Demographics of Oglala Lakota County

The Keystone Pipeline is an oil pipeline running from the Canadian Tar Sands in Alberta to the Gulf Coast in Texas. The plan for the fourth phase of this project proposes to run a new section of this pipeline under the Missouri River, just upstream of the Oglala Lakota sacred land. The Lakota people rely on this river for their livelihood. In the wake of the Flint, Michigan crisis, the main concern of locals is possible contamination of the water. The implications would be catastrophic leading to the inability to use the river to fish, irrigate crop land or even have clean water to drink.

This map visualizes 2 sets of data obtained from the US Census Bureau on family income and minority populations. The 2 maps show striking similarities. Upon some calculations and research into the maps it was quite apparent that the Oglala Lakota County had the highest percent minority population of any county in the entire United States. Oglala Lakota County also has the 3rd lowest mean family income in the country. It is one of three counties in the United States completely encompassed by a Native American reservation. The Lakota tribe considers the Missouri River sacred since it has been the tribes main source of life since they inhabited the land nearly 1200 years ago.

-Cody J. Crane

UConn MAGIC 2017

[xyz-ihs snippet=”Cody-income-inequalty”]

Discovering and Downloading USGS Topographic Maps

On a nice summer day, you may be thinking about going for a hike or exploring areas for your research. Whether you are looking for current or historical topographic maps, there are a number of options to discover and download this maps for free. Included below are examples of how to locate printer friendly, historic, and Connecticut focused USGS Topographic Quadrangle maps.

Printer-Friendly USGS Topographic Maps

Recently National Geographic released a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topographic map PDF Quad interface which allows users to search for a location and then obtain printer friendly topographic maps for that area in PDF format. Included below is an overview of the process for searching and downloading your own topographic map which will print on an 8.5″ by 11″ paper as a multi-page map.

  1. Go to and scroll down to the interactive map.
  2. In the search bar at the top right corner of the interactive map, search for a town, quadrangle, or place. search_national_geo_quad_PDF
  3. The map will zoom to your area of interest. If you do not see any red pins on the map, zoom out the map by clicking the minus (-) sign on the left side of the map. pins_maps_national_geographic_quad_PDF
  4. Click the red pin closest to your location of interest, this pin represents the center of the topographic quadrangle which covers the area. The pin will display a preview quadrangle map. Click on the quadrangle map image. map_preview_national_geographic_quad_PDF
  5. This will download a PDF map of the quadrangle map which includes a total of 5 pages, the first being an overview quadrangle map, the next 4 maps which include a section of each quadrangle. These maps are designed to be printed on 8.5″ by 11″ paper and include scale, latitude, longitude, along with all the other details included on a USGS topographic map. If you want to know more about the different symbols on the map, check out the USGS Topographic Map Symbols legend.

Historical Topographic Maps from USGS

The USGS also offers a national index of digitized historical topographic maps called topoView which allows you to search by location for historical topographic maps and to download the maps in JPEG, KMZ, GeoPDF, and GeoTIFF format. While these maps may not be as printer-friendly as the PDF Quads from National Geographic, the topoView interface provides nationwide access to historical topographic maps at a range of scales. Included below is a quick overview of how to use the topoView interface:

  1. Go to and click on Get Maps.topoView_interface
  2. From the topoView browser, search for a location and hit enter. This will zoom the map to area of interest. From the map scales menu (along the right side of the map screen) select the map scale you are interested in viewing or select Show All to see all the scales available. topoView_mapscales
  3. Click on the orange map pin to bring up the map preview and download menu which will appear in the bottom left corner of the map. This will provide the option to download the map in JPEG, KMZ (Google Earth friendly format), GeoPDF, and GeoTIFF formats. If there is more than one map available, just to the right of the preview map will be a link with the number of maps available. In the sample below there are 13 historical maps to choose from for Hartford North, Connecticut.topoView_map_preview

Connecticut Historical Topographic Maps from MAGIC

If you are interested in more topographic maps for Connecticut, MAGIC offers a number of digitized topographic quadrangle maps which can be accessed via MAGIC’s website with a majority of this historic topographic maps available via the topoView application. Included below is a quick outline of how to locate and download topographic maps for areas in Connecticut from MAGIC’s website:

