South Central Arc User Group

Established 1990



A Tornado the Day After Christmas!?!

Tim Nolan, GISP, Collin County, Texas GIS

Bret Fenster, Kendall Holland, Ramona Luster, Gabi Voicu, Khyati Desai

"Remember… tornado season in Texas is January 1st – December 31st.” – David Finfrock, Chief Meteorologist, NBC 5 News, Dallas-Ft Worth. If the conditions are right, a tornado can occur at any time.

Devastating tornadoes roared through Ellis, Dallas and Collin Counties the day after Christmas. Much of our rescue and recovery efforts were taxed due to the holiday. Collin County GIS staff, in coordination with the Texas Emergency GIS Response Team (TX EGRT) and local authorities, built an ArcGIS Online (AGO) interface to display structures effected by the tornadoes. The AGO site served as a single repository for site pictures, building conditions and the eventual tornado paths. Collin County enlisted the help of Pictometry International to fly and take imagery of the tornado damage. We were able to see before and after images of the structures in the affected areas. This presentation shows some of the early data collection effort, the tornado paths and the imagery of the destruction.

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Influence of the utopian Reunion Colony settlers in early Dallas, Texas. as evidenced by pattern of historical street names in the present Downtown, Deep Ellum, and Old East Dallas areas.

Albert Dwayne Taylor, City of Dallas, Texas

 French philosopher Francois Marie Charles Fourier developed ideas in the early 1800’s on how to create a productive, nonrepressive society, free from disorder, chaos and strife, through harmonious collaboration and elimination of tedious or unpleasant work through communal associations.  This became popular as a reaction to the French Revolution and Napoleonic era earlier in the century.  An early collaborator, Victor Prosper Considerant, defined the idea of a “right to (have) work” as one the main ideas of French Socialists in the 1848 Revolution in France (one of a wave of revolutions in Europe that year), which ended with the defeat of insurrectionists by forces loyal to Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, followed by repression of his opponents, including Considerant and other followers of utopian Fourierism movement, who were forced into exile in Belgium.

Considerant, with the help of other exiles, began planning the establishment of a colony in North America.  With the assistance of advance agent Francois Cantagrel, a site was found in Dallas County in 1952, with the first settlers, perhaps 200-350 (the just established town of Dallas had approximately the same population), arriving in 1855 and establishing their colony in what is now considered "West” Dallas, or “Far West” Oak Cliff.  As most of the settlers were from urban backgrounds, possessed artisan rather than agricultural skills, and settled on land ill suited for farming at a time of drought and periodic hard freezes, their utopian agricultural colony was officially dissolved in 1957, and most of the colonists had reported left the settlement by 1860.

Many of those who left moved back to Europe or to New Orleans, but perhaps half remained in Texas, many in Dallas, and a few purchased their La Reunion holdings and remained there permanently.  Of those who remained in Dallas, many are reported to have moved into the area which later became known as Deep Ellum and Old East Dallas.  The map will attempt to show the diffusion of their influence in that part of Dallas by the distribution of street names related to the former Reunion Colonists, with which the author, as street name coordinator for the City of Dallas, has become familiar through the course of his work.

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Map Gallery Winner - Best in Show! 

US 75 Corridor – Retail Trade Analysis 2002-2014

Bret Fenster, GISP, County of Collin, Texas

Rather than funding US 75 highway improvements through a tollway designation, Collin County is looking at innovative ways of funding improvements by capturing a portion of new sales tax revenues in the highway corridor. Revenue projections will be provided to the Texas Legislature in order to assess the viability of diverting future sales taxes towards corridor improvements. This study shows Texas State Comptroller retail trade data portrayed in graphs. The graph data correlates to the highway corridor and retail zoning areas in the cities.

The desired goal is keeping the lanes on a busy regional highway free from tolls and improving the mobility of the citizens in Collin County.

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Creating a Geographical Information System (GIS) Database for Documenting Historical Structures at Rancho La Union Ranch, Zapata County, Texas.

Brent C. Hedquist Department of Physics & Geosciences, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Mukti R. Subedi, Department of Physics & Geosciences and Department of Biological & Health Sciences, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

 As one of the oldest continuously operating ranches in South Texas, Rancho La Union contains several historical structures of significance. It is critical that these historical structures are documented digitally and mapped for documentation and preservation purposes. This project involved the design and creation of a geodatabase and reference map that can be added to in the future and allow prospective visitors to view and read about historical building and structures from a website. The design of the geodatabase included defining the domains and subtypes for roads, buildings, and a corral, as well as digitizing the roads, corral, dam, and buildings on the ranch property.  The final map (a GeoPDF) created in the project will aid in identifying the location of the historical ranch in South Texas, as well as key structures that have existed for over 150 years on the property, such as the corral and bunkhouse.

