Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New US Topo Maps for Rhode Island

As you may have seen via Shane's listserv blast earlier today, updated US Topos are available for Rhode Island. 

These 2015 US Topo maps contain an updated symbology, enhanced railroad information, new roads source data and selected public trails. 

During my perusing, I've determined that the best place to download these new Topo maps for RI is here

Using the search menu on the left, users can specify their state, scale and map type. 

This will bring up all US Topos that cover Rhode Island. To download a GeoPDF for a specific quadrangle, simply click on the download icon.

Users wishing to utilize these new Topos in an Esri ArcMap, please refer to this University of Rhode Island, Environmental Data Center blog posting on converting GeoPDFs to GeoTiffs.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Reviving the RIGIS Blog

As promised, here is the first post of the RIGIS blog revival! Over the past month, RIGIS has seen quite a few exciting new datasets, and a few big changes that I want to draw your attention to. 

First, we have two new trails datasets contributed by the RI DEM; the first, "Hiking Trails" shows all hiking trails within state parks and management areas. The second, "North-South Trail," features the ~77 mile long trail that traverses the entire length of the state of Rhode Island. 

Next, we have the new "Active Solid Waste Facilities" dataset, contributed by the RI Statewide Planning program. This highlights locations of active solid waste landfills, transfer stations, composting facilities, agricultural composting facilities and municipal recycling centers throughout the state. 

Another newly featured dataset, is the "National Wetlands Inventory" for Rhode Island. This dataset is created by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and represents approximate location and types of both wetlands and deepwater habitats throughout RI.

Recently, some big changes were made within the "Administrative and Political Boundaries" data download area. These changes were made so that RIGIS users would have a clear understanding of a datasets purpose and vintage, just by reading the title of the dataset. Below, find a quick summary of the changes made:
  • Renamed Datasets:
    • State, Coastline and Town Boundaries --> Municipal Boundaries (1997)
    • Municipalities --> Municipal Boundaries (1989)
    • State Boundary --> State Boundary (1989)
    • Shorelines and Islands --> Shoreline and Islands (1989)
    • Quad Neatlines --> Quad Neatlines (1989)
  • New Datasets:
    • County Boundaries (1997)
    • State Boundaries (1997) 
  • Retired Datasets:
    • Town Lines 
Finally, the most exciting change made to RIGIS, has been the addition of the new RIGIS Standalone Vector Data Geodatabase! This allows users to download all RIGIS vector data at one time, hopefully making lives easier along the way.

Keep an eye out over the upcoming weeks for new dataset highlights and information!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

RIGIS Data Update Summary for March

Over the last several days, a number of new and updated datasets were posted to the RIGIS data distribution clearinghouse.

What’s new:

- Land Use (2011) (contributed by RIDEM and the RI Statewide Planning Program)
- Coastal Waters  (contributed by the RI Statewide Planning Program)
- Hurricane Evacuation Areas (compiled from source data from the US Army Corps of Engineers)


- Roads: RI E-911
- Sites: RI E-911
- Fire Hydrants (contributed by RI E-911)
- Driveways (contributed by RI E-911)
- Soils (contributed by the USDA NRCS Rhode Island State Office)
- Soils: Special Line Features (contributed by the USDA NRCS Rhode Island State Office)
- Soils: Special Point Features (contributed by the USDA NRCS Rhode Island State Office)
- Natural Heritage Areas (contributed by RIDEM, The Nature Conservancy, RI Natural History Survey, URI Environmental Data Center)
- Benchmarks (compiled from source data from the National Geodetic Survey)

Please keep an eye on this blog as a series of short articles highlighting these new datasets are shared over coming weeks.

Monday, November 25, 2013

New 2011 Impervious Surfaces Dataset Now Available from RIGIS

A new dataset representing impervious surfaces in Spring 2011 is now available from RIGIS - look for the new "Impervious Surfaces" record under the "Environment and Conservation" data download area.  Contributed to RIGIS by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, it is available in both the Esri file geodatabase (v10.0) and ERDAS IMAGINE (img) file formats.

