All Submitted Abstracts

Site Archive
You are viewing a static copy of the 2009 Sunriver Conference website archived on December 11, 2013. To view current Northwest GIS User Group events and news, visit

Session: Advances in Cartography

Aileen Buckley

The credo of the 1-minute cartographer rests on three ideas: the need to clearly appraise what the map needs, the knowledge of how to make the appropriate edits, and the ability to evaluate the results. These are the secrets of the 1-minute cartographer – 1-minute appraisals, 1-minute fixes, and one minute evaluations. Design principles and common-sense cartography underpin the short- and long-term success of your maps. In this session, we teach you some fundamental design principles (color selection, typography, page layout, etc.) and how to use them for map making with ArcGIS. You'll also learn where to get help when you're stuck, and how to know you got the job done right. In the end, you'll be equipped with an arsenal of tips and tricks to design better maps and make them "come to life" with ArcGIS.

Friday, September 18, 2009 - 16:13
Ken Kato

Designing and producing maps and graphics that communicate well is challenging. We here often from GIS users that they are rarely afforded the time they wish for map design. Ken will present his ‘Top 10’ cartographic design considerations that the lab employs regularly, whether the project has several months available for design or several minutes. Examples from several of the Lab’s completed and on-going projects will be presented to illustrate cartographic design principles, methods, and work-flow strategies that have been successfully applied in the UO InfoGraphics Lab.

Friday, October 2, 2009 - 11:01

Session: Collaborative Efforts

See the Panel below


The Bob, Bob, Bob & Dean Show – The Secrets of Collaboration Revealed
Moderator, Bob Haas, Deschutes County
This session will provide an opportunity to learn about three very successful projects that have involved a high level of collaboration. In addition to providing information about the projects, the presenters will share their insights into what made these collaborative projects successful as well as offering advice on what situations to avoid. The session will also encourage attendees to share their success stories and the keys to their success. The session will be in a panel format and as the title suggests, we hope to make it entertaining.  


Friday, September 18, 2009 - 16:34

Session: Collaborative Efforts in Natural Resources

Chris Wayne

Crater Lake National Park is currently developing a Cultural Resources GIS (CR-GIS) database based on National Park Service (NPS) standards. This effort requires collaboration between multiple divisions at the park and coordination with regional and national offices with the NPS. Challenges include linking existing digital data, such as building footprints, to external databases such as FMSS; digitizing archaeological data that exists only on paper; and of course getting all participants to speak the same language.

Practical benefits apply to many park programs beyond cultural resources, such as accessibility for visitors with disabilities, building and facilities management, structural fire, and trail upgrades. Additionally, there is some interesting background behind the development of the NPS standards, including an intense but successful field-test of the draft standards following Hurricane Katrina.

***NOTE*** This could also fit into the Natural Resources Track. I am flexible either way. ***

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 10:30
Steven Jett, Oregon DEQ Land Quality Division GIS Coordinator

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), funded by the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office, and in partnership with the Oregon Public Health Division and Portland State University’s Center for Spatial Analysis and Research, has created a response tool aimed at providing key geographic information needed to guide response efforts to emergency response personnel – the Oregon Incident Response Information System (OR-IRIS). Affectionately nicknamed the Oregon Map of Everything, OR-IRIS leverages existing GIS datasets useful to understanding the natural, physical and jurisdictional setting of a hazardous release so that a safe, appropriate and efficient response can be conducted. OR-IRIS consists of pre-packaged GIS layers within a common projection, in an ordered group/sequence designed to provide critical information first, and in a format that allows for exploration and analysis by those without advanced GIS skills. Through collaboration with Portland State University’s Center for Spatial Analysis and Research, the cost for the first generation of the project has been kept impressively low. The impact of the project is not yet known, but promises to increase public safety and the quality of Oregon’s environment well beyond its modest costs to develop.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 10:30
Charlie Schrader-Patton and Alan Ager

Forests and rangelands of the western United States are vulnerable to environmental stresses and disturbances such as fire, insect infestation, disease, invasive species, drought, and development. These stresses can have significant and long-lasting effects on ecological and socioeconomic values. Land managers need state-of-the-art information and tools that help them anticipate and solve problems. Many geospatial datasets describing these threats to wildlands have been created; what is lacking is comprehensive viewing application displaying and summarizing these threats and their spatial co-occurrence with highly valued resources. This presentation will describe a cooperative effort by the Western Wildlands Environmental Threat Assessment Center (WWETAC) and the Remote Sensing Applications Center to develop a Threat Mapper that will serve as a decision support tool for land managers.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 10:31

