Tag: MD iMap

Maryland GIS Training Program a Success

As we approach the two year anniversary of delivering training for DoIT’s Statewide GIS Training Program, the Center for GIS at Towson University is proud to have trained over 600 Maryland State employees from 32 different agencies! In collaboration with WBCM and Salisbury University, the Center for GIS developed curriculum and are currently delivering three GIS courses. These courses feature lectures, demos, and guided exercises using data and resources from MD iMAP and Maryland’s Open Data Portal. For more information about the specifics of the training program, check here, or my previous blog post. Courses include: Thinking Spatially, Half Day (Also available online!) Intermediate ArcGIS...

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MD iMAP and Maryland GIS Training Program

Over the past decade, the State of Maryland has continued to expand available GIS data and spatial resources through the MD iMAP program. More recently, a statewide licensing agreement with GIS software leader Esri has allowed state employees to access traditional ArcGIS Desktop software as well as browser-based ArcGIS Online software. Along with the continued growth of cloud computing technology, these factors put Maryland in a great position to offer effective GIS training to its employees. As GIS professionals, we recognize the strategic value of tapping into the spatial dimension of data, and are excited to collaborate with the...

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Using GIS to Aid Maryland Cover Crop Program

When I think of Maryland industries, I often think of blue crabs. However, agriculture is the largest commercial industry in the state, with roughly 350,000 people employed in some aspect of agriculture. The Center for GIS (CGIS) at Towson University is using GIS to help the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) Cover Crop program become more efficient and streamlined in data collection and approval for payments. Cover Crops Maryland has 2.0 million acres of farmland, with the majority lying in the north-central part of the State and the upper Eastern Shore. In fact, about one-quarter of the land in...

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Esri Maps for Office: Empowering Libraries With GIS Technology

Last year, through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries program, and a partnership with the Eastern Shore Regional Library and the TU Library, TU’s Center for GIS started to explore possibilities for mapping library data and putting GIS decision-making tools into the hands of library planners. To check out the results from our library administrators’ focus group, see my previous post. Using Esri Maps for Office The outcomes of the focus group were used to develop a GIS pilot for staff from two Eastern Shore library systems to map their own data and explore available data pertaining to their local communities. Ultimately we decided to use the Esri Maps for Office plug-in for Excel for several key reasons. As a plug-in for Excel, Maps for Office offers a focused set of tools that are accessed from within Excel. Users can geocode address information from spreadsheets, create interactive color-coded maps and heat maps, and perform other geospatial operations using the Maps for Office toolbar. These maps can be overlaid with additional information (e.g., median household income, locations of Maryland schools) by adding hosted web map services from Esri or MD iMAP. In addition to mapping, Esri Maps for Office also allows users the ability to generate customized reports using a specified distance or drive-time from a library branch location. There are approximately 40...

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Child Care Mapping in Maryland

Finding quality child care is one of the most important decisions working parents of pre-k children can make. Finding the right fit comes with many questions. Many of which center around “where.” Should it be near home? Work? Or near another child’s school? To help make finding child care easier for Maryland’s working families, the Center for GIS (CGIS) at Towson University worked with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Office of Child Care to devise an online GIS-based solution called the Maryland Child Care Mapping Tool. Maryland Child Care Mapping Tool The Maryland Child Care Mapping Tool...

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On the Map: 7 Questions with Julia Fischer

For the past 10 years I have been working in the GIS field and have met some interesting, talented, intelligent, and motivating GIS colleagues.  Hopefully this blog series will share with you some exciting tidbits of information from each person who has touched my career in some way. I am heavily involved in the MD iMap technical committee, in which Julia is a Co-Chair. She does a tremendous job in organizing and presenting the materials, running the meetings, and bringing new and exciting ideas to the table.  She is a detail-oriented, prepared, smart and fun person to be around!   Quick Facts about Julia Fischer GIS Coordinator at Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) Born in Baltimore, Maryland Graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2000 with a B.S. in Geographic and Environmental Systems and a Cartography Certificate MPS (Master of Professional Studies) in Geospatial Information Sciences from the University of Maryland, College Park.  Expected in Spring, 2013. When I asked Julie about what she loves most about her job, she replied, “the opportunity to come to work each day and use GIS to help make someone else’s job a little easier, their workflow a little smoother, and help the GIS industry discreetly take over the world.”  I personally couldn’t agree more!  Here are some fun facts about Julie before we delve into the hard...

