Concurrent Technical Sessions

Session 1 Details (Tuesday, September 24, 9am – 10:30am)

Persian Terrace Room: Mobile GIS

Moderator: Alyssa Fico

Title:
Configuring a GIS Field Data Collection Workflow
Presenter(s):
Mark Scott (ESRI)
 Click here to view presentation
Bio(s): 
Abstract:
This session will demonstrate the steps to set up a field data collection workflow, including work assignment, work acceptance, routing collection, and summarizing. Using the ArcGIS Online geospatial cloud, the presenter will teach the audience the necessary steps to get started.

 

Title:
Advanced Tips and Tricks for Leveraging Survey123 and ArcGIS Online for Mobile Data Collection
Presenter(s):
Larry Spraker (VHB)
Bio(s): 
Abstract:
VHB has been pushing the technical boundaries to get the most out of Survey123 and ArcGIS Online (AGOL) for mobile data collection. This presentation will share many advanced tips and tricks used both with Survey123 as well as AGOL to address several challenging use cases.
Title:
Using ArcGIS Enterprise for the Real Time Data Update of Mobile Home Park Inspections
Presenter(s):
Lisa Casey and Jill M. Stuart (Niagara County)
Bio(s):

Lisa Casey is the GIS Coordinator at Niagara County where she works with county departments to implement GIS projects and manage data. This includes migrating the GIS public facing website to an internal sever, and installing ArcGIS Enterprise. Prior to joining the County in 2011, Lisa worked for Ecology and Environment Inc as a GIS Analyst for eight years, and also at TVGA Consultants for five years as a photogrammetrist. In her free time, Lisa enjoys bike riding, playing scrabble, canning and cooking, quilting and reading.

Beginning her career at local Metallurgical and Organic Peroxide chemical companies, Jill Stuart has worked as an Industrial Hygienist, Quality Control Laboratory Technician and as a Research and Development Technician. Developing tracking reports, designing an extensive product profiling system and improving upon testing methods to better evaluate new materials. She helped develop effective multitasking skills while implementing innovative new ideas. Jill has been employed at the Niagara County Department of Health for over 9 years becoming proficient with State and Local Code and acts as an enforcement officer for those codes as a Public Health Sanitarian. Eager to bring new and effective systems to her inspection roles, Jill looked to the potential to utilize GIS applications to improve upon the efficiencies of her programs.

Outside of work, Jill manages a Midget MOHL hockey team and enjoys hiking, kayaking, gardening and baking.

Abstract:

As part of Chapter 1 Part 17 of the New York State Sanitary Code, county public health sanitarians perform routine inspections of mobile home parks during which violations are documented. Niagara County recently launched an implementation of GIS and mobile/tablet technology to gather and document inspection data collected from boots-on-the-ground field work. the workflow includes the use of an Enterprise GIS Portal that is updated in real time via Collector for ArcGIS.

This presentation will provide an overview of our work flow, as well as a look at the Nut-and-Bolts of how to put a system like this into place for your own organization. We’ll discuss software/system/hardware requirements, and suggestions on how this can be done on a shoe string budget.

 

Canandaigua Room: State GIS 1

Moderator: Tom Sears

Title:
State GIS Career Opportunities
Presenter(s):
Frank Winters (NYS ITS)
Bio(s): 
Abstract:
Back by popular demand – Frank Winters will attempt to demystify GIS hiring and advancement in New York State government. While many in our field aspire to start or advance a career with a State position in GIS, few fully understand the hiring and advancement procedures and their subtleties. The Civil Service title series in Information Technology offers opportunities in a career ladder spanning from entry level to executive management. GIS experience, capabilities, education and certifications all now play into an individual?s opportunities with the State. In this presentation Frank will cover staff augmentation contracting, registration for State positions, and essential information for promotions including Civil Service testing and the new Selective Certification program

 

Title:
Update of Web Services Available from the NYS GIS Program Office
Presenter(s):
Scott Geis (NYS GIS Program Office)
Bio(s): 
Abstract:
Over the past few years, the NYS GIS Program Office has been working to freely release over 15TB of framework data, while simultaneously embarking on an initiative to build a catalog of web services that provides this data for public use in an efficient and flexible format (as opposed to download only). This presentation will provide an update on the GPO’s service offering, as well as information on how to connect to these services via coding as well as GIS software. The intent is to facilitate use of these services and to highlight the savings achievable in terms of data storage, and time involved with searching for GIS data.

