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From January 25th to 29th, we hosted Geo4LibCamp 2016 at the Hartley Conference Center and Branner Library. Inspired by the success of LDCX 2015, this inaugural event was planned as a hands-on meeting to bring together those building digital repository and associated services for geospatial data. We wanted to focus on sharing best practices, solving common problems, and addressing technical issues.

A snipped of a The Atlantic article in December 12, 2015 feature a Stanford University Libraries Map of California as an Island

Our maps continued to be used in publications - today, another article featuring a map of California as an Island, was published in the The Atlantic's Citylab edition.

Stanford's Smith Map in the Newspaper

In today's mail, the newspaper arrived. It wasn't the San Francisco Chronicle on the San Jose Mercury News though. It was a copy of the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, published in Turku, Finland. It wasn't until I turned to page 15 that I recognized something - a reproduction of the 1815 William Smith Map that we had scanned. William Smith published a map of Geology of what is now a good part of the UK, and earlier this year, we, along with the British Geological Society, celebrated 200 years since its publication. The map and article, all in Finnish of course, presumeably talks about the story of the man and how William Smith single-handedly authored and published this map. The newspaper used our scan both in the paper version and also in their online version. 

TYPE OF RESOURCE
Cartographic
FORMAT
Map/Globe
unmediated, sheet
1 map : color ; 345 x 504 cm
IMPRINT
Japan, 1837
ISSUANCE
monographic
PUBLISHER
Place of publication not given : : Publisher not given,, 1837
LANGUAGE
Japanese
MAP DATA
Scale 1:21,600.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License

By Deardra Fuzzell and Wayne Vanderkuil
A historic manuscript map and a gem of the Stanford Library Map Collection, the Ōmi Kuni-ezu 近江國絵圖 Japanese Tax Map from 1837 is hand drawn and painted in the round. This map is designed to be displayed on the floor with the viewer standing in its center. From this central vantage point, the map may be read with ease from any direction. As this display and viewing method is no longer possible for a map fast approaching its 200th birthday, Stanford has recently digitized this item to enable access for research, teaching and learning as well as preservation of the original object.

This the largest and most difficult oversized map Stanford has digitized thus far.
See how the Map Program went about imaging this unique item.

The National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) met outside Shepherdstown, West Virginia at the National Conservation Training Center on September 1-2, 2015.  The full report of the meeting including the Powerpoints from the subcommittees and lightning sessions are available on the NGAC Website.  The NGAC is a Federal Advisory Committee that reports to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC).  Our role is to provide advice and recommendations related to the national geospatial program and the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. 

The National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) met in Washington, DC on June 9-10, 2015.  The full report of the meeting including the powerpoints from the subcommittees and lightning sessions are available on the NGAC Website.  The NGAC is a Federal Advisory Committee that reports to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC).  Our role is to provide advice and recommendations related to the national geospatial program and the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure.

Sometimes the very data we map can get in the way of our understanding the phenomena we are visualizing.

In the case of bird sightings for the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, the typical approach to adding points over a map might have shown us where in time and space the birds were while on their annual migration, but the result would have also obscured the terrain over which they fly.

Using a creative visualization method of subtractive rather than additive symbology in mapping observations, John Nelson of IDV Solutions found a great way to reveal rather than hide the landscape these birds travel through. Instead of adding points for observations over a detailed map background, John used a masking technique to reveal the underlying map showing us the world the birds see as they migrate while still revealing the overall patterns in the data.

See his full blog post for the details, or click the map to see the full size animation.

Migration GIS

This is also a great example of the effectiveness of a GIF for really simple dynamic (if not interactive) mapping. You don't always need D3 or CartoDB to make a compelling animated visualization!

Get help with your own visualizations!

Curious about how to create animated GIF maps or use data masking? At the Stanford Geospatial Center, we’re not just experts in geospatial data and technology, we also know design and cartography. If you need help getting your maps to work better, stop by or send us an email!

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