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2017 SCAug & LA RS / GIS conference summary of presentations


SESSION TRACK I | 8:30am - 9:30am

Federal Data Initiatives

What’s New with the USGS National Geospatial Program?              

Chris Cretini, Claire DeVaughan & George Heleine  U.S. Geological Survey                 

As one of the cornerstones of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Geospatial Program, The National Map (TNM) is a collaborative effort among the USGS and other Federal, State, and local partners to improve and deliver topographic information for the Nation.  It has many uses ranging from recreation to scientific analysis to emergency response. The National Map is easily accessible for display on the Web, as products and services, and as downloadable data. This presentation will provide a wide range of updates on current activities of the USGS National Geospatial Program. Topics will include the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), The National Map data download functions, TNM services for mobile mapping efforts, US Topo, and TopoView.

Usage of GIS in Post-Event Analyses at the National Weather Service Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center                                             

David Schlotzhauer & Scott Lincoln, National Weather Service Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center                                       

Heavy thunderstorms occurring over 28-30 April 2014 caused significant flooding in the Pensacola, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama, areas. Researchers collected additional reports of rainfall and flooding impacts from private data networks and social media to augment traditional National Weather Service data sources. As a result of this data collection and spatial analysis of the point and gridded data it was determined that areas near Pensacola received at least 20-in of rainfall. Collection of flash flood impact reports provided evidence that flooding occurred in areas that were previously unreported via the official channels of data collection. These additional reports retrieved through crowd-sourcing were essential to establish an accurate and precise accounting of rainfall magnitude and associated impacts. The spatial analyses used in the investigation will be discussed.

Heavy rainfall from a slow moving low pressure system impacted portions of southeast Louisiana over 11-13 August, 2016. This extreme rainfall caused numerous new record crests along the Amite River at tributaries, beating records set by a previous heavy rainfall event in 1983.  Researchers compared the rainfall distribution of the 1983 and 2016 events and the subsequent locations of flood impacts. Spatial analysis indicated that rainfall for the 2016 event was not only more significant, but demonstrated the significance was due to the rain being more focused over the Amite River basin when compared to the 1983 event. It was determined that an isolated area just northeast of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, experienced a 2-day rainfall with only a 0.1% chance of occurring in a given year. The spatial analyses used in the investigation will be discussed.

2020 Decennial Census – Geographic Partnership Opportunities

Joanna Pitsikoulis, U.S. Census Bureau                                      

With innovative changes to design and plans for the 2020 Decennial Census, we are changing the way our geographic partnership programs will operate in 2020. Among the changes, the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) Operation will have one simplified option for 2020: full address list review with census structure coordinates included in the review. The Geographic Support System (GSS) will continue to acquire partner data for updating of the Census’s Master Address File, and Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Reference system. The Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP) will utilize local data users to review and update statistical areas (tracts, block groups, and census designated places) for 2020 data tabulations. The annual Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS) will continue to collect the legal boundaries as of January 1 of each year. New tools are under development to allow our partners to participate more efficiently and effectively in these geographic programs.

Drawing Fair Legislative Districts Based on Territorial Communities to Achieve Partisan Symmetry

Robert Winkler, DeSoto County, Mississippi                          

A new measure of partisan symmetry called the Efficiency Gap is enabling judges to begin reining in the partisan gerrymandering that has proliferated in legislative redistricting in recent years. An analysis of state legislative redistricting maps that resulted from the 2010 Census shows that more than a dozen states have been conducting legislative elections using overtly gerrymandered district maps since the most recent redistricting. This presentation will impart results of a GIS Capstone Project to produce new state legislative redistricting maps for Mississippi and North Carolina that avoid gerrymandering and achieve reasonable partisan symmetry as measured by the Efficiency Gap. These redistricting maps were produced by adhering to the concept of “territorial communities” in lieu of the traditional “communities of interest”, which is often interpreted by states to signify partisan or racial groupings and has been used to pack as many partisans or minorities into a single district as possible.

SESSION TRACK II | 10:30am - 11:30am

Emergency Response & Local Government Applications

The Use of GIS in Determining Fire Station Locations

Ronald Vaughn Sr., Dallas Fire Rescue                                                    

The City of Dallas is growing in population, each day Dallas Fire Rescue resources are being pushed. Call volumes are up and are putting a strain on departmental resources. Our men and women are answering more calls than they were only 5 years ago. Neighborhoods change and they type of calls in those areas have changed. In this presentation we look at how Dallas Fire Rescue uses GIS to determine the location of future fire stations.

