ArcGIS 10.2 is Out

Looks like ArcGIS 10.2 is out.  If you look at the installation instructions for Desktop, there is good news if you are currently running 10.1 … no uninstall/reinstall !  The setup package detects your 10.1 install and upgrades it to 10.2.  If you use the License Manager for concurrent use licenses, make sure to upgrade that first.  Some more good news … your current 10.1 authorizations will be preserved and reconfigured for 10.2 use.  No need to generate new authorization files.

After installation, any customizations, add-ons, or third-party applications installed for 10.1 must be reapplied to 10.2.

10 Ways to Improve Your Public Safety with GIS

A free workshop will be hosted by the City of Murrieta Police Department.  The workshop is designed to give the Public Safety Administrator and GIS Coordinator 10 ways to maximize the investment in 911 and GIS to produce highly efficient and effective mapping tools that depend on accurate GIS data.  Attendees will be given the overall scope of how GIS data is used and developed for use in a 911 Public Safety mapping application such as Crime/Incident Mapping, Dispatch, Fires and EMS incident mapping, Address Management, Mobile and AVL, and Public Access tool.

The workshop will be held July 31, 2013 from 9am to 11:30am.  You can register here.

1857 Earthquake at Fort Tejon

I have this interesting collection of books I keep at our family vacation house. Here are just a few titles:

  • Train Wrecks – A Pictorial History of Accidents on the Main Line
  • Shipwrecks, Smugglers and Maritime Mysteries
  • Strange Deaths – More Than 375 Freakish Fatalities
  • California Disasters 1800-1900

Not that I am obsessed with disasters, it does make interesting reading for guests, especially the history of the events. I finally started reading California Disasters and came across a chapter on the 1857 Earthquake of Fort Tejon, one of the largest quakes in California history, a 7.9. Since it occurred close to home, I thought I would share this one with you all:

In early January, 1857, rancher John Barker and a neighbor were searching for some stray horses on the eastern shore of Tulare Lake, a large runoff basin for the many rivers and creeks of central California. Knowing their horses would not drink from this particular area of the lake, the two ranchers rode to a nearby waterhole to look for tracks. Years later, Barker recalled that memorable day:

I dismounted and led my horse by the bridle and walked to the edge of the water. Just as I reached it, the ground seemed to be violently swayed from east to west. The water splashed up to my knees; the trees whipped about, and limbs fell on and all around me. I was affected by a fearful nausea, my horse snorted and in terror struggled violently to get away from me, but I hung to him, having as great a fear as he had himself. The lake commenced to roar like the ocean in a storm, and, staggering and bewildered, I vaulted into the saddle and my terrified horse started, as eager as I was to get out of the vicinity. I found my friend, who had not dismounted, almost in a state of collapse. He eagerly inquired, while our horses were on the run and the lake was roaring behind us, “What is this?” I replied, “An earthquake! Put the steel on your horse and let us get out of this!” and we ran at the top of our speed for about five miles.

We returned the next day and found that the lake had run up on the land for about three miles. Fish were stranded in every direction and could have been gathered by the wagon-load. The air was alive with buzzards and vultures eager for the feast, but the earth had acquired its normal condition.

Barker’s recollection was validated by other intelligence, as reported in the January 13, 1857 San Francisco Herald:

In every portion of the state from which we have heard, up to the present, the earthquake of the 9th inst. was very seriously felt. It is by no means improbable that it extended to the extreme North. We clip the following additional particulars from our upcountry exchanges–

A gentleman from Mokelumne Hill informs the Sacramento American that it was severely felt in that region, and seemed to shake the hills for miles around. Reports were numerous of the caving in of several tunnels and burial of a number of men, but he could not obtain the particulars.

By all we could learn, says the Stockton Republican, the commotion was very visible, lasting some minute or two. We have heard two or three gentlemen describe the sensation as being so violent as to cause a kind of sea-sickness. In our establishment, the shock was quite apparent. The lamps, which are suspended from the ceiling, swung to and fro for the distance of more than a foot. One of them was thrown against the walls so violently that its jingling was heard in every part of the office.

Barker could hardly have exaggerated the extent of the tremor. Others reported the Kern River, to the south, flooding its banks as it actually reversed course and ran upstream. The quake, generally regarded as one of the most powerful in U.S. history, was felt throughout a large swath of California. Surface ruptures ran all along this tract. Artesian wells in the Santa Clara Valley suddenly went dry, while other wells appeared suddenly near San Fernando and Santa Barbara. Both the Los Angeles and the Mokelumne rivers, some 350 miles apart, flug water from their beds, leaving dry spots in some areas. The earthquake was felt as far north as San Jose, San Francisco, and Sacramento.

