July 12, 2017

VCGI has begun to explore the possibilities of Power BI, Microsoft's "business intelligence" data modeling and visualization tool.

In this simple example, VCGI downloaded the location of Vermont owned or leased buildings from the VT Open Geodata Portal.  The option to download in "spreadsheet" format was chosen, which provided a CSV file.  The CSV file was pulled into Power BI Desktop and used to create the donut chart and map shown below.

The chart depicts the number of buildings owned and/or leased by specific State of Vermont agencies or departments.  Clicking on one of the sections on the donut chart will "filter" the map to the towns where particular agencies/departments have buildings.

We are just getting our feet wet.  We anticpate doing more as we explore the potential of business intelligence tools to enhance data visualization, data exploration, and data-driven decision making.

P.S. Want to learn more about how the State of Vermont is leveraging tools to extract buisiness intelligence?  Check this out!
Webinar: Business Intelligence Tools for GIS, July 26
Presented by Erik Engstrom, VT Agency of Natural Resources. This webinar will provide an overview on how ANR is using Business Intelligence tools such as Microsoft Power BI and ESRI Operations Dashboard to create meaningful visuals of data for reporting and decision making.

June 29, 2017

How Did The 2017 Spring Collection Go?

The 2017 spring orthophoto acquisition season was challenging.  The specifications for Vermont’s orthos require: 1) no snow, 2) no leaves, and 3) no clouds.  As you can imagine, this is very difficult to achieve in Vermont.  This year was especially difficult.  The acquisition area received widespread heavy snow in late March, resulting in persistent snowpack until the middle of April.  Flightlines in the Champlain Valley were opened on April 13th, with additional lines opened on the 17th.  Unfortunately weather conditions precluded acquisition.  All remaining lines were opened on April 20th.  The first successful flights were on April 23rd, which captured approximately 50% of the acquisition area at 30cm.  The acquisition contractor made a final push on April 27th and 28th to capture additional lines (both 15cm and 30cm) with limited success.  All flight lines were closed by VCGI on May 1st due to leaf-out conditions, which was one of the earliest closures in recent memory. The acquisition contractor is processing the imagery and will have preliminary data ready for review by June.

So What Was Collected In 2017?

The blue areas were collected at 30cm GSD.  The green areas were collected at 15cm GSD.  A large portion of Addison County and the eastern third of the 2017 acquisition area was not acquired in 2017 (shown in yellow).  Most 15cm buy-up areas were not collected in 2017. Click here for a PDF map of 2017 orthophoto acquisition.

When Will These Areas Be Collected?

VCGI is currently working with our contractor to draft a plan for future acquisition of the areas not collected in 2017. We will let everyone know what the plan is when it is completed.

June 23, 2017

VCGI is pleased to announce the rollout of more lidar image services covering all or parts of Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, Rutland and parts of Caledonia and Orange Counties. The remaining area should have services by the end of 2017. The links below will take you directly to the Rest Endpoint Page for each service. If you are not sure what to do with a Rest Endpoint Page, check out our help video on the topic:


  • VCGI is aware that both slope services descriptions erroneously refer to the service units as “degree slope”, when in fact they are “percent slope”. Technical issues are blocking our efforts to correct the description.  Thank you for your patience in the meantime.
  • Both the ASPECT and SLOPE image services were intentionally published with the default gray scale color ramp to support flexibility for the user. For details on how you can generate derivatives on the fly using this service, please watch the March 2017 webinar on how to use the new lidar imagery servicesThe Powerpoint used is posted here
  • The ASPECTSYM and SLOPESYM image services were published with pre-determined color ramps (that cannot be changed) to provide users with a “cartographic ready” option.
  • ASPECT and SLOPE data used in these services are not yet completely available for download (soon!)
June 19, 2017

VCGI is pleased to announce that Esri has integrated the 2016 VT Orthoimagery (30cm + 15cm “buy-ups areas”) into their World Imagery Service (  The 2016 leaf-off imagery covers a swath spanning an area covering most of Rutland and Windsor Counties.

May 2, 2017

VCGI decided to go beyond data access, analysis, and visualization for a change and reached out to cartographers and artists seeking examples of how maps and place-based art help us find our place in Vermont. We are thrilled to share these thought-provoking perspectives on maps and place. If you’d like to imagine music playing while you peruse, try “Stand” by R.E.M: “Stand in the place where you are. Think about direction, wonder why you haven’t before…”

Where: Legislative Dining Room at the VT Statehouse, 115 State St, Montpelier, VT

When: This exhibit will be on display through June 1

State House Hours:

Monday 7:45 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday 7:45 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday 7:45 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday 7:45 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday 7:45 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday Closed*
Sunday Closed