BRPSCOP: Real-Time Policing Using GIS

Sgt. Neal Noel, Baton Rouge Police Department

Brandon Jumonville & Warren Kron, City of Baton Rouge/ Parish of East Baton Rouge                                                                                                         

The Baton Rouge Public Safety Common Operational Platform (PSCOP) is an interactive mapping application utilizing many facets of GIS technology. It provides users access to near-real time data and other information for situational awareness, coordination, and analytics in support of daily operations and emergency management. While the platform is being piloted by the Baton Rouge Police Department, it is intended to serve all public safety agencies in East Baton Rouge Parish.  PSCOP addresses the need for efficient and accurate means to convey critical information. The backbone of PSCOP involves a data feed which displays police vehicle locations and current crime and traffic incidents.

A new addition to PSCOP, termed Risk Terrain Modeling, is currently under development. RTM is a tool for empirically identifying which environmental features influence illegal behaviors. The modelling outputs will be used to develop targeted risk-based strategies for preventing crime in Baton Rouge.

A Dark and Stormy Night –A GIS Survivor Story

Olesya Powers, City of Mesquite                                                      

December 26th, 2015 several supercell thunderstorms resulted in an outbreak of 12 tornadoes in North and Central Texas. The deadliest of these, categorized as an EF-4 tornado, cut a path starting from the town of Sunnyvale, the city of Garland, and ending just outside of the city of Rowlett. After surviving the Garland portion of the tornado, I was dispatched to the city of Rowlett with TxEGRT as a GIS responder. It’s not often that a GIS professional is involved in emergency situations tosuch a degree. This presentation hopes to shed light on my unique experience as both survivor & responder, and the many challenges I faced.

GIS & Remote Sensing Tools Support Commercial Supply Chain

Wendi Couvillion French, Wyndston Services

Stephen French & Adam Perschall, Acadian Millwork & Supply

Lori Cunningham & Dion O Reilly, AECOM                                          

Just as Natural Disasters are rocky roads for public emergency response services, but not all emergency response services are borne exclusively in the public sector or completely covered by reimbursable funds. Within Louisiana several private industries carry a huge response load and have to commercialize services where recovery funds fall short. It is a natural extension to bring GIS and business analytical services into these areas were risk overwhelm. Drawing from oil and gas pipeline & emergency response experiences, GIS tools have been calibrated for a public/private partnership to support construction sub-contractors that are key to the redevelopment of the devastated areas and move toward easy facility management services. This presentation will cover tools built upon the readily available public GIS data sets in Southeast Louisiana (around the lake – St Tammany, Tangipahoa, Livingston, East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Ascension, Terrebonne, Lafourche Jefferson and Orleans).

Using Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS Online to Deploy Web Applications for Disaster Felid Assessments

Chelsea Core, GISP & Doug Albert, GISP, City of New Orleans

The City of New Orleans uses ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Server to deploy web mapping applications to disseminate information to the public and collect vital data in disaster situations, like the recent tornado that affected New Orleans East this past February. Using Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS Online, the city deployed an out-of-the box mobile application for collecting tarp distribution. This type of solution provides various City departments and organizations the ability to visualize areas of need and gather information quickly in order to deploy necessary resources.

GIS Synergy in a Web-enabled World

Caroline DeMay & Alison Kuemmel, City of New Orleans        

As more and more government and private entities move further to web enabled geo-spatial based solutions, the relationship between the GIS professional and the non-GIS employee becomes even more critical than before. With this evolution, the role of the GIS analyst has become more focused on creating an environment with streamlined workflows to present the most up-to-date data via replication and creating web applications for the subject matter expert (the non GIS professional) to edit data the way they want to see it. This in turn frees up the GIS professional from doing simple data creation and maintenance, allowing for more time to focus on heavier spatial analytics and data/ workflow management. The City of Orleans is currently using and developing several ArcGIS Online applications that creates this symbiotic relationship ultimately ensuring data provided to citizens is done in the most efficient and accurate manner.

