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By: Jeff Essic

NC State faculty, staff, and students are now able to benefit from a rich business and demographics dataset that is provided by ESRI.  Components include Business Analyst Online, Business Analyst Desktop, and Community Analyst.  These services are being made available at no cost for teaching and classroom use only.

More details and links for getting started

By: Jeff Essic

I’m excited to announce that arrangements have been made to have an academic GIS assembly in Raleigh on the afternoon of February 16, prior to the NC GIS Conference of Feb. 17-18, 1:30-5.  This assembly is designed to be a time for getting to know each other and to have a number of GIS presentations from researchers across the state on a variety of topics.  There is no cost to participate.

Please come and hear about some great research using GIS and meet your peers from around the state.  We’re hoping for a nice turnout that will still be relaxed and informal.  If you do plan to attend or bring a group of students, please let me know so I’ll know how many to expect (

The assembly will be held at the Walnut Creek Wetlands Center in Raleigh.  This facility has been open for just over a year, and should be a great venue.  It is scenic, educational, and located very close to downtown where the main NC GIS Conference will be held at the Convention Center.  The Wetlands Center’s official website is at, but it doesn’t have much – you may just want to Google “Walnut Creek Wetlands Center” to get more details and see photos of this excellent venue.

Please note that, technically speaking, this event is separate from the main NC GIS Conference.  Therefore, you will still need to register and pay the registration fee for the main NC GIS Conference, even if you are speaking and attending our academic assembly.

A few people have asked if they can come to this meeting without registering for the main NC GIS Conference.  The answer: Absolutely!  There is no cost to come to our academic meeting and it is not at all financially affiliated with the main NC GIS Conference that starts Feb. 17.  We are just having this meeting on Feb. 16 because of the number of GIS people coming to town for the NC GIS Conference.

I urge you participate if you’re able, and we’re looking forward to having a great academic event to kick off the main GIS conference the next day.  If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask.


1:45 Welcome

1:50 Greg Ferrara, NCSU ITRE, “Map Visualization as Building Blocks for Motor Carrier Enforcement Decision Support”

2:15 Prasad Pathak, UNC-G, “Application of Classification Tree Method to Verify Consistency of Spectral Signatures”

*This presentation will be about examining the nature of spectral signatures using CART (Classification and Regression Tree analysis). This small study was carried out to identify land cover categories creating confusion in the process of thematic classification. The results were helpful in deciding the approach for classification.

2:40 Eric Lester, IAVO Research and Scientific, “GeoGenesis:  Where It All Begins”

3:05 Break

3:20 Ken Galluppi, RENCI, “Development of a Statewide Geoanalytic Infrastructure for Sharing and Analyzing Large Datasets – A National Weather Service Prototype”

3:45 Ann Moss Joyner, Cedar Grove Institute for Sustainable Communities, Inc., “Using GIS in Academia to Further Social Justice and Promote Economic Development”

4:10 L. Jesse Rouse, UNC-Pembroke, “From AmericaView to NCView: Earth Observation and You”

4:35 Chris Badurek, ASU, “A GIS Method for Monitoring Rural Sprawl Along the S. Fork New River”

5:00 Wrap-up and Adjourn

(The Wetlands Center will begin closing at 5:30)

UPDATE 2/14/2011:

The final agenda is now online in case you need a nice print-out:

Jeff Essic, Data Services Librarian
NCSU Libraries
(919) 515-5698

By: Jeff Essic

The 2009 NAIP imagery includes a near-infrared fourth band (1 meter resolution).  And, there’s a possibility for 6 inch resolution from the statewide 911 imagery collected in 2010.

See for all the details.

By: Jeff Essic

Congratulations to Dr. Helena Mitasova in NCSU’s MEAS Department who received the Sol Katz award at the 2010 FOSS4G* Conference in Barcelona, Spain!

(* FOSS4G = Free and Open Source Software For Geospatial)

For more about the award, see Her research using GRASS GIS is widely recognized and we are fortunate to have her at NCSU teaching a course with this open source software.

By: Jeff Essic

A new blog is up for posting local student internships and jobs that require GIS expertise.

The GIS Internships and Jobs blog is now at

To submit an announcement or request one be removed, send an email to jeff_essic at

By: Jeff Essic

A colleague and I at DH Hill are embarking on a usability study of our GIS website, principally focused on data searching.  The goal of the study is to improve your experience using our website.  We are looking for a few faculty, staff, and student volunteers to participate in the study.  Volunteers must have some experience using our “GIS Lookup” database and website search portal to find and download data.  We’ve got some questions to ask and a few simple tasks to work through so we can observe how you use the site, what you find confusing, and what you like and dislike.

Please consider helping us as we strive to better assist you.  This is your chance to give us feedback on what works and what doesn’t, and contribute toward future improvements.

When: Whenever suits your schedule best in the next two weeks (Feb. 8-12 and 15-19).

Where: DH Hill Library

How Long: One hour per participant

Compensation: no money budgeted, but we’ll try to have some cookies or other refreshment.

What will happen at the study? 

A facilitator will take you to the Usability Lab, where you will fill out a brief demographics questionnaire, perform several tasks with the GIS website on a computer, and answer a number of questions posed by the facilitator about your opinion on different parts of the GIS website.  Special usability software will record both a video of your computer screen and audio from the interview.  The video will not include you.  The video will be used by Library personnel only.  Your identify will remain strictly anonymous, though the data from your interview will be aggregated with that of other users in order to make recommendations and reports about the use of our website.

If you’re interested, or have any questions, please let me know!  I look forward to getting feedback on our GIS Lookup.

Thank you very much!

Jeff Essic, Geospatial Data Services Librarian
North Carolina State University
D.H. Hill Library, Research & Information Services
Box 7111, Raleigh, NC  27695-7111
(919) 515-5698

Jan 20 2010

Haiti Data Sources

By: Jeff Essic

A number of sources for geospatial data have emerged following the devastating Haiti earthquake:

James Fee Blog:  Community Geospatial Links to Haiti

GIS Lounge: Haiti Maps and GIS Data Resources

Earthquake Geospatial Research Portal

Imagery from DigitalGlobe

Nov 23 2009

NCSU’s 2009 GIS Day

By: Jeff Essic

NCSU Libraries again hosted a campus-wide commemoration of GIS Day on November 18 in the DH Hill lobby area.  Many library patrons stopped by to find out more about GIS and discuss how they can use it in their studies.  We also had a poster contest and a Geography IQ game.

The following people and organizations participated:

A special thanks to University Dining for providing gift certificates to Port City Java!!  Our poster contest was won by Justin Shedd with his poster titled, “Geographic Information Systems and Wildland Fire: Pre-Suppression, Active Incident, Post-Assessment.”  Six poster entries were submitted and we had about 50 patrons stop and vote.  Also, Joel Smith won the Geography IQ Challenge with a score of 134,465.  Congratulations to both winners!

And now for some photos:

By: Jeff Essic

Plans are being made to mark GIS Day at NCSU, Nov. 18 2009 with activities again in the main lobby of DH Hill Library, 10am – 2pm.

There are several ways to participate:

  • Submit a poster for the poster contest. Awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place are planned. Submission details are forthcoming.
  • Set up an information table for your GIS program or activities.
  • Volunteer to assist.
  • Stop by, say hello, and learn more about how GIS is being used on campus!

Click Here for more details and to submit a poster

By: admin

The latest PRT 462 powerpoint presentation, titled “NCSU Libraries: Getting GIS Data” and given October 15, 2009, is online here. It is a 20 MB download.