Spring at the Gulf of Bothnia

The spring is coming to Finland and meltwater is running through rivers into the Baltic Sea. The exceptionally cloudfree Landsat 8 imagery from 2016-04-14 shows beautiful features in the Gulf of Bothnia near the Finnish coastline. Some remaining ice cover still exists at the Bothnian Bay, but algae has already begun to form at the Archipelago Sea.

 

Below is a zoomable natural color composite of the Landsat 8-imagery in 30 m resolution:


Waterfalls in Finland (map)

The website Suomen Vesiputoukset has compiled all major waterfalls in Finland into a neat catalog and provide a KML-database as well. The number of waterfalls is rather restricted, so it would make a nice roadtrip for the summer holiday to go and visit some.

You can browse the collection via the map below.

The waterfalls are mostly small, but luckily some of them are easy to access:

karkkila_smallvarkaanoja_smallakaslinkka_01

I converted the data into an ESRI Shapefile to be more usable in GIS software. You can download the shapefile here: Suomen-Vesiputoukset-19092014_shapefile

Algae blooms from satellite imagery (Landsat 8)

I’ve been lately tinkering with Libra, a free service to browse and download satellite imagery from Landsat 8 satellite.

This is an image from Landsat 8 satellite (2014-07-23) showing massive algal blooms at Archipelago Sea.

landsat_2014_07_23_web

You really should check this huge high resolution image to get a sense of scale.

Those tiny dots are large ships cutting through the algae mush:

landsat_closeup_1

Municipality classification by land use patterns

This is an ongoing investigation of the land use patterns of my homeland, Finland.

Finland is a country with a huge variability in the land use patterns within administrative municipalities (cf. LocalFinland.fi for background information). The major towns are packed with infrastructural and residential areas filled with productive economical activities, whereas the administrative burden of the northern municipalities extend over large, practically uninhabitated areas of forests, and only a small portion of the administrative area is affected by economically active infrastructure. kuopio_corine

Continue reading Municipality classification by land use patterns

Mining open source GIS data for Urban Snowboarding locations

Now something different.

Off-piste snowboarding in urban or rural areas is a time-consuming hobby especially outside the mountain areas, because the best spots are neither marked nor listed in city maps. A lazy snowboarder wants to find a nice, open hillside with decent slope and sparse treeline, but finding even a few spots requires numerous trips to countless would-be locations. But hey, we have open source GIS tools and Open Data to mine for just that!

So I opened up Quantum GIS and the Raster Calculator.

Continue reading Mining open source GIS data for Urban Snowboarding locations