  1. Got to and from the interactive Connecticut USGS Topographic Maps Mash-up interface, search for town (ex. Hartford, Connecticut).
  2. The map will zoom to the area of interest which will show a pin and an outline of the topographic quadrangle(s) nearby. Multiple scales of topographic maps may be available for your area and you can select which scale you want from the Toggle menu along the top right corner of the interactive map interface. More detailed maps will be at 1:24k scale while more general maps will be available at higher scales up to 1:125k.magic_topographic_maps_interface
  3. Click the topographic quadrangle outline which covers your area and a pop-up menu will appear. Select the map of interest and click the View and Download link.magic_topographic_maps_interface_popup
  4. This will take you to MAGIC’s Flickr page where you can download the map as a JPEG (down area in right corner of map view window) or as a full-quality TIFF image (link is located below image). magic_topographic_maps_flickr

Three separate interfaces, each providing access to USGS topographic maps and providing access to current and/or historical quadrangle maps. Enjoy exploring each interface!





WMS Server Outage – 1/27/2016

MAGIC_WMSThe Web Mapping Service (WMS) for the Connecticut State Data Center and MAGIC, a service that provides access to the 1934 aerial photography layer and historical maps for use within GIS applications and is utilized within a number of the interactive map mash-ups for MAGIC will need to be offline part of today (1/27/2016) to resolve connectivity issues with the server. This server experienced an unplanned outage and we are working to resolve this issue ASAP.

During this WMS server update period there may be periods of time when the WMS service could be temporarily unavailable or load times for layers may be impacted.

This maintenance will identify and address additional performance issues with the WMS server and we apologize for the inconvenience any short duration outages of the server may cause.

For users needing access to aerial photography layers via a WMS, the Connecticut Environmental Conditions Online (CT ECO) site offers a WMS with several aerial photography layers which can be accessed at:

Posted in GIS

Web Mapping Service Maintenance – 12/23/2015

MAGIC_WMSThe Web Mapping Service (WMS) for the Connecticut State Data Center and MAGIC, a service that provides access to the 1934 aerial photography layer and historical maps for use within GIS applications and utilized within a number of the interactive map mash-ups for MAGIC is undergoing maintenance on 12/23/2015. During this maintenance period there may be periods of time when the WMS service could be temporarily unavailable or load times for layers may be impacted.

This maintenance will identify and address performance issues with the WMS server and we apologize for inconvenience any short duration outages of the server may cause.

For users needing access to aerial photography layers via a WMS, the Connecticut Environmental Conditions Online (CT ECO) site offers a WMS with several aerial photography layers which can be accessed at:


American Community Survey Median Household Income Distressed Tracts 2010 to 2013

[xyz-ihs snippet=”Distressed-Tracts”]

This visualization uses data from the American Community Survey to display distressed census tracts, which is a tract at 60% or less of the state median household income level. This study ranges from the year 2010 to 2013.

by: Zachary Guarino


CT GIS User Network Meeting – September 12th

The Connecticut GIS User Network is hosting a meeting at the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority in New Haven, CT on Friday September 12, 2014. This meeting is open to the public (no registration is required) and will feature presentations on applications of GIS and provides a great venue to share ideas and network with other GIS professionals from across the state. Included below is the agenda for this meeting.

Agenda for Friday September 12, 2014 CT GIS User Network Meeting

8:45 Network
9:15 Opening and updates to User Network (looking for members, update to membership, bi-laws updates, 501c, etc.)
9:40 ESRI -Alfredo Frauenfelder
10:00 Census Bureau – David Kraiker
10:20 BREAK
10:30 Latitude Graphics – Michael Funaro
10:50 CT Association of Floodplain Managers-Introduction/Q&A
11:10 Drone Law Journal – Peter Sachs
11:30 Town of South Windsor Drone – Jubenal Gonzalez
11:50 Closing


Meeting location:

South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority
90 Sargent Dr.
New Haven, CT

For more details on this event and to signup for the GIS User to User Network Listserv visit:

Hope to see you there!

Updated MAGIC WMS and MAGIC 2.0 Online Maps now available

After over 5 years of reliable service using our previous WMS and interactive mapping platform we are happy to announce that the Web Map Service (WMS) and the MAGIC 2.0 Online maps platforms have been updated and the new services and interactive maps are now available for use. This migration enables new capabilities to be offered from MAGIC and the Connecticut State Data Center by providing more WMS service options, a comprehensive data layer catalog, and a platform which enables digital scholarship by providing increased connectivity for tools such as ArcGIS, Google Earth, Google Maps, Omeka Neatline, Tableau, and other data analysis and visualization platforms.

