Peter Gould Student Paper Competition

The Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group (HMGSG) invites current undergraduate and graduate students to submit their work to the specialty group’s annual Peter Gould Student Paper Competition. The competition is meant to promote written scholarship by students across the field. Single-authored papers from any medical, health, disability and/or health systems related topic are encouraged.

The deadline for submitting an extended abstract is November 2, 2014.

More information here.

Though the prize is only $100, having your name associated with Peter Gould’s would be a very good thing for an up-and-coming student’s career!

And while you are at it, join the AAG!

Operating UAVs in US Airspace – The Legal Implications

The introduction of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or “drones,” into the U.S National Airspace System for commercial use raises a number of complex legal and policy issues. Understanding what is currently permitted is made more challenging by almost-daily reports of new court decisions, proposed regulations, possible executive orders and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approvals granted for certain restricted uses. This webinar will clarify the current status of UAVs in the United States and raise important future issues.

Energy Infrastructure with FEMA National Flood Hazard

This week the US Energy Information Agency announced the availability of a new mapping tool that details the flood risk faced by our existing energy infrastructure. The map has icons located on sites like distribution terminals and power plants and allows users to overlay the existing flood risk on those sites. The clear message is that a lot of our infrastructure is already at risk.


Flood hazard information from FEMA has been combined with EIA’s energy infrastructure layers as a tool to help state, county, city, and private sector planners assess which key energy infrastructure assets are vulnerable to rising sea levels, storm surges, and flash flooding.

Ventura College GIS Course

Ventura College GIS course starts soon.

Course Name: Introduction to GIS Software (GIS/GEOG 26)

Course Info: Monday and Wednesday evenings, 7-8:50pm. Starts August 16th. Ends October 17th. (9 weeks)

Enroll now at

Introduction to GIS Software features ESRI’s ArcGIS 10.2 and covers core concepts and skills related to GIS.  The course is valuable to those new to Geographic Information Systems and those seeking to build on their current knowledge and experience.

The next time, after this semester this class may be offered is in Spring 2016!

Please sign up right away if you are interested.

Details on application process and enrollment (exemptions apply for those who are taking the class for professional purposes)

For more information contact Steve Palladino,

National Parks Live

Want to know what Yosemite National Park looks like right now?  I found this interesting app that takes you on a map tour of our National Parks via live webcams.


I found some of the webcams not working or displaying an old image, but the ones that do work give a great picture of that area about the time you load the app.  I found if you reload the app a few minutes later, those webcams that are working will update their video feed.  Pretty cool.

National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) in ArcGIS Online

How to use the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) in ArcGIS Online by Al Rea

Have you ever wanted to get a very quick view of what’s in the NHD for an area that you haven’t downloaded?  Even if you have the data on your hard drive, I’ve found the quickest way to see the basic NHD features is through the ArcGIS Online (AGOL) viewer. I’ve made a very simple web map in AGOL that accesses an NHD dynamic map service from The National Map (TNM). To give it a try, open this link:

Zoom to your area of interest. You can use the standard map zoom tools, or type in a place name or street address in the search box in the upper right of the window. You need to be zoomed in to a scale where the NHD streams can be displayed reasonably. If you don’t see any streams on the map, click on the “plus” symbol in the upper left corner of the map to zoom in more. Notice that in the legend there is a scrollbar once you’re zoomed in so that streams begin to display. The NHD streams are called “Flowline – Small-Scale” or “Flowline – Large Scale”, and appear at the bottom of the legend. You will need to zoom in so that the scale bar in the lower left corner of the map shows one mile or less to see the ephemeral streams, which are in a dashed brown line style. (Note that ephemeral streams are not shown in all areas.) Intermittent streams are shown in a light blue dashed line style. If you have used this service in the past, you may notice that the symbology has changed recently.

There are several other map services from The National Map that might be of interest to you. A listing can be found here: You can bookmark that URL, or just remember this: Search for The National Map, go to the main page, and on the left under Products and Services, click on the Framework Web Feature Services link. You should be able to open the ArcGIS Online map above without having an AGOL login account. If you do have an account, you can save the map as your own and customize it as you like. The TNM services listed above may also be added to your map, along with anything else that is out there on the web.