I've upsized my spam-blocking to ReCaptcha, which is what ArborWiki is using. ReCaptcha is a blurred-word test, but it has real utility. I at first thought the bit "stop spam. read books." was some snarky meaningless "get off yer computer" thing, but I knew something was up when I saw "Carnegie Mellon" attached to it.

Apparently, ReCaptcha is hooked into the Internet Archive's scanned text recognition engine: it gives you two words to decode, one of which is known, and used to see if you're a real human, and the other of which is unknown, and your answer combined with other recaptcha entries to provide the text recognition with an answer. Neat!

GIS grants for redevelopment of vacant/abandoned properties

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Mark H. just tipped me off to a grant program by ESRI, Magellan, and the National Vacant Properties Campaign to provide $50k in GPS and GIS hardware, software, and training to 10 governmental agencies to develop applications for "producing or enhancing property inventory and encouraging redevelopment of vacant or abandoned properties within the United States." Applications are due December 1. Who wants to help me develop a proposal for Ypsilanti?

I think we've got a pretty good shot:

  • We've got some vacant and abandoned properties

ArcMap frustrations of the day

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I really hate discovering silly problems in ArcGIS, especially as ESRI's documentation is not the easiest stuff in the world to use. Many of the solutions are things I discover by inference from the documentation. Here's this week's two:

Problem: I would like to Join a Table to a Shapefile / Layer. (Specifically, I'd like to Join a table that has tax parcel id / address / owner address records, exported from the City Assesor's database, to the County's parcel Layer.) Obviously, I right-click the Layer, and use "Joins and Relates -> Join..." I receive no error message, and the Layer has all of the fields from the Table included in it. With no data. Just blank fields.

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