Abstracts Submitted

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You are viewing a static copy of the 2013 Sunriver Conference website archived on December 11, 2013. To view current Northwest GIS User Group events and news visit nwgis.org.

People’s Choice Voting Instructions

Once again a People’s Choice award will be given to a Map Gallery exhibitor and the recipient will be selected by you, the conference attendees. The voting will be done through paper ballet. Please submit a vote in the map gallery


  • The poster with the highest average vote will be the winner.
  • A tie will be decided by the distinguished panel of 2013 NW GIS User Group Map Gallery judges.
  • You may vote on as many of the exhibits as you like.
  • Vote only once for each exhibit.
  • Vote before noon on Thursday as voting will end at the discretion of the Map Gallery Coordinator some time on Thursday afternoon.

    Honor System

    The process of voting for the Map Gallery People’s Choice award will be administered by the Honor System. Please act honorably. Those found displaying dishonorable actions will be awakened in the middle of the night, haunted by daemons and hauled to the Deschutes River for a midnight swim.

    Please vote responsibly!

  • Session: Collaborative Efforts

    Jason Motley & Laura Hansen

    Previous methods of collecting and storing location of signs and supports were unreliable; 14 separate databases housing sign data. Initial efforts to gather basic inventory included QA/QC and data warehouse. Methods ranged from using multiple tools and hand calculating the location to simply guessing the location of the asset. Using off-the-shelf hardware, software and creative programming we created a single tool to gather location information of an asset with the push of a button. Results from testing indicate the tool is able to calculate and store a precise location in a fraction of the time of previous methods. Audience members may find useful the real world example of GIS working within an asset management database in an increasing trend of using GIS to collect and maintain asset data.

    Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 1:14pm
    Gail M. Ewart, GISP; Robert Mansolillo

    They said it was too hard. That was in 2006. Since then, technologies, digital data, and collaborative tendencies have matured to the point where it's not too hard anymore. In 2012, a statewide group convened to figure out how to develop and maintain Zoning and Comprehensive Plan Map Framework data sets. The Planning Workgroup, within the Administrative Boundaries Framework Implementation Team, has done just that and, with ODOT's partnership, has carried out a successful pilot. We will share the statewide zoning classification, the outreach and technical approaches, and the results thus far. We will also share plans for filling in the rest of the state and ideas for maintaining it. Because of the Land Use Planning statutes in Oregon, Zoning and Comprehensive Plan Map Framework are essential to understanding how program policies are playing out in local governments across the state and for modeling future transportation and other land use needs. These are just two of the myriad uses for these Framework data.

    Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 1:15pm
    Joy Paulus

    When you’re asked to do more with less year after year … you need a superpower. For the Washington State GIS community that superpower was Agile development with Scrum, and an obsessive desire to fix an urgent business problem across agencies. Hear how 16 weeks and cross agency GIS managers and staff built three web API’s to bring to life the state’s first Master Address File.

    Friday, October 11, 2013 - 4:56pm
    Bryant Ralston

    Geodesign is an emerging collaboration method for the creation of designs in geographic space and the evaluation of their impacts, all provided by a decision-driven “feedback-friendly” framework. As such Geodesign has an annual summit (sponsored by Esri), several focused academic initiatives and programs, and a formalized framework, distilled from years of practical experience by noted Harvard Professor Carl Steinitz. In practice, the end goal is to help humanity organize our activities that alter our landscape to create superior designs that result in a more sustainable and healthier planet. Geodesign can only work with significant multi-disciplinary collaboration, especially between geographic scientists and design professionals. This is a fundamental issue for Geodesign and it requires careful attention and cautious execution. Although cooperation and collaboration here is not new and has a history of moderate success, failures are also too commonplace. While the challenges here are multi-faceted and, at the core, involve differing professional focuses, methods of practice, scales of operational comfort, communication semantics and tools, it has been referred to as “a necessary collaboration” for Geodesign. Attend this introductory Special Interest Group to learn about a regional effort in the Northwest to educate, evangelize, and engage around Geodesign approaches.

    Friday, October 11, 2013 - 2:17pm

    Session: Data Presentation Cartography

    David A. Howes

    Although Esri’s ArcGIS provides a set of standard functions that serve many needs very well, investment in the technology also provides the ability to streamline workflows and create custom functions using ArcObjects and programming environments, such as .NET (C# or VB.NET). Taking advantage of the customization options can save significant amounts of time and effort and the monetary savings can often far outweigh the development costs. Examples to support these points are provided from three add-in projects related to ArcGIS for Desktop map development: (1) tools to enhance map series development by supporting creation of custom graphics based on dynamic segmentation data (a new C# add-in); (2) tools to support bulk creation of bookmarks and simplify map configuration and exporting (a new C# add-in based on existing VBA tools); and (3) tools to support forest management mapping operations (a new VB.NET add-in based on existing ArcMap custom tools).

