GIS, Training, Spatial Problem Solving 

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Net GIS Meeting May 1 2014 – Kingsport TN

From the Email Bag:

Officer elections will be held at the next meeting.

Please reply to this note to submit nominations for officers. Please discuss any nominations with the nominee first – to be sure they are interested in being considered. If you are personally interested, you may self-nominate.

Attached you will find the NETGIS Charter which outlines the officer responsibilities.

FYI – The current officers have all agreed to continue in their positions if re-elected by the membership.

Current Officers:

  • President: David Light
  • Vice President: Joyce Pierson
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Amesha Witt


David S. Light, GISP

More info at


May 2014 Georgia URISA Luncheon

Date: May 13, 2014
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location and Directions: Canon Solutions America, Inc.
5625 Oakbrook Parkway
Norcross GA 30093  
All Things WordPress in GIS

WordPress is the most popular content management platform on the planet, powering nearly 20% of all websites.  Because of the popularity of WordPress and community around it, there are plugins and other tools to help integrate popular GIS tools such as Google Maps, Bing Maps, OpenStreetMap and others.  We’ll take a look at some of those, learn more about what makes WordPress work, why it’s so popular, and best practices for making the most of it.

Ali Green
As a part of the GreenMellen design team, Ali specializes in brand development, website design and print design. She has a knack for digging simplicity out of a messy project and turning client visions into realities. When she’s not sitting behind her Mac, you can find her hiking Kennesaw Mountain or enjoying dinner on the Marietta Square with a good glass of wine.

Mickey Mellen
Mickey is the token “tech guy” and his skills are greatly valued on the GreenMellen team. With over 9 years of WordPress experience and a passion for helping others, you will often find Mickey leading a North Atlanta-based MeetUp, All Things WordPress. He is also highly involved in social media and knows the ins and outs of everything from Facebook to Google+.
Member Pre-Register and Prepay (ends Sunday, May 11 at 11:59pmpm): $12.00
Member Pre-Register and Pay at Door / Walk-In: $15.00

Non-Member Pre-Register and Prepay (ends Sunday, May 11 at 11:59pmpm): $15.00
Non-Member Pre-Register and Pay at Door / Walk-In: $18.00

As Always – to register


Seats remain for the Chattanooga QGIS Class – April 29 2014

There are still seats remaining for the 1 day Intro to QGIS class in Chattanooga TN on April 29th 2014.

Right now it looks like the class is going to be a heavy on the GIS professional side of life – so we might cover a bit more than is in the first class like editing ESRI File based geodatabases and integration with other software. So It looks like I need to work on the MS SQL Server side of life before the class. I have Postgresql and geoserver running on the laptop. Room is being reserved today.

Show up. Learn something new.


April 2014 Newsletter is out

I used to catalog all these things – I guess if they had more merit in my brain currently I would go back to doing that. Anyway – the pic? Why Charlotte? I was standing in Charlotte NC and in front of me were the words Charlotte Amalie with exact mileage. Of course I immediately wonder about projections and exactly where they measured to….and then my walking companion said this was boring. I grabbed a pic and left.




QGIS Users Group Meeting – Atlanta

So this is all in the beginning stages – but it’s going to happen. There was a QGIS meeting a few weeks ago in Washington DC. So I’m doing on here in Atlanta. I would like for this to branch out into an FOSS4G type of meeting but QGIS is about my favorite piece Open Source GIS software currently. So I’m starting with that as the foundation and let the community grow from there.

Anyway – there is a meetup group. A meeting will be following shortly as I start to pull it together. If you want to help or host one let me know. This should be quite exciting. Join – help – talk. The first meeting might be more of a meet and greet centered around adult beverages.


ArcMap won’t kill off ArcInfo Workstation

If I remember correctly I was in Knoxville and we had gotten the first look at ArcMap 8.0. It’s been too many years ago to care or to count – I just remember sitting there going “Dammit – I spent all this time learning AML and Avenue”. The word being passed around as I remember it was ArcMap was the beginning stages of killing off ArcView 3.x. ArcView had made tremendous in roads and had pretty much became the go to standard for all my clients when I worked for TVA. Workstation was safe. I loved workstation. For all it’s command line craziness I knew one thing – if someone said they were using workstation they had a clue as to what they were doing. One of the managers with strong ties back to Redlands said during the class “This will kill off workstation”.