When an express rider from Fort Tejon arrived in Stockton on January 15, he brought additional news of the quake’s effects in the vicinity of his post. There was a light, barely perceptible shock about six o’clock that morning, with a heavier one following at 8:30. This second jolt lasted from three to five minutes, accompanied by a sound resembling the rumbling of a train of railroad cars. Nearly all the adobe buildings in the area were damaged to some extent as chimneys tumbled down, plaster cracked and walls fell. Several adobe buildings a the fort were under construction and were all but destroyed. Miraculously, no one at the post was injured, although there were some close calls. A man in the kitchen of on of the adobes rushed outside just as the walls caved in, and a Dr. Tenbrock was thrown to the ground violently.

At the government sawmill located some twenty miles distant, a mule team was thrown to the ground, oak trees were uprooted, and large branches fell to the ground. At Reed’s nearby ranch, a Mexican woman was killed by the caving-in of an adobe house. A Reverend Bateman, who rode through the surrounding country, reported that there were great fissures in the earth, indicating a very violent upheaval. He was informed by a vaquero that the mountain road to Los Angeles was nearly impassable due to rock slides. “From the accounts detailed by Mr. Cannady,” commented the Stockton Daily Argus, “we are confident that the shock was more severely felt at Fort Tejon, than at any other point in the state.”

Although it could not be measured in any way, most scientists of today agree that the quake was very large based on eyewitness accounts. It is generally agreed also that the quake was perhaps as large, or larger, than the San Francisco quake of 1906. It was only due to the sparse population, and lack of high population densities throughout California, that much greater damage and loss of life did not occur.

After reading this, it made me think of what would happen if this earthquake occurred today.  If the power goes out at my house for a few hours, it’s annoying, but I cannot imagine what devastation will result after an earthquake like this today … no power, no air conditioning/heating, no refrigerator, no house, no shelter … you get the picture.

Californians of today remain equally vulnerable to earthquakes as they were during its earliest days of habitation.  With the exception of 1906, no earthquakes equal to those felt in 1812, 1857, and 1872 have re-occurred.  California was fortunate in that the population was sparse in those early days and the construction less extensive.  If any of those earthquakes are re-created in the future, property losses will probably be in the billions, and the human toll will be unimaginable.

Some of us had a taste of this during the 1994 Northridge earthquake, a 6.7 with high ground acceleration.  I remember half of the water in the pool jumped out, anything on the walls in the house fell off, and many cracks appeared on the property.  Our house was lucky, others in the neighborhood had foundations that were severely compromised.  Others in the valley were completely destroyed or ready to fall.  I remember it was hard to find a gas station that was open.  To this day I don’t let the tank go below 1/2 so I can drive for a few days in case of an emergency.  I remember during re-construction of the 5/14 interchange bridges having to drive in heavy traffic on the two lane “old road” for over a year.  And during all of this I remember the constant aftershocks for months on end … kept many of us on edge!

Remember, be prepared for the next “big one”.  Have your emergency survival kits ready.  We even have one for our dog!  Solar chargers are good to have and led camping lanterns too.  And establish an out of state point of contact for all family members in emergencies.  As government GIS Analysts and Managers, we are involved with emergency preparedness and EOC operations and training at work.  Let’s not forget to be prepared at home too.  -mike

Field Analyst II (GIS) at Nokia

Nokia in Hollywood is looking for someone to fill their Field Analyst II position.

Under general supervision, the Field Analyst II is the primary point of contact for map creation and maintenance activities within a defined geographic area to include map data collection, sourcing and expert community support and moderation.


  • Plan, schedule and perform field data collection as required
  • Manage and support map project efforts with Global Production in geographic areas of responsibility
  • Perform high priority and targeted geo-coding updates as required
  • Participate in projects to develop improved map creation processes
  • Conduct database testing and inspection within a defined area as part of database ownership
  • Conduct research on competitive information, potential new source material and related topics as required
  • Solicits, establishes, trains and sustains relationships with local organizations (“expert communities”) that provide map content updates utilizing a HERE API
  • Lead and participate in source content identification and acquisition efforts
  • Mentor junior-level employees
  • Participate in local trade group(s) as appropriate
  • Bachelor’s degree required. Degree in GIS/Geography, Science, Technology or related field preferred
  • 1 to 2 years of relevant work experience
  • GIS experience is preferred and proficiency in PC software packages including a familiarity with geography encoding
  • Knowledge of project management tools (Microsoft Project, Clarity)
  • Well-developed knowledge of product specifications and proprietary tools
  • Fluent verbal and written communication skills in English and in local language in assigned territory
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze data, problem solve, prioritize and organize to achieve stated goal
  • Demonstrated ability for spatial orientation (i.e., applying map to “real world” and mapping “real world” observations)
  • Ability to travel frequently and for extended periods within and outside the area
  • Possess a valid driver’s license and a good driving record

For more info and to apply, visit .