SESSION TRACK III | 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Remote Sensing Analysis & GIS Applications

Spatial Configuration Trends in Coastal Louisiana from 1985 to 2010

Holly J. Beck, U.S. Geological Survey                                                          

From 1932 to 2010, coastal Louisiana wetlands experienced a net loss of 4,877 km2. As the area of these wetlands has changed, so too has the spatial configuration of the landscape. This study examined the spatial and temporal variability of trajectories of landscape configuration and the relation of those patterns to the trajectories of land change in wetlands during a 1985-2010 observation period. Spatial configuration was quantified using multi-temporal satellite imagery and an aggregation index (AI). The results indicate that Louisiana experienced a reduction in the AI of coastal wetlands of 1.07%. In general, forested wetland and fresh marsh displayed the highest aggregation and stability. Intermediate, brackish, and saline marsh all experienced disaggregation during the time period, with increasing severity of disaggregation along an increasing salinity gradient. Finally, a correlation (r2=0.5562) was found between AI and the land change rate for the subsequent period, indicating that fragmentation can increase the vulnerability of wetlands to further wetland loss.

Land Area Change in Coastal Louisiana (1932 to 2015)

Brady R. Couvillion, U.S. Geological Survey                                               

Louisiana has recently experienced more coastal wetland loss than all other states in the contiguous United States combined. Historical surveys, aerial, and satellite data were used to quantify landscape changes from 1932-2015. Analyses show that coastal Louisiana has experienced a net change in land area of approximately -4,833 km2from 1932-2015. A penalized regression spline technique was used to determine the model that best fit the data. Trend analyses from model fits suggest that coast wide rates of wetland change have varied from 83.5 km2/year to - 28.01 km2/year.


Using GIS to calculate irrigated crop areas and water use in Louisiana 2004-2016

Krishna Paudel, Huizhen Niu & Dependra Bhatta, Louisiana State University                                                                                           

Commodity price rise and increased weather variability in the last decade or so have motivated farmers to expand irrigated crop acreage in Louisiana.  At the same time, a relatively inexpensive option of using submersible electric wells has allowed farmers to dig small wells to meet crop irrigation needs. These multitudes of reasons have caused increased water withdrawal in many Louisiana aquifers. We use a GIS-based approach to calculate total irrigated crop acreage, calibrate it based on the USDA Farm Service Agency crop acreage data. We then used these information and weather data to estimate irrigated crop acreage and water withdrawal from Louisiana aquifers. We reconcile the difference in total water withdrawal between our approach and real irrigation acre data compiled by the USDA Farm Service Agency to arrive at better predictions for total irrigation water extraction in Louisiana.

UsingGIS and remote sensing to map the habitats of protected area; Oroug  Bani M’arad, Saudi Arabia

Ali A. Aldosari PhD, King Saud University                                                   

Ecosystems are being increasingly degraded worldwide. Protected areas are one of the natural landscapes/resources and managing these protected areas is very important for conserving ecosystems local and or endemic species. To halt the global and local decline of biodiversity, habitat sand its boundary need to be mapped and monitored so that their condition can be assessed and suitable policies put in place to improve the situation. Uruq Bani Ma‘arid is a desert protected area (12787 square kilometres) in Saudi Arabia. It is situated along the western edge of   Ar-Rub‘ al-Khali (the Empty Quarter Desert), which is widely considered the largest sand desert on Earth. The Uruq Bani Ma‘arid contains greater biological diversity than any other part of the Empty Quarter, with vegetated valleys, gravel plains, and inter-dune corridors. It is the last place that the Arabian Oryx is reliably reported to have been observed in the wild (1979), and is now the focus of an intensive and successful reintroduction program for Arabian Oryx, Reem and Idmi Gazellas etc. This study will apply GIS and remotely sensed data to identify the characteristics of habitats elements in the protected area and to assess new potential habitats of its wildlife. Furthermore the results of indicators and historical satellite data will be discussed to remap the boundary of Uruq Bani Ma‘arid.

Pipeline GPS Data Collection

Joseph Nicolosi, DOW Chemical Mines Storage and Pipping

A review of GPS data collection and how the data is collected and used by field technicians, migrated into the enterprise GIS then used in risk models and by end users.

A brief history

  • ·        Why did we need high accuracy GPS?

TerraSync - work flows, pro and cons.

  • ·        Pathfinder
  • ·        Geo6000/7x

TerraFlex - work flows, pro and cons.