GeoServerOur new WMS server utilizes GeoServer, an open source WMS platform which provides a number of enhanced layer options while providing the core elements for providing WMS layer access for ArcGIS and other GIS, CAD, and data visualization platforms.

The MAGIC 2.0 Online Maps have been replaced by a series of interactive maps which include the same functionality as the previous interface and utilizes ESRI’s ArcGIS Explorer interface. Users are able to toggle layers on/off, print, measure distance and/or area, zoom in/out, search by address, and a number of other functions. Additional layers and maps will be added as more layers are added to the our WMS server.

MAGIC’s interactive map mash-ups have also been updated to utilize the new WMS layers from GeoServer and each of these mash-ups can be viewed from the same pages as before and you can also view these maps via the following page:

If you used MAGIC’s WMS server previously, you will need to add the new WMS Server to ArcGIS or other software you are using to access our WMS services. Click here for detailed instructions on connecting to our new WMS services.


Thank You

We want to thank Kate Johnson, Xiaojiang Li, Weixing Zhang, Brian Perchal, Jie Lin, and Edward Cromley for their help in migrating content, configuring GeoServer layers, and helping to deploy this new service in such an expedited timeframe.

We also want to thank the UCONN Libraries ITS department for installing and configuring the GeoServer and helping to load balance and improve the overall performance of the site.

And we want to thank all of the staff (both past and present) from Progeos who installed, maintained, and provided assistance with our previous WMS server. Your staff were agile, resourceful, and helped us maintain the WMS Server which handled over a million requests (between WMS and online map interface) over the past 6 years.

MAGIC WMS Server Migration and Upcoming Changes

WMS LayersThe Web Mapping Server (WMS) and MAGIC 2.0 Online Maps server has provided us with 5 years of reliable service but the time has come to migrate to a new server environment which enables more capabilities in support of digital scholarship and spatial analysis. While we have been planning to migrate from this server, recent developments and stability issues are requiring us to expedite this move with the new WMS and maps interfaces being available to the public by September 1, 2013 and the former server will no longer be available as of September 1, 2013.

Over the next two weeks, MAGIC will be migrating all of our WMS layers to GeoServer, an open source WMS server which offers additional capabilities versus our current server. During this migration process each of the interactive map mash-ups provided by MAGIC will be updated to incorporate layers from our new GeoServer. We will also be replacing the MAGIC 2.0 Online Maps with interactive maps which will offer additional capabilities while providing the core functionality of the current MAGIC 2.0 Online Maps interface.

We will post updates, new links, and more details about this migration to our blog, Outside the Neatline, so stay tuned for more details.

We want to thank all of the staff at Progeos for their help with this migration and for hosting and supporting the MAGIC WMS Server these past 5 years and the UConn Libraries IT staff for configuring our new WMS Server and mapping platform.

Historical boundaries

Have you ever wondered what your county or Congressional district boundaries looked like in 1845? Before 1845?  Then this is the blog post for you.

At UCLA, Jeffrey Lewis, Brandon DeVine and Lincoln Pritcher have developed and made freely available Congressional district boundaries for the entire lower 48 states – all the way back to 1789. Their project draws on research previously done by Kenneth Martis, who also provided advice and source materials for the authors. The boundaries are available as an ESRI shapefile and GeoJSON at a slightly lower resolution. Please visit their website for more information and documentation, as well as to download the shapefiles. The three maps below use their data to show the district boundaries at different points in time.











The project used data from the National Historic GIS, as well as the Newberry Library in Chicago. The Newberry Library provides GIS and KML files for historical county boundaries at the state and national levels. Take, for example, this page for Connecticut which explains the data and directs you to an interactive viewer that allows you to compare modern and historical county boundaries from various dates (see below).



CT Geofocus Newsletter

ctgisu2uThe newest issue of the CT Geofocus newsletter is available now!

Brought to you by the CT GIS User to User Network and the CT GIS Council’s Education and Outreach Working group.

See past newsletters and how to submit your work here:

Also check out the new and improved CT GIS User to User Network website at:

If you’d like to submit something for the next issue, the deadline is Friday May 31st.