Digital Geography

Vessel tracking the python way

Let’s assume you like cruise ships, tanker, ferries or you’re so fortunate and own a fleet of vessels cruising over the oceans. But where the heck are the ones you’re interested in. First you can visit MarineTraffic and search for the Vessels you’re interested in. But what if you want to keep track of those vessels or if you want to put them on your “own” map. Now Python comes in handy and I’ll show you how to gather coordinates and put them on a map using the ArcGIS API for Python.

Query OpenStreetMap in ArcGIS: OSMQuery

QUickOSM is my weapon of choice when it comes to downloading data from OSM in QGIS. The tool offers an easy way to access tag/key combinations with a designated spatial query. As I was asked how many bus stops Berlin has, I was interested in a similar approach for ArcGIS. So I created my own little tool: OSMQuery.

Copernicus, Sentinel and your favourite GIS

The Copernicus Program provides an interesting alternative data source for your work with Landsat data… Sentinel images: Copernicus will deliver an unprecedented volume of free data, provide new operational services and foster new business opportunities and job creation. The data itself is collected since 2014 (Sentinel 1A) and the operation is scheduled to deliver data till 2020 at least. But how to get the data into the GIS of your choice.

ArcGIS Online (AGOL) for free: The Developer Way

You might have heard of ArcGIS Online (AGOL) already: ArcGIS Online is a complete, cloud-based mapping platform. Make and share beautiful maps, and do everything in between. It’s possible only with ArcGIS Online, a scalable and secure software-as-a-service hosted by Esri. But as there is nothing for free in this world the usage of ArcGIS online with all capabilities (batch geocoding, hosted feature services, app creation, etc…) will cost some money, aka credits, as well. If you use the developer program of Esri you can use almost everything from AGOL as you will receive 50 credits for free every month!…

Donut Polygons in QGIS, ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro and geoJSON

Donut Polygons were the nightmare in first GIS courses. At the very moment I can’t remember why but the concept of an inner and an outer part makes total sense in the real world (house with a patio, lakes with islands, Rome with the Vatican City) yet the creation of those was never the covered in the basic “how to edit”-classes. So how can we create them with QGIS, ArcMap as well as ArcGIS Pro and geoJSON? In this tutorial I will cover this basic task.

Short Announcement: PlayMapsCube using Three.JS

We all played around with this little thing: wood labyrinths with one or many little balls called a “Ball-in-a-maze puzzle”. The goal was to find a path through the labyrinth so the ball was not trapped by the holes in the board: Google leveraged the idea itself and made a funny little game PlayMapsCube out of it to communicate the ideas and logic behind one of its main products: Google Maps.

Some ways to produce topographic swath profiles

For a geomorphological study that I am working on I want to produce topographic swath profiles across a mountain range, that is, I want the average elevation along a profile plus the min and max values within a certain distance of said profile. I have used three different methods to achieve that and found some nice resources that I’d like to share with you: GMT – Generic Mapping Tools GMT is a powerful suite of command-line small programs to manipulate all kinds of geographic data (Wessel and Smith, 1998; Wessel et al., 2013). A walk through on how to produce…

PostgreSQL and PostGIS: A brief introduction

You probably seen this already (maybe on your very own PC as well): A folder with shape files. Well we’re living in the 21st century and I do have and use those folders still. After a talk of Sebastian Meier at Maptime Berlin I was convinced and started to work with a databases instead of folders. So let me show you how to install PostgreSQL along with PostGIS on Ubuntu and Windows, how to get data into it, import OSM data and how to connect it with QGIS/ArcGIS.

From Cloud to GIS: Getting Weather Data.

Introduction In this post we are going to look at how to get weather forecast data and display it as a layer in a desktop geographical information system (GIS). The tools that you need are: A desktop GIS. I am going to use QGIS (free software) but I have done this with ESRI ArcMap as well A spreadsheet application. I will be using MS Excel but I have also tried this with Softmaker Office and I am sure LibreOffice (free software) will work or indeed any other spreadsheet application The Natural Earth Quick Start data set. This is a collection…

Show your Photos in QGIS and ArcGIS: a small example

Hi guys. Once again I found an interesting question in our Geoscientists group on facebook. One user wanted to show her photos in QGIS as she is it used from Google Maps: See a point, click on it and see the great image you’ve taken on your journey. Unfortunately the most obvious plugins failed to do it in QGIS. So check out our “at least” two usage scenarios for QGIS and ArcGIS where we will handle geotagged photos…

ArcGIS Earth

When I visited university (I have t admit, this was some years ago 😉 ) I was told ArcGIS cannot “do” 3D. This was the part where CAD enters the arena… But time goes by and together with ArcGIS 10.4. we will get 3D as it is meant to be.

AHP for ArcGIS 10.x using Python

When it comes to site selection problems or suitability models, the spatial Multi-Criteria Analysis (Weighted Overlay) is the most commonly used method. It’s easy, simple and popular. However, if it’s your first time to come across this method, it’s highly recommended to have a look at this link. After defining the problem you want to solve, the next 4-steps are followed to perform this method. Determine significant layers. Reclassify the layers. Weight the input layers. Sum up the weighted layers My concern was always about how I can assign a weight to each layer in a kind of scientific way.…

Geocoding Addresses in ArcGIS: the other approach

Today I stumbled upon a post from the German ESRI office and their blog gisIQ and a little tutorial (English translation) on how to geocode addresses in the ArcGIS platform. I was asking, whether there is a possibility to use other geocoders as well and so I tried to build my own solution without credits and with the possibility to choose a geocoder. Fortunately the Python world offers some nice little scripts. So let’s use geopy!