploaded Today -...

City
source code, 12258K, uploaded Today - ...

ZipCode
source code, 42531K, uploaded Today - ...

Release
Notes

Changes:
Added the ZipCode table
Modified all scripts
to include the spatial index
Compressed the files to a rar to make the files
smaller#

..."

A number of the podcasts I listen to have been covering SQL Server 2008’s spatial data type, so when I saw this I knew I had capture the data and mention it…

Update 4/20/2009 @ 7:15am:
There's now a City table/download (21860K) too... ;)
Update 4/20/2009 @ 4:20PM:
Added 0.0.1.0 block, which includes ZipCode data!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Need to Geolocate an address? Get a Map image? Route something to somewhere? Need that as a WebServce? Virtual Earth Web Services SDK v1.0, built with WCF, has what you need…

Virtual Earth Platform Team Blog - Introducing Virtual Earth Web Services v1.0

“As Harish mentioned earlier, the Virtual Earth Platform recently launched the first version of the Virtual Earth Web Services - a set of Web services that allow you to add mapping and search functionality to your application, including location finding, map imagery, and routing capabilities.

For example, you can:

  • Use the Geocode Service to match a geographic entity or address to a location on the map, or find a geographic entity or address at a given location.
  • Use the Imagery Service to:
    • Return a link to a map with a pushpin at a specific location.
    • Provide a road map or aerial or bird's eye imagery to your users.
  • Use the Route Service to:
    • Get directions that include traffic warnings and route hints between multiple locations.
    • Get directions from all major roads to a destination (1-click directions, also referred to as a "party map") and then use the Imagery Service to map those routes.
  • Use the Search Service to parse a search query that contains a location or keyword (or both), and to return search results.

…”

Virtual Earth Web Services SDK, Version 1.0 - Virtual Earth Web Services Overview

“The Virtual Earth Web Services are a set of web services built using Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). There are four services: geocode, imagery, route, and search. This topic provides an overview of each of these services.

The Geocode Service methods are:

  • Geocode Finds a geographic location based on a request that may include the address, place, or entity type names to find.
  • ReverseGeocode Finds geographic entities and addresses for a specified map location.

The Imagery Service methods are:

  • GetImageryMetadata Returns information about the requested imagery, including imagery date stamps, vendor attribution, and imagery tile URIs.
  • GetMapUri Returns a URI to a static map that may contain traffic data, routes to a destination from major roads, and pushpins.

The Route Service methods are:

  • CalculateRoute Calculates a route between specified stops and returns route directions as well as other route data.
  • CalculateRoutesFromMajorRoads Calculates starting points or route directions to a specified location from nearby major roads.

…”

Microsoft Downloads - Virtual Earth Web Services SDK 1.0

“This software development kit (SDK) provides programming reference and how-to topics for getting started with the Virtual Earth Web Services.

File Name: VirtualEarthServices10.exe
Version: 1.0
Date Published: 9/24/2008
Language: English

[GD: This is the offline CHM version of the SDK/Doc’s

…”

Virtual Earth Web Services SDK, Version 1.0 - Virtual Earth Web Services Requirements

“Requirements

Virtual Earth Web Services is a set of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) SOAP services. To make requests to the Virtual Earth Web Services, you must have:

Notes

Virtual Earth Web Services is built on XML and WCF technologies. It has been highly tested for environments using the .NET platform and Visual Studio .NET tools for Web service development. Other environments and toolkits have not been fully tested, but may work with the Virtual Earth Web Services.

…”

What really caught my eye was the granular nature of the services. I liked that this is a group of stand alone services and not some big monster of a single service. Small, focused and clearly aligned with the intent of the service (i.e. Single Responsibility, etc), nice.

There’s got to be something I can use these services for… Maybe an Insert Route addin for Windows Live Writer? Or something with the geolocation service? hum…

Since it took me a bit to find the page with the signup link, I made sure to include that too (see the Requirements block above). BTW, signing up is free, quick and easy.

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Microsoft Virtual Earth WinForm Control – Because I’m just a WinForm kind of guy…
MSR MapCruncher for Virtual Earth

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Microsoft Pro Photo Tools v2 Released (actually 2.2) – Geo-locate your pictures the draggy-droppy way

Microsoft Downloads - Microsoft Pro Photo Tools version 2

“Tools for editing metadata in photographs including latitude, longitude, and other location details.

