Wednesday, August 29, 2007

East Tennessee Regional Users Conference

I'd like to pass on some information for the upcoming 2007 East Tennessee Regional GIS Conference that will be going on in October. The event is a perfect opportunity for anyone involved in the GIS field or for any student in the GIS field.
Many of the states top GIS representatives will be at the conference. There is also still plenty of time to submit papers or presentations for anyone interested. East Tennessee is home to some of the most progressive GIS establishments, including KGIS and the University of Tennessee Geography program. So, if you're in the region and are looking to meet some people in the field or add a presentation/paper to help your resume, take a minute to check out the upcoming East Tennessee Regional GIS Conference. I have including the contact information for anyone with more questions about the program.

The 2007 East Tennessee Regional Users Conference will be held in the Music Road Hotel and Convention Center on Tuesday, October 9, 2007. The annual one-day conference provides a great opportunity for geo-spatial information practitioners for all of East Tennessee to share ideas and best practices.

This year’s event is being hosted by the good folks of Sevierville and Sevier County, in one of Tennessee’s most scenic areas in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Last year’s event in Knoxville drew more than 200 attendees.

The event coordinators are soliciting for papers / presentations, so please submit any ideas you have to the City of Sevierville’s Agenda Coordinator Mr. Frank Colbert at, or (865) 453-5504.

Some example topic categories: Web Technologies, Utilities, Emergency Management, Local Government, Business Use, Education, GIS Modeling, Location Based Services, Base Map Acquisition / Maintenance, Data Sharing, Licensing, Organization, Integration with IT and Business Systems, Field / Mobile Solutions, etc.


So Register Now, by downloading the Registration Form and sending it to the Event’s Registration Coordinator, Miss Sandra Lamon at

About the TNGIC

The East Tennessee GIS Conference is supported by the Tennessee Geographic Information Council (TNGIC) and was created in response to TNGIC’s call to support geographic information sharing at the “regional” level.

TNGIC has divided the state into three major divisions: West, Middle and East. At each annual TNGIC Conference, a different breakout session is conducted for each of these three divisions as a way to encourage more “localized” sharing of information between users. The breakout sessions also help facilitate the planning and organizing of the annual Fall Regional conferences.

This East Tennessee GIS Conference website was created in response to TNGIC’s regional initiatives, and helps to serve as a communication portal for the Fall “regional” users conference event.

Previous East Tennessee Regional GIS Users Conferences have been held in the following venues:

2003 – Knoxville 2004 – Chattanooga 2005 – Johnson City 2006 – Knoxville


If you wish to be a member of the East Tennessee GIS Conference, send an email to our membership coordinator, Linda Leonard or call her at (865) 463-6843 ext. 22. Provide your Name, Organization, email, address and website (if applicable), and we’ll add you to our Google Map of East Tennessee Users. Please let Linda know if you have special skills or wish to volunteer in any way to help make this East Tennessee GIS Conference of benefit. If you wish to be added to the web site’s announcement listserv, simply email our website manager at

GIS Pilot Update

The GIS Pilot template update is finished. Besides reducing graphics for a faster load I have created a quick link table for the various state GIS links on the top of the page. The states are set up alphabetically by their state abbreviation and allow for faster navigation between the state pages without going back to the home page or the drop down box I had on there before. I've also put an easier to use Google search box below the state links table. Hopefully this will allow for easier access to Internet searches for you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Why Can't 1/5 Americans Find U.S. On A Map?

Why Can't 1/5 Americans Find U.S. On A Map? Miss South Carolina thinks she knows the answer...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The 11th Hour

The 11th Hour Trailer

The 11th Hour is a 2007 feature film documentary created, produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio on the state of the natural environment. It follows in line with Al Gore's Oscar-winning environmental movie-documentary 'The Inconvenient Truth .'

The 11th Hour opens up nationwide this Friday. You can also head toward the homepage to get involved with the movement surround the movie. Many people have become inspired to help us break our bad habits that are devastating our world. Scientists state with today's current technology we can reduce the human footprint on planet Earth by 90%.

Leonardo in the field

Over fifty of the world's most prominent thinkers , including former U.S.S.R leader Mikhail Gorbachev and physicist Stephen Hawking discuss the grave problems facing the planet's life systems. Global warming, deforestation, mass species extinction, and depletion of the oceans' habitats are all addressed.

