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Re: Map ideas?

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Map ideas?
February 17, 2017 08:05PM
Hi!

I am (for fun mostly) taking a class at our local junior college on GIS (Geographic Information Systems) or map making as I call it. We need to do a 'mini' project (~3-4 weeks long) for our class, on the topic of our choice. I love Yosemite, so I'd like to do something around it. Looking for ideas. Here are a couple I had:

1. Where are the ten closest USGS markers to Yosemite valley? (the project has to answer a geographic question, I know you can look these up on a map, but I'd be implementing it in the software and figuring out the calculations, etc.).
2. Evaluation of the difficulty of the Big Oak Flat Road to the Old Coulterville Road (analyze grade, soil?, length? )

Any other ideas? anything interesting I could look at for the Merced, Tuolumne, or Stanislaus Rivers? (I love highway 120/the knights ferry/Chinese Camp area too).

- Older student :-)
avatar Re: Map ideas?
February 18, 2017 04:13PM
I thought there was a thread on USGS markers on this forum somewhere. I couldn't find it. Maybe someone else know where it is.
Re: Map ideas?
February 18, 2017 04:30PM
This may be the thread you are remembering: https://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,44982
Re: Map ideas?
February 19, 2017 04:26PM
Thanks. The USGS marker list from that thread and my own experience looking for them or finding them made me think of that question.
avatar Re: Map ideas?
February 18, 2017 05:13PM
How about:
- How many miles of trail in Yosemite "backcountry"?
(USGS Trails on map are not correct in many places... but... that's ok)
- What is the location in the park which is "most secluded" / farthest away from:
* any trail
* any road
- What is the "most optimal" way to complete a "Trail Quest" in one continuous trip?
(ok, that's impossible) (so... you can move as much as you like)
(and do shuttles) ... but there are a LOT of spurs

Number 3... Bearpoof actually was thinking of doing... "we" all thought he nuts
(I mean the answer is obviously 2 tents) ... seriously... he can't do this year
on account he gonna be gran pappy...

Those my 3 idears...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Map ideas?
February 19, 2017 05:04AM
Speaking of GIS and Yosemite, I was curious to see if there are any public-facing ArcGIS servers with Yosemite data. This google search:
yosemite "rest/services"
quickly led me to this ArcGIS server web page: http://miscdata.fieldscope.org/arcgis/rest/services/yosemite

You need to drill down to get to the data layers that be displayed.

Here is a map that shows the trail and road data from that ArcGIS server.

https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=37.741675,-119.585450&z=14&t=m,Yosemite_trails,Yosemite_roads&rest=http://miscdata.fieldscope.org/arcgis/rest/services/yosemite/trails_roads/MapServer?name=Yosemite_trails&layers=0&transparent=true&rest=http://miscdata.fieldscope.org/arcgis/rest/services/yosemite/trails_roads/MapServer?name=Yosemite_roads&layers=1&transparent=true

Unfortunately the trails are shown in light brown which does not display well on many of the basemaps.

Maybe some of the data layers on that server will prove useful in your project.
Re: Map ideas?
February 19, 2017 04:34PM
Quote
Jelf
Speaking of GIS and Yosemite, I was curious to see if there are any public-facing ArcGIS servers with Yosemite data. This google search:
yosemite "rest/services"
quickly led me to this ArcGIS server web page: http://miscdata.fieldscope.org/arcgis/rest/services/yosemite

Maybe some of the data layers on that server will prove useful in your project.

Thanks! Those will probably be useful. I need to start gathering some base layer data.
Re: Map ideas?
February 24, 2017 04:57PM
Quote
Jelf
Speaking of GIS and Yosemite, I was curious to see if there are any public-facing ArcGIS servers with Yosemite data. This google search:
yosemite "rest/services"
quickly led me to this ArcGIS server web page: http://miscdata.fieldscope.org/arcgis/rest/services/yosemite

You need to drill down to get to the data layers that be displayed.

