Thursday, June 28, 2007

JAVA / GIS Contract job

Hi all,

I had someone inquire about a good JAVA programmer with some GIS experience for a 3 month contract job. I thought I would post it here to see if there is any interest. Please pass along to anyone you can think of that may be able to do this kind of work. This is the kind of work that would be great to keep in our local pool of talent without having to outsource.

Java Programmer With GIS Experience

Lab Escape is looking for an experienced Java programmer with GIS experience to add geographic mapping capabilities into our visual analysis software. Experience with GeoTools is a plus. This is a contract position for 3 months. Development firms with relevant experience may apply. If interested, please contact Trevor Lohrbeer at

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The May 30th WNCGIS Gathering

The May Gathering at Dirty Jacks in downtown Asheville was another fun time for everyone in our GIS community. We got a chance to look at the maps for the Map Contest, and everyone put in a vote for their favorite. Although all the maps were very nice, I'm pleased to announce that the ever-industrious Josh O'Conner had the most votes. He won a coveted Malaprops Gift Certificate. To the left you can see him proudly displaying his prize.

A Big "Thank You" goes out to everyone who participated in the Map Contest. We hope that we will continue to get support and entries for the contest, so that we can select a winner or two bi-monthly. As you may recall, having a theme of some kind for each contest cycle was one idea, so if anyone would like to see a particular theme for the next contest, let us know.

Friday, June 1, 2007


I thought I would post some information on the CommunityViz software package and some of its more useful features. The package functions as an extension for the ArcGIS products. It allows for the creation of dynamic data that allows for scenarios to be created in a sort of "What if?" analysis.

I have just been toying with it a little over a week and I intend to use to construct some data correlating Hemlock die back with stream temperature increases. The program seems to be primarily designed to use in community planning operations but can be extended for more ecological centered uses.

In order to learn the basics of the program I began toying around with average parcel slope data in Buncombe county. I then set a dynamic threshold on allowable slope percentage within the parcels (so that it would be easy to understand the volume of parcels that would be affected by various limitations on development in sloped areas). The first map is set with a maximum allowable slope of somewhere around 20% (yes, low, I know). Using the slider bar with the variable constructed in CommunityViz, the map can be updated dynamically to show what would happen should an ordinance be proposed that barred development on in parcels with slopes that are greater than 45%.

In order to understand how CommunityViz could perform with weighing two variables within a single map I constructed a similar analysis that factored in parcel slope and distance to a city. Say in case a developer was looking for a location to build a retirement community and wanted to select land that wouldn't be too steep, thus deterring older occupants; at the same time this developer would want to build within reasonable proximity to the cities of Flat Rock or Hendersonville because of their notoriety among retirees. The first map shows both factors with equal weight. The second shows what would occur if the developer became less concerned with parcel slope but really wanted to cash in on people heading toward Flat Rock or Hendersonville.

One last feature worth noting is the seamless integration with the Google Earth platform. Following the analysis of the Buncombe County slopes, I exported the data to Google Earth so that it could be made accessible to a wider user base (this is with the data with maximum slope set at 20%).

Clicking on the thumbnails will yield better pictures and I will post more as I play with the program more.