The East TN 2017 Regional Meeting will be in Hamilton County on October 4th. Click the image below to sign up – it’s free.
Dang Randy, you’re shilling for the man. I know – BUT THIS IS LOCAL TO CHATTANOOGA.
So – come to Chattanooga in March – March 6-9 2017!
The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) and the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) partner together to provide a conference that assists assessment and appraisal professionals in visualizing how they can work more effectively through the use of technology. This conference explores the important role that integration of Geographic Information System (GIS) and Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) systems plays in providing access to data and analysis of information for better decision making within a jurisdiction.
- As an appraiser, this conference is a wonderful way to see the power of GIS and how it is being utilized. For those in GIS, exposure to how your users are leveraging your systems, and what they need, is a wonderful way to enhance your operation. This conference is the ideal place to be inspired by the work of others in our industry. – Scott Rountree, Augusta-Richmond County Board of Assessors
- Best and most valuable conference I attend every year. Technology is rapidly changing the way mass appraisal is administered and if you’re not at this conference, you’re not on the cutting edge of our industry. – Warren Dixon, Naperville Township (IL) Assessor
- The GIS/CAMA Conference has always provided a wonderful range of informative topics relevant to an ever-changing and emerging technology. Additionally, it’s the best platform to mix and mingle with the “old-timers” who can mentor newcomers and for the newbies to bring novel ideas to the discussion. -Tony Lindauer, Jefferson County (KY) Property Valuation
- Sometimes we get bogged down in the minutia of our work. The conference gives you a week to share struggles and solutions with other people and get inspired again about what we do. -Danielle Simpson, Boulder County (CO) Assessor’s Office
- CAMA/GIS is most beneficial to the technical staff in your jurisdiction. Ken Wilkinson, CFA, Lee (FL.) County Property Appraiser
- This conference has a high return on investment. Having an office representative attend the GIS/CAMA conference each each year is essential if you want to stay up-to-date with the latest GIS and modeling implementations. What you learn from presentations, and perhaps most importantly, conversations with peers from around the globe, are more than worth the price of admission. (And who doesn’t want to learn how to use free, open-source software that improves assessment valuations and processes?) – Paul Bidanset, Real Estate Valuation Modeler (VA)
- The integration of GIS and CAMA is no longer an idea of the future, but instead a necessity for proper assessment practices today. The GIS/CAMA Technologies Conference gives their attendees many different possibilities to assist the way each individual office works. -Maureen Sterrenberg (IL)
I’ve been attempting to get better with PostGIS. I’ve also been trying to take baby steps back into the world of OpenStreetMap. I’ve also been trying to take baby steps back into my City’s Open Data Initiative.
Why? I’ve been away for long enough – plus – never quit learning.
I’ve only so many hours in a day. To be honest with my attempts at getting back outdoors and doing things that interest me, I’ve more or less stopped a lot of side projects. With the weather currently being disagreeable to most things outdoors I’ve decided to start diving back into a few things I’ve left hanging.
The OpenStreetMap group here in town is a bit hit or miss. We have a high school that maps. We have a few people diving in here and there. There’s no coordination to the madness and I tried, as did a few of us, to coordinate some of it. I finally gave up. So I do a *few* things in OpenStreetMap here locally but not much.
I made a decision to:
- Map as many Churches as I can (more on that later).
- Fix the Roads
Fixing roads is a bit of a chore. I hate touching interstates because I don’t understand the relations involved. There’s probably some “OSM Roads” email list but I just don’t want to get that committed. I’m happier working by myself for a bit or in smaller groups. I’ve also never took a look at the road names in OSM – I’ve worried with alignment but never “names”. About the time I was moving back into Chattanooga mom called, “They changed two road names in the neighborhood!”. I actually think road names had been changing for a while in the county as the County GIS department did their best to clean up confusing road names for 911 purposes. I *think* this data is then fed to the city or maybe the city is changing road names at the same time. Whatever the case – names are changing and it’s already fixed in Google Maps.
Chattanooga has an open data portal. I’ve been randomly mucking around looking at data and found the Chattanooga city addresses. I also found that they’ve already been donated to the openaddresses project. I downloaded them and loaded them into PostGIS. There are 102761 points. Each has a street address. I grabbed the roads from OSM and the city boundary from the open data portal. Through series of maneuvers in SQL that would horrify the more well educated – I actually compared the two and built some foreign keys and other things to make joins easier. Through that my favorite color scheme in the world – Red Green. Green is right as far as I can tell and Red isn’t.
What I did find:
- my join was a bit sloppier than I wanted but overall I can pick out the problems between the Chattanooga’s address data and the OSM data.