Here is a map that shows the trail and road data from that ArcGIS server.

https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=37.741675,-119.585450&z=14&t=m,Yosemite_trails,Yosemite_roads&rest=http://miscdata.fieldscope.org/arcgis/rest/services/yosemite/trails_roads/MapServer?name=Yosemite_trails&layers=0&transparent=true&rest=http://miscdata.fieldscope.org/arcgis/rest/services/yosemite/trails_roads/MapServer?name=Yosemite_roads&layers=1&transparent=true

Unfortunately the trails are shown in light brown which does not display well on many of the basemaps.

Maybe some of the data layers on that server will prove useful in your project.

Not very much is on an ArcGIS server. Here is the list for NPS: https://mapservices.nps.gov/arcgis/rest/services

Other NPS data is here to download: https://irma.nps.gov/Portal

For the USFS their data is : https://data.fs.usda.gov/geodata/index.php

Again, not many mapservices but you can search for and download a lot of different stuff.
Re: Map ideas?
February 19, 2017 04:31PM
Quote
chick-on
How about:
- How many miles of trail in Yosemite "backcountry"?
(USGS Trails on map are not correct in many places... but... that's ok)
- What is the location in the park which is "most secluded" / farthest away from:
* any trail
* any road

I like these two, especially the second one. I could do a ranking of the most secluded. This seems doable and fun.

- What is the "most optimal" way to complete a "Trail Quest" in one continuous trip?
(ok, that's impossible) (so... you can move as much as you like)
(and do shuttles) ... but there are a LOT of spurs

I am not sure what this is ... I guess the optimal way to complete a series of trails. Maybe I can do that for the 'big project'. That's another class, the last class in the series, where the entire semester is devoted to a project. Though for that one I'd like to do something around the Whitney/Brewer survey party routes.

Number 3... Bearpoof actually was thinking of doing... "we" all thought he nuts
(I mean the answer is obviously 2 tents) ... seriously... he can't do this year
on account he gonna be gran pappy...

Those my 3 idears...
avatar Re: Map ideas?
February 19, 2017 05:23PM
If you don't mind... where are you taking the class?

Do you really like it?

Though... I gotta admit... I'm a lazy bird.. I'd like to do... but I don't want to
work "too" hard... and I don't want to have to do anything but hike
Thur-Sun!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Map ideas?
February 19, 2017 07:17PM
Quote
chick-on
If you don't mind... where are you taking the class?

Do you really like it?

I don't like it. I love it! Absolutely love it. I am taking the class at Santa Rosa Junior College. A few years ago I started taking classes in Natural Resource Management at SRJC. That has now led me to GIS, which I find fascinating. I'm an engineer by trade, so in some ways GIS is a nice mix of mathematics, technology, and nature/outdoors. It is a A LOT of work. I often stay up late doing homework, but you know, I love the topic, so it's work, but I'm enjoying it. If you have any interest, I'd say go for it!
avatar Re: Map ideas?
February 19, 2017 08:42PM
Thank you



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Map ideas?
February 24, 2017 04:47PM
Quote
recycling1991
Quote
chick-on
How about:
- How many miles of trail in Yosemite "backcountry"?
(USGS Trails on map are not correct in many places... but... that's ok)
- What is the location in the park which is "most secluded" / farthest away from:
* any trail
* any road

I like these two, especially the second one. I could do a ranking of the most secluded. This seems doable and fun.

- What is the "most optimal" way to complete a "Trail Quest" in one continuous trip?
(ok, that's impossible) (so... you can move as much as you like)
(and do shuttles) ... but there are a LOT of spurs

I am not sure what this is ... I guess the optimal way to complete a series of trails. Maybe I can do that for the 'big project'. That's another class, the last class in the series, where the entire semester is devoted to a project. Though for that one I'd like to do something around the Whitney/Brewer survey party routes.

Number 3... Bearpoof actually was thinking of doing... "we" all thought he nuts
(I mean the answer is obviously 2 tents) ... seriously... he can't do this year
on account he gonna be gran pappy...

Those my 3 idears...

I have the first two maps already made. I can share them when I get back home. Don't mean to sandbag you, but I think these maps might be too easy for a mini-project, more like a weekend assignment. Most of the work is cleaning up the data, which is admittedly is time consuming, but not challenging. The available data contains a lot of old roads, roads not open to the public and just errors or incomplete/confusing data. I think you'll find with map making that much of the time is spent on cartography (making the map look pretty) and data management instead of analysis. But then again, thinking about it more as I write this, it might be a good real world exercise to get familiar with different data sources, assessing data and map making.

