New USDA Climate Zone Maps

Photo courtesy of National Gardening Association
To paraphrase Dylan in the worst possible way:  the times they are a changin'.  And so has the USDA's Climate Zone map.  The last map was issued in 1990 and the new map uses 30 years of data from 1976 to 2005 to offer a more accurate map.  In addition with the advent of digital GIS information, the USDA has data available for this analysis that did not exist or had yet to be digitally compiled previously.

These maps list average minimum temperatures for different latitudinal zones. Each zone is based on 10 degrees Fahrenheit with Zone 1 as the coldest (-60 to -50) and Zone 13 is hottest (60 to 70) (found only on Hawaii and Puerto Rico). Two new zones were added in hotter climates this year for a total of 13 zones.

So does this mean that climate change is real?  Is the jury really still out on this one?

Watch the video here:

To find out your zone check out this site:



Landscape Architecure and Engineering Apps Revisited

It seems like everyday, more and more new apps are given birth and it's hard to keep up! We are trying to update this post as we find more useful apps for landscape architects. Please let us know if you have any more suggestions and check out our first post with more apps that are useful for landscape architects.

Project Noah
“Foursquare meets nature.” Be a part of a wildlife study or know what  organisms have been observed near you. Fun app to have despite your profession, age or level of training. 

Graph Pad
Useful for drafting quick, to-scale drawings.

My Measures and Dimensions
This app could be really useful for initial site visits and for construction observation.

Clinometer- Measure Slope
We like this level because you can calibrate it. 

Manage Your Research 
For bloggers, students, professors or just the life-long student, Mendeley is a great way to organize your research and this app lets you take it with you wherever you go.

TED Talks
Be inspired on the go. 

Houzz and Pinterest- Find Design Ideas
If you don't use Houzz or Pinterest already, both are great websites to use if you are looking for design inspiration, especially when choosing materials. What has impressed me the most about Houzz, is that if you ask a question about the design (like, "what kind of stone is that?"), the designers themselves and others are quick to chime in. Pinterest is unique in that you can share your "pins" with your friends on facebook.

iTunes U- Design, Architecture and Landscape Architecture University Lectures
Although not an app, iTunes U has a wealth of available lectures from a myriad of universities and departments. Some of our personal favorites include the intro design course at NC State with Dean Malecha, Design Thinking, UC Davis's Design as Activism, and Anne Whiston Spirn's lectures at MIT, Sensing Place.

GPS Kit- A Better GPS App
This app is way better than Motion-X mentioned in the previous blog because you can upload multiple waypoints at a time and even group points and tracks. 

Leaf Snap- Plant ID
Take a picture of a leaf and ID a tree?! I'll believe it when I see it. I saw it!

Penultimate- Goodbye Paper!
Pair this app with a stylus on your iPad and never buy a sketch book again!

iannotate PDF- edit PDF's 

logmein ignition- log onto your pc or mac 

Jesse's Work Flow Suggestion
"Snap a screenshot in google earth, bring it into procreate, sketch on it, then put it right into a presentation. Uses stylus, via adapter, and costs minimum of 1.99 for procreate (sketchbook pro works too)"
Thanks again Jesse! 

GoToMeeting- Join a Web Meeting
I use GoToMeeting at work quite a bit, and this app allows you to join meetings. It would be a lot better if you could host them, but hopefully that is soon to come.