Category : mapping

Landmarks and Context
Posted by on September 21, 2017
Posted in: architecture, inspiration, mapping

Today, during a cold and rainy kickoff to the Fall season, I found myself daydreaming about a Summer visit to historic central Rome. Of course I got to see the major tourist attractions, but I was unexpectedly impressed by the victory columns. These monuments were built to honor Roman emperors by telling stories of wartime […]

Oregon's Transportation Package

Feature Photo Credit: Oregon Department of Transportation Last month, Oregon’s legislature passed a $5.3-billion transportation bill in an effort to keep up with a growing population and increasingly inadequate infrastructure. As Portland continues to rise on the list of most infuriating cities to drive in, efforts to make our roadways more efficient have sparked intense […]

Mapillary Action

Recently I heard about Mapillary, an open-source app that lets anyone with a camera and an internet connection contribute to a database of street view images from around the world. We use Google’s street view all the time to create 3D models of remote locations, so I was curious to see what Mapillary has to offer. […]

Resistance GIS
Posted by on June 2, 2017
Posted in: activism, conferences, data visualization, events, GIS, mapping

On May 20th, one of Portland’s first sunny Saturdays the year, 200 people elected to stay inside and talk about maps. Maps they love and hate, maps they made themselves or dreamed of making, how we make maps and why we make maps. This was the first-ever Resistance GIS Conference, held in a dim auditorium […]

Laser Scans and Precision Modeling

As we mentioned in our previous post on Total Stations, electronic measuring devices are the standard when it comes to gathering precision data for 3D modeling. Laser scanners are becoming more powerful, less expensive, and thus more accessible for folks looking to create very precise 3D models. For what we do here at Fat Pencil Studio there […]

Navigating Avalanche Terrain
Posted by on May 8, 2017
Posted in: mapping, tips and tricks, transportation, Uncategorized

This winter I decided to prepare for my backcountry ski trips by finding routes that are lowest in avalanche danger. CalTopo was recommended to me by a volunteer with the Mount Saint Helens Institute because its MapBuilder option can show slope shading, and slopes between 34 and 45 degrees are known to be prone to avalanche. […]

Total Station and SketchUp

For anyone who hasn’t gotten the memo yet, electronic measuring devices are the gold standard for collecting precision measurements for both construction surveys and crime scene reconstructions. Points in space are recorded by the device and logged either in a text file or with its own proprietary software. From there it’s just a matter of having the know-how to interpret and […]

Placemaker Extension
Posted by on March 2, 2017
Posted in: creative community, geomodeling, mapping, photomatch, software, tips and tricks

Last month I had the honor of beta-testing Placemaker, a smart plugin that automatically integrates infrastructure data into 3D using the SketchUp geo-location feature. The full version has just been released (congratulations to mind.sight.studios!), and we are excited to continue integrating it into our workflow. Here’s a rough idea of how Placemaker works: the general […]

All About Aerials
Posted by on November 15, 2016
Posted in: environment, imaging, legal, mapping, real estate, tips and tricks

Investigating a motor vehicle crash or crime? Planning a trip? Shopping for a new home? For these, and countless other activities, aerial photography is a valuable source of information. You probably already know how to get it: Google Maps, right? That’s a great place to start, but dig a bit deeper, and you stand to […]

Vintage Infographics
Posted by on June 28, 2016
Posted in: data visualization, graphic design, inspiration, mapping

(Above) Color-linked pie and bar charts illustrate the causes of death in Switzerland from 1890-1894 (Swiss Statistical Office). Looking back into history many infographic styles originated from detail-oriented professionals such as lawyers, meteorologists, surveyors, and nurses. Often a single graphic represented the culmination of a life’s work of research and involved extensive personal commitment to produce. […]