    Friday, October 11, 2013 - 5:19pm
    Robert A. Norheim

    Edited volumes, or multi-author books, are frequently found in academia or research fields. A variety of authors bring different perspectives to bear on a common theme. Normally, these authors create their own graphics and maps, and they often borrow graphics and maps from earlier publications, often put together by yet another author. As a result, edited books typically have very little graphic design coherence between the different chapters. I have had the opportunity to be the sole cartographer on a number of edited books, and have been proud to be able to lend these books a degree of design coherence unusual in the genre, indicating that the book was more thoughtfully and collectively put together than many others. The map redesign included using the same style of typography, color schemes, symbolization, legend style, north arrow, scale bar, map frame, and geographical extent (as appropriate). This poster shows, for two such books, the maps submitted by the authors and the maps as redesigned, and points out some of the challenges in redesigning maps produced by others.

    *Please provide 2 poster panels.*

    Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 6:24pm

    Session: Data Sharing & Standards

    Gena Vincent

    July lightning sparked the start of a long, hot season of fires in southern Oregon. With so many fires and too few GIS-ers, the opportunity to provide GIS services to the Oregon Department of Forestry was as unexpected and exciting as the lightning itself. In this presentation, Gena will share her experiences working with GIS Team 3. Weaving an emphasis of agency collaboration, data sharing and standards, she will tell the story of a seasoned analyst and one-time firefighter dropped in the middle of incident command without a flotation device.

    Friday, October 11, 2013 - 7:59pm

    Session: GIS Implementation & Management

    Elizabeth Ohlmann

    We approached our GIS implementation using standard IT principles and practices with a GIS-centric methodology: a self-service environment allowing the GIS staff to manage their own business processes. • Disconnected editing: crews can check-in/out data any time from any location with access to our network, a queue ensures serial processing of all requests, automated conflict detection for replicas. • Integrated disconnected editing with office editing: AssetIDs are validated and assigned, a full compress executes nightly. • Field-collected information is uploaded and processed nightly: flushing calculations, soil sample measurements, redlines, and GPS points. • Quality control: full data profile and %error of every field for every object in the production geodatabase, schema validation (UML to geodatabase) • Dashboards and Reports: all quality control results, nightly processing errors, conflict errors are presented to the GIS staff for quick and easy correction, forms for GIS staff to manage and support field crew laptops and data collection efforts

    Monday, October 7, 2013 - 1:50pm

    Session: GIS in the Cloud

    Benjamin Webb, Matthew Nichols

    Local governments need to improve efficiency and constituent service now more than ever. A new essential tool in the progressive government toolbox is location technology. Mapping has been reinvented and is now incredibly easy to use and can be integrated into everyday activities of local government. Municipalities can harness this new breed of location technology and advance their processes to deliver on citizen expectations. Digital Map Products’ customers are leading the way by embracing mapping and seeking innovative strategies to leverage location in their operations, citizen outreach, and agency-wide decision making. Learn how they are leveraging mapping throughout their organizations to unify internal data and facilitate decisions, and publish information to citizens through consumer friendly online maps. Digital Map Products has extensive experience developing cloud-based mapping solutions for local government. Our technologies drive everyday operations of hundreds of municipalities, revolutionizing local government‘s use of location intelligence.

    Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 3:15pm
    GIS in the Cloud
    Torrin Hultgren

    For several years Innovate!, Inc has been assisting the U.S. EPA in implementing the EPA GeoPlatform using ESRI's ArcGIS.com for Organizations. We've learned many lessons about the strengths and weaknesses of service oriented architecture for GIS users and developers. This presentation will cover the highlights from the guidance documents we've authored: best practices, standard operating procedures, and recommended workflows for publishing and documenting map services, web maps and map applications.

    Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 2:00pm
    GIS in the Cloud

    Session: How to Determine if You're Getting Return on Investment (ROI) From GIS

    Phill Thomas

    Practically all Governments and private organizations today are asked to accomplish their respective missions with increased efficiency. This is due to tough economic conditions, diminishing budgets and increased pressures to justify their existing and future budgets making requests for funding increasingly difficult and precarious. Many government and corporate leaders are requiring more rigorous Return on Investment (ROI) analyses prior to allocating resources to any project, including GIS. ROI analyses help to communicate and inform decision makers on the benefits of the investment dollars and human capital spent (or to be spent). This presentation will cover ROI best practices and experiences from serving clients that are required to identify, quantify, display, and justify the value of GIS. The speaker looks forward to sharing his experiences with you and he will discuss topics such as communicating with decision makers, selecting the criteria to measure or “measuring like you mean it”, bounding ROI studies based on appropriate business cycles, storyboarding, “before and after” analysis, and how to deal with gaps in data.

    Friday, October 11, 2013 - 4:55pm
    Bryant Ralston

    As professionals we are aware of the benefits of GIS to our own organizations, both at the individual project level and by applying enterprise approaches. Although the coordination and governance challenges of each differ quite substantially, it could be natural to assume that many publicized and published Return-on-Investment (ROI) studies for GIS would be readily available. However evidence proves otherwise. Despite boasting 300,000+ GIS users worldwide, when asked on the pre-event 2013 Esri “UC” Question and Answer survey “Can you refer me to good documentation on ROI for GIS?” Jack Dangermond originally only referenced one study, done in King County, Washington. While certainly just an antidote from the software industry leader, it appears that GIS does indeed lag behind some other IT-based technologies in the process – formal or informal - of quantifying benefits against costs. While there may be valid reasons for this reality, the current economic climate is forcing many leaders, both public and private sector, to be more cautious and ask tougher questions than in the past before providing their “go-ahead,” resources, or funding. Does our industry even have adequate ROI methods, models, tools, and “know how” in the context of how transformational and horizontally applied GIS usually is? How can we overcome the difficultly in properly measuring the myriad of benefits GIS can bring while the costs can be so easily tracked? Do we even want or need to do this? What is the right business cycle for an ROI study? An assembled panel of professionals will delve into these topics and more by providing their perspectives, experience, “war stories” and opinions. Following the comments of the panelists, the audience will be provided ample opportunity assist in continuing the professional dialog on this increasingly relevant and important topic for the future of GIS. The Panel: Dennis Higgins, Client Services Manager, King County, Seattle, Washington Phill Thomas, Chief Operating Officer for Innovate! Inc., Alexandria, Virginia Joy Paulus, Washington State GIS Program Manager, Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Olympia, Washington Mark Ford, AICP, Mark Ford Associates LLC, Salem, Oregon Dan Haug, Director of Information Technology, Umatilla Tribe, Pendleton, Oregon Craig Rintoul, Management Consultant, PA Consulting Group, Denver, Colorado

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 1:17pm

    Session: Local & Regional Government

    Mel Soares

    The City of Kirkland Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has incorporated the use of the ArcGIS Network Analyst extension into emergency management planning. The EOC manager has drafted an Operations Manual that prescribes drive-by assessments of 100 high-priority facilities in Kirkland immediately after a major natural or human-caused disaster. These facilities include public buildings, utilities infrastructure, schools, care facilities, staging areas, and suppliers. The vehicle routing tool in the ArcGIS Network Analyst extension was used to generate 13 inspection routes from 5 Kirkland fire stations to optimally assess the 100 facilities. This presentation will describe the entire project from concept through design to the final QA/QC of the routes. The utilization of “soft skills” during the needs assessment and early project requirements will be discussed in some detail. An overview of the technical methodology and challenges will also be presented. Finally, the presenter will examine how the confluence of technology tools and actual emergency responder input provided the best quality product in the shortest timeframe. The presentation will conclude with some ideas about ways to use and modify the route information on the fly during an actual emergency, a critical need of dispatchers and first responders.

    Monday, September 23, 2013 - 3:12pm
    Jonathan McDowell, GISP

    For the nine months, Clackamas County GIS has worked with ESRI regarding the possible migration of the tax lots into the Local Government Information Model for Parcels. This process has taught County GIS staff how the parcel fabric maintains and manages parcel data. The Parcel Editor provides several benefits with maintaining parcels. However, there are also several drawbacks that ESRI still needs to address in order to make the necessary move to a parcel fabric. These discrepancies do not prohibit implementing some level of a fabric within an organization. In addition to the strengths and weaknesses of the Parcel Editor, there are other potential beneficial applications of the parcel fabric technology in managing jurisdictional boundaries. This presentation will explore how Clackamas County is using the Parcel Editor including a critique of real world uses of the application.

