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Anyone following this blog may notice that I am making an effort to get up to speed to the present day, but am still a little bit behind. I still have great optimism about catching up, and these posts may help you reminisce about the summer.

At the July 10, 2019 CDI Monthly Meeting, we heard a proposal for ways to increase reusability of USGS datasets, and presentations from two map-based visualization and analysis tools. In addition, Kevin Gallagher reported on demographics, presentation materials, and take-aways from the CDI Workshop “From Big Data to Smart Data” that was held in June 2019 in Boulder, CO. 

Responses to the CDI post-workshop survey showing the varied job descriptions in our community.

Data Stories using Jupyter Notebooks to increase reusability of datasets

Richie Erickson presented a Scientist’s Challenge in exploring the use of Jupyter Notebooks to increase reusability of USGS datasets. He is focusing on smaller, project-level datasets that require explanation of disciplinary expertise and statistical analyses. To learn more, you can get in contact with Richie Erickson at See his slides here.

An Open Online Map of Landslide Occurrence across the U.S. Assembled from Incomplete and Disparate Spatial Data Sets

Image of the CDI-funded Online Landslide Inventory.

Ben Mirus’s presentation on a new national landslide inventory highlighted important considerations when integrating incomplete and disparate data. State boundaries often showed mismatches in data quantity or quality. Other topics of CDI interest included defining confidence metrics for the landslides, deciding on dataset update frequency, putting data releases through internal review, best practices for viewing heterogeneous data, identifying areas that need better data collection, and links from our science to governmental policy. Read more at Landslide Risks Highlighted in New Online Tool. This project is an FY18 CDI Funded Project, which more information at its ScienceBase page.

U.S. Geological Survey National Digital Trails Network

Example of US Topo map with National park boundary and water data.

Elizabeth McCartney and Greg Matthews’ presentation on the National Digital Trails Network showed a system that took existing trails and then uses an algorithm to identify and evaluate potential connections between trail systems using data like land type (owner), slope, and hydrography/river crossings. If you are interested in learning more you can contact the team at any of the following addresses:,,

The recording of the meeting is available at the monthly meeting page if you are signed in as a CDI member.

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