Community Center Google Maps Integration Updates

by Jim Muratzki
Monday, August 19, 2019
A Google Map with Trail Line Overlay
A Google Map with Trail Line Overlay

In 2019, Google will discontinue its Fusion Tables cloud data management service. Fusion Tables has been available since 2009. LIAA has used Fusion Tables to display extensive interactive map overlays on several websites, especially Michigan Water Trails. Luckily, Google Maps supports a replacement technology: GeoJSON. JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation, and is a text-based means of storing data. GeoJSON is a standardized way of using JSON to store geographic data, and this data format can be exported from the Geographic Information System (GIS) software LIAA uses for many mapping projects. Once exported, the Google Maps API makes adding GeoJSON layers to a map quite easy. The trick for us is to update all the tools we had developed for querying and displaying map data stored in Fusion Tables to instead use data stored as GeoJSON. In the end, GeoJSON overlays will allow us to be more flexible and develop even more interactive maps. And, though we hope to make this changeover completely transparent to end users, watch for new map overlays on Michigan Water Trails soon!

TACM Streams TCFF Panel Discussions

by Matthew Kern
Monday, August 12, 2019
Michael Toms Directs a TCFF Panel Production
Michael Toms Directs a TCFF Panel Production

For the eighth consecutive year, the volunteer Community Production Team and staff at Traverse Area Community Media filmed all of the Traverse City Film Festival Filmmaker Panels. However—unlike any year before—this year we were able to broadcast all of the panels live. This was made possible through the use of new equipment that allows us to stream wirelessly over WIFI. What used to take us a week of planning and half of a day to set up now takes us a half hour of planning and a little over one hour to set up. Almost all of these time savings are due to WIFI replacing long and tedious cable runs. Though newer technology makes video production faster, the types of productions that we do only work if you have a committed team to work with. Year after year, the Community Production Team holds these productions together. Volunteers truly put the 'community' in Community Media.

Volunteer Production Team for the 2019 TCFF Filmmaker Panels:

Michael Toms - Director
Robert DeGabriele - Camera Operator
Judy Kuntz - Camera Operator
Joe Rice - Camera Operator

LIAA Facilitates Paddle Stewards Workshop

by Harry Burkholder
Monday, August 5, 2019
Matt Kern of TACM Films the Workshop
Matt Kern of TACM Films the Workshop

On July 29, 2019, LIAA staff helped facilitate a training workshop along the Torch River with Michigan Sea Grant, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Paddle Antrim as part of the newly created MI Paddle Stewards Program.

The training workshop – one of twelve such workshops around the state under the program – teaches local paddlers  how to detect and report invasive species while paddling. Paddlers also learn how to properly clean their paddle craft to avoid spreading invasive species in other parts of Michigan. Staff from Traverse Area Community Media were also on hand to video the workshop and on-site demonstration. Once complete, the videos will be posted on the Michigan Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy and LIAA’s Michigan Water Trails websites.

This planning effort was secured by a grant written by LIAA, in partnership with Michigan Sea Grant, from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program.