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Showing posts from January, 2023

Geospatial Data Curation Toolkit

By Melinda Kernik Have you ever saved data in a new file format and then later realized that it no longer looks right?  This is a common problem for geospatial data!  If you work with geodatabases but sometimes share data in alternate file formats, this post is especially for you.  Geodatabases are popular among GIS researchers, but there are a limited number of software in which they can be opened. Because of this, it is a common practice to convert feature classes into shapefiles when archiving or sharing data. Shapefiles have substantial limitations, however, which can lead to loss of data and functionality during file conversion.  You may have come across the truncation (and frustration) that can result from the 10 character limit on field names. There are many other limitations shapefiles have that are more difficult to notice, including limitations on the length of text fields and lack of support for time within date fields. It is easy to unintentionally alter a dataset while try

Important Farmland Map Collection

Important Farmland Map Collection   According to the American Farmland Trust, 2,000 acres of agricultural land in the United States are paved over every day (The Trust, 2022). This results in negative effects on our waterways and coastal waters not to mention decreased capacity for producing food and other agricultural products. This trend was seen decades ago by the USDA Soil Conservation Service. In response, the Service created and published county maps that colorfully delineated prime and unique farmland.    The purpose was to help city planning and other officials understand the high quality land resources in their area [and thereby avoid if possible in future urban growth projects]. As the multi-year project unfurled, it prioritized counties experiencing rapid land use change.    Map production continued into the early 1980s, but then took a turn for the worse. The project fell far short of the intended 1,200 counties - perhaps the recession of the early 1980s