Visualizing sea level rise on the Duwamish River

The King County Department of Natural Resources & Parks oversees several ecological restoration sites along the Duwamish River. Because the river is estuarine and will be impacted by the rising ocean levels associated with climate change, there was understandably some concern that these sites would also be affected. They needed to visualize what their projects…

Communities using maps to enact environmental justice

GIS & You readers know that I have written several articles in the past about using GIS for issues related to Equity and Social Justice (ESJ). A new article in Directions Magazine Insights on Location by Chris Wayne provides an excellent overview of Communities Using Maps to Enact Environmental Justice. Chris Wayne’s article touches many…

Dee Molenaar, renowned Pacific Northwest mountaineer, author, artist, and Cartographer

Whether familiar with the history and personalities of mountaineering or not, cartography students of a certain age who studied mapmaking at the University of Washington would frequently hear the name of an earlier UW grad, Dee Molenaar. Any who aspired to turn their hand to depicting terrain on maps would learn from their professor of the exemplary landform maps created by Molenaar.

King County Solid Waste uses GIS to assess equity and social justice programs

A King County policy priority is building equity and opportunity for all. King County’s pro-equity policy agenda has eight focus areas, one of which is environment and climate. Recently I worked with the King County Solid Waste Division to help develop an ArcGIS Online web application for the equity and social justice (ESJ) assessments of…

Turning Adobe Illustrator map art into web-map data

Some modern mapmaking tools don’t have direct antecedents. Yes, maps have long been composed of many layers of separate artwork just as we have digital map feature layers now, but in the during the time of Mylar overlays, pin registration, and photomechanical reproduction that resulted in static paper maps, there was nothing like the dynamic and highly interactive web maps that are second nature to us today.

A just-in-case map gets the call

King County Metro Transit, in coordination with area jurisdictions, including the City of Seattle, has long designated a network of high-ridership bus routes that can use typically plowed streets and which avoid steep hills to provide a reduced but core level of service during major snow events.

It is fortunate that weather conditions over the last six years had not necessitated the activation of Metro’s Emergency Snow Network and the publication of their Emergency Snow Network map. That is until two days ago.

When is a location not a location?

Cartographers and GIS analysts often have to make choices about where, within a given map space, to position points that represent real-world features. Shouldn’t be a big deal though, should it? A place is a place, a location a location. It’s just there. You know, where the house or building or parking lot, or whatever, sits on the ground! Well, it isn’t that simple.