    Monday, September 23, 2013 - 3:13pm
    Ben Sainsbury

    RLIS delivers more than 100 GIS map layers for the region through online download and web services - available to subscribers anywhere with Internet access. The RLIS API is intended for regional developers in need of geocoding functionality and/or answers to specific questions about a given address. The API is easily included in any JavaScript/HTML5/CSS web site or application and does not require additional libraries such as JQuery or Dojo to operate. Developer resource-scarcity coupled with rapidly-changing web server platforms prompted our creation of an API for both in-house and subscriber usage. The API provides geocoding, address autosuggestion and query functionality and allowed our agency to rapidly redevelop a host of lookup tools. While backed by ESRI technology, the API is not powered by ArcGIS Server allowing us to cleanly separate map service concerns with app-building functions.

    Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 12:09pm
    Sam Young LS, GISP

    Blaine County’s GIS department pulls information from a variety of sources and formats them into a user friendly interface that the public can access via the web and see all available information from the County. This project has allowed us to collaborate with our many customers and create a set of targeted products to serve as many of their needs as possible. The result has been a great success although we are we reaching critical mass in terms of maintaining the system.

    Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 2:31pm
    Matthew Gerbrandt

    Small local governments face a unique set of challenges when it comes to collecting, managing and serving data in the digital age. In this session, we will discuss how the City of Hayden, a small town in Northern Idaho, took on the task of identifying and registering all of the businesses in their jurisdiction. We will explore the tools they chose for storing and updating data, collecting online payments and integrating their database into an ArcGIS environment. We will discuss the use of ArcGIS Desktop and .Net applications for managing local data and accessing remote systems via SOAP. We will also discuss the benefits of the native SQL Server geometry data types for storing and accessing spatial data.

    Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 2:32pm
    Heidi Suna

    When the announcement was made that Beaverton City Hall was moving to a new location in 2014, one of many concerns was where to eat, get coffee, or run errands close by. A lack of sidewalks, railroad crossings, and a sea of parking lots makes traveling from A to B a little more complicated in that area. In the presentation I will show how we created a simple Walking Route network using ArcGIS Network Analyst and how we used a Composite Address Locator to geocode amenities from our Business License database. With an in-house walking network we were able to highlight the walkability of the new location with routes and travel times to businesses nearby a little more realistically (and updated) than using web searches or regional walking networks.

    Monday, September 23, 2013 - 3:10pm
    Juston Manville

    GIS is the perfect platform for local governments to design and create an integrated GIS-centric public asset management system using spatial relationships as a way to manage, coordinate, and analyze all public assets and work activities. GIS plays a vital role in asset inventory, providing the "Where it is" and "What it is" for your assets. Often the GIS data is not used in the daily operations of asset, work and permit management, but mostly for making maps and visualizing infrastructure. This presentation will provide examples and the benefits of incorporating GIS into daily operations and will offer steps to accomplish this in your organization.

    Monday, September 23, 2013 - 7:50pm

    Session: Mobile GIS for the Enterprise

    Jim Lahm

    Ensure your mobile GIS is populated with only the best quality data. When you want to work with Esri ArcGIS for Windows Mobile® 3.1 or Esri ArcPad, you can depend on Trimble® handheld GNSS and Trimble Positions™ software to deliver the accuracy you need and a streamlined workflow to make the total solution fast and seamless. Extend your GIS beyond the office to deploy intuitive and productive mobile data collection for accurate, up-to-date data across your organization. With the release of Trimble® Positions™ Mobile extension—the newest addition to the Trimble Positions software suite—as an Esri ArcGIS Mobile field software user you now have access to all the advantages of the Trimble Positions software. An extension for Esri ArcGIS Mobile field software, the Trimble Positions Mobile extension integrates ArcGIS Mobile workflows into the Positions software suite as an alternative to Trimble GPScorrect™ extension / GPS Analyst™ extension workflows. This workshop will demonstrate how to maximize the capabilities of new the Trimble Positions ArcGIS Mobile workflow and also covers how the new workflow compares to the previous GPScorrect and GPS Analyst extension workflow. You will be provided with a selection of Trimble GPS handhelds loaded with Esri ArcGIS Mobile together with the Trimble Positions ArcGIS extension and sample data and receive a full demonstration of the workflow from field to office server. This will be an ideal opportunity for those of you working with ArcGIS 10.1 to see the ease and advantages of working with the Trimble Positions software suite. As the Trimble Positions ArcGIS workflow is compatible with ArcGIS 10.1 only—older versions of ArcGIS are not supported by this new workflow. However for those that have not migrated yet to ArcGIS 10.1 this is a great opportunity to see what is in store for you when make that move. Jim Lahm 2-8-2013

    Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 1:53pm