Hemlock Room: Infrastructure Applications

Moderator: Christopher Badurek

Title:
The Albany Parking Inventory – Bringing Complex Asset Collection Indoors with Mobile LiDAR and Python
Presenter(s):
Michael Pianka (MJ Engineering & Land Surveying, PC)
Bio(s): 
Abstract:

Field data collection of complex assets can be time consuming, expensive, and weather dependent. After collection, reviewing data accuracy back in the office and filling data voids is difficult if the only way to know is by returning to the field.

The Albany Parking Authority contracted MJ Engineering and Land Surveying, PC (MJ) to conduct a detailed inventory of existing regulatory parking signs and spaces throughout the entire City of Albany in the winter of 2018/2019. To complete an inventory this large under a tight schedule and avoid the shortcomings of traditional field data collection, MJ utilized their Mobile Mapping technology and Python programming to perform efficient offsite compilation of a data rich asset inventory within a limited timeframe.

Using their Mobile Mapping system, MJ collected Mobile LiDAR and 360? streetlevel imagery along the City street network; amounting to approximately 230 miles acquired over 12 days. This data was brought into the office and ultimately distilled down into a GIS database of 13,000+ parking signs and 4,000+ parking zones containing over 34,000 spaces. The sheer number of miles to inventory and terabytes of Mobile Mapping data presented scale and ‘big data’ challenges which needed to be overcome along the way.

 

Title:
Evaluating Satellite Leak Detection with Bench-Marking Through Case Studies
Presenter(s):
Gadi Kovarsky, (Utilis)
Bio(s):Mr. Kovarsky is responsible for managing strategic partnerships in North America for Utilis since 2017. He is a skilled and committed professional with experience in business development and technical sales for more than 17 years, where he has contributed to the marketing, project management, and customer relations for software companies in the Americas.
Abstract:

Many state laws have been recently passed to address the issues of non-revenue water lost via leaking pipes. In New Jersey, the Water Quality Accountability Act requires every water purveyor to implement an asset management plan designed to inspect its infrastructure consistent with industry standard best practices. GIS is becoming a widely used tool for water utilities that incorporate many datasets to develop pipe replacement and repair strategies.

Utilities can use a comparative benchmarking process to evaluate new methodologies for performing asset management tasks such as leak detection. Utilis, a startup out of Israel, is using L-band synthetic aperture radar satellite data to locate areas of water leakage underground and providing this data layer to utilities via a GIS shape file. This presentation will use benchmarking to compare the traditional approach of leak detection to the Utilis satellite directed methodology and will show results from recent case studies at Prince William County Water Authority, Virginia, and Central Arkansas Water.

Title:
NYC GISMO’s Very Interesting Year
Presenter(s):
Alan Leidner (NYC GISMO)
Bio(s):Mr. Leidner, with a Masters Degree in Urban Planning from Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, worked for thirty-five years as a planner and manager with New York City government. Starting in the late 1980’s he served as IT Director of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) where he initiated the City’s Enterprise GIS Program and oversaw the development of the City’s digital basemap. Mr. Leidner subsequently served as Assistant Commissioner in the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT), in charge of the City’s GIS Utility. In the Fall of 2001, he organized and managed the Emergency Mapping and Data Center (EMDC) which provided information and mapping services to 9/11 responders. Following his retirement from City government in 2004, Mr. Leidner, consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton, worked as the Northeast Regional Information Exchange Broker for the Federal “HIFLD to the Regions.” In 2012, he helped coordinate the GIS response to Super Storm Sandy. Between 2012 and 2014 Alan served as President of the NYS GIS Association. He was appointed Director of the Center for Geospatial Innovation at the Fund for the City of New York and served from 2017 – 2019. He is currently President of NYC GISMO and is a Founder/Director of New York Geospatial Catalysts (NYGeoCATS). Mr. Leidner was a recipient of the 2001 Sloan Public Service Award, the 2002 ESRI Presidential Award, and was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, in January, 2004. Among other writings Alan’s “Geo-Info CONOPS” article was published by GeoWorld Magazine in October, 2007.
Abstract:

