If you are an organization or government agency in LA County that has not joined LARIAC yet, or need to know more about it, please try to make the next meeting.  More infomation here:

The Los Angeles Region Imagery Acquisition Consortium (LARIAC) is looking for cities and public agencies that operate in Los Angeles County to attend a FREE meeting discussing the latest project, LARIAC4!  You’re invited if you want to learn more about how this GREAT DATA can help you or your organization.

NOAA Announces End of Paper Nautical Charts

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, which creates and maintains the nation’s suite of over a thousand nautical charts of U.S. coastal waters, today announced major changes ahead for mariners and others who use nautical charts. Starting April 13, the federal government will no longer print traditional lithographic (paper) nautical charts, but will continue to provide other forms of nautical charts, including print on demand charts and versions for electronic charting systems.

Read the whole article here:

USGS Webinars

The USGS National Geospatial Program team for CA, NV, and HI (that’s Drew Decker and I) is hosting a series of webinars over the next several months. These webinars will highlight USGS National Geospatial Program advances and new technologies being deployed by other Federal agencies. Please feel free to forward this webinar announcement to others in your organizations. Both of these webinars require advance registration, but we will keep this open as long as possible.

October 30, 1 pm Pacific: The USGS Volunteered Geographic Information Program

The volunteer effort of The National Map Corps to collect and improve structures data provides several benefits to the Program and its users:

  • Participation in The National Map Corps is easy. Complete registration instructions and editing guidelines can be found at
  • The National Map Corps benefits the agency and the participants by providing opportunities for citizen participation in USGS science
  • Participation in The National Map Corps raises geographic awareness and improves users’ skills in using web-based tools
  • Volunteer participation improves public access to data and data quality

The use of The National Map Corps and VGI will result in more complete national datasets in The National Map with improved positional and attribute accuracy. With this coordination, federal, state, and local government efforts, combined with citizen contributions, are complementary and lead to a richer dataset that is available for everyone to use.

TOPIC: USGS Volunteered Geographic Information
DATE: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
TIME: 1:00 pm, Pacific Daylight Time (San Francisco, GMT-07:00)

To attend this meeting, you must first register for it. Please click this link to see more information, and register for this meeting.

Once you have registered for the meeting, you will receive an email message confirming your registration. This message will provide the information that you need to join the meeting.

For Help or Support:
Go to click Assistance, then Click Help or click Support.

November 7, 1 pm Pacific: From DFIRM to the National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL):  Charting the Course of FEMA’s Digital Flood Hazard Data

This webinar will look at the past, present, and future of FEMA’s digital flood hazard information.  FEMA’s Flood Information Rate Maps (FIRMs) are primarily designed for rating flood insurance and reducing risk through community planning, but they also serve to inform the public about the location of flood hazards.  FEMA has distributed GIS versions of the FIRMs as early as the mid 1990s, but with recent enhancements FEMA’s current focus is on distributing the NFHL as geospatial web services.

Topic: From DFIRM to the National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL): Charting the Course of FEMA’s Digital Flood Hazard Data
Date: Thursday, November 7, 2013
Time: 1:00 pm, Pacific Daylight Time (San Francisco, GMT-07:00)

To register for this meeting
1. Go to

2. Register for the meeting.

Once the host approves your request, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the meeting.

Other upcoming webinars in planning are:

Earth Explorer data repository (which houses imagery, lidar, landsat, land cover, and many other datasets)

Using the USGS USTopo geopdf

Using USGS map services

Introduction to the National Hydrography Dataset

Please let Drew or I know if you are interested in any or all of these webinars, or if you have other interests in Federal Programs that we can try to facilitate.

Lastly, apologies for duplication in the email if you are receiving this multiple times.


Drew and Carol


Drew Decker
USGS Geospatial Liaison for Pacific Region
NSDI Partnership Office, U.S. Geological Survey
4165 Spruance Road, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92101
619-417-2879 cell
619-225-6101 fax

USNG 11S MS 8026 2158

Carol Ostergren
US Geological Survey Pacific Region
National Geospatial Program
3020 State University Drive East, Suite 3005
Sacramento, CA 95819
916-278-9510 (office); 916-278-9546 (fax)

Water/Wastewater User Group Meetings

Please join ESRI for the Fall 2013 Water / Wastewater User Group Meeting! Two dates/locations to choose from, agendas attached. Lunch will be provided!

Fall Water/Wastewater User Group – Otay Water Dist. – Spring Valley, CA

Date Thursday, November   7, 2013
Location Otay   Water   District
2554   Sweetwater Springs Blvd
Time 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM
Check-in 9:30 AM – 10:00 AM

Fall Water/Wastewater User Group Meeting – Park Water Co. – Downey, CA

Date Thursday,   November 14, 2013
Location Park   Water Co.
9750   Washburn Rd.
DOWNEY, CA 90241
Time 10:00   AM – 1:30 PM
Check-in 9:30 AM – 10:00 AM

California decorative wall map uses California paintings to represent counties

David Frank McCarter has launched a Kickstarter campaign ( to crowd fund his new artistic wall map of California, “The Beautiful Counties of…California”, which uses California paintings from the mid-1800s to the early-1900s to represent California’s 58 counties.

“The paintings in the map were chosen to provide the map reader with a sense of place and history of this beautiful and geographically diverse state,” says McCarter. “For example, a painting of Mt. Shasta is used to represent Siskiyou County; California Redwoods for Del Norte and Humboldt Counties; scenes of Pomo Indians in Colusa and Lake Counties; and forty-niners in several of the counties that had large goldfields during the California Gold Rush. The map was made to do more than just show where places are, it was made to tell a story of the places themselves.”

A table is provided on the right hand side of the map which lists the artists and their paintings that are used. Some of the famous artists that have paintings in the map include Albert Bierstadt, Edwin Deakin, Grace Hudson, Thomas Hill, and Charles Christian Nahl.

The map includes the county boundaries, county seats, and important cities of California. It measures 24” x 36” (standard frame size).

If the project’s goal of $2000 is reached, the money will cover the cost of printing and shipping. He will also donate 100 of these California wall maps to elementary schools in low-income school districts in California to be used as educational tools in the classroom. For a $20 pledge, the contributor receives a map (shipping included) – other pledge levels are also available.

About David Frank McCarter

“I’ve always been passionate about cartography, art, and the warm place where the two disciplines intersect,” McCarter says. “While studying Geography and Cartography at California State University, Northridge, I developed a unique mapping style that fuses cartography with fine art to create maps that are enjoyable and educational for people of all ages.” Two of his previous maps of this style (“The Fifty Colorful States of the…United States of America”, and “A Glimpse into the World of…Vincent Van Gogh”) have won international awards at the ESRI International User Conference. His California wall map, “The Beautiful Counties of…California”, is his latest map of this style.

David Frank McCarter

Global Positioning System (GPS) short course at Ventura College

Ventura College is offering a two-weekend course on GPS appropriate for novices and those with some GPS experience. Much of the time you will be in the field with GPS equipment but will also learn about GPS and get to bring the data into mapping software. The course takes place on Friday Oct. 18 & 25 (5:30pm-8:50) and Saturdays Oct. 19 & 26 (8:30-4:30). If you have some minor conflict with the times, contact the instructor, Philip Clinton ( to see how it may work out. Please try to register by Oct. 10th at: Use either of the course names/#s: GEOG 24,CRN #71987 or GIS 24, CRN #72000.