Version: 2.2
Date Published: 9/15/2008
Language: English
Download Size: 39 KB - 5.0 MB*

The Pro Photo Tools allow you to add, change, and delete common metadata properties for digital photographs. You can place photos on the Live Earth map and then drag them to the right location. The GPS information will be stored back into the photos. If you have a GPS device, you can load track route files from the most popular formats (NMEA, GPX, and KML) and see them on the map. Then you can place your photos on the track route. Again, the GPS info will be stored into your file. When you have the right GPS location for your photos, you can automatically generate location info like country, state, city and even street names. Or if you know the location where a picture was taken, you can type it in and get the GPS location information automatically.

…”

As I take more and more digital pictures (and as Santa is mostly going bring us a new camera this Christmas) and hike/walk more I am getting more interested in geo-tagging. I dig the thought that simple location metadata in the images could be used in so many ways…

For instance, I would really like to see a way that Photosynth could reach out and grab other pictures from the same location to flesh out a Synth. And that’s one example… Just think of the coolness that could be created by combining the “worlds” images of a given location. And geo-tagging/geo-locating the images is just the first step in this.

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Easily Geo-locate your photo's with the free Microsoft Pro Photo Tools 1.0 utility

Friday, June 27, 2008

Microsoft Virtual Earth WinForm Control – Because I’m just a WinForm kind of guy…

CodePlex - MS Virtual Earth Winforms User Control

“A Winforms User Control for displaying and manipulation maps using Microsoft Visual Earth.
I have written a simple c# user control to include in your winform applications. It it no more than a web browser control with added functionality for displaying maps using Microsoft Visual Earth. The current release contains:

  • Add and remove layers
  • Find locations and show them using pushpins
  • Get and display driving directions
  • Supports mouse events
  • Save map output to disk

directions

…”

Because I just a WinForm kind of guy, yet like pretty maps… lol

BTW, don’t be sad that there’s nothing on the Source tab, the source is in the release download.  :)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Easily Geo-locate your photo's with the free Microsoft Pro Photo Tools 1.0 utility

Microsoft Downloads - Microsoft Pro Photo Tools version 1

"...

The Pro Photo Tools allow you to add, change, and delete common metadata properties for digital photographs. You can place photos on the Live Earth map and then drag them to the right location. The GPS information will be stored back into the photos. If you have a GPS device, can load track route files from the most popular formats (NMEA, GPX, and KML) and see them on the map. Then you can place your photos on the track route. Again, the GPS info will be stored into your file. When you have the right GPS location for your photos, you can automatically generate location info like country, state, city and even street names. Or if you know the location where a picture was taken, you can type it in and get the GPS location information automatically.

..."

image image image

This an interesting little utility that makes it easy to apply GPS coordinates to your photo's, to see their metadata, create routes, etc.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Free US ZIP Code Database as CSV

Mapping Hacks - CivicSpace ZIP Code Database

"About four years ago, Civic Space Labs commissioned me to provide them with a freely available database of US ZIP code centroids. For a while, it was hosted on their site, but at some point the link was broken. Since then, I’ve gotten about an email a month from people looking for the database.

For future reference, the free US ZIP code centroid database is now hosted here on the Mapping Hacks site. From the README:

The ZIP code database contained in ‘zipcode.csv’ contains 43204 ZIP
codes for the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico,
and American Samoa. The database is in comma separated value format,
with columns for ZIP code, city, state, latitude, longitude, timezone
(offset from GMT), and daylight savings time flag (1 if DST is observed
in this ZIP code and 0 if not).

This database was composed using ZIP code gazetteers from the US Census
Bureau from 1999 and 2000, augmented with additional ZIP code information
from the Census Bureau’s TIGER/Line 2003 data set. Timezone information
was added using cartographic data sets from nationalatlas.gov. The
database is guaranteed to exclusively contain information gathered from
sources in the public domain, and thus be legal to redistribute.

The database is believed to contain over 98% of the ZIP Codes in current
use in the United States. ...

...

The database and this README are copyright 2004 CivicSpace Labs, Inc.,
and are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike
license, which requires that all updates must be released under the same
license....

..."

This could come in handy...

Hook in the LinqToCSV project (via WindowsClient.net - LINQ to CSV library) and you've got a real winner.

 

Related Past Post XRef:
The Code Project - ZIP Code Utility
USZip Web Service by WebServiceX.Net