Margaret Baxter from Scotland to Canada

January 24, 2014 1 comment

Since last September I have become sucked into the black hole called genealogy. I have been working a rather frustrating cousin, Margaret Baxter (born about 1878 in either Ayr, Scotland or Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland) Married to James McNay with whom she had six children then subsequently abandoned and went to Canada. Where she allegedly married James Albert Watson and had at least one more child, Mary Watson. However, I haven’t been able to find any information on her prior to her getting married to James McNay (simply that she was a farm servant, possibly one of the witnesses to her marriage was associated with her work and her parents names which don’t match any known couples that I can find).

Below is a map using Rootsmapper that shows her origins in Scotland and their trip to Canada (actually her son James and his daughter Elizabeth since I don’t know if she really died in Canada). Rootsmapper uses the LDS Family Tree database to link up birth and death information of the people to show migration patterns.


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Cost to Lay Cable for Caribou Residents

February 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Of the 320 buildings not serviced by Time Warner cable how much would each resident/owner of the buildings have to pay to get cable?  Assuming each building is owned by separate resident and assuming each resident approached Time Warner individually (not as a collective group)  they would be expected to pay an average of $2,590.  $828,600 / 320 = $2,589.375.  However, some of the residents are within a half a mile of where the cable terminates and others are several miles.  Between $1,000 to $60,000 per installation.  Below is a graph chart that shows how many residents would be expected to pay based on cost.

Based on a median income of $36,779 as of 2009 for Caribou residents I belive the cost is out of most people’s reach, even if Time warner contributes $1,000 per installation as they did on the estimate they gave me.

Rural Internet in Caribou ME

February 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Been a while eh?  A while back (June of 2011) I mapped out who could get Time Warner service in Caribou ME and who couldn’t.  I used the 2010 NAIP imagery to digitize all the homes in Caribou.  The homes in the rural areas I verified that they appeared to be used as well as the location where the cable seemed to terminate on the telephone lines.  Furthermore those homes/buildings that were set further back than 300 feet were also excluded since according to Time Warner this is too far to install cable for free.  These findings were compared with the results from to make sure I wasn’t excluding or adding any homes that did/did not have cable.  Based on this methodology Caribou had 3200 building of which 320 did not have access to cable.

By measuring where the cable stopped and which buildings did not have cable I estimated that for the whole city to be serviced an additional 218,726 feet, or 41.43 miles of cable would need to be laid.  At a cost of $20,000 per mile this would equate into a cost of $828,600 for Time Warner.

No High Speed Internet for Rural Areas

July 8, 2011 1 comment

I live in an idyllic part of the country in a rural setting.  We can look out our window and see nothing but farmland, distant homes and the horizon, it is beautiful.  However, because we live in the country we do not have that many choices for high-speed internet.  We used to have a wireless provider until the old coal power plant smokestacks were torn down to make room for a solar biofuel company.  Now our only options are dial-up, satellite or cellular.  We chose Verizon cellular “Broadband” which consists of connection speeds ranging from 0.2 – 1.2 Mbps.  We usually download about 12 GB a month (which is us scrimping) which cost $100 ($80 for the plan, 10GB and $20 in overage charges).

I previously mapped out which homes in my area had access to cable ( and determined we are 1.2 miles from where the cable terminates.  I contacted Time Warner Cable in an attempt to see how much it would cost to lay the needed cable.  Over the phone they told me it would cost $30,000 per mile, however they did state that if I wanted an official estimate I could pay $150.  The real cost was $24,381 minus my $150 and minus their labor $1,000.  So approximately $20,000 a mile, better than I expected but still too expensive for me.Time Warner quote


3D Maps in Dungeons and Dragons Online

September 10, 2010 3 comments

I grew up on Dungeons and Dragons and have loved the imaginary landscapes. Recently I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons Online with my kids. Turbine has created gorgeous and well thought out dungeons but their map system is 2D which makes it difficult to navigate unless you have run the quest multiple times.  I’ve worked on some of the maps to try to make them more understandable with limited success.

To overcome the limitations of a 2D map I have played around with creating a 3D map.  By plotting known locations within the game I can export these quasi X,Y locations into ArcGIS 9.3 along with a 2D picture of the dungeon and plot the layout.  Then by exporting a DWG file into Google Sketchup I can create a 3D environment and add other 3D models to the dungeon.

Using this process I went from a 2D map to a 3D map.  There are quite a few things I can do to improve my results but this is one of my first forays into 3D mapping.

ESRI UC 2010 MGIS Presentation

July 31, 2010 Leave a comment

The ESRI UC 2010 was not as exciting as I remember when I first went there in 2005.  There were a few good discussions but overall it all seemed rather redundant.  However, there were a few notable exceptions. I also presented my Penn State Masters of GIS presentation. So now I have to make a few fixes to the paper and I’m done. I uploaded my presentation as unlisted, just follow the links below if you want to watch. 😀 Yahh!!

Categories: Geography, GIS, Video Tags: , , , ,

ESRI UC Almost Here

June 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Finished up my Masters of GIS project and submitted the paper to ESRI and now working on the Power Point for the conference.  I will be presenting at the ESRI UC on Jul 15 from 3:15 PM to 4:30 PM in Room 29 D, in the Terrain Modeling and Analysis paper session.  My presentation is called, Viewshed Creation: From Digital Terrain Model to Digital Surface Model. 

I will be glad when this is all over. When the papers become available through ESRI I’ll post a link and when my Power Point is done I’ll share it here also.

Categories: Geography, GIS Tags: , , , , ,