What’s New In GIS And Biological Research: 6 April 2015

6 Apr

Perhaps unsurprisingly, since it was the run up to Easter, there hasn’t been a huge amount going on in the last week. However, there have still been some useful posts and articles published, and this is this week’s summary.

Firstly, there’ s post from the Ecostudies blog outlining how of create a map of species richness from IUCN range polygons using QGIS. This isn’t the way I would normally do it (I would generally go down the raster data layer route and use the raster calculator tool), but it’s always nice to see how the sae thing can be done in a different way. This post also has useful links which provide access to IUCN range polygons for threatened species which will be of interest to some

Secondly, as always, there’s a couple of interesting posts on Jame’s GIS blog. The first of these is a post about Landsat 8 Live and how you can use this to get up-to-date satellite imagery. This will be particularly useful for those who are wanting to use remote sensing to monitor what is going on in a particular part of the world. The second useful post from this blog is short, but useful, and it about how to convert shapefiles into ArcGIS layer files when using ESRI’s Moodelbuilder option to create custom GIS tools. This is a neat little trick, and one that is always work remembering if you run into problems when using Modelbuilder.

Thirdly, there are a couple of useful tutorials on how to do various useful things in QGIS, the learing open source, and so free, GIS software (and one I’d heartily recommend). The first looks at creating Hillshade maps, while the second is about georectifying maps (that is, taking a scanned or digital map and manipulating it so that it plots in the right place in your GIS project), and both are well worth checking out if you wish to develop your GIS skills.

For ArcGIS users, it maybe worth checking out the Maybe It’s A Map blog as it has a number of useful little tips on it, including advice on how to fix a broken shapefile (something that is always useful to know how to do).

Finally, for this week, there’s an interesting post which uses GIS to map the ‘Arc of Affluence’ in London, by drawing together data from a wide variety of sources. It’s not really biologically relevant, but it does show the type of thing that can be done when you draw data together from a wide variety of difference sources. It’s also quite interesting it its own right.

So these are the GIS-related things that have caught my eye this week, but, as always, I’m sure there’s a lot of other good stuff out there as well.

Dr Colin D. MacLeod,
Founder, GIS In Ecology

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