WLIA conference and Open Data comes to MN

Flat Rock Geographics attends the WLIA conference!


Open Data

The WLIA conference highlighted that there are very cool things happening in Open Data around the country! 

While most government agencies charge for their GIS data, the trend toward making it freely available is afoot. Madison, WI was the second city in the nation to codify the open data policy. Any information that does not contain personally identifiable information will be made available. There were some concerns about the quality of the data and letting that out to the public, but that did not stop the city – one of their apps pulls 911 data about crime to make people aware of what is going on around them. Madison is at 70 data sets and Chicago has 900 datasets that are available. A variety of apps are available using open data including biking, tracking snow plows, finding when busses are coming, etc.

Flat Rock will be sure to integrate these new resources into their mapFeeder product!


Minnesota getting into the Open Data act!

As many of you have seen in a recent article in the Pioneer Press, Ramsey County has recently adopted a policy for sharing their GIS data for no cost. Victoria Reinhardt, the Ramsey County Commissioner, is on the MnGEO Statewide Advisory Council as is Flat Rock President Blaine Hackett. With this type of representation, more and more statewide dataset will be freely available as the Open Data revolution takes hold.

Read about Open Data in the Pioneer Press


Flat Rock’s CTO Paul Wickman’s presentations a rousing success 

The mobile data collection workshop was well attended. Many of the attendees said that the information was great and very helpful, and the hands-on lessons really helped people understand the mobile apps.  We received some great feedback from some of the attendees.

LiDAR is a huge topic because of all the benefits you can get from such accurate elevation data.  Paul’s talk about using them to help with archaeology was a hit! Flat Rocks unique way of interpolating the LiDAR data is helping the Science Museum of Minnesota to find ancient burial mounds!


Mobile is it! 

Everyone wants to capture their field data. One problem is: what do you do when you are not connected?  Having a fast, detailed basemap is key for this task. Paul’s presentation was only slated for 15 minutes but since he had so much great details on how to author maps you can upload to your mobile device, he presented for 45 minutes!


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Paul: paul@flatrockgeo.com or 612-280-5850