Session: Data Sharing & Standards

Brent Thomas, GIS Analyst, Sr. - Idaho Fish and Game

At first glance, it seems intuitive to closely guard your data like a treasure chest. The standard practice is to charge for access: be it selling small sections for a price per unit, yearly maintenance costs or the incremental fees of cloud computing. The history of the internet, computing and the flow of ideas through society disagree. Ideas and information are spread by copying. Standing in the way of culture's progress does not bring you clients or friends. Successful business models find ways to share knowledge for mutual benefit. Learn to share your work free and easily using Creative commons licensing. Find out how to offload the costs of sharing your work using peer-to-peer technology and external servers. Explore ways to benefit from a community that embraces sharing. Discover how to build off the success and free advertising sharing generates to gain new work that adds value and fattens your pocketbook.

CORRECTION Oct. 15, 2008 4:00PM by Brent JK Wedding Entrance Video that included pirated video resulting in increased record sales was Chris Brown's Forever not the Black Eyed Peas. That's even more incredible given his headlines during the same period.

Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 14:04
Ron Singh

The Oregon State Plane Coordinate System was developed in the 1930s and for decades has served the surveying and engineering community well. However, the need for higher accuracy, inclusion of geodetic surveying in our everyday work, combination of terrestrial total station and GPS positioning, and blending of survey/engineering and GIS data has created the need to develop a modern improved coordinate system. This topic will discuss the problems with our legacy State Plane Coordinate System, challenges enountered when employing new technology, and options for new Low Distortion Projections in Oregon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 10:57
Rj Zimmer, PLS, GIS Manager, DJ&A, P.C.Engineers Planners Surveyors

The BLM’s Geographic Coordinate Database (GCDB) is the proper representation of the Public Lands Survey System (PLSS) to use as a mapping framework for the many cadastral layers that have a PLSS basis. This presentation describes some tools and methods to integrate legacy GIS data sets to the GCDB, and how to re-adjust GIS layers that are already on the GCDB, when the GCDB is updated or improved.

Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 20:26
Tom Carlson, Scott Van Hoff, Sheri Schneider

Part one:
Tom Carlson

The role of the USGS Geospatial Liaison and National Spatial Data Infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest

The USGS Geospatial Liaison Network consists of USGS Geospatial Liaisons housed in National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Partnership Offices across the nation. These liaisons and offices perform numerous partnership related functions in support of the NSDI, The National Map and Geospatial One Stop. They represent and coordinate National Geospatial Program (NGP) initiatives in state, local, and other federal agencies, cultivate and maintain long-term relationships, and develop partnerships and supporting agreements. The USGS Geospatial Liaison Network is the "local face" of the USGS NSDI and NGP programs. This presentation will introduce Geospatial Liaison’s from Idaho, Oregon and Washington and describe the programs they support across the region.

Part two:
Scott Van Hoff

New USGS topographic and image Map products and the new viewer for The National Map.

The USGS has begun a process to update it's best known product, the 7.5 minute series topo maps. These new digital products will soon be available for many states in the west. These products will be familiar to users of the old paper topoquads but will have new features, and updated data. The USGS is also introducing a new viewer for The National Map. The improved viewer will incorporate more up to date features and functions.

Part Three:

Sheri Schneider

The International Charter for space and major disasters

This presentation will provide information on the International Charter, the role of U. S. Geological Survey, and how to request satellite data through the Charter to support emergency response during a disaster. Earthquakes, floods, forest fires and oil spills are examples of natural and technological disasters, with social and economic relevance for Earth and mankind. During an emergency, the challenge is to obtain a quick, reliable and clear view of the situation, in support of rescue operations. The International Charter was developed to provide satellite data to those affected by natural or technological disaster. Ten countries are members to the charter and provide twenty one different space resources to support the Charter. The Charter has been activated several times in the United States. A recent example in the Pacific Northwest was the flooding that occurred in Washington in January 2009.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 - 13:34

Session: ESRI ArcGIS Server API Comparison

James VanDyk

Latitude Geographics has built web applications using all of the APIs available with ArcGIS Server. This presentation will provide some insight into our experiences, including why Silverlight is the leading API to build lightweight mapping applications with. Latitude Geographics will also present a demonstration of a map-driven Automated Vehicle Locator (AVL) solution using ESRI ArcGIS Server and the Silverlight API.

