Demographics: The search for census data

FortCollins_PopDensityMost of us familiar with the United States Census. Every decade on April 1st, every person in the United States gets counted. That includes citizens, legal residents, long term-visitors and illegal immigrants (aka, everyone). So why go through all this trouble? Well, according to Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, both taxes and the number of representatives for each state are to be based on the number of people living in them. So, beginning in 1790, the United States Census went to work and has tracked and tabulated the U.S. population ever since. ...read more

GIS: Who needs it and who should use it?

The topic of this article has been on my mind for many years, but credit goes to a recent article on Directions Magazine by Stephen Keen for finally motivating me to write it.  In the article, GIS for Everyone?, Keen discusses some of his concerns with how GIS is understood inside and outside the profession. In short, Keen argues that we need a way to better differentiate or identify the professional practice of GIS from the more casual use of GIS among an ever increasing number professions. I understand and share many of his concerns, but also feel there is more to the issue. With this article I am not aiming to do any form of point by point comparison, but rather to continue the conversation and introduce some other issues I see as needing to be addressed. ...read more

Wilderness and Wilderness Character: An Introduction

Minaret2014 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act of 1964! Since the passage of the act, wilderness has become an important resource for both land managers and recreation enthusiasts alike. We have come a long way in the last half century regarding management of wilderness. From our understanding of ecological systems to the recognition of the importance of open natural spaces for human experience, it is an exciting time to be working on wilderness research.

One area of wilderness research that has garnered a lot of interest in the last decade is wilderness character or, more specifically, wilderness character monitoring. Why is this concept of so much interest? To put it simply, we have been managing wilderness for quite a while but haven’t had a good framework for evaluating how successful we have been at protecting/preserving wilderness. ...read more

Who is and why?

Layer2_GIS

So who am I and what is this site all about anyway? Well, in a nutshell I am a soon to be done (cross fingers) graduate student with a passion for GIS, the environment, outdoor recreation, and finding ways to bring all those things together. Oh, and also homebrewing, but you’ll have to see my other website to read more about that. 

If any of that has piqued your interest, then by all means, read on and let me tell you a little more of what this site is all about.

My first introduction to GIS was as a new undergraduate in the esteemed corridors of Founders Hall at Humboldt State University. As I walked to and from class, the great posters and thematic maps of everything from the best places to visit around town to far away travels in Tibet drew me in until I could no longer resist. I switched to a major in Geography and never looked back. ...read more