“Free Computer Mapping Tools” Workshop Aug. 10 in Coeur d’Alene
Wednesday, July 11 2012
Forest owners and others can learn how to use a variety of free software-based computer mapping tools during a workshop in Coeur d'Alene Aug. 10 sponsored by the University of Idaho.
The program can accommodate a limited number of people. Those wishing to participate should pre-register at the University of Idaho Extension Office in Kootenai County by Friday, Aug. 3. A $5 registration fee covers handouts and refreshments.
Maps and aerial photos are indispensable for landowners and foresters planning forest management activities and communicating those efforts to others. Until recently, the primary source material for this effort was USGS topographic maps. For many forest owners, aerial imagery was hard to find or very old.
Managers of large public or industrial forest lands have increasingly combined aerial imagery with geographic information systems to develop ever more sophisticated, geo-referenced information about forests. But these systems are usually expensive and require a great deal of training to use.
Recently, a variety of free online GIS and mapping applications with fairly simple interfaces have emerged that allow people to get relatively current aerial imagery for a site and obtain geo-referenced data such as soil survey information. A three-hour workshop titled Free Computer Mapping Tools for Forest Owners is designed to give participants a basic introduction to these applications. The program will feature demonstrations of Google Earth, ArcGIS Explorer, Inside Idaho (an Idaho geospatial data clearinghouse house at the University of Idaho), the Web Soil Survey and MyLandPlan.org.
The workshop will be held on Friday, Aug. 10, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in one of the University of Idaho classrooms on the second floor of Molstead Library at the campus of North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene. The facility has Wi-Fi access so participants can bring a laptop or similar mobile device if they want to follow along with the demonstrations.
For registration questions, contact the University of Idaho Extension Office in Kootenai County at (208) 446-1680. For program questions, contact Chris Schnepf, at (208) 446-1680. The program is co-sponsored by University of Idaho Extension and the Idaho Department of Lands.