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Weekliii Round-Up: News on Geospatial Data Portal, IronViz Competitions, and More

Welcome one and all! We have successfully made it to the end of another week, welcoming in a new season and all that comes with it. For those winding down, I have put together a list of our #DailyBrainCandiii posts from this week as well as our favorite #MapOfTheDay. Sit back, kick your feet up – but only if your boss will not yell at you – and enjoy!

Article on data visualizations created in Tableau dashboards by the user community for the #IronViz competition.

One of our partners, Tableau, is involved in quite a few inspiring campaigns. I do not say this to toot their horn. Personally, I just love seeing the way they interact with their community and encourage their users to make the most of their software – and think way outside of the box. One of these campaigns is #IronViz. This is a contest at the Tableau User Conference where three contestants build stunning visualizations on stage in just 20 minutes. To decide which individuals or teams get to be the Chosen Few, feeder competitions are hosted prior to the event. These began this month and all have a common theme. Can you guess it? Did I hear you whisper mapping? If so, ding ding ding! This feeder centers around Tableau 10.2’s new geospatial connector allowing connections to .shp and .kml files. It is pretty cool stuff, guys. This article posted as a #DailyBrainCandiii this week shows off several of these most recent entries, detailing the good, the bad, and the mappy.

With a fairly self-explanatory title, this article lists ten tried and typically true resources for geospatial data. A few of these include the Global Land Cover Facility as well as Natural Earth. Contenders for the top spots who did not quite make it on to the list are included as well just in case you need a backup or thirteen. All and all, it offers a handy group of suggestions of where to hunt down data next time you need it.

We all know that the best data visualizations, whether they be maps or infographics, provide an answer to a question. This approach helps to reign in the data associated with it, allowing for smooth navigation on the reader’s part. We yearn for a story, something to peak our interest, rather than forcing us to come up with the narrative on our own. After all, you would not want to read a book that has no plot, right? This is how we design visualizations most of the time. However, this article turns that approach on its head. What happens when you need to build a visualization that does not answer a question? How do you still keep the reader engaged and not overwhelmed? The recommendations outlined here may come in handy for that sticky situation.

Even if you’re not answering a specific question, you need to help the reader. You need to drive him to insights.

A look into the world of satellite imagery and composites, this article from Descartes Labs offers a glance at three of their newest global composite images as well as brief insight into how they were assembled. Created primarily through data from the Landsat 8, Sentinel-2A, and Sentinel-1 satellites, these images were melded with prime calculations and a lot of attention to detail via Python API. It is a neat look at what can be done with satellite imagery and what it may take to get there.

Originally posted by Esri, this article discusses the benefits of harnessing citizen science to source fieldwork and gather real world data. This is not a new concept. Citizen science has been around for a while, allowing nonprofessional “scientists” to conduct scientific research. However, it has seen an immense growth in the past few years with the help of that handy thing we like to refer to as the Interweb. Resources like online maps, test groups, and even Reddit have created a forum for the Average Joe to participate in the gathering of data for scientific purposes. With so much to study out there in the world, it is nice to have an extra pair…or millions of pairs…of hands on deck.

Map of the Day - Global Crude Oil Flow

Map of crude oil exports.

This week’s pick showcases the flow of crude oil between sources of production and regions of consumption, measured in million tons. Open markers indicate export while the arrows specify import. Although the groupings of each region do bulk up the these values of select areas more than others, the numbers are still interesting to see. For instance, the Middle East alone totals over a 1,000 (million tons) in exports compared to the United States’ 180+ (million tons). It would be interesting to see how the numbers for all regions have changed over time.

More for You

In addition to the above articles, we also sprinkled some spring cheer on our blog this week.

In this week’s #MarcoMonday post, we covered Spatial Spring Cleaning. No, it does not involve making a map of your messy spare bedroom before you get to organizing. Instead, it details how best to give your data the attention it deserves. For recommendations and approaches for cleaning up the data on your enterprise system (with Integrated Marco Studio or without), this is the post for you.

For those programming enthusiasts out there, we have also included a little something for you in this week’s #MeetTheProduct post. Here, we have introduced you to Integrated Python Geoprocessing. Better known as pygp, this is a Python library created in-house and used as the backbone of many of our own applications.

Still want more? Okay, I've got you. If you are looking to kill a few extra minutes and want to check out a couple cool animations, I recommend having a look at our recap of the GeoAlberta Conference this week. Our team in Calgary was lucky enough to present a few talks at the show, and I have included a portion of them for you here. Videos, man. Reels and reels of videos.


#DailyBrainCandiii and #WeekliiiRoundUp are inspired by brain candiii, a division of Integrated Informatics that develops Geographic Information System (GIS) training for Energy and Natural Resources professionals.


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