Tuesday, November 26, 2019

How to get thumbnails in ArcMap

Many of us who were around pre-2010 were used to working extensively in ArcCatalog to organize and preview our data.  Some of us fondly remember the preview tab, because we could quickly get a visual of our data without the need for pulling it into a map document. ArcCatalog is still a useful tool, especially for working with metadata, buts its usefulness has been greatly diminished ever since the catalog window was added to ArcMap. Integration of the catalog window into ArcMap was a super logical and useful step, however it left me wondering if I can still preview my data without the need for loading the data into ArcMap and possibly doing time consuming things like building pyramids and raster attribute tables.  In the old days this was accomplished simply by clicking on the Preview tab as in the screenshot to the left.


I recently discovered that this is also an option in ArcMap, it just takes one extra step to get to this same preview.  In the catalog window I right-click on the dataset that I'm interested in. Then I select Item Description. I've been accustomed to using this to edit metadata. However, just recently I took the extra second to click on the Preview tab to get that old-fashioned preview that I've always loved. Like the old Preview tab in ArcCatalog this one also has a button for creating a thumbnail so that you can get an even quicker visual snapshot embedded within your metadata.


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Happy GIS Day 2019!

Happy GIS Day 2019!  My celebration of GIS Day involved printing and hanging this poster.

























Here is a close up of the paper below that explains what GIS Day is.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Joe Brehm and Anna Knight theses available

The Great Basin Landscape Ecology Lab now has two new masters students - Joe Brehm and Anna Knight. Joe's thesis is titled "Cheatgrass die-off in the Great Basin: A comparison of remote sensing detection methods and identification of environments favorable to die-off" and can be downloaded by clicking HERE. Anna's thesis is titled "Watershed-scale controls on riparian vegetation distribution and dynamics: Impacts of geomorphology, climate, and disturbance" and can be downloaded by clicking HERE. Great work Anna and Joe! I'd encourage you to take a look at their theses and any papers that result from them. Anna and Joe now both reside in Moab, Utah.  Congratulations on work well done and best wishes for you in your new positions.


Friday, August 9, 2019

New ArcGIS Idea - Add options to deal with ties in cell statistics tool when selecting the majority option

I have a new idea that I've posted on ArcGIS Ideas.  If you like it please go to the website and vote it up.  You can view it by clicking HERE.

Here is the idea:

Cell statistics is an incredibly useful tool.  When using the MAJORITY option the default behavior of the tool for dealing with ties (when the two most abundant values are of equal abundance) is to create NoData.  This will often result in a map with lots of holes (NoData cells).  I would propose adding at least three options for dealing with ties.  One option would be FIRST. This would take the first value of the two tied values in the raster stack.  Another option would be LAST in which it takes the last raster of the stack with the tied value. A third option would be RANDOM. This would randomly select one of the two tied values. Finally a fourth option would be NEIGHBORHOOD. This option would expand by searching a 3x3 neighborhood and using the MAJORITY  cell in that neighborhood.  If a tie couldn't be broken using a 3x3 neighborhood then a 5x5 neighborhood would be used, etc. until all cells have a value.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Congratulations to Joe Brehm and Anna Knight for successfully defending their theses


Congratulations to Joe Brehm and Anna Knight for successfully defending their master's theses. Joe's defense presentation took place 10am, Friday July 26th, 2019 and the title of his thesis was "Cheatgrass Die-Off in the Great Basin: A Comparison of Remote Sensing Detection Methods and Identification of Environments Amenable to Die-Off". Anna's thesis presentation was Thursday, July 25, at 1 pm and the title was "Watershed-scale controls on riparian vegetation distribution and dynamics: Impacts of geomorphology, climate, and disturbance". Both presentation were very well attended and well received. You can find out more about Joe and Anna by clicking HERE and make sure to keep an eye out for their theses and scientific papers.  Great work Anna and Joe!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Edited wikipedia page of notable UNR people

I was quite astounded to find that the great ecologist William Dwight Billings was not listed on the Wikipedia page of notable UNR people. For the first time in my life I found myself editing a Wikipedia page!  You can view the updated website by clicking HERE.

Dwight Billings was a leading ecologist, was known as the "father" of physiological ecology, and was a major contributor in desert and arctic ecology. In Nevada he received the prestigious Nevada medal. You can read about him by clicking HERE. Below is a partial list of his many papers which focused on our region:

Billings, W. D. (1945). The plant associations of the Carson Desert region, western Nevada. Butler University Botanical Studies, 7(1/13), 89-123.

Billings, W. D. (1949). The shadscale vegetation zone of Nevada and eastern California in relation to climate and soils. American Midland Naturalist, 87-109.

Billings, W. D. (1950). Vegetation and plant growth as affected by chemically altered rocks in the western Great Basin. Ecology, 31(1), 62-74.

Chabot, B. F., & Billings, W. D. (1972). Origins and ecology of the Sierran alpine flora and vegetation. Ecological Monographs, 42(2), 163-199.

DeLucia, E. H., Schlesinger, W. H., & Billings, W. D. (1988). Water relations and the maintenance of Sierran conifers on hydrothermally altered rock. Ecology, 69(2), 303-311.

Schlesinger, W. H., DeLucia, E. H., & Billings, W. D. (1989). Nutrient‐use efficiency of woody plants on contrasting soils in the western Great Basin, Nevada. Ecology, 70(1), 105-113.

Billings, W. D. (1994). Ecological impacts of cheatgrass and resultant fire on ecosystems in the western Great Basin. Proceedings–Ecology and Management of Annual Rangelands’.(Eds SB Monsen, SG Kitchen) pp, 22-30.