Digital Geography

SMAP – “Soil Moisture Active Passive” generates high resolution soil data


Since we are still in the International of Year of Soils , another Digital Soil Science post is ready. Some of you might already know that I’m addicted to soil. As a guy who works in the field of soil erosion modelling, any kind of soil data is interesting for me and some are quite relevant. Especially soil texture and soil moisture are very crucial values about predicting soil stabilization. I showed a global soil database in a previous post, which contains many high resolution soil data. But guess what: Some more soil data is coming. This time the datasource is…

Attribute Updating using ArcPy


After my first attempt in Python scripting using opensource Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL), I wanted to use ArcPy  in my second trial. The following code is so simple. You can use it to update the attribute table of a shapefile based on another shapefile/table. Let me break it down using this pseudo-code: Choose the first shapefile (the source). Identify the unique ID field in that shapefile. Write down all the values from the desired field (to replace the old values). Choose the second shapefile (the destination). Search for the unique ID records which meet that unique ID field in (step 2). Update…

Macro-Based SE-GPS


When you’re in the field you want to collect as much data as possible using all the expensive and heavy equipment you brought with. For instance, geophysical profiling (e.g. ERT, electrical resistivity tomography; GPR, ground-penetrating radar) provides high-resolution images of the shallow subsurface. Often conspicuous geometries are evidences for changes in the subsurface.

SRTM-1 (1 Arc second) now available with large global coverage


With this post I would like to come back on a topic from September 2014. In this blog post on Digital-Geography I announced that from September 2014 until September 2015 high-resultion SRTM-data will be provided for free by the USGS. We also announced the estimated release dates for certain regions around the globe.     After checking the progress of the release in EarthExplorer, I realized that the release is proceeding much faster than expected. Till this day, only Norhteast Africa is missing. Parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, Scandinavia, Artica and Antarctica are missing due to the SRTM coverage limit of…

Python in QGIS and ArcGIS: A Small Example

usage info python consoleOften the usage of GIS never touches the world of programming and I think a lot of GIS users today feel fine with using simple tools and try to avoid tools like Python for their daily work. Despite any prejudices regarding programming, Python can be a big help in your basic tasks and is a very easy scripting language to learn. So let us check out Python in ArcGIS and QGIS with a buffer analysis as an easy example. Nevertheless I recommend to take some coding lessons in Python using CodeAcademy.

Geotagging Basics with ExifTool

Image Geotagging. Geotagged images with 3D point cloud.

  Why Geotagging? In a recent post, I discussed the new drone that I got for the holidays and a bit about how I was using it for developing map products.  I do this using structure from motion algorithms and when working with a lot of images it is a great help if there is a good initial estimate of the image location.  This is where geotagging comes in. If you have a smartphone, then you are familiar with geotagging.  Most iPhone and Android devices tag their images when they are collected.  That is great if you are uploading to Facebook or Pinterest,…

Am I the only one?


There’s a lot of great stuff going on in the GIS community, both in proprietary software and Open Source as well as online services like MapBox, Mapillary, CartoDB to mention just a few. For proprietary software a growing trend is that the licensing of the software is moving to the “cloud” and that one time payments are replaced by subscriptions or “tokens”. And why not, everybody and everything is online and most companies are guided by strict economic guidelines making regular monthly payments preferable to one-time investments, even if it in the end will cost you more. However…

Posts 2014: our Top Ten List

D3 line simplification toolYesterday I received the mail from Anita Graser’s blog about the best 10 articles on QGIS planet. Therefore I decided to have a look on our own top ten list of most read articles this year. And I have to admit: It’s not the open source world who leads this list…

A Drone for the Holidays

3DR IRIS+ Drone

So, by now some of you have opened a holiday gift and it turned out to be a drone.  I was fortunate enough this year to get a 3DR IRIS+ in my stocking.  After a few flights I wanted to put together a quick note comparing this with another popular consumer drone, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ (P2V+).  I have a P2V+ that I use at work and put quite a bit of thought into what I would get for personal use.  Hopefully this will be of use to readers who may be considering the purchase of a drone this year.  Allow me to…

QGIS 2.8: A Preview

screenshot-from-2014-12-16-174447QGIS 2.6 landed recently on this planet and it already brought great improvements to our daily work with geodata, the way we publish our results and the convenience in our workflows. But due to the very ambitious release plan of the QGIS core team and the great work of Klas we can have a look at the upcoming features in QGIS 2.8 major version already. Check em out:

Short Announcement: new MOOC on GeoInt!

2014-12-18 20_37_43-CourseraToday I received an interesting E-mail from Pennstate University which pointed towards an upcoming MOOC with a more or less special focus: Geospatial Intelligence. The title is Geospatial Intelligence & the Geospatial Revolution: Learn how the revolution in geospatial technology combined with the tradecraft of Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) have changed how we develop insights about how humans use geography, and discover the power of GEOINT. So let’s have a look at.