 Click to See Poster

Finding Your Safe Space

Collin King & Bre Caller, BIS Consulting

 Abstract: Using spatial analysis, we will be discovering which areas of Dallas county will be the safest in the event of a storm system producing a tornado. By dividing Dallas county into quadrants, taking fatalities, injuries, damages, EF rating, and distance covered by all tornadoes since the 1950’s into account, and determining which quadrant would be the safest to settle if you were moving into the Dallas county area for the first time. This will be informative for various reasons, including the

safest area statistically in the event of a tornado, and if you choose to move to another area in Dallas county, being informed enough to know that you are more likely to be hit by a tornado and should take necessary measures to prevent yourself from being the next victim.

Click to See Poster: Tornadoes: Paths through time

Bre Caller & Collin King, BIS Consulting

 A category EF4 tornado, with winds of up to 180 mph, ripped through the eastern Dallas metroplex on December 26, 2015. Dallas has not seen a tornado of this intensity since 1959. BIS Consulting is producing a poster to show the impact of the 2015 tornado using a buffer analysis of the track and an intersect of the 2015 parcel data to show the estimated number of properties affected. We will also be comparing the damage caused by the two tornados in 2015 terms and investigating what damage the 1959 tornado track would have caused today.

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Ozone Trend Analysis over Time and Geography:  Houston, TX

Johnny Brown, Harris County & Nicole Bradstreet, CDM Smith

 The aim of this study was to visualize what effect regulation had on ozone values near Houston, Texas and to determine the influence of land use features.   This was done by employing eleven years (2004-2014) of air quality data provided by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality via the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The data includes daily max ozone values for this entire time period, however, visualization contained in the study area demonstrates yearly average AQI (air quality index) values. Temporally, values declined overall by approximately ten percent when comparing 2008 (when regulation capped ozone to 75 ppb) to 2014. Spatially, the greatest decrease in ozone emissions (2014/2008) occurred in rural areas (-19.9%), near airports (-12.06%), and in highway corridors (-11.77%).  The smallest amount of decrease occurred in industrial areas (-7.74%) and beach/bay areas (-8.3%).  Suburban and urban areas experienced decreases in the -9/-10% range. 

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GIS Products and Services at the National Weather Service in Corpus Christi, Texas

Michael Buchanan, National Weather Service Corpus Christi, Texas

Since 2007, the National Weather Service office located in Corpus Christi, Texas has developed a variety of GIS products and services for their local, regional, and national customers and partners.  High resolution PNG graphics, KMZ files, and Web Mapping Services of weather and climate information are routinely created using a multitude of Python scripts. These GIS products and services are used to brief customers and partners on routine and significant weather impacts through a variety of email, web, and social media platforms.  The easy-to-understand format of these GIS products and services greatly assists customers and partners in making critical weather-related decisions.

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Edwards Aquifer Rainfall Comparative Study

Mark Hamilton (Executive, Director), Jenna Pace (former Environmental Coordinator), and Sarah Eason Watson (GIS Analyst)

Recharge to the Aquifer originates as precipitation over the drainage area and recharge zone or as interformational flow from adjacent aquifers. The drainage area actually acts as a drain allowing water to run down into the recharge area. In the recharge zone, the Edwards limestone is on the surface of the ground. Water soaks into the rock’s fractures, faults, cavities, and sinkholes where it flows into the artesian zone. The artesian zone is where the water is stored in quantities large enough for sustainability purposes.

This project explored the relationship between precipitation and recharge by comparing estimated recharge in wet and dry years. It shows that more than half of the recharge in eleven years occurred in just two of those years and demonstrates the vast amount of recharge that is possible with enough rain and the lack of recharge without.

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Atmospheric accumulation of greenhouse gasses influences the chemistry composition of the constituents of the atmosphere which are accumulating, with time at an accelerated rate. Melting of Artic and Antarctic ice acclaims to land mass as ocean waters. Land mass in vicinity to oceans are eventually to disappear. This is due not to the greenhouse gasses emitted rather the melting of the ice masses in Greenland, The Artic, and The Antarctic, but rather the none explosive release of METHANE GAS which is mostly cap in the Siberian Traps under permafrost.

Click to See Poster (image 1):

Click to See Poster (image 2):

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