- Author: Shane Feirer
Day 2 of the ESRI User Conference was filled with many technical workshops and time speakeing with the lead developers of the tools that IGIS utilize on almost a daily basis. In this post I will highlight some of the technical session I attended and what I saw and learned in the exhibition hall. It was a busy day and i am looking forward to what I learn tomorrow... Now to the highlights...
In the technical sessions I attended the following:
ArcGIS Insights: An Introduction
Before this session I did not know of the capabilities of this app. With app you can take tabular and spatial data and analyze the data in really intuitive ways and share the output and models with your colleagues and the public. For more information about ArcGIS Insights go to the following link.
Cartography Cutting Edge
This session highlighted some of the new symbology and vector tile formatting that can be used with the new map viewer. The methods used included layer special effects, layer blending, and the vector tile base map editor. Using the techniques in this session you could design a nice webmap, but that webmap could not be opened in ArcGIS Pro without pro stripping much of the formatting that you used in the session.
ArcGIS Pro Tasks: An Introduction
For the past several years, I keep thinking that IGIS should use Tasks to teach workshop workflow. This session walk through creating and configuring a basic editing task. I still see how this tool could and should be used in some of the IGIS Workshops.
ArcGIS Pro: Tips and Tricks
This was a nice technical sessionthat highlighted many tips and tricks. As part of this workshop the presenters shared a storymap they created to highlight their tips and tricks. Here is the storymap that they shared with the attendees, enjoy.
ArcGIS Field Maps: An Introduction and What's New
ArcGIS Field Maps continues to improve. Field Maps is ESRI effort to combine 5 separate apps (Collector, Survey 123, Explorer, Workforce, and Navigator) into one. To date they have added the functionality of the first three apps. They have integrated many new features into the app since last year. There is not enough room to discuss the new features. I will say that I am excited to integrate the new features into the IGIS Field Maps training.
Discussions with the Product Developers:
How to optimize multidimensional datasets for faster queries and rasters?
I have been having an issue querying merged netcdf and mosaic datasets of the yearly netcdf data. Both methods have been quite slow. The recommended way to optimize the querying of these data is to create a cloud raster format dataset from the mosaic dataset and that should drastically speed up the queryng of the multidimensional data.
ArcGIS Insights vs Dashboards?
I will have to play with the functionality of insights and see if it could replace dashboards in some of the IGIS use cases.
Sunsetting of Drone2Map?
In the past few months I have heard that ArcGIS Drone2Map is going to be phased out. I asked the developers of the app and they stated that there are no plans to phose out Drone2Map and they are continuing to develop and release new versions. The most recent version is Drone2map 2022.1.
- Author: Shane Feirer
This is the 42nd ESRI User Conference yet in some ways it felt like the first. This is the first in-person user conference since the COVID—19 outbreak after almost 2 and a half years. All in-person participants had to have proof of vaccination to attend, even with that requirement there are over 14,000 participants. I heard more than once that it was nice to be meeting again in person.
The tag line from ESRI this year is ‘GIS – Mapping Common Ground'. They are making the case that GIS will help us as a society meet/share data on Common Ground. This can be when addressing complex issues such as Climate Change, Conservation Planning, Urban Planning etc. All these activities need us all to meet on common ground and mapping helps with that. We heard about the development and use of Geospatial data from Deanne Criswell the Director of FEMA and California's Natural Resources Secretary - Wade Crowfoot Crowfoot and Nate Roth from the Department of Conservation's Chief Science and Data Advisor, they described the data and the tools created for the California 30x30 initiative these data will be available in a web app developed in concert with ESRI https://www.californianature.ca.gov/.
I the coming days I am looking forward to hearing about the new tools that ESRI have been developing. These tools include ArcGIS Insights, Spatial Analysis of Big Data, Knowledge Graphs, etc, I look forward to writing more about the advancements as the week progresses.
Fortunately the tools of the trade are keeping up, allowing us to manage and utilize data more efficiently and effectively than ever before. And there's no better place to see what's out there than the annual UC Love Data Week, February 14-18, 2022.
UC Love Data Week is a week-long series of data themed workshops held annually around Valentines Day. This year, data scientists, librarians, and instructors from 9 of the ten UC Campuses are teaching workshops on a wide range of data topics. IGIS is pleased to represent UC ANR for the first time ever, joining the fray with two of our newer workshops on working with Cal-Adapt climate data in R (2/17/22) , and analyzing spatial data using Python Notebooks in ArcGIS Pro (2/18/22).
Other workshops this year run the gamut from data ethics and justice, to developing a data management plan for your proposal, to a data feminism book club meeting. And many others. All are free and open to all UC affiliates. Check out the complete offerings on the UC Love Data website.
- Editor: Andy Lyons
by Annie Taylor
If you attended any of the Google Earth Engine workshops I've led with IGIS, then you know that I love talking about the tool and hearing what others are doing with it. Last month, I attended my fifth Geo for Good Summit, which is quite possibly my favorite annual event. I'll provide a recap of the event and some of my highlights, and then links for you to check out the summit for yourself or explore other resources.
