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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: Poster

Annamarie Tiniakos

The City of Springfield designed this jam packed map to provide the community and potential developers with as much vital City information as possible in one map. The challenge brought to our GIS department was the need to see about 10 maps on 1 map without losing clarity, information and to maintain feature simplicity and balance. Although the battle was in the details, this cartographic design included elements of generalization, simplification, abstraction, hierarchy and ground relationship, colour and contrast.
The final map product was successful in bringing all City data together with equal importance and straightforwardness giving a large audience an easy to read, robust map of our City.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 09:18

Session: GIS in Education

Steven Branting

Few schools have successfully integrated geographic information systems (GIS) into the curricula of their K-12 social studies classrooms, even fewer into the wide variety of disciplines that can be effectively impacted by the study of spatial data. Organizing and maintaining a school’s GIS component depend on several crucial management criteria, not the least of which are the appropriate teacher competencies and standards alignment. Among other essential protocols are data storage and retrieval, network functioning, computer platform capabilities, appropriate learning activities and developing a coherent format that is replicable from one campus to another. This session demonstrates a successful school-based GIS program with its complementary college in-service model.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 17:24
GIS in Education
Steven Branting

Will Rogers once commented: "It's not what you don't know that hurts you. It's what you do know that ain't so." Historical research is a lot like that. You think you have all the answers, and they just don't pan out. For a group of dedicated junior high school students in Lewiston, Idaho (USA), the challenges of learning and applying GIS software led them to discoveries they never imagined. Sometimes the search for truth takes that path. This session will discuss the 5th Street Cemetery Necrogeographical Study, a project honored by ESRI, The History Channel. The Society for American Archæology, the Association of American Geographers, the American Association for State and Local History, and the National Council for Geographic Education.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 17:25
GIS in Education

Session: Natural Resources, Environmental Science & Conservation

Mason Croft

The Northwest Gap Analysis Project (NWGAP) is mapping and assessing the biodiversity for the five-state region encompassing Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, and Wyoming. It is a multi-institutional cooperative effort being coordinated by the University of Idaho and the U.S. Geological Survey Gap Analysis Program. The primary objectives of NWGAP are to create detailed, seamless GIS maps of land cover, species ranges and predicted distributions, land stewardship and management status. Additionally, to do a gap analysis to identify species and vegetation communities that lack representation or are underrepresented within the Northwest’s network of conservation lands (i.e., stewardship database), in other words, "gaps".

We are currently updating the NWGAP stewardship database by compiling boundary information as well as management status for federal, state, and locally managed conservation lands. We are also assigning GAP status codes, requesting user feedback prior to the final release, and exploring ways of applying these data to conservation planning. It is nearing completion and will become publicly available during winter 2009. The NWGAP stewardship database will be incorporated into the Protected Areas Database of the US (PAD-US) through the PAD-US partnership.

Friday, September 4, 2009 - 13:05

Session: Open Source Technology

Karsten Vennemann

The talk describes a web GIS application based on open source geospatial software components that was built for the Obama Campaign during the 2008 US presidential election. The goal of the application was to support the work of campaign field organizers in battleground states for voter targeting and prioritization purposes. Technically the application was hosted on an Amazon EC2 server running an Ubuntu (Linux) operating system, Apache 2 HTTP Server, PHP server side scripting and included three main building blocks of the web GIS: a spatial database (PostGIS), a map rendering engine (MapServer), and a mapping framework which supplies the map viewer (OpenLayers). The initial application was set-up for the state of Indiana as a template and was used as a model to build similar applications for other battleground states to follow. The idea was that all battleground states have their dedicated website and data sources, but share the server applications and GIS components. Data relevant to the Campaign such as voter registration percentages, voter persuasion rates, and vote activities of prior elections were mapped on voting district (precincts) level. In addition information about individual voters and their likely candidate of choice, along with a variety of base layers were published as Web Map Services (WMS) via MapServer. Many of the relevant election data in the PostGIS databases were then updated by the campaign on a daily basis. Spatial data from WMS were then draped over background layers such as Yahoo or Google base maps in the OpenLayers map viewer. The template-oriented approach worked well for the campaign and later was rolled out to about a dozen battleground states. The project illustrates how powerful interoperable OS GIS components can be, even with minimal customization and on a low budget:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 - 22:14
Karsten Vennemann

The talk gives an overview on building web GIS solutions using open source geospatial software components. A selection of the most advanced and popular open source components and their roles and functionality in an application framework are described. A complete stack for building web GIS solutions may include a client-server application framework, a web mapping engine supporting cartographic rendering functionality and basic GIS capabilities, data storage solutions such as spatial databases, and additional tools extending or enhancing the GIS capabilities of the mapping engine. The concept of an interoperable software solution is illustrated using a variety of examples. Web GIS application frameworks are either complete client-server solutions such as MapFish and Mapbender or Web GIS clients such as Open Layers and Ka-Map. Internet mapping engines such as MapServer and GeoServer render images, provide basic GIS functionality and/or provide the functionality for serving Web mapping services (WMS) and Web feature Services (WFS). Using cached and tiled data in a web GIS application can substantially speed up its response time. TileCache is a server and caching solution that can be used for the creation of cached data from WMS. Feature Server provides data conversion of simple features from a variety of input formats into target formats such as JSON, GML and KML and can be used to integrate the framework with additional applications. Spatial databases include solutions such as PostGIS and MySQL. PostGIS itself provides comprehensive GIS capabilities that can greatly extend the mapping engine’s capabilities and simplify execution of geo-processing tasks using spatial SQL. Additional tools can be integrated with the framework to provide specific GIS capabilities.

Monday, September 14, 2009 - 14:08

Session: Mobile GIS, GPS & Asset Management

Eric Gakstatter

ESRI GIS users around the world are challenged to keep current with evolving satellite systems. There are new GPS satellites being launched and new GPS signals being broadcast with more being planned. Russian GLONASS and planned European Galileo satellite systems are experiencing change and advancement. Not only are the satellite systems changing but also GPS augmentation systems such as WAAS, DGPS, EGNOS, MSAS and GAGAN systems. Many ESRI GIS users take advantage of these GPS augmentation systems and should be aware of how they are evolving. Which factors should one consider when using these different satellite systems. What are the current trends and developments that one should consider when preparing GPS mapping hardware budgets in the coming year(s)?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 11:38

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: 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

Session: Local & Regional Government

Adam Fleenor

Clean Water Services in Washington County Oregon was issued a watershed–based National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit by the Department of Environmental Quality. This permit allows a watershed wide approach to managing water quality in the Tualatin River watershed. GIS is being used to link watershed-scale planning, permitting, project implementation and evaluation, and adaptive management through monitoring. Using GIS techniques scientist and managers are able to efficiently establish and prioritize water quality projects. High quality GIS data can be applied to multiple water quality management projects therefore reducing data collection and processing cost.

Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 14:58