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On the Map: 8 Questions with Jim Cannistra

As I have been working in the GIS field for 10 years in Maryland, I have met some interesting, talented, intelligent, and motivating GIS colleagues along the way. Hopefully this blog series will share with you some exciting tidbits of information from each person who has touched my career in some way. I was first introduced to Jim last year at a MSGIC meeting and then subsequent MD iMap technical committee meetings. I was immediately drawn to listening to Jim as he speaks because of his experience with both GIS and imagery and the way he communicates. Jim is able to look at the big picture and disseminate information in a clear, concise manner. Maryland is very lucky to have someone like Jim as a GIS leader! Quick facts about Jim Cannistra Director of Data Planning Services for the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) Born in upstate New York Attended the State University of New York at Plattsburg, and the University of Tennessee Tell me something fun about your job. I like working for MDP for many reasons. Our agency is a very GIS-centric organization. The leadership within the agency recognizes and appreciates the value of GIS technology in support of smart growth and planning analysis work. I am also fortunate to be able to work with a very committed, technically knowledgeable, and diverse team of professionals. MDP has...

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An Intern’s Perspective: Learning Web GIS through Open Source Technologies

Working as an intern with Towson University Center for GIS (CGIS) has shown me first hand just how significant of a role web GIS plays in our business. Specifically, MD iMap comes to mind. Throughout my internship, I have been tasked with updating and creating metadata files for MD iMap; a job that sounds boring, but sparked an interest in me for wanting to learn more about how exactly our maps are put on the web. The problem was that I didn’t know where to begin. The purpose of writing this blog is to share some insight and resources...

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On the Map: 6 Questions with Kenny Miller

As I have been working in the GIS field for 10 years in Maryland, I have met some interesting, talented, intelligent, and motivating GIS colleagues along the way. Hopefully this blog series will share with you some exciting tidbits of information from each person who has touched my career in some way. I first met Kenny Miller through early replication centerline efforts between the State, SHA, Esri and CGIS. I have to admit I was intimidated and somewhat frightened of Kenny’s experience and knowledge in the field, and of course his ability to charm. Then, as MD iMap began to grow to more than just a vision, I began to work with Kenny more directly and have learned quite a bit from him. He seemed to place a lot of confidence in my GIS ability, and without people like Kenny, I would not have grown as much as I did both technically and professionally over the past 5 years. Quick Facts About Kenny Miller Maryland’s Deputy State Geographic Information Officer at the Maryland Department of Information Technology Born in Chincoteague, Virginia Attended Old Dominion University Tell me something fun about your job. Achieving “Ah Ha” moments with customers, especially people in positions of influence policy-wise across state government. Seeing someone get excited about how GIS technology can solve problems, improve workflow and decision making. Watching their faces light up...

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Readying MD iMap for Mobile Consumption and Enhancing the GIS Service Search Capability

More and more MD iMap users are accessing applications and searching for data using mobile devices. In fact, several State agencies have purchased iPads for their employees to replace their Blackberry phones. To accommodate this growing user base, CGIS generated a mobile friendly version of the Portal website and a mobile friendly version for MD iMap application, GreenPrint. Also, a search capability on the MD iMap portal has been set in place that allows users to find GIS services on MD iMap in a fast, up to date and easy to use manner. Mobile GreenPrint Application or http://www.mdimap.us/greenprintmobile This mobile-ready application for GreenPrint allows users to turn on and off the data layers, view a dynamic legend, change basemaps between streets and aerial imagery, use an identify tool, and search by location. The GreenPrint application determines how the user is connecting – either with a mobile device or tablet or via a computer – and then launches the appropriate mobile site or the full mapping application. Mobile Website for the MD iMap Portal or http://www.mdimap.us/imapmobile This mobile-ready application for the MD iMap portal provides: service alerts information on how to connect service URLs event information link to the Twitter account GreenPrint mobile mapping application. The MD iMap Portal determines how the user is connecting – either with a mobile device or tablet or via a computer – and then...

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