As for the optimal path project, that is a version of the famous (at least in computer circles) traveling salesmen problem. It is famous because it is extremely difficult but a common problem. I think chick-on might have been pulling your tail.

What I think would be a cool project would be a travel cost estimation. This might be too much for a mini-project so could be for the whole semester project. A travel-cost estimation would take into consideration the time it takes to travel on trail vs off trail, take into account elevation lost and gained, as well as vegetation cover and barriers like cliffs. Then you could find the most time consuming place in Yosemite to visit.
Re: Map ideas?
February 25, 2017 11:04AM
Quote
buster
I have the first two maps already made. I can share them when I get back home. Don't mean to sandbag you, but I think these maps might be too easy for a mini-project, more like a weekend assignment. Most of the work is cleaning up the data, which is admittedly is time consuming, but not challenging. The available data contains a lot of old roads, roads not open to the public and just errors or incomplete/confusing data. I think you'll find with map making that much of the time is spent on cartography (making the map look pretty) and data management instead of analysis. But then again, thinking about it more as I write this, it might be a good real world exercise to get familiar with different data sources, assessing data and map making.

As for the optimal path project, that is a version of the famous (at least in computer circles) traveling salesmen problem. It is famous because it is extremely difficult but a common problem. I think chick-on might have been pulling your tail.

What I think would be a cool project would be a travel cost estimation. This might be too much for a mini-project so could be for the whole semester project. A travel-cost estimation would take into consideration the time it takes to travel on trail vs off trail, take into account elevation lost and gained, as well as vegetation cover and barriers like cliffs. Then you could find the most time consuming place in Yosemite to visit.

Thanks for the feedback and I look forward to seeing your work. I think you may be overestimating my abilities. :-) I didn't even know what ESRI or ArcGIS was till seven months ago. And all the assignments I have done so far I have been given the data (ESRI's e-learning modules). As I have become more proficient, I have gone searching for data to complement my maps (street names, base maps, etc.), but the required data and analysis steps have all been given to us. So I think making any of those maps won't be easy for me. And I totally agree with you on the cartography part, if you care about it, which I do.

I looked into the traveling salesman problem, which I didn't really know, and talked about it with my husband (a firmware engineer). It was fun reading about it in Wikipedia and then we had to learn what NP-hardness was, and that was an interesting entry. I think I will need another degree to understand this paragraph!

"NP-hardness (non-deterministic polynomial-time hard), in computational complexity theory, is a class of problems that are, informally, "at least as hard as the hardest problems in NP". More precisely, a problem H is NP-hard when every problem L in NP can be reduced in polynomial time to H, that is: assuming a solution for H takes 1 unit time, we can use H‎'s solution to solve L in polynomial time.[1][2] As a consequence, finding a polynomial algorithm to solve any NP-hard problem would give polynomial algorithms for all the problems in NP, which is unlikely as many of them are considered hard"

Just reading that exhausted me.

But GIS is fun. If you don't mind me asking, why did you make the maps? Just for fun?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2017 11:05AM by recycling1991.
Re: Map ideas?
February 27, 2017 09:19PM
Here are the maps. Made them for fun and to expand my capabilities.

The way I think about the P vs NP is that P problems are polynomial and NP problems are exponential, so they get much more difficult to solve as you add more variables, but that is a very simplified version. The details are confusing even to people who should know.

Distance from a Road:


Distance from a Trail and Road:
Re: Map ideas?
March 02, 2017 03:24PM
Sweet maps. I'm intrigued that one of your "Further Distance" nodes is between Tioga Road and the Valley. It seems unlikely somehow.

