The Transcontinental Railroad

150 years ago the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869 marked an important milestone in the history of the United States with the joining of the populated east with the growing cities and towns of the west. Stanford University, with its connection to Leland Stanford and Timothy Hopkins, holds in its libraries an impressive array of materials related to this monumental achievement including the often overlooked contributions of the Chinese railroad workers. A new Spotlight exhibit, Transcontinental Railroad, pulls together this material to give an overview of the people and places that played a role in transforming the west.  There are maps too!  Check it out.

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2018 NAIP Imagery

Looking for 2018 NAIP imagery of California?  The 2018 NAIP county mosaics are available for download now.  The imagery is available in both natural color and near infrared.

What is NAIP?  NAIP stands for the National Agriculture Imagery Program.  NAIP acquires digital ortho imagery during the agricultural growing seasons in the continental US.  NAIP provides 60 centimeter ground sample distance (GSD) ortho imagery rectified to a horizontal accuracy within +/- 4 meters of reference digital ortho quarter quads (DOQQ’s) from the National Digital Ortho Program (NDOP) or from the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP).  The tiling format of NAIP imagery is based on a 3.75′ x 3.75′ quarter quadrangle with a 300 pixel buffer on all four sides.  The NAIP imagery is formatted to the UTM coordinate system using the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83).  NAIP imagery may contain as much as 10% cloud cover per tile.  This file was generated by compressing NAIP imagery that cover the county extent.  Two types of compression may be used for NAIP imagery: MrSID and JPEG 2000. The target value for the compression ratio is 40:1 for imagery.

NAIP imagery is typically available for distribution within 60 days of the end of a flying season and is intended to provide current information of agricultural conditions in support of USDA farm programs.  For USDA Farm Service Agency, the 1 meter and 1/2 meter GSD product provides an ortho image base for Common Land Unit boundaries and other data sets.  NAIP imagery is generally acquired in projects covering full states in cooperation with state government and other federal agencies who use the imagery for a variety of purposes including land use planning and natural resource assessment.  NAIP is also used for disaster response often providing the most current pre-event imagery.

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Tax Freedom Day 2019

Ah taxes!  In case you have not been paying attention, they are due today!

This year Tax Freedom Day is April 16th, 105 days into the year.  What is Tax Freedom Day?  It represents how long Americans as a whole have to work in order to pay the nation’s tax burden.  Think of it as the number of days each year you work for the feds, state, and city to pay them off!  For California, Tax Freedom Day comes April 20!  Click below for more info on this interesting topic!

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