Top Rated 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: Natural Resources, Environmental Science & Conservation

Chris Beaudette - Windsor Solutions

The Exchange Network is a partnership among states, tribes, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that is revolutionizing the exchange of environmental information. Partners on the Exchange Network share data efficiently and securely over the Internet. The objective of the Biodiversity Data Exchange project is to increase the effectiveness of the New York State Natural Heritage Program (NYNHP), which has the responsibility for collecting, managing, and disseminating information about rare plants, rare animals, and significant ecological communities. The NYNHP shares this information with NatureServe, a nonprofit organization that connects more than 50 Natural Heritage Programs across the country. NatureServe establishes scientific standards for biological inventory and biodiversity data management, develops comprehensive and current databases for at-risk species and ecological communities, and provides information products and conservation services to guide natural resource decision-making.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has a critical business need to make natural resource data more readily available and accessible to the public and to partners, particularly online. Windsor Solutions developed and implemented a Web-based application using the ArcGIS JavaScript API to provide enhanced access to this natural resource data.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 10:34
Charlie Schrader-Patton

Each year, many millions of dollars are spent in suppressing wildland fires. What is the return on these expenditures? How can we best prioritize dollars spent fighting fires and in fuel reduction projects? The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), General Accounting Office (GAO) and Congress have asked these questions. In response, Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC) has assembled a team of fire researchers and GIS analysts to develop a model to approximate fire risk to highly valued resources - social, economic, and ecological. The model uses outputs from the Fire Program Analysis (FPA) System to estimate burn probability and flame length, and layers of highly valued resources such as power lines, wildlife habitat, and watersheds. The first approximation of the model will be published in a Forest Service General Technical Report (GTR, in review).

Monday, September 21, 2009 - 10:35

Session: ESRI ArcGIS Server API Comparison

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
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

Session: Collaborative Efforts in Natural Resources

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: Poster

Tim Triesch

This map shows the extent of LiDAR coverage for the Willapa Bay Intertidal Area, placed over 2008 one-foot orthophotography. Oyster growing areas such as oyster beds, oyster bed leases, oyster farms, and oyster reserves are labelled and displayed. The map also shows intertidal areas, prohibited commercial shellfish growing areas, as well as recreational shellfish beaches. Additionally, the locations of oyster and other seafood processing facilities are displayed. The map also includes a brief description of the physical environment of Willapa Bay, the history of the bay's oyster industry, and relates the importance of private stewardship towards maintaining this vital Pacific County industry.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 09:33
Anne Davidson

The Northwest Gap Analysis Project (NWGAP) has recently completed a land cover map depicting the distribution of Ecological Systems (ES) across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Wyoming. Developed by NatureServe, ES represent a midscale vegetation classification system designed to be map-able with Landsat 30 meter resolution imagery. Three mapping teams have been involved in mapping the projects 12 map zones; (1) Oregon State University and USDA Forest Serve, (2) Sanborn Solutions, Inc., Portland, Oregon, and (3) NWGAP, Moscow, Idaho. Collectively the 12 zones of the project depict the distribution of one-hundred-seventy-three ES classes and thirty-two land cover and disturbed classes across the Northwest. The NWGAP land cover data have been reviewed by Northwestern vegetation ecologists involved throughout the mapping process. Accuracy rates calculated at the zone level are above 80% for many of the ES. The land cover data are available for download at

Friday, September 18, 2009 - 10:20
Morgan Omdal - Tetra Tech

Mitigating Stranding and Trapping Effects on Fish Species During Hydroelectric Operations
Seattle City Light (SCL) is relicensing the operations of the Boundary Hydroelectric Project (Project) on the Pend Oreille River. The Pend Orielle River is located in Northeast Washington and is home to varied and important fish resources. These resources can be negatively affected by receding water levels either from Project operations or from natural reductions of inflow. When these conditions exist, fish may become stranded in shallow sloping shoreline areas (< 4%) or isolated in pools that become disconnected from the mainstem flow.
SCL is funding a study which was designed to develop an index model of relative stranding and trapping effects based on various scenarios of project operations and natural flow patterns.
This poster demonstrates the geoprocessing tools and methods used to identify potential stranding and trapping areas. The areas were periodically examined in the field during water drawdown events to measure actual fish stranding or trapping. Site-specific information, such as substrate and presence of macrophytes (aquatic plants), was also noted. A hydraulic routing model, which was developed separately, was used to determine when areas would be dewatered and the duration of trapping at specific pools. Applying assigned multiplication factors to the analysis, along with the hydraulic routing model, produced the stranding and trapping indices for each scenario. These resulting indices were then available for management personnel and interest groups to examine and compare the relative effect of various operation scenarios on fish stranding and trapping.

Friday, September 18, 2009 - 12:35
Brent Thomas, Idaho Fish & Game

Map of the documented, suspected and reported wolf observations in Idaho for 2008.  Telemetry and research observations were analyzed to produce 95% minimum convex polygons of wolf pack territory.  For less well-documented packs estimated circles depict areas of occupancy.  Finally public observations collected via web, phone and conversations are summarized.

Monday, October 5, 2009 - 14:19
Steven Branting

For the past 8 years, the 5th Street Cemetery Necrogeographical Study has sought to combine and model the “best practices” of several associated disciplines and apply these methodologies to timely issues of local import. Every community has its intriguing historical questions that can benefit from but actually transcend a paper-and-pencil approach. These questions are appropriate practicum situations for inquisitive students, who can be empowered with mastery investigative skills and the appropriate technologies to unravel local conundrums and enhance the community’s understanding of itself. We have learned that the truth may be more interesting than any fiction. And the total truth is rarely seen through only one glass.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 11:02