- I spent more time than I should have reading the FGDC Address standard – BUT – it helped (plus SQL examples).
- There aren’t a lot of errors but enough. In some cases there was a completely new name applied by the city to a street. In many cases the road in misspelled in OSM (which is probably a holdover from the days of TIGER Data). Some are from the high school. They are great at editing but not so much at cleaning up. I need to work on that.
- The cities address data extends into the county by about 1000 feet. Which means when I clipped my roads I lost some data I need and will need to fill back in. Thanks to the power of scripts and me being anal retentive – not that big of a deal and I’ll deal with it as it becomes an issue.
Of course the big question is “Is the cities address data correct?”. As a GIS person I say Yes. As a guy that has worked in GIS for 25 years now I’ll say “probably because I’ve talked to no one over addressing”. So I’ve making a list and print it out and over the coarse of the next few months I’m going to inspect many of the things I’m seeing as wrong. There are three on the way to my parent’s house. I’ll probably even hassle the city/county a bit for information. I’d like to get them more involved if at all possible.
Why fix it? Why not. OSM is enough of a force that it should get fixed – BUT – as GIS people our attention is diverted by what the clients use. You never hear someone say “Well I was using OSM to find my way to the mall…..” it’s usually “Google It” or “what does Google/Waze/Something else say”. It’s not that hard to fix problems once you have a list.
Anyway – more on this as the months progress. This will most likely occur “as time permits”.
It’s been a while since I talked about training. After the epic episode of people deciding they would take the class then not pay for it – I’ve been deciding exactly how I change this up. This whole episode burned me out a bit so I took some time off teaching.
I had a respected peer ask (paraphrased) “What are you doing with your training classes? What is the plan?” and I didn’t have a good answer. So I’ve been trying to come up with a plan. Work has kept me busy enough that it’s not been a big deal BUT I don’t do much without a plan.
So without further adieu……
- Classes are going to be offered 4 times a year. Once a quarter. I’m putting together 4th quarter 2016 as I type this and should have a date laid out by the end of August.
- To register there will be a deposit of $125 dollars. If I cancel the class the $125 is refunded and if you cancel the $125 isn’t refunded.
- Classes will be in Chattanooga TN. I’m arranging the space now.
- I am going to be picky on who attends. I want this to be a good experience so it’s up to me to weed out the people who are not going to make this a good experience.
- Classes are going up to $375 a person per day.
- I am going to put some more effort into attending conferences and teaching this class. I taught this last at FOSS4GNA 2016 and it was a really good diverse group. Two University professors complemented the class. I would love to say it was all me – the coauthor still deserves 75% of the glory.
The QGIS class is going to remain in it’s original form but it is updated with each release. It’s running a tight 8 hours. I’m also offering a second day centered on PostGIS. I’m in the beginning stages of writing that one. I’m taking it from a QGIS aspect. A lot of what this class will do is “de-mystify” PostGIS for the new user and I hope put you on a path to learning this software. It took a good bit to even lay out the talking points of the class. I’m excited though. I’ve wanted to do this for a while and it’s happening. I’m not an expert but the combination of QGIS/PostGIS is a powerful setup for the Geospatial professional and a lot of people I talk to go “Eh it’s too hard”. It’s not easy – but it can be learned. I want people to at least experience it in a good environment.
Why all of this now? It’s time for me to get serious or stop. The classes are fun and are a source of income. I’m also hoping more regularly scheduled events puts this into a realm where I can give back to these projects and try to use the money to help fund a OSGEO type GIS chapter locally. Chattanooga has a huge mapping history – what better way to honor that than to form a geo community locally.
So anyway – more news is coming. Classes are coming. Community is also hopefully coming. For those of you who keep reading my ramblings – Thanks!
This morning I had the rare opportunity to spam the world with the wrong date. It’s the 20th.
So – on June 20th from 3:30 to 7ish PM EST there will be a QGIS meetup happening at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga
701 East ML King BLVD Chattanoog’a TN
I’ve had a lot of people go “We want to learn more about QGIS and Open Source”. So I’m boiling down the class I teach to something like 3 hours. Some have questions on data, some have questions on community, some have questions on making a map. Well:
- QGIS and the Community
- Installing QGIS
- Data Display and Editing
- Making a Map
I expect this conversation to meander around. I’m also blocking off 15 or 20 minutes to see if people want to do more of these these type of things – maybe they have something they want to talk about or do more open source type of things. I tried a MapTime meetup and that wasn’t working for me.
We end the 20th at a brewery – probably.
Show up if you are in the area.