Leonardo DiCaprio looking out

The film offers hope and potential solutions to these problems by calling for restorative action by the reshaping and rethinking of global human activity through technology and social responsibility and conservation. Scientists and environmental advocates describe a different future in which it is not humanity's intent to dominate our planet, but to coexist with it.

The 11th Hour - Zannel Exclusive Clip

Google Earth Heads For The Stars

Google Earth has added more time killing fun with Sky for Google Earth. Check out the latest version of Google Earth to get the Sky layer which allows users to “explore the universe from the comfort of your chair.”

The Sky layer allows you to view and explore the universe just like regular Google Earth. There are information balloons and timelapse orbits to illustrate the planets relationships. You can zoom in on galaxies that are hundreds of millions of light years away, or explore the constellations and even witness a supernova explosion.

Explore the sky in Google Earth 4.2

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A World Without Humans? It All Falls Apart

In 'The World Without Us' by Alan Weisman, the author wonders what would happen to our world, New York City in this example, without the human race.

He foresees rewilding (the return of wolves and bears), plants forcing their way through the sidewalk and water damage to the underground infrastructure. "Before long, streets start to crater," he writes, with scarily apt foresight. "As Lexington Avenue caves in, it becomes a river." [...more]

Space Shuttle Endeavour

The Space Shuttle Endeavour docks with the ISS and gives us some great pictures. This set of 7 pictures shows the crew working on various experiments while orbiting the Earth. [ ...more]

Sunday, August 12, 2007

GIS Sites News

Space Shuttle Endeavour
How the world really shapes up
We all know what the world looks like. But a new series of extraordinary maps shows our planet in a very different light. Rather than defining each country by size, these computer-generated modified maps - or cartograms - redraw the globe with each country's size proportionate to its strengths, or weaknesses, in a whole series of categories. For instance, when it comes to military spending, the U.S. appears bloated, but Africa is huge when HIV prevalence is mapped. The cartograms were produced in a unique collaboration between the universities of Michigan in the U.S. and Sheffield. Here are images and more details on some of the most fascinating... [more]
Earth From Space - Amazing Photos
A nice gallery of pictures of our Earth as seen from above. It is a rather large gallery of various NASA picts and satellite imagery. [more]

World Drinking Map

A quick graphic that shows the drinking age from around the world. A few lucky countries clock in below our age of 21 but I really enjoy how the mapper labels the areas with no information. [more]

One of the worlds most puzzling mysteries: the moving rocks of Death Valley

Deep in the heart of the California desert lies one of the natural world's most puzzling mysteries: the moving rocks of Death Valley. These are not ordinary moving rocks that tumble down mountainsides in avalanches, are carried along riverbeds by flowing water, or are tossed aside by animals. These rocks, some as heavy as 700 pounds, are inexplicably transported across a virtually flat desert plain, leaving erratic trails in the hard mud behind them, some hundreds of yards long. They move by some mysterious force, and in the nine decades since we have known about them, no one has ever seen them move. [more]

China to map ‘every inch’ of moon surface

BEIJING - China aims to chart every inch of the moon’s surface, the chief scientist of the country’s first lunar exploration program said in comments published on Friday. China, which plans to launch a lunar orbiter called ”Chang’e One” in the second half of 2007 to take 3D images, would aim to land an unmanned vehicle on its surface by 2010, official news portal quoted Ouyang Ziyuan as saying. “Currently, our country’s lunar exploration program is divided into three phases—orbiting the moon, landing on the moon and returning back to Earth,” Ouyang said. [more]

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Google Maps Street View Adds Houston, Orlando, Los Angeles, and San Diego

Google Maps Street View added Houston (including the Astrodome, left), Orlando, Los Angeles, and San Diego to its ever popular Street View layer. To my knowledge this just came up in the last day or two. With its fleets of Chevy Cobalts equipped with camera mounts, Google set out to tackle more big cities for the Street View layer of its Google Maps.

I figured they would either announce new layers with fanfare or wait till the end and do them all at once. Google took us a little by surprise by sneaking the new layers in but I'm not complaining. Hopefully, these new layers will be as much fun as the original layer in finding people doing odd things.

Get caught up on the Google Maps Street View: