Google Earth Pro Is Now Free—But Why?

Google announced earlier this year that it will now be offering Google Earth Pro for free. Google Earth Pro had previously required an annual subscription fee of several hundred dollars, and I have my doubts as to what the elimination of a paid subscription tier means for the future of Google Earth. But, first, let’s explore why this announcement is relevant to land preservation. Continue reading Google Earth Pro Is Now Free—But Why?

Virginia Viewed from Above

Virginia is an exceedingly beautiful state. It has a wide variety of topographies and vistas, ranging from the Atlantic coastline to the mountains. In fact, it has such a wide variety that describing it all in a reasonably succinct fashion can be quite difficult.

However, the following video from Skyworks does an admirable job of it: Continue reading Virginia Viewed from Above

Virginia’s 62nd Natural Area Preserve Is Dedicated in Brunswick County

Earlier this week, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation announced the dedication of land comprising Virginia’s sixty-second natural area preserve, known as the Dundas Granite Flatrock Natural Area Preserve. The approximately 11-acre parcel of land is located in northwestern Brunswick County near Fort Pickett. The natural area preserve is distinguished by massive outcroppings of solid granite which occur far from Virginia’s mountains. The natural area preserve was officially dedicated in late January. Continue reading Virginia’s 62nd Natural Area Preserve Is Dedicated in Brunswick County

Preserving Viewsheds Efficiently Through GIS Mapping

Usually, when those of us in the land preservation community think of preserving land, we think of placing that particular piece of land under a conservation easement (or perhaps preserving it in some other way). But what if the property is so unique that placing even nearby properties under a conservation easement becomes useful or even necessary? Continue reading Preserving Viewsheds Efficiently Through GIS Mapping

A New “First Stoplight” in Chesterfield

My car rounded the bend, and suddenly I felt a tick of annoyance at what I saw.

Great. A new stoplight.

A Moving Target

Many of us who live in Southside Virginia drive along U.S. Route 360 through Chesterfield County to get to Richmond, and those of us who travel that route with any regularity at all usually have a pretty good memory of where the “first stoplight” is. The “first stoplight” is the stoplight more or less marking the western edge of the high-density urban sprawl around Richmond. It’s the point at which open highway through endless forests and fields (punctuated by the occasional gas station) gives way to crowded suburbia. Continue reading A New “First Stoplight” in Chesterfield