Google's Geo for Good Summit is an annual conference where folks from nonprofits, government agencies, and scientists hear about the latest updates to Google's mapping tools and get to share their work with each other. Geo for Good, also abbreviated as G4G, has been held since 2012 and was an in-person Bay Area conference until 2020, when it was first held virtually. G4G continued in that virtual format in 2021, with some exciting twists on the usual virtual format.
G4G always kicks off with an inspiring community video that showcases different people and use cases, and this year was no exception.
Next, we got updates on the latest improvements to Google's geospatial tools, which is my personal favorite session. Here's a rough summary of my highlights.
What's new in Google Earth?
In case you haven't heard, Google Earth is now a gorgeous web application. Google Earth Pro (the desktop application) is still supported as they migrate all of its tools and functionality to the web version. There's also a mobile application for your phone! These updates relate to the web application:
- You can now export tile overlays from EE and import them into Earth so that they drape on top of the 3D planet – very cool visualization for your data.
- You can collaborate on Earth projects just like you would a Google Doc using the Cloud Project option.
- The date of the basemap imagery (when available) now pops up when you move your cursor. Also, the scale bar shows the scale bar relative to where your cursor is, which is a great addition for 3D viewing.
What's new in Earth Engine?
- Landsat and Sentinel images are now ingested and loaded into EE in under 12 hours from their capture – enabling near real time analysis in EE.
- The Dynamic World dataset – a global land cover probability map at 10m resolution available every five days from 2017 to 2021 – will soon be available in the EE Data Catalog.
- Additions to the API (new machine learning models)
- Additions to the Data Catalog and more Python API example scripts
Other Geospatial Tools by Google
I won't go into these here, so check out the recorded sessions for more information:
- Google My Maps
- Google Earth Studio
- Google Street View and Maps API
G4G was very creative in their approach to the virtual conference. For example, they organized poster sessions and virtual mingling in a custom space they created using Gather, where you could see and hear the people ‘nearest' to you in the ‘room.' They also hosted user-created Meet Ups, where members of the community can break off to talk about their specific application, tool, or part of the world. A final highlight of the conference were the Office Hours hosted by the engineers working on each of these tools, which is an incredible opportunity to talk through your specific idea or challenge.
If you missed it, you can find all of the recorded sessions on the conference website or on Google Earth Outreach's YouTube site, which are both linked below.
I hope to see you next fall at G4G 2022!
Conference Website (with recordings)
Geo for Good YouTube Channel Playlist
Earth and Earth Engine Blog
- Author: Sean Hogan
- Author: Brandon Stark
- Author: Maggi Kelly
non-recreational use of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS - aka. drones) was added to the FAA's Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in mid-2016, there have been a number of updates to the rules over the years, including an Academic Exemption for education and research purposes (which is only apply to institutions of higher education and not other state agencies or conservation groups). The most recent of these updates occurred in January 2021, when the regulations were further amended to allow for the operation of drones during the night and over people in limited circumstances. For some operators, these have been very welcome changes. However, maybe more widely relevant to our community of drone enthusiasts, in June 2021 the FAA announced the requirement of "The Recreational UAS Safety Test" (TRUST) for all recreational pilots; with the objective of ensuring that these pilots are likewise knowledgeable in the FAA's rules and regulations for drone operations.
Amidst these updates and changes to the regulations, a common question that IGIS receives is "what do I need to do to legally fly a drone?" To answer this question, the head of our UC System's Center of Excellence on Unmanned Aircraft System Safety (UASSafety), Dr. Brandon Stark, has provided the following simplified guidelines to help steer people in the right directions, for whether they need the TRUST and/or Part 107 certifications:
- Coursework -> TRUST
- Research in access-controlled field -> TRUST
- Research in public area with people -> Part 107
- Collection of data for another agency -> Part 107
- Promotional media -> Part 107
- Demonstration for students -> TRUST
- Demonstration for non-students -> Part 107
- Inspecting any structure for repairs -> Part 107
- Flying above the FAA's Facility Map Altitude -> Part 107
- Flying above 400 ft (AGL) -> Part 107
- Any operation that could profit the pilot in any way -> Part 107
- Strictly for fun (even if you have a Part 107 certification) -> TRUST
Note - The Academic Exception is not a loophole. Everyone now needs to have either completed a TRUST or Part 107 certification, and preferably both.
For the sake of drone operators everywhere, it is extremely important that we all abide by these rules and regulations; as it could take only one grievous mistake (even if the mistake is unwitting) to legally set back all of the progress that has been made for the allowance of sUAS operations, both within and outside of the UC System.
For more information on the TRUST and Part 107 certifications, please refer to the FAA's official site: https://faadronezone.faa.gov/
For all UC drone operations, please do not forget to file your flights in advance through the UC's UAS Safety App, https://ehs.ucop.edu/drones/. This is not only required by the UC System, but also provides the valuable benefit of insurance coverage for you and your drone in the event of an accident. Additionally, the recently created UC Drones knowledge portal is an incredible resource for a wide range of drone safety and regulation information: https://ucdrones.github.io/