Archive for the ‘GIS’ Category

ESRI has created it’s own social network for user’s of its software called GeoNet. Back in March, ESRI created a webinar titled “Community Maps for Hydrology” and can be viewed here. The entire video is 53 minutes. Viewers might want to fast forward to about the 22 minute mark where the speaker starts to talk about and demonstrate the watershed delineation and downstream trace tools.  If you have points on a stream in a watershed, it is a fairly straightforward affair to delineate a watershed in either ArcMap or ArcGIS Online.  The appeal to doing this workflow in ArcMap is that if the delineated watershed is in a geodatabase, it is easy to get an area straight from the attribute table.   The video also discusses maps that provide real-time stream gage data and how it is possible to get a hydrograph plotted just below the map.

ESRI has also updated Maps for Office to version 3.  The interface is a bit more modern. As for new functionality, I think one of the biggest additions is that users can have more than one map displayed for a given tab.  ESRI’s blog post on the update is available here.


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Pre and post project photographic monitoring has been around for a while.  I’ve seen some drab appendix tables that list the lat/long and the azimuth for where each photograph was taken. I’ve also seen photographs jammed into an appendix as well. Why not take a more modern approach using the features ArcGIS.com and photo hosting services such as Flickr or PicassaWeb? Assuming you have your lat/long, azimuth and photo filename in Excel, a pretty powerful online map can be made that shows where each photo was taken, the direction of the photo and the photo itself in a map that can be panned and zoomed and presumably have a recent aerial photo basemap.

Here are three ESRI blog posts that can help make such a map:

How to configure pop-ups:

Adding photos from Flickr, PicassaWeb or WindowsLive

Rotating arrows to show azimuth:

If you have an ArcGIS.com organization prescription, then you can take the map you’ve made with all your georeferenced photos, configured pop-ups and arrows showing the photo azimuth and then put that dynamic map into a PowerPoint presentation. Pretty cool!

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Every year, ESRI hosts its annual users group meeting in San Diego.  For several years now, the day before the big conference opens, the hydro/water resources folks at ESRI host a 1 day seminar.  All the videos from that one day event can be viewed here:


Updates to ArcHydro, GeoRAS and GeoHMS are provided.

Thank you ESRI!

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Earlier this year, the USGS has released a web mapping service called Streamer.


It’s a fairly straightforward tool.  A user can either trace a channel upstream or downstream. From there, users can get a summary or detailed report that has some basic information such as how many states the river is in, or how many USGS gages are on the trace.

A bit more background on the tool is available here: http://nhd.usgs.gov/newsletters/News_July_13.pdf

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The good news is that ESRI is offering a quick and easy way for users to delineate watersheds using one of its online services in ArcGIS online. You can read about here:

The one downside is that the service is only available to users who have an ArcGIS organization account. An alternative is the functionality that is available in HydroDesktop (http://his.cuahsi.org/hydrodesktop.html). This software relies on an EPA service that for the most part works pretty well, but I’ve experienced some erroneous results from time to time when making a delineation. The upside is that the software will create a shapefile of your watershed of interest to you local disk which can be convenient.

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The World Water Online group on ArcGIS.com has added NRCS SSURGO soil survey database to its group of maps.  You can read about it here:


One of the features that I really enjoy about ArcGIS online is how well integrated it is with ArcGIS Desktop.  Any map I’m developing with shapefiles and feature classes stored on the local network can easily include a map that is on ArcGIS online.

Now when working on a restoration site, access to soil data is literally just a few clicks of the mouse away.

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I’m an active voluneer for the Ipswich River Watershed Association. One of their programs is a volunteer monitoring program that collects temperature and dissolved oxygen at over thirty sites throughout the watershed once a month.  Now that several years of data have been collected, a nice data set has been developed.  I also follow some of the developments that CUASHI HIS has undertaken, namely the development of HydroDesktop and the WaterML standard.  In the past month, the monitoring data have been put onto CUASHI’s servers and now when one searches for either dissolved oxygen or temperature in the Ipswich River watershed using HydroDesktop, all the monitoring locations show up and the data can be downloaded.  I think that’s a great development for the program.  Way to go IRWA!

There are several professors at universities around the country who are active with CUASHI HIS, there is a CUASHI offices in Medford, MA and Washington D.C and the company Kisters is also active with the CUASHI HIS community.  The point being, if you are aware of some water quality monitoring that is being collected on your stream or river of interest, there are plenty of resources available to help you get your data published and made available to a wider audience.

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