Saturday, 13 July 2019

Community, climate and maps

You know you're onto something when your activities converge like so:
  • ever since geologising in the Arctic 30 yrs ago, about the time of initial finds of Franklin lost expedition by Owen Beattie
  • finding out while up there that there was a cat&mouse game between Americans and Canadians over the Northwest Passage
  • recently mapping historic tall ships climate data, as a complement to more recent & land based data, now that it's absolutely critical we better understand climate dynamics
  • using a sea-level rise map resulting from polar ice melts to raise awareness of the climate emergency at a recent Extinction Rebellion event in my hometown
In creating story maps for my last post and seeking to tie in sea level rise with polar ice melt, it emerged that sea ice extents had been mapped since 1978 and are still being mapped an posted as part of Esri Living Atlas datasets on ArcGIS Online! In addition they and Esri Canada posted polar and  Northwest Passage sea routes, and from the previous project I added EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone ) and WPI (World Port index) data: They provide a framework of the infrastructure affected by sea ice extents. So go to this web map and see for yourself if Arctic Sea Ice has shrunk enough to open the Northwest Passage?

Zoom into the map below, source web map for this web app is here. These show the varying sea ice extents in the summer months of least extent, and thus highest likelihood of open passage. Note that  in 1986 the entire archipelago is ice bound, after that oscillation are pretty constant thru 2015, then a sharp decrease in sea ice extent in 2016-17 then less so in 2018-19. Watch this space.

Note that, from details in the source map, these monthly averages describe past until near-present state, and not the future state. These are also general trends based on satellite imagery, localised trends will vary and always complement it with ground truthing. Also further details on polar ice melt and geological framework is here.
This is a further example of helping citizen science, using simple tools that help aggregate relevant data, in order to help you ascertain the hard facts on climate change and global infrastructure.
Update:  Russell Potter noted in Facebook Group Remembering Franklin Expedition: Shrinkage in overall volume doesn't mean increased navigability. Last summer was a median low, but not a single ship made it through the Passage. I'll let everyone know how this year goes (see comment above on ground truthing). His blog Visions of the North has more on his Arctic travels and topics.

Friday, 31 May 2019

Local Community Engagement, Part 2

After introducing this social enterprise, let's look at some progress: We joined the Esri(UK) Non Profit, Ordnance Survey Data Hub and Open Street Map programs, all designed to help communities'  open data initiatives key to the next economy.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Local community engagement, Part 1

[Update: please see the follow-up post as we build a story introducing the community.]

This follows my transition introduced last September and last month. I first used Esri  web mapping tools to help me canvass for EU elections in my local community five years ago. I then found local community engagement - online in my old Texan hometown of Houston - 18 months ago with Hurricane Harvey. I presented social aspects  afforded GIS at Esri European Petroleum GIS  conference in London that fall.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Welcome to new friends

[Update: read here my  new occupation following this]

A fond farewell to two old friends explained my transition to open source platforms. As announced in LinkedIn You can get Andrew out of the geo... (... but you can't get the geo out of Andrew) "Terry Jackson pulled me back in to the publishing business as a data wrangler". What does that mean?

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Dynamic maps - finis

My last post on dynamic maps and its preceding project recap five years ago outlined how I used ¼M point free-to-use dataset on global historic shipping and climate data. This is the original video of ships'  locations produced a decade ago on Esri ArcMap:

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Challenger Expedition DIY Web Map

The last two blogposts showed how to create correct polar maps in ArcGIS and QGIS: here from publicly posted class notes blogged, and here to create simple climate & vegetation maps in ArcGIS Online (AGOL) from Esri Living Atlas data.

Let's look at now creating complete maps in AGOL from publicly available data, and analyzing it over time to see their historic significance. This results in this web map of the HMS Challenger 1873-1876 Expedition:

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Arctic wrap-up as a story-map

Following my previous posts on geo-awareness and transitioning platforms, I repost here this story map that wraps together the story for the Arctic region on Esri platform. You will find at its end a link to the course that cover both poles on Esri and QGIS as complete exercises in polar mapping.
You may wish to zoom in to polar views one or two steps for a better view: it's an artifact of the largest data-set used in the web map app. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

GIS education & awareness

[Update: another way to make it all more accessible, is to wrap-up the Arctic data as a story-map.]

There is a patent need to better explain all things geospatial to us as geo professionals as well as to the public addressed here.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

A fond farewell to two old friends

[Update: read here my  new occupation inspired by these six months later]

Over seven years after starting to post on and almost five years after posting mega-datasets on GeoCloud2 via AWS, I have to seriously reconsider my investment in web data. I already mentioned my new direction two posts ago, and now stood down my AWS instance - thanks @mhoegh for his help on Mapcentia - and I will let my account lapse next May, five years after it was created (I already rationalised my Esri accounts, hence the two year gap with opener). Do not despair however...