  • ·        Geo6000/7x
  • ·        Smart Phone
  • o  R1, R2

A GIS-based Approach to Environmental Justice Impact Assessments

Alex Couch, ENERCON                                                                

Environmental Justice (EJ) is an important requirement for all NEPA -based environmental reports (ER) and impact statements (EIS). Since 1994, when President Clinton signed Executive Order 12898 directing each Federal Agency to consider EJ by identifying disproportionate and adverse health or environmental effects of its activities on minority and low-income populations, government agencies at all levels have worked to incorporate EJ impact reviews into their permitting processes. By using GIS and publicly available data, applicants can identify the locations of potentially sensitive populations and evaluate potential impact pathways in a geospatial format that allows both applicants and regulators to fully assess potential project impacts. This in turn allows for the identification of mitigation measures that reduce potential impacts and also reduces the risk for contentions. This presentation describes this geospatial approach to EJ that has successfully combined socioeconomic impact analyses with a geographic component in an effective, repeatable and defensible process.

SESSION TRACK IV | 2:15pm - 3:15pm

Database Development

LA DOTD Data and Map Services

Brian, Reigh, Louisiana Department of Transportation                  

The Louisiana Department of Transportations’ plan to fulfill LARS 48:36 by developing, centralizing, and publishing topographic mapping data. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s current accomplishments and services available.

Successful Field Data Collection using Collector for ArcGIS and Survey 123

Jennifer Harrison, TeachMeGIS                                                                

Collector for ArcGIS and Survey 123 are great tools for field data collection. While at first glance both applications seem quite easy to use, there are some details that are very important if you want to get your field data collection right the first time out. For example, it is very important to understand how to properly prepare data for use in Collector for ArcGIS, including using Domains to create pick lists and understanding editable feature services. There are a lot of nuances for creating the Survey123 forms, such as the syntax to use for creating cascading questions in your survey. This seminar gives you an introduction to both great apps.

GIS and Cityworks Mobile Asset Management

Blake Mize, Cityworks by Azteca Systems                                     

Cityworks is working to meet the ever growing needs as it relates to providing advanced GIS - Centric mobile applications for city's, county's, and other local government municipalities around the world. Cityworks Mobile and Cityworks Respond are work management solutions for employees in the field too efficiently communicate with all parties. As a platinum business partner of ESRI, Cityworks Mobile products focus on GIS and asset management services (AMS) along with Land Management (PLL).

The Benefits of a GIS-based Route and Site Selection

Rachel Turney-Work, ENERCON                                                      

A well-executed and documented route selection can be the difference between a project’s success and failure, particularly if the project entails a NEPA or FERC (Resource Report 10) assessment or a state siting permit is required. One solution to help ensure your project’s success is a GIS-based routing process that includes development of a Siting Plan and a quantitative, systematic down-select process that is based on a least cost path algorithm. This presentation will define the major components of a siting plan, including the suggested stakeholder involvement into the Siting Team, selection of criteria, definition of values and weights, and common routing scenarios, as well as outline the types of projects best suited for this siting methodology. Perhaps most importantly, we will outline the wide reaching benefits of this GIS-based process that extends beyond the route selection for the entire life of the project.

How to RUN a CHEAP Shop!

Brenda Fennel, GISP, City of Paris Texas                                     

Would you like to know how to run a small GIS shop for 2k a year? I will show how using: One Basic Desktop License, One Standard Desktop License, unlimited ArcGIS Desktop Explorer Clients, ArcGIS On-Line Fully Hosted Organization, ESRI Application Templates, & Collector and Explorer APPS. The City of Paris Texas has very limited resources for both funding and staff. However, by taking advantage of the ESRI hosted organization available with paid annual maintenance, the city is providing both internal & external customers with online data and map products and are collaborating with other departments for data collection and field verification tasks.

Using Advanced Cartographic Techniques to Create an Award Winning Map

Rebecca Broadbent, Structure Development                       

Have you ever wondered what it takes to make an award-winning map? Many techniques consist of small touches that, when put together, can make your map a professional product. This presentation will discuss advanced cartographic techniques, including where to look for design ideas, using custom colors and fonts, experimenting with unique symbologies, and using specialized tool sets to make a good map better.

Learn how to go beyond the defaults in ArcMap and see how many small touches can result in an award winning map. A case study about the creation of the award winning Geo-Genealogy of England and Wales surnames map will be presented.

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