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In This Issue
Santa Tracker 2011 >>
CEMEX Redwoods >>
Esri Gray Canvas >>
Geek Corner >>
GreenInfo Interns >>
Map Projections >>
Laugh Lines >>
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GreenInfo Interns

GIS Intern Diana Pancholi continues on various GIS and data research tasks, and Jessica Karste, a Penn State graduate student, just joined us for a couple of days a week. If you're interested in volunteer internships, contact our Intern Coordinator, Alexandra Barnish (alexandra (at)

Map Projections

Got 2 minutes?  That's all you're going to need to get a high speed and visually effective video dose of how map projections work. Two one-minute Esri-created videos can be found here: Part 1 & Part 2

And you thought you were too busy to learn projections?  Actually, you probably are, but despite all the quick and easy mapping these days, they're still really important.  You can get the full story at this USGS website, and you can play with live map projections at this great site...and be sure to read Laugh Lines, this month, too!

Laugh Lines
The Map Projections Palm Reader

Get the full poster with all 12 cartoons here.

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The holiday season provides an opportunity to say thanks to all of you who have asked us to help you with projects, to all of you who have been good colleagues and to everyone else for being MapLines readers! 
2011 has been a great year for GreenInfo and for the world of geospatial technology - and the coming new year promises even greater developments (and an exciting new GreenInfo initiative - stay tuned for the February edition of MapLines!).  We're glad to have helped provide a bit of insight about it all, and maybe even a few smiles. 
One of the changes for 2012 will be two great new staffers for GreenInfo.  Bobby Sudekum, a University of Vermont graduate, joins us this month as a GIS Specialist, and in January, Megan Dreger comes on board, also as a GIS Specialist. They join our core staff of 10 -- more about both in the next issue!
To the content!

AnchorSanta Tracker 2011

NORAD is the U.S military's agency charged with watching the entire northern perimeter of the continent. But for 50+ years they've been hosting the Santa Tracker, as well.  Here's their story:
Norad Santa Tracker
"The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based 
Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations "hotline." The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called
were given updates on his location, and a
tradition was born."

Check out the Geo-enabled Santa Tracker, and this year they have added both iPhone and Android apps for tracking on the go!

CEMEX Redwoods

Our colleagues at Peninsula Open Space Trust, Sempervirens Fund, Save the Redwoods League, The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, and The Nature Conservancy have successfully preserved the 8,532-acre CEMEX Redwoods property in the SantaCEMEX Redwoods Map Cruz Mountains.  Congratulations to all who worked tirelessly on this huge effort!  This property represented the largest area of unprotected redwoods throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Several GreenInfo staff members have prepared maps for the partnering organizations over the past year, including Alexandra Barnish, who created this lovely map for Save The Redwoods League.

Watch a video about saving the Cemex Redwoods here, and read an article about the success in the San Jose Mercury News, here.

Dull Down that Background - Use Esri Gray Canvas

Light Gray CanvasEsri, the ArcGIS software publisher, is designing a new set of basemaps with neutral colors, minimal features and details.  This allows users to quickly and effectively add their own data over a neutral canvas, therefore highlighting the data you need to display.  Currently, the light gray canvas is available through the "Add Basemap" function in ArcGIS and more basemaps are in development. Check out Esri's two-part blog for more details: Part 1  &  Part 2

Geek Corner - CartoDB & Leaflet

For fans of open source applications, 

CartoDB & Leafletcheck out the brand new CartoDB, a fantastic approach to storing and mapping point location data.  Sign up for an invitation to join the beta program at, and learn more about how to use their API alongside the Google Maps API or Leaflet API (another great open source tool) by visiting  An example application of CartoDB & Leaflet:  If you have any questions about CartoDB and/or Leaflet, please send an email to Tim Sinnott at tim (at)
Happy mapping from the GreenInfo Team!
Larry Orman, Amanda Recinos, Tim Sinnott, Jennifer Strahan, Alex Barnish, John Kelly, Stephanie Ding, Maegan Leslie Torres, Robert Graham, Greg Allensworth, and Aubrey Dugger
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