How GIS has changed our world

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New Jersey Pothole Map

After all of this bad weather we have had here in New Jersey, the roads are a mess with potholes. To help drivers along their route, this map will point out all the pothole hazards on the road, with the help of the public. PotholeMapping.com is a grassroots community mapping initiative by Justin E. Auciello(@auciello) and Dr. Wansoo Im. Anyone can contribute pothole location information from an Apple or Android device using the site, or from your computer. Just login under one-time guest, select Add Data, distinguish the pothole’s location by either clicking my location or find address, then fill in the information about the pothole in each category that has an asterisk. Additional comments and your name can also be added, and the time and date of your data will automatically be determined by Mappler. Once you are done adding in all of the information click submit, and your data point will appear on the map!

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Visit the site and add any potholes that you see. Community participation leads to community awareness !

Posted by Eva Gerrits, Intern. Click here to see the site. Contact gis@vertices.com

Chasing Ice

I’ve posted a few things about changing temperatures and human impact consequences, so I wanted to share a documentary that I recently saw called Chasing Ice. This documentary follows environmental photographer James Balog, on his passionate project to give the public visual evidence of global warming. Balog and his team decided to focus on melting glaciers, and the drastic changes that are adding to sea level rise. With the ongoing controversy on the truth of global warming, Balog knew that people needed evidence that they could see with their own eyes. Balog and team of scientists, EIS engineers, and photo assistants, traveled to Greenland, Iceland, and Alaska capturing otherwise never could be seen glacial calving. They set up timer cameras to capture images of glacier melting over a few month period and created a time-lapse video which gave the public a real look into how temperature is effecting these areas. Even though these places seem and are so far away, our daily choices effect them, and in turn will effect us in the future. Be sure to check out the documentary, which can be found on Netflix! Our impact does effect the environment, and now the argument of “not seeing” our effects, can in fact be seen and trust me it will shock you.

Screen shot 2015-03-09 at 3.57.24 PMScreen shot 2015-03-09 at 4.04.25 PMWatch the trailer here! Click here to visit the Chasing Ice website!

Posted by Eva Gerrits, Intern. Contact us at gis@vertices.com.

Copper River Watershed’s Salmon Blitz Project

Salmon Blitz was developed in 2013 to engage citizen scientists in documenting salmon habitat in the Copper River watershed.  Volunteers assist in the field and collect the data necessary to nominate stream and lake habitat for listing in the State of Alaska’s Anadromous Waters Catalog (copperriver.org)

For the protection of salmon, trout, and other anadromous fish, and for educational purposes, the CRW worked with Vertices and developed a personalized mapping tool that the community can use. Through Mappler, the community visiting the CRW in Cordova, Alaska, can now help monitor the fish population just by observing and inputting a small but of information using your phone.

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The information that you input consists of your name, about how many fish you saw, where you saw them, date, time, weather conditions, any additional information you know about the fish, what the habitat looks like, and any other observations you want to share. So go ahead and visit the CRW, learn something, and share it!

Posted by Eva Gerrits, Intern. Click here to see the site. Contact at gis@vertices.com

Marine Debris in Cordova Alaska

A new project has been set up for marine debris mapping in Cordova, Alaska. This is a community map which means that anyone in the area who see debris on the land or water can photograph, pin-point, and share with anyone through the site. Using Mappler, you just add the location you found the debris and then choose what kind of debris it is from the long list of options (there is also an option for unknown). You can also add in the time and date, additional comments, and the length of the debris.

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If you are ever in the Cordova area or around the Gulf of Alaska make sure to post what debris you find! This will help with cleanup and pollution monitoring !

Posted by Eva Gerrits, Intern. Click here to see the site. Contact gis@vertices.com

NOAA Marine Debris Program

“The NOAA Marine Debris Program envisions the global ocean and its coasts, users, and inhabitants free from the impacts of marine debris. Our mission is to investigate and solve the problems that stem from marine debris, in order to protect and conserve our nation’s marine environment, natural resources, industries, economy, and people.”- Mission Statement marinedebris.noaa.gov

This great program is doing all they can to keep our water safe, clean, and healthy. Through educational programs, hands-on relief work and working hand-in-hand with the government, non-profits, and the community,  the NOAA Marine Debris Program strives to improve the ocean everyday.

An interesting feature, that you can find on their website, is a map that shows where the MDP is currently working on projects. Some of the projects happening now include the clean-up in the San Diego Bay, trash removal at a NY salt marsh, and modifying crab traps in Alaska. Check out the rest of the project here.

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Posted by Eva Gerrits, Intern. Click here to see the site. Contact gis@vertices.com

Galveston Bay Foundation

The Galveston Bay Foundation, a non-profit established in 1987, helps to manage issues and concerns of the Galveston Bay, located along the upper coast of Texas. This estuary serves a variety of uses such as commercial and recreational fishing, and marine transportation. Also, the bay area is the petrochemical production capital of the nation, where petroleum refining occurs. In addition Galveston Bay is also a place for hobbies such as bird watching and boating, and currently half the population of Texas lives in the Galveston Bay watershed.

With all of these activities and uses, pollution is a major concern and this foundation does all they can to minimize contamination. One of the many ways that the bay is protected is through the Galveston Bay Action Network. This interactive mapping tool powered by Mappler, is a way that the public and authorities can report and view water- related pollution in the bay area. Below shows the map where you can go for information and to post findings yourself.

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If you are ever in the area and see something then report it! This interactive map is a great way for the public to interact and show concern which can lead to authoritative action. To learn more about the Galveston Bay visit- galvbay.org. To learn more about Mappler visit- www.mappler.net

Posted by Eva Gerrits, Intern. Click here to see the site. Contact gis@vertices.com

Tox Town- NLM.gov

I came across an easy to use, easy to learn from, & very interactive site put together by the US National Library of Medicine. The name of the site is Tox Town, and here you can pick which neighborhood you would like to learn more about (city, farm, port, town, border region, or southwest) and learn locations in those neighborhoods where potential hazardous chemicals could be.

When I visited the site I choose the town as my neighborhood, and as you can see in the picture there are various locations given and are shown where they are on the map by just scrolling over the name. If you click on a particular location for example the school, additional information is given on what toxic substances could be present. Looking at the picture, you can also see names of chemicals that could be potentially found in the town, and again scrolling over the name will show you where the chemicals are found on the map.

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This site is great for learning and helpful for all ages. Props to the NLM! Check out the site on http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/index.php

Posted by Eva Gerrits, Intern. Click here to see the site. Contact at gis@vertices.com

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