Monday, September 7, 2009 - 12:28
Marshall Payne, Preston Beck

Those fortunate enough to implement an ArcGIS Server at the enterprise level, especially one previously based on ArcIMS are in for an interesting challenge. This presentation explores the elasticity of ArcGIS Server performance, the importance and consequences of applying “best practices” in architecting map services, and provides the pros and cons associated with various ADF and API application environments. Taking a “lessons learned” approach, information presented is based on real experiences associated with the implementation of ArcGIS Server and migration of a large scale enterprise GIS from ArcIMS to ArcGIS Server. Rare and little known nuances, those that result in a dented wall, will be shared with the audience as well as ADF and API development experiences. With shrinking budgets and resources it is becoming more important to select the best and most efficient approach or solution that can maximize your data and technology, ultimately make you a more effective organization, and may result in a few less headaches

Monday, September 7, 2009 - 12:42
Dorothy Mortenson

The Oregon ArcGIS Server Special Interest Group

The Oregon ArcGIS Server Special Interest Group provides a mechanism for sharing codes, ideas, strategies, and standards for developing interactive maps use the ESRI software, ArcGIS Server.  These applications are developed in Flex/ActionScript, JavaScript, .NET, Java, or Silverlight. Previous applications have been developed in ESRI's software called ArcIMS. Membership is open to anyone. Meetings are mostly held in the Willamette Valley. The Google Group website is:


Thursday’s Lunch Discussion on API’s  (12:00 -1:00- Landmark 1)

Most of the GIS Developers for the interactive mapping systems are fairly new to using these programming languages. Many still are questioning which Application Programming Interface (API) to use. The Thursday lunch will be a round table discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of each API and general discussion of what was learned during the conference week.  GIS Developers from other states are also welcome to participate in this discussion.

Monday, September 14, 2009 - 13:59
Dennis Scofield (ODOT), Loren Mueller (CH2M Hill)

Working in cooperation with CH2M HILL the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has created a suite of web-based GIS tools to view, integrate and distribute roadway asset information to agency employees across the state. Access to asset data is a crucial requirement in the process of scoping potential construction projects and performing many other tasks that ODOT employees complete on a daily basis. The users of the application will range from project managers and planners to maintenance field crews and engineers. They all need the most up-to-date information regarding the highway network and its associated assets to perform their duties.

The ODOT FACS-STIP scoping tools created provide a single point of access allowing users statewide to interact with and reference this data. ODOT roadway assets range from signs and guardrails to culverts and sidewalks, as well as the State Highway network itself. To enhance the distribution of this critical information ODOT chose to leverage its existing GIS investment by creating new web-based tools which allow users to interact with and explore the available asset data utilizing an easy to navigation map interface. This tool consists of interactive maps that deliver a high level of control over map navigation and data display. The map itself has gone beyond the traditional display-only mode to allow users to interact with it as a bulletin board, sharing information with one another. The tools also provide comprehensive asset reporting, allowing users to generate reports for asset groups based on a location of interest, eliminating the need to sift through irrelevant information.

The creation of these tools is allowing ODOT to do ‘more with less’ by:

> Investing in the future. By spending the money now on advanced tools for sharing asset information to its users, ODOT is spending less down the road by streamlining work processes and eliminating redundancy.

> Creating modular software. The new software tools may be easily customized by ODOT developers, and the current application may be leveraged in whole or in part by other tools in the future.

> Reducing server processing and meeting performance specifications. The architecture chosen for the development of the tools utilizes the JavaScript API for ESRI’s ArcGIS Server, splitting more of the processing load between server and client, and reducing the need to upgrade hardware.

Friday, September 25, 2009 - 16:19

Session: GeoVisualization/3D GIS

Ron Hall

The use of SketchUp, Google Earth, Google Sites to host a piece of custom kml about the Spokane River and the issues that are facing it today. Presentation includes government .shp files. All software used was open source. Server cost is free.

