Data Sources

One of the most time-consuming parts of building maps is finding the data sets you want. I’m often forgetting where I found different datasets, and I wanted to share some of the ones I like to go back to.

USA Datasets

USGS National Map

Mineral Resources Online Spatial Data:

Purdue’s GIS Data by State

A concise list of important resources available to you on the web and at Purdue.

Convert DDMM.SS to Decimal Degrees

Quick tip if you get data coded with your lat long coded in Deg, Min, Sec

Open your table -> Calculate Field -> New Field = Lat
Field Type = Float
Lat = ConvertLat(!START_LAT__DDMM_MM_!)

def ConvertLat(lat):
    d = lat[-7:-5]
    m = lat[-5:-3]
    s = lat[-2:]
    return float(d) + float(m)/60 + (float(s)/(60*60))

Do the same thing for Long, keep in mind you may need to add a “-” to your calculation.

Field Name = Lon
Field Type = Float
Lon = ConvertLat(!START_LON__DDMM_MM_!)

def ConvertLat(lon):
    d = lon[-7:-5]
    m = lon[-5:-3]
    s = lon[-2:]
    return -(float(d) + float(m)/60 + (float(s)/(60*60)))

ArcGIS RemoteApp on mac from Windows Machine

Turns out you can use RemoteApp Tool to open a remote app on a windows machine on a mac. Here’s how I used it to run ArcGIS Pro to appear like it’s running on my mac.

Download RemoteApp Tool:

Install it on your windows machine: (Even though it says it’s unsupported I installed it on a Windows 10 Pro machine)

  • Open RemoteApp Tool
  • Click +
  • Find whatever app you want (c:\program files\ArcGIS\bin\arcgispro.exe)
  • Create RDP File & Save to a shared drive on the mac.
  • In mac, open RDP file in Remote Desktop.

You may need to open the RDP file in a text editor to change the connection address.

Repair Corrupt RX100 Video Files

This method fixed my corrupt video from when my RX100Va’s battery died in the middle of recording an h264 mp4 video. 

I downloaded and tried repairing it with a variety of other free and paid software. This is the only one that worked for this particular file.

It requires a Windows machine with admin access.

2 Ways to Loop in After Effects

Big thanks to for explaining this:

1. if your footage is the correct length, you can go to the projects panel right-click the element and select Interpret Footage > Main. in the dialogue box just select how many times you want to repeat it

2. Remapping Effect. Enable time remapping, option+click the stopwatch for time remap, Using the add Menu select Property > loopOutduration

If you need only a portion of your video looped… create a precomp of your footage, then use option 2 on your precomp. Just make sure the precomp is the right length to get the loop to match up correctly.

The loopOutduration command doesn’t seem to indicate where loops begin or end… But you want that on your first frame of the loop. ignore the other keyframes.

Setting HTTPS and www in .htaccess

Find the .htaccess file in the folder where your index.html file is.

This will force anyone who visits your site to go to the HTTPS version of the site (Secure) and with the "www" subdomain. 

By default, many websites show duplicate content without a subdomain i.e. and with the www subdomain (

In the last few years Google has begun penalizing sites that allow this because as they are crawling your site, they see duplicate pages.  For you to rank high in google, they want your information to be unique from the rest of the internet. 
# Canonical https/www
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
	RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off [OR]
	RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\. [NC]
	RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(.*)$  [NC]
	RewriteRule (.*) https://www.%1/$1 [R=301,L]

This tip comes from

Setting up a Site to Share on Social Media

To get your website to show previews correctly in Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

You can see how facebook views your page here:
and twitter:

Add this to your <head> tag (won’t work in <body>):
<meta property=”og:image” content=”” />
<meta property=”og:description” content=”Description of Conent” />
<meta property=”og:title” content=”Social Media Title” />
<meta name=”twitter:site” content=”@twitterhandle”> <meta name=”twitter:domain” content=””/>
<meta name=”twitter:card” content=”summary_large_image”>
<meta name=”twitter:image” content=”“> <meta name=”twitter:title” content=”Title for Twitter”>

You may want to have a place on your news page to upload an image (or 2) for social sharing then create images using this guide:

Also, if you’ve got validation errors, it may not share correction on LinkedIn.

Monitoring Facebook Reach and Likes through Google Sheets

I live and die by data, and my favorite way to convey data is through Google Sheets. I recently wanted to set up a way to track all outreach efforts by the non-profit I work for. Instead of manually adding facebook insight numbers on every post, I thought there must be a way to automatically pull those reach numbers from Facebook into my spreadsheet.

As I began my research the first several articles were clear product placement articles for Supermetrics. They want to charge you $100 a month to pull the data in for you. That’s quite a steep price for a non-profit, so I continued looking.

Turns out Facebook has a quite extensive API to accomplish this and Ana at MixedAnalytics lays out step by step how to set up an API token that doesn’t expire and some examples of the post data that you can pull using it. Here’s the link to the article which I highly recommend if you, like me, want a direct update to your google sheets data with Facebook analytics.