Posted by: jdantos | March 5, 2008


Just as soon as I got done saying it was cold here, it got warm here.  Monday broke 70 in the afternoon sun, yesterday was a huge spring rainstorm, and today is back in the mid 50s.  Got to ride home from work in a t-shirt on Monday as the sun was setting, and decided to take a scenic detour: followed M Street down to Pennsylvania Ave east, and down to the White House, then up 12th Street to Whole Foods, then a grocery-laden zigzag up to 18th Street, then Kalorama Road.

This morning’s bike ride was warm too, but I’m wary of this 35-mph winds they’re forecasting for tonight.  I have this thing setup to deduct money from my paycheck to my Metro pass, but I really underestimated how much I’d be able to commute on bike, so I’m now sitting on hundreds of dollars of Metro credit.  Hmm, I think I need to knock down the amount soon.  Tomorrow should be colder though, and with post-work dinner plans both Thursday and Friday I think I might ditch the bike.

Work is calmer this week, and I’ve been dusting off the part of my brain that used to be handy at GIS.  It’s coming back to me, but the version of ArcMap has changed a bit since I last really got into this stuff, so I feel like I’m driving a strange new car – I know how to steer and accelerate, but can’t find the windshield wipers.  The latest challenge is to attribute poverty levels from census block groups up to traffic analysis zones, which are sometimes bigger and sometimes smaller than block groups.  I think I need a kind of “smart” spatial join…

Spring training has begun, and I’m hoping to catch a few games on MLB’s internet radio.  Speaking of which, yesterday I was able to get 2 tickets to see the Nationals’ Home Opener in their brand new stadium at the end of this month!  Apparently they’d never seen that kind of ticket demand.  I’m psyched to see the game.  As much as it’s a shame how much public money the District gave away to the (private) Nationals, I do believe that some of the benefit of downtown ballparks (economic development, mandated local jobs, exporting tax burden to suburbs, civic pride/identity) is external and accrue to a central city, so there is an argument for public subsidy.  But I think Nationals Park was overboard.

Regardless of the controversy, the new ballpark is supposedly beautiful and I can’t wait to see it in a few weeks.  Spring is in the air.



  1. Do you have GIS pro’s available to you there?
    The easiest way I imagine would be to switch the data to raster instead of vector, though it would then change the potential analyses available to you.
    When you say poverty data, are you referring to basically one number per census block, like a percentage or whatnot? Or is there more to it than that?
    If you get stuck, you can put your two shapefiles in a geodatabase and e-mail them to me, I can take a swing at it too.

    • You know, I’ve never tried “going raster” (rasta? 🙂 in GIS, so it might work. Yeah, just one number per block group. I was also thinking something like a spatial join on centroids, and somehow multiplying by a percentage, but attributing by area would be better.
      Unfortunately, my boss(es) didn’t like my methodology anyway, so chucked it in favor of some to-be-determined onboard survey. No more GIS for me – can’t bill it. Hmph.

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