My talk would utilize slide excerpts from articles written, actions taken and presentations given regarding NYC activism in Smart Cities, Underground Infrastructure, ROI Benefits Analysis and Open Data leading up to the GISMO initiated GIS Charter Amendment proposal including advocacy at public hearings. It will be a chance for me to update State Association members about what is going on in NYC. Some of the material that would be made available could provide useful within their own jurisdictions. For example:

Smart Cities: We’ve found that GIS can more than double the power of IT and that the IT operations of some agencies (NYPD, FDNY, DEP, OEM, Finance, Health, etc.) are what we would consider to be GIS ‘dominant.’

Underground Infrastructure: Headway has been made over the past year to develop an underground utility data model that enable interoperability between utility information. An ROI assessment claims benefits of 4.7% of infrastructure capital and operating expenses.
Open Data: GISMO has become involved in NYC’s open data portal advocating for the standardization of spatial data in all data sets to enable interoperability.
GIS Charter Amendment: Among other things GISMO is fighting to institutionalize a CGIO position in City government.

Conesus Room: GIS Analytics 1

Moderator: Jessie Pellerin

Title:
Demystifying Business Intelligence (BI), Hint: You are Already an Expert!
Presenter(s):
Vijay Sambandhan (Bergmann Associates)
Bio(s):Vijay Sambandhan is the GIS Team Lead at Bergmann where he has worked for over 13 years. Vijay and his team design, implement and manage GIS applications and enterprise systems on the Esri platform for a variety of private and public sector clients. Vijay provides technical consulting services for clients that have complex GIS architectures, require system configuration or modernization, or require the development of custom web, desktop, and mobile GIS solutions. He has an MS in Computer Science from Columbia University and an MA in Geography from University at Buffalo.
Abstract:

You generate maps that decision-makers use to make informed decisions. That’s Business Intelligence! Due to the emergence of big data and powerful tools that can gather, merge, store, and analyze large volumes of business data from many sources, the BI field has exploded in recent years. Many organizations are getting overwhelmed by the volume of data being collected and struggle to get useful insights and results. They look towards qualified analysts who can help make sound business decisions based on an accurate analysis of big data.

In this talk, we’ll begin with demystifying the term Business Intelligence and also, related buzz words data mining, business analytics, big data, and predictive analytics and how GIS Analysts already routinely perform many of the tasks involved in this field.

We will talk about skills which a BI Analyst is required to possess and the tools they use. We will then relate these with comparable tasks which we as GIS Professionals, perform using GIS software. We will examine areas where GIS fall short of the BI tools, functions where GIS can produce much better results, and how both fields can learn from each other.

To illustrate this point, we will look at a live demo of configuring a Microsoft Power BI Dashboard and integrating it with an ArcGIS Online Web map.

In this talk, we will see how we, as GIS professionals, are critical to our organization?s Business Intelligence/Data Analytics team.

 

Title:
What do USASpending.gov, National Parks Service, The Province of Ontario Canada, The Attorney General of Pennsylvania, and Boston School District all have in common?
Presenter(s):
Ian Isaacs (Mapbox)
Bio(s): 
Abstract:
Each of these agencies use the Mapbox platform to engage with their constituents, the general public and their internal staff. Learn via an examination of each of the applications developed by these clients why they individually choose one of the world?s largest live location dissemination platforms. USASpending.gov requires that anyone in the USA can see and interact with the large amount of data needed to convey Federal Government spending down to the county level across many years. The National Park Service requires that anyone in the USA can plan a trip to their parks and if they wish, also use a mobile application with offline data to help them explore their park of choice. The Province of Ontario required a way in which to brand their maps to attract any business from anywhere in the world to locate and grow in Ontario Canada. The Attorney General of Pennsylvania creates and stores a great deal of open data in tabular form. They need a way to bring this data to life and make it more valuable to the citizens of the state. The Boston School District needs to be able to show each parent in their school district where the school bