Which One of These States is not Like the Other?

By Jeffery Robichaud

Last year, accompanied by much fanfare (both positive and negative) the University of Missouri bid farewell to the Big 12 and moved to the SEC.  I won’t weigh in on the move with one exception.   In keeping with the geographical thread of this blog, I have never seen a map on which Missouri is considered to be in the Southeast part of the United States (the SE in the SEC).  In fact there was a day, back at the beginning of our country, when Missouri was considered the West.  Depending on which side of the Missouri River you lived, you found yourself either in “Barren Country covered with Efflorescent Salt” or “Very Fruitful Country” as depicted in a pre-Lewis and Clark map.

So now Missouri is the only one of our four states with a University not found in a “Big” conference (take that SEC!).  Just because they don’t belong to a “big” conference doesn’t mean they don’t have big data.  In fact we’ve worked with several organizations in Missouri that serve as great resources for those in the geospatial business.  Three such exist at the University of Missouri.

  •  MSDIS (pronounced Miz – Diz) is the Missouri Spatial Data Information Service, a spatial data retrieval and archival system at the University of Missouri.  They have a ton of cool data ranging from normal stuff like roads and waterways to cool stuff like locations of sinkholes and zebra mussels.  


  • Our friends over at MORAP, the Missouri Resource Assessment Partnership, focus on coordinated approaches to projects with funding from multiple shared sources to minimize costs.  Holly Mehl, from EPA Region 7, has highlighted some of our joint work with MORAP here and here


  •  Last but not least, another site we frequently visit is CARES, the Center for Applied Research and Environmental Systems.  CARES focuses on understanding human and natural systems through integration of social and natural sciences in a GIS setting, including such projects as the Community Issues Management mapper. 

So that concludes our round robin of some of the GIS sites found in our four States, which we started during bowl season and finished before March Madness.  You can check out our previous posts on Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas, and be sure to share with us your favorite GIS sites from KS, IA, NE, and MO (or elsewhere for that matter).  What is your go-to site for data?

Jeffery Robichaud is a second generation EPA scientist who has worked for the Agency since 1998. He currently serves as Deputy Director of EPA Region 7′s Environmental Services Division.  In full disclosure, he lives in Missouri and will probably end up sending one kid to MU and one kid to KU.  Here he is with his Tiger fan at the last Border Showdown at Arrowhead Stadium (which Mizzou won handily).

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