You can read more about the story here:

Friday, September 11, 2009 - 08:43
Doug Smith, P.E., C.P., R.P.P.

We thought we had our pixels in a row. But now that we all understand how to plan for, acquire and use film based aerial mapping products (such as orthophotography, planimetrics and contours) all of the rules have changed. Well, not all of the rules, but a fair number of them. This presentation will provide a brief overview of how newer photogrammetric mapping technologies, including digital cameras and LiDAR, impact the planning and procurement process for digital image and topographic mapping projects. The emphasis will be on key project design parameters that affect accuracy, resolution and suitability for intended applications and how these compare with what was attained from conventional film based aerial mapping approaches. This discussion is targeted to GIS users and project coordinators and is focused on the “big picture” issues and planning considerations for new technologies, not on technical or flight planning considerations. Questions and dialogue are encouraged.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 14:45

Session: GIS & Engineering

Arnab Bhowmick, GISP, LEED (Program Manager, Weston Solutions Inc., Seattle)

Cadastral Editor is an extension to ArcGIS and has largely simplified the complex survey data management process. The primary objective of cadastre data conversion is to develop and maintain basemap layers with high degree of spatial accuracy. Controls such as ground survey points, GPS or RTK points and aerial photography are used to enhance accuracy of cadastre fabrics with time. It stores all legacy records and maps as historical layers including metadata information. Least Square Adjustment (LSA) method is used to adjust the fabrics to enhance spatial accuracy. As new data comes in, the cadastre fabric can adjust and update thus increasing the accuracy with time. Weston has successfully deployed this tool at the City of Encinitas, CA and was awarded the “Special Achievement in GIS Award” by ESRI in 2008 for the implementation. The City is managing their cadastre using these tools now with higher efficiency and effectiveness.

Monday, October 5, 2009 - 10:46

Session: GIS Implementation & Management

Kirsty Burt (Kirsty Burt GIS) – Moderator; Scot McQueen (ESRI); Ian Von Essen (GIS Manager, Spokane County); Dean Anderson (IT Director, Polk County)

How do we continue to build and manage a successful enterprise GIS in tough economic times? How can we leverage existing organizational initiatives for project dollars? How can I add capacity with a hiring freeze? This session will include real world strategies and solutions presented by some of the most experienced GIS managers and consultants in the Northwest. A solid enterprise approach to GIS combines the software, architecture, management, and planning that is required to integrate GIS fully into the organization’s business. This approach is always important to GIS implementation and management; however, it is critical in times where competition for budget dollars is very tight.

Our speakers lead and support efforts in organizations where GIS is thriving. Each will present a different aspect of their successful approach to enterprise GIS in the current economy, including insights into technology, funding, project planning, coordination, and executive support. The session will conclude with a lively discussion among our speakers and the audience.

Friday, September 18, 2009 - 19:51
Arnab Bhowmick, GISP, LEED (Program Manager, Weston Solutions Inc., Seattle)

GIS has evolved to become more and more an integral part of the enterprise operations in any business. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is becoming a popular choice as deployment architecture. Various departments within an organization typically use or try to use the SOA to access services, data and applications to conduct their business. GIS and other services are being deployed and consumed to address business goals and routine operations. Moreover, there are legacy data support techniques, and data dissemination processes that makes an enterprise implementation seamless and sensible. Weston has been involved as a “Trusted Integrator” on many such enterprise GIS integration projects and would like to discuss some related case studies. Some challenges always present themselves during any enterprise implementation. But there are some key traits and steps for a successful enterprise implementation. Weston would like to cover those as well during the presentation.

Monday, October 5, 2009 - 10:48

Session: GIS in Education

Phillip Davis, Ann Johnson

The GeoTech Center is a new NSF-funded effort to provide America's two-year community colleges with support to expand and improve their academic geospatial programs. The GeoTech Center is now prepared to assist educators, learners, and industries in developing their programs to their fullest extent through innovative technologies, such as GIS as a Virtual Service, Arcwebservices Mapping, and other technology. Our collaboration of 12 colleges and universities coast to coast provides an unprecidented opportunity to improve geospatial education in the 21st century.

Friday, September 4, 2009 - 13:11
GIS in Education