Geograph MA

Do you know which state assembly district you are in? What kind of rock are you sitting on? Which school district is this house in? Where is the closest railroad? Are you in a floodable zone?

Geograph MA is the Massachusetts version of the first GIS (geographical information system) for the iPhone. With its 48 (and counting) layers of information, it will help you understand your surroundings and become aware of the geography around you.

 
Bathymetry and floodable zones of Cape Cod
 
Unlike Google Maps, Geograph MA is completely self-contained, which means that it is always available, even without any cellular or wireless coverage. It can be used in the field, in the middle of nowhere. It can of course take full advantage of the iPhone's built-in GPS receiver (this is more limited on the iPod).
 
Terrain and ZIP codes in northwestern Massachusetts
 
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Geograph MA contains a selection of geographical information in its internal database. By default, it comes with 23 different layers. Each layer can be individually shown or hidden, moved up or down, and made more or less transparent. This allows an almost infinite number of possible displays.

In addition, a lot of extra layers (25 as of this writing) can be downloaded right from the application, extending the capabilities of the application even further.

 
Major roads, cities and city limits near Springfield
 

Each feature of most layers has additional information which can be displayed by tapping the feature. This brings up a list of all the data in all the displayed layers at that point.

 
 
The user can then select the desired layer and get all the available information. For instance, tapping an area of the Congressional Districts layer brings up a screen similar to the following:

 
 
With Geograph MA, you can finally access data that is relevant to you without needing access to a computer or a network.
 


Geograph MA can also generate high-resolution maps that you can download to your computer. The following shows the terrain of the eastern part of the state with terrain, roads and counties (difficult to believe it was actually generated on an iPhone, isn't it?):