For ease of use, 2003-04 Impervious Surfaces dataset has also been re-processed to match the same file formats that its 2011 cousin uses.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Updated Airports and Rhode Island E-911 Datasets Now Available from RIGIS

The Airports dataset available from RIGIS has been tweaked, with the introduction of a new field that helps to distinguish runways and taxiways from other interior polygon features.  The spatial features themselves haven't been changed from how they were originally digitized off 1997 orthophotography.  These data are still categorized under the "Transportation" data download area on RIGIS.

The final updates of the year for data from the Rhode Island Enhanced 911 Uniform Emergency Telephone System are also now online.  As usual, the Roads and Driveways datasets are under the "Transportation" data download area, Sites under the "Facilities" area, and Fire Hydrants under "Utilities".

New Hurricane Sandy storm surge dataset available from RIGIS

A new point dataset representing Hurricane Sandy coastal storm surge heights at a number of locations throughout southern Rhode Island has been published by RIGIS.  Of particular note are the attribute fields that link to photographs that document the condition of each location at the time the data were collected.  These data may be found under the "Elevation and Derived Products" data download area at RIGIS.

To see these data in action, check out this online map.  Try clicking on a point to see more information about each site, as well as any photographs that were taken at the time.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Two upcoming events in RI (Esri: Sharpen Your Skills Seminar on 10/24/13, NEURISA: Lightning Talks in Rhode Island on 11/14/13)

Esri: "Sharpen Your Skills" Seminar on 10/24/13

To register, please email Nora Sauter (Esri) directly at  There is no need to copy anyone else on your email to Nora.
The seminar will be held in the Coastal Institute Conference Center at the URI Bay Campus.  See for driving directions (it's building #6 on the map; the closest parking lots are A or B on the map).  FYI, Google Maps shows the location of the building as 210 South Ferry Rd, Saunderstown, RI 02882.
The agenda for that Thursday morning (8am to noon) can be found at
All other information about the seminar (other than registration information) can be found at

Again, please email Nora directly to register.  She will let Greg Bonynge (my RIGIS URI counterpart) and I know when the room has reached capacity and registration is closed.

NEURISA: "Lightning Talks in Rhode Island" on 11/14/13

Today we received approval from the New England chapter of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (NEURISA), to hold a Rhode Island lightning talk event as part of their New England Lighting Talk event series.  Thanks to the logistical efforts of Melanie Benda-Joubert (RIGIS Executive Committee member), it will be held at the Gas Lamp Grille in Newport on Thursday, November 14th from 4-7pm.  Please note that this free event is open to the public and will also serve as our quarterly RIGIS User Group meeting.
If you were able to attend the lightning talk event in Providence last year (, or have attended another lighting talk event in the past, you already know how much fun it is!  Each presenter is given 5 minutes to present 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds.  Please see for many more examples of NEURISA lighting talks in New England.
Here's a preliminary agenda (with time for networking during all breaks)
4:00  Registration
4:30  Introductions, First round of presentations
5:00  Intermission
5:30  Second round of presentations
6:00  After-event questions with presenters
7:00  Adjourn downstairs and/or at another downtown Newport establishment
In particular, and on purpose, we are holding this event and after-event in the same room so that you won't have to walk anywhere or move your car before being able to approach each speaker to find out more about their presentation topic and/or talk about how your work could benefit from their ideas.  With six different types of free appetizers provided, and a cash-bar in our event room, you won't have to go anywhere to catch up with friends and make new ones.  That time of year in Newport, there will be plenty of free on-street parking, and we have learned that many off-street public lots may provide free parking as well.
More information will come soon from NEURISA, which I will forward along to the RIGIS-L listserv, but I wanted to accomplish three things in this email today.
1)  Have you all mark this date in your calendars.
2)  Let you know that we would love to have you give a lightning talk on a geospatial topic of your choice.
3)  Ask your organization to consider sponsoring this free event.  As part of sponsorship, your organization logo will appear on the NEURISA event web page, all outgoing email announcements and on-screen at the event.  Your organization will also receive a copy of the event attendee list.
Please drop me a quick email reply ( if you are interested in being a presenter and/or sponsor.  I would be happy to answer (or get an answer for) any questions that you may have about presenting and/or sponsoring.
More info to come...