Online Seminar – Open Source in Commercial GIS Software


Sponsored by ASPRS, CaGIS and GLIS

Open Source in Commercial GIS Software

Date & Time: July 26, 2013 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST

Attendance is limited, so Register Now.

The American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) GIS Division in partnership with the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS) and the Geographic and Land Information Society (GLIS) would like to invite our members to attend our next seminar in the series for 2013.

Abstract: Unknown to many in the GIS industry, open source software plays a key role not only in academia and research but also in the proprietary/commercial realm as well.  Most well-known commercial GIS applications leverage open-source software.  This talk takes an insider’s view of this phenomenon and explores why this happens and why it makes sense for everyone.  Using the most recent release of LizardTech’s Express Server as a specific case study, we’ll look at how we decided to use open source software in our product and how it worked out.  No math.  No code.  Just interesting insights into software we all use every day.

About the Speaker: Michael Rosen is the Software Architect at LizardTech, the company that makes the MrSID image compression technology.  He’s participated with and contributed to open source GIS projects over the past 13 years.

On-line Registration:

NOTE: Registration is limited to the first 95 people who sign up and log in to the seminar.

Questions, Contact:

David Alvarez, PCM, GISP
GIS Division Director (ASPRS)

GIS Specialist for Aspen Environmental Group

Aspen Environmental Group, a leader in providing environmental compliance, impact assessment, and mitigation services for energy and infrastructure projects in the western United States, is currently seeking qualified candidates for an entry-level GIS Specialist position at Aspen’s corporate office in Agoura Hills, CA.

Qualified candidates should at a minimum have a Bachelor’s degree in geography, environmental studies, geology, hydrology, biology, engineering or other related studies and have 1-2 years of prior work experience in the GIS profession, including some field experience in collecting spatial data.

The position requires using ESRI ArcGIS desktop software and various extensions (v10.x); data editing; cartographic skills; spatial data creation, analysis, and management; use of MS Office 2010 Suite, especially MS Access; GPS data collection using Trimble GeoXT and Juno units, post-processing and manipulation; imagery analysis; document production graphic support; troubleshooting of systems components. Travel to various remote locations to support field data collection efforts in the Western US will be required. The ideal candidate should show linear infrastructure projects experience (transmission, pipeline, transportation, etc.); work independently leveraging multiple project requests on short notice and interface with project managers and clients on a daily basis. Strong communication and client relations skills are a must.

This position will be under the direct guidance of Aspen’s GIS Manager, supervised by other GIS Specialists, and is based out of the Agoura Hills, CA office. CA candidates preferred.

Do not reply to this job posting unless you have the minimum requirements.

Send resumes to with “GIS_I_Position_AgouraHills” in the Subject field.

Resource Information Specialist (GIS Analyst) for US Forest Service

The USDA Forest Service has a GIS Analyst position opening located in Goleta, CA.  Duties include:

  • Serves as part of a team responsible for implementing, directing and maintaining a Geographic Information System (GIS) Information Management structure.
  • Serves as unit expert on the use of complicated computer systems and GIS software for spatial, tabular and statistical analysis on a wide range of varied resource data.
  • Incumbent serves as a GIS analyst. Provides analytical support and training to Forest resources specialist and District GIS/Information personnel on the Forest GIS/Information standards, and procedures in working with GIS software and the associated spatial and attribute information.
  • Develops complex applications, designs user friendly interfaces for complex applications and instructs GIS users how to use them for their own analysis and GIS products.
  • Independently schedules and manages time to complete projects in recommended time frames.
  • Trouble shoots and works independently with individual GIS users to facilitate access and use GIS software, data and applications.
  • Validates database information associated with spatial layers, determines the need for correction and provides direction for the update.

The position pays up to $57,408 per year.  For more info, visit .  The closing date is July 19, 2013.

Drafting Technician I,II,III at LACSD

Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts is looking for a Drafting Technician I, II, or III in their offices in Whittier.

Under the general supervision of a Supervising Engineer, the incumbent fulfills requests for maps and exhibits from various sections throughout the Districts using Geographic Information System (GIS) and computer aided design (CAD) software; completes basic GIS processing; creates, edits and maintains GIS layers and other digital information including maps, databases and metadata; performs a variety of right-of-way, property acquisition and annexation work involving preparation of legal descriptions and right-of-way maps, title research and survey calculations; interprets engineering drawings, land surveys, assessor’s maps, title deeds and easement agreements; prepares legal descriptions for rights-of-way required; prepares sketches and performs complex traverse calculations as needed; prepares tables, charts, maps and exhibits for planning reports; and performs related duties as required.

The position pays hourly up to $40.29 per hour, or $84,132 annually.  For more info, visit .  The position closes July 19, 2013.