I didn't particularly come to a Yosemite forum to be reminded of my student days but P is a subset of NP so some NP problems are polynomial. The question is ... are they all?
Re: Map ideas?
March 03, 2017 07:14AM
The "Furthest Distance from a Trail" point between Tioga Road and the valley is the "El Cap Ridge" area, which others (esp. chick-on and wherever) have posted about here previously. I suspect the lack of significant peaks, lakes, or meadows (the latter would have been attractive to the early sheepherders, and thus the cavalry...) is the reason for the lack of trails, although the old Mono Trail did cut through the southeast portion of this "trail-less" area.
Re: Map ideas?
March 03, 2017 07:48PM
Quote
Axis Weevil
Sweet maps. I'm intrigued that one of your "Further Distance" nodes is between Tioga Road and the Valley. It seems unlikely somehow.

I didn't particularly come to a Yosemite forum to be reminded of my student days but P is a subset of NP so some NP problems are polynomial. The question is ... are they all?

Thanks but Buster's explanation was better. :-) But every bit helps.

I was reading about the New Melones Dam today in the Union Democrat and realized I don't really know that area well. So it would be fun to make a map of the area covering New Melones and Don Pedro etc, except I can't just say I want to make a neat map, I have to come up with a question to answer. Oh well... a few more weeks to go before I have to decide. The current homework assignment is all about geospatial statistics for all you math/computer nerds. Gotta go learn veronoi diagrams and semivariograms! Ahh!
Re: Map ideas?
March 03, 2017 07:19AM
One oddity: the top map has the North Mountain Trail, but the bottom one doesn't seem to. Given the current state of this "trail" I'd say the bottom one is more accurate.
Re: Map ideas?
March 04, 2017 12:03PM
Quote
basilbop
One oddity: the top map has the North Mountain Trail, but the bottom one doesn't seem to. Given the current state of this "trail" I'd say the bottom one is more accurate.

Good catch. I made the roads map first then the roads and trails. For the first one, as the trails weren't important, I just used the standard trails layer without any editing for display. For the trails map, I scrutinized and subsequently edited the trails layer. I removed the north mountain trail and the old tioga road between Yosemite Creek and Porcupine. Those trails don't really exist anymore and I believe will be removed from the formal trails inventory soon.

I would just need to re-export the roads map with the new updated trails layer. These are just for fun maps, not production quality.

As you noted with the old trails, it can be tricky to define what is truly a road-less or trail less area. For instance, would you consider the old glacier point road a road or the old railroad grade to deer camp a road for the roads map. The devil is in the details.
avatar Re: Map ideas?
February 19, 2017 09:43AM
Ok, I have another one...

Prove you can see Half a Dome from Turlock/Denai/Central Valley.

smiling smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Map ideas?
February 19, 2017 04:33PM
Quote
chick-on
Ok, I have another one...

Prove you can see Half a Dome from Turlock/Denai/Central Valley.

smiling smiley

That would be neat. I have no idea really how to do it; maybe some type of viewshed analysis? but that would need a lot of different layers.
Re: Map ideas?
February 19, 2017 06:09PM
Well there is already PeakFinder.org .
avatar Re: Map ideas?
February 20, 2017 07:55AM
Quote
Dave_Ayers
Well there is already PeakFinder.org .

That's very cool. It confirms you can see Half Dome from
Denair ... while sitting on my Dairyair

smiling smiley

(seriously... it's still a bit vague from that)
(but yes, the answer is yes... but it can probably be proved
geo-math-e-matically... ??? )



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Map ideas?
February 20, 2017 10:05PM
Interesting article about the founder of ArcGIs, Esri's flagship product:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/miguelhelft/2016/02/10/the-godfather-of-digital-maps/#1d5d6a36598c
avatar Re: Map ideas?
May 23, 2017 09:49AM
Ding dong

So.... how did it go?

What did you do?

Did you get a good grade?

Are you wearing your shades?



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Map ideas?
May 26, 2017 08:38PM
Been meaning to post an update, but haven't had time. Final presentation was just Wednesday afternoon, and then I had my son's 8th grade awards ceremony, and tonight my host student's graduation. Tomorrow we go camping. So next week I will give you all an update on the disastrous project. Nothing worked!! I went with my own original idea of distance to monuments, and couldn't anything to work right. I learned A LOT, which is always good if you're a student, and it's a good thing we're not graded on our success. Final grades won't be posted for another week, but of course I'll get an A. I always get an A at the JC. :-)

Do want to continue working on the project on my own during the summer, so will look forward to posting my problems and hearing any advice others have.
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