Latest Updates and Projects

Fire Hazard of Every Building in California: An Interactive Map

Recent wildfires in Southern California, most notably the Saddleridge Fire in the San Fernando Valley and the Sandalwood Fire in Riverside County, serve as reminders that many communities in the state are vulnerable to wildfire hazards.  While all Californians should be adequately prepared for disasters such as earthquakes and wildfires, some communities are more vulnerable to wildfires than others.

Entering the GIS Profession: Education and Competencies

As an organization, Geospatial @ UCLA has several primary objectives, among which are (1) fostering the advancement of geographic information science (GIScience) through research, development, and scientific education, and (2) offering educational programs that prepare participants for professional success in the expanding market of jobs focused upon the use and development of geographic information systems (GIS).  The former objective focuses upon the development and application of spatial science research methods to better understanding phenomena in the world around us, a

How big is an acre?

As wildfires rage across Southern California, news media regularly report the sizes of the largest and most damaging fires in the region using acres as the unit of measurement.  But exactly how big is an acre?  While listening to the ongoing coverage of this current wave of fires, we at Geospatial @ UCLA became curious about how well people understand units of area -- specifically, to what accuracy can people who are constantly exposed to land areas expressed in acres actually identify an acre of land?

What are the prospects for employment in GIS and related industries?

Current and prospective GIS students regularly inquire about prospects for employment in the geospatial technology industry and in related fields where GIS is useful. Fortunately for GIS job seekers, many projections from government agencies and market research firms alike point toward considerable growth of the geospatial technology industry as well as growth in GIS-related employment sectors and fields. The U.S.

Working with File Geodatabases (.gdb) using QGIS and GDAL

Despite the widely held misconception that file geodatabases (.gdb) can only be read and edited using tools within Esri's ArcGIS platform, recent versions of GDAL (and, therefore, GDAL-utilizing applications like QGIS) are capable of efficiently reading and extracting information from file geodatabases.  The file geodatabase format has emerged as a very common format for storing and exchanging spatial data, particularly considering that it allows for the storage of multiple data layers, and that it allows for the storage of data layers that exceed the limits of other specifications.