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...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Updated Rhode Island E-911 Data Now Available from RIGIS

The Rhode Island Enhanced 911 Uniform Emergency Telephone System has contributed four updated datasets to RIGIS: Sites (aka addressed structures, categorized under Facilities & Structure), Roads (categorized under Transportation), Driveways (categorized under Transportation), and Fire Hydrants categorized under Utilities and Communication).

If you spot any records or areas that may need reviewing, please contact them!  Bluntly put, your feedback could help save a life.  They may be easily reached via email at

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Selected RIGIS-Distributed Datasets Pertaining to Narragansett Bay Supplemented with Source Project Reports

The download packages for the following datasets have been updated with reports from the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program.  The reports describe these data in more detail, including why and how they were developed, as well as how they relate to each other.
  • Eelgrass (line)
  • Eelgrass (polygon)
  • Narragansett Bay Estuarine and Marine Wetlands Trends Analysis
  • Narragansett Bay Estuarine Habitat
  • South Coast Estuarine Habitat
  • Hardened Shorelines in Narragansett Bay
  • Degraded Coastal Wetlands of Narragansett Bay
  • Potential Wetland Impacts in Narragansett Bay
  • Land Use Adjacent to Wetlands in Narragansett Bay
Since it isn't clear in the RIGIS data clearinghouse that these all complement each other, the titles and metadata for these datasets are slated to be updated and consolidated, albeit at a later date!