As time went on – Workstation on Unix slowly moved to Workstation for NT. ArcMap turned up in the office slowly around 2001 when XP finally appeared. Eventually I opened workstation less and less as coverages were replaced with shapefiles and shapefiles were pushed into a geodatabase. Eventually we moved into SDE which killed off a beautiful workflow we had set up with ArcINFO workstation. We started hearing about pushing maps into 3-D and onto the web. I still hear about pushing maps into 3-D and the web.

For the last year I’ve watched ArcGISOnline creep into everything. It’s not a bad thing – but I don’t really consider it a great thing. Call me your crazy uncle who turns up to thanksgiving late in a rusted out jeep, but I’m still not convinced the data is secure. I will say the same for any “cloud” environment in which you don’t hold the kill switch.

So anyway – I spent the morning reading up on ArcGISPro. Watching videos. I started having flashbacks. ArcWorkstation won’t be replaced. Arcview is safe. Deprecation. Will Arcmap run with workstation….Will ArcGISPro run with Arcmap….

I won’t even get into 3D.

For the record – it may take a few years but I consider this the preliminary announcement for the end ArcGIS for Desktop. The desktop platform has gotten stale. This is it. The next “revolution” will be ArcGISPro. Still with the tiered licensing from what I can figure out. “Hi you’ve just purchased ArcGIS Profesional Basic for Desktop”.

Innovation is great. Getting ESRi into 64bit for the desktop has long been overdue mainly because I still consider Desktop to have too much 80/90′s workstation core at it’s heart. You have to rewrite it to get rid of it. If you are going to rewrite it you might as well start killing off the old product line. Software changes and it’s not a bad thing….but – there’s a lot of “transformational” talk during this video.  Which usually means transforming your budget also.

It’s worth the watch – if only to remember the palm springs demo that was rolled out for years. I do miss the palm springs demo.



Foot Washing and an Address

Published on April 17, 2014, by in address, USVI.

By day four it was a joke between myself and Laurie.

Laurie: “Are you taking pictures of me?”
Me: “Only your shoulder. If you were to pose elegantly I would get one of you”.


Laurie: “What time will we finish today?”.
Me: “What time do you need us to be finished?”
Laurie: “There is foot washing at church tonight so I must be ready”.

We had almost been in the USVI a month and were just finishing the first study area. It was also the week before Easter. People were getting a bit nervous the closer we got to the Holiday. Holidays in the islands always need a bit of padding on either side – I think this one was turning into the four days of easter. Maybe five. Apparently it is a big deal to go camping also on the beach.

Also the idea of foot washing had me curious. I heard people calling it “Maundy Thursday“. So I asked Laurie what denomination he belonged to and he answered “Church of God.” Being a Chattanooga Native I immediately had to ask “So Have you been to Cleveland TN?”. Cleveland is home of the Church of God headquarters.

Laurie: “No No but I do want to go. We send people to the meeting every year and I haven’t gotten to go…yet”.

Maps are important. Location is everything.

Me: “Laurie do you know where Chattanooga is located? I’m 30 miles from Cleveland”.

He threw down all the bags and hugged me. “God has brought you to the Islands I AM SOOOO HAPPY”.

We finished up that day early and everyone left. We heard the final word of “please don’t work tomorrow”. Except we had one more street to do and that was done quickly and early enough no one noticed as we drove down the street. I think our quickest addressed street was on Good Friday.

It hasn’t quite been a year but I do miss the insanity of the islands.


April Georgia URISA Workshops to benefit Joe Bless.

From the email grab bag! It’s too late for one of the workshops – not too late for the other. It’s never ever too late to donate.

Dear Georgia URISA members and friends,

In an effort to raise some much needed funding for Joe and his family, Georgia URISA is presenting two workshops to benefit the Bless family.  Building an Address Repository Using the FGDC Standard workshop will be held April 16th.  GITA SE has now donated a second workshop, Using AutoCAD Data in ArcGIS.   For both, we were able to get everything donated in terms of licensing, instructor time and classroom space, so 100% of the funds raised for this workshop will go directly to the Bless family to help them get through the challenges that they are now facing.   Special thanks go to Sara Yurman and Tripp Corbin for agreeing to teach the classes pro bono,  Natalie Culpepper for donating classroom space at the ESRI offices in Alpharetta, and Keri Brennan for donating the URISA workshop license for us to use at no cost.  This has all come together in a short period of time so that we can provide assistance in a timely manner to Joe.  Please take this opportunity to leverage some great training at an affordable cost while helping out one of our colleagues in his time of need.

A fund is also set up for you to give directly to the Bless family.  Here is the link to the donation page:  Every dollar helps them to buy clothes for their children, food, and to repair the house so that they can move back home.  If you would rather to donate time, then rest assured that construction helpers are not going out of style any time soon.   Contact me at, and I can connect you with their friend who is the contractor for the repairs.  

Visit for more info!


NRGS Model Builder Class for ArcGIS Desktop now under Creative Commons License.

A couple of years ago I wrote a model builder class and have only taught it twice. I’ve had people ask about it and I’ve been debating on what to do with it. There are some classes I like teaching and some I don’t. This one has always been a bit hit or miss. So I decided to do something a bit different. I’m releasing it under a Creative Commons license. So It’s free. If you want me to come teach it – give me a call. I’m not sending out certificates unless I’m there in person. Also – it makes more sense If I’m standing in front of you currently. Teaching is the hardest stand up routine I’ve ever done. I wrote this for version ArcGIS v10 – I think everything is still good to go. For version 6 of the class (this is version 5) I will be pouring back over it to make sure everything does work like it should.

One thing I would like is if you have changes or want to add things – forward them to me (you aren’t required to). My ultimate goal is to move this into github to make it more collaborative. Model Builder has been around long enough it’s worth knowing about. I think this class covers enough of the basics to get you started and happy with the software. I’m hoping by version 6 I get to a good spot with this class and get it to a level where it helps more people. Also I want to take “me” out of the class. In other words you read through this and you don’t have to have me standing up front answering questions.

I’m placing it on the website in pdf and odp (open office) formats. Like I said – the ultimate goal is github. I’ll be slowly working on this class and keeping it free. Once again – you want me to come teach it contact me and we will work something out.

The data! The data comes from a project I did several years ago – The Conasauga River Project. At one time I was using this data for every class I taught. There is more data here than you will need – but I didn’t want to break the dataset up. It was a great project GIS wise and it’s been very useful as training material.

Just to protect NRGS – This class is released as is. There is no warranty to the class or data and NRGS will not be held responsible if you build a model that destroys you, your computer, and causes natural disasters that ends life as we know it.

Go nuts ->


Scholarship Funding from USGIF

Since I am president of Mid South ASPRS and this just came out – I’ll toss this up here. You are correct – it has squat to do with NRGS.

Dear Colleagues,

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) is excited to announce the opening of our 2014 Scholarship Program. USGIF is dedicated to assisting promising students interested in geospatial sciences with scholarship awards to further the advancement of the geospatial intelligence tradecraft.

With your help, we can make our 2014 Program the most successful yet. Please pass along this information to your contacts and/or students and download our 2014 Scholarship Program flyer.

  • Students studying geospatial intelligence or any related field are encouraged to submit their applications by the April 25, 2014 deadline.
  • Graduating high school seniors, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students can download applications at
  • Scholarship recipients are chosen based on their academic and professional excellence in a field related to the geospatial intelligence tradecraft.

Last year the Foundation awarded $107,000 to 25 recipients and plans to award at least $100,000 for the 2014 program. High school recipients are awarded $2,000 per scholarship and all others are awarded $5,000 each. Since 2004, USGIF has awarded $584,000 in scholarship funding to promising students in the geospatial intelligence field.

Students studying in fields such as geography, political science, physics, computer science, engineering, biology, anthropology, sociology or any field in the natural and social sciences are encouraged to apply. Through the USGIF Scholarship Program, the Foundation strives to communicate to students the breadth and power of GEOINT in serving national, global and human security interests.

The USGIF Scholarship Program endeavors to support students with innovative ideas for problem-solving with Geospatial Science and Technology. Please share information about this scholarship program with your students.

For more information on the USGIF Scholarship Program or to download applications, please visit:

Deadline to apply: April 25, 2014

Thank you for your assistance.


R. Maxwell Baber, Ph.D., FBCart.S
Director of Academic Programs
United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation