Geograph MI

Do you know which state senate 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 MI is the Michigan version of the first GIS (geographical information system) for the iPhone. With its 40 (and counting) layers of information, it will help you understand your surroundings and become aware of the geography around you.

 
Terrain, bathymetry and public lands of Michigan
 
Unlike Google Maps, Geograph MI 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).
 
Land use around Detroit
 
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Geograph MI contains a selection of geographical information in its internal database. By default, it comes with 24 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 number of extra layers (16 as of this writing) can be downloaded right from the application, extending its capabilities even further.

Many layers contain links to on-line information: for instance, the congressional districts layer points to each representative's web site; the geodetic points layer has links to the USGS page for each individual point, and so on.

 
Geology and bathymetry around Keweenaw bay
 

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 Geology layer brings up a screen similar to the following:

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


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