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Todd Barr wrote an excellent GIS Day tale but I felt it was a slight bit unkind, so came up with my own version, I hope you enjoy:

Twas the Night before GIS Day, And all from afar

Not a cartographer was drawing, Not ev’n on mylar

Hard drives were hung by the windows with care

with hope that Roger Thomlinson would soon be there

No Analysts were working late, no faces to screen

Now dreaming of visions of being brighter than they seem

Directors all slumbering about maps of abroad

Which they are showing in a long meeting with the board

When out of the server room there arose such a clatter

We leaped from our ergonomically correct chairs to see what was a matter

Out of the dark server room came big Dave

I hoped I saved that file, thank the lord I pressed save

The server air conditioning humming an annoying tone

I realized I hadn’t backed up to server before home

Then what to my wandering eye would appear

But a large festive man with boxes of gear

With a suit made of maps with no legend amiss

I knew right away, it was the Father of GIS

Upon a workstation of Xeons he came

installing software, he called them by name

Now, QGIS, Now ArcMap, Now ArGIS Pro

On MapInfo, On SAGA, On GRASS go, go, go

From the top of the rack to the top of the wall

Install away, install away, install away all.

Upon waking IT teams installed with decorum

Holding back the releases and setting up forums

Upon waking and seeing no maps directors flew

with anger to the IT teams and managers too.

With updates and capabilities the GIS teams soon had

Maps in abundance, all directors were glad

But it could be heard, and he segwayed from site

Merry GIS Day to all, and to all a good night.

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Blog post copied from Adrian Welsh on GeoNet 30/11/2016 – Too good not to share!!

Explain Georeferencing To Me as If I Were a Five-Year-Old

I really liked how Denzel Washington used the phrase “explain this to me as if I were a xxx-year-old” in the movie Philadelphia (1993).

Reference: Philadelphia. Philadelphia, PA: Jonathan Demme, 1993. film.

So, I will take it one step further and attempt to explain the concept of georeferencing to an actual five-year-old.


Five-year-old engineer says, “I have this PDF of a site plan. I want to put this on a map and have it line up properly.”

Here is my map.

We need to zoom in a little bit closer.

A little bit more.

Almost there. Zoom in some more so that our site plan will fit better.

Much better. Now, we need to shrink the site plan to a more usable size. Currently, it’s larger than our map.

Let’s make it a little bit smaller.

Perfect. Now we need to place the site plan on our zoomed in map and adjust it to fit by rotating it and resizing it.

Great! Now, after some quality control of adjustments and transformations, we can rectify this image and call it georeferenced!

We can make the georeferenced image transparent to where we can see the basemap behind it.

Finally, we can add existing linework and other GIS files to give the image a more solid reference.

Many thanks to Adrian Welsh for letting me share this!


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