Letter From the Editor

Nancy Ferris

Park maps from my trip to Legoland and Sea World

Greetings fellow map enthusiasts! 

Last month I went on a road trip to Legoland and Sea World. As usual, I brought home copies of the free park maps to put in my scrapbook. The maps are so colorful and whimsical, yet chock full of useful information. The Legoland map even had a baby teddy bear icon in the legend showing attractions that were suitable for my toddler! Someone at Legoland must share my appreciation for their maps, because tucked in the back of the park was a lovely picture gallery of framed maps of each of the Legoland parks around the world. It was cartoon cartography heaven.

Speaking of amusement park maps, check out the map gallery for a fairytale-style map of Children’s Fairyland in Oakland. I love how the legend at the bottom looks like a child’s storybook. In the map gallery you’ll also find a trusty BART map with Estately’s real estate home price twist, a map of Rush Ranch Open Space (part of the Solano Land Trust), and an interactive map of a section of the Rails to Trails network of recreational trails made from former railroad lines.

Years ago my dad helped develop the floodplain boundaries and actuarial tables for the first paper flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs). Since then FEMA has updated these maps and put them online, along with a coastal engineering analysis and mapping study of the San Francisco Bay Area. Zoom in on FEMA’s interactive map in the map gallery to see the increased flooding scenarios in your neighborhood. Reports, geodatabases, and more are available on FEMA’s website

The map of fog and low cloud cover in the map gallery goes with the story about USGS’s efforts to create a fog map for the Bay Area. I’m completely tickled by the irony of this mapping effort. If you want good imagery of the earth’s surface then clouds are your enemy, but Alicia Torregrosa and her team used the pesky cloudy imagery to map over a decade of fog and cloud cover data. When you’re out and about on a foggy day this summer wave to Karl the Fog, the star of this mapping show, and maybe give him a shout out on Twitter

Peter Black from Trulia has been working on the Quiet Streets Map project showing traffic noise throughout the country. Check out the animated San Francisco noise complaint map in the map gallery and read about the intense geoprocessing work that went into this noise analysis.  

GIS specialist Andy Priest helps engineers and scientists share data across disciplines and platforms by bringing CAD files into GIS. Andy walks us through the processes he’s experimented with to bring his team and their data together in The Open Marriage of CAD, Shapefiles, and Google Earth.

Bay checkerspot butterfly habitat

Bay checkerspot butterfly habitat

Michael Rochelle and Tanner Harris show how they used GIS to minimize the impact of building new homes near dwindling Bay Checkerspot Butterfly habitat. Added bonus: their photos and maps are stunning, and paint a clear picture how the final housing development footprint avoided impacts to this federally threatened butterfly species.

Lastly, let’s give Andrew Middleton a standing ovation for winning the San Francisco fishackathon developer’s competition. Although it sometimes feels awkward for Andrew to be the lone coder with an environmental science and GIS background, his team pooled their talents and created an app to help clean up lost fishing equipment left in the ocean. Read more in his Ghost Gear Recon Out story. 

Want to share a map or story in a future issue of the BayGeo Journal?  Contact me at journal@baygeo.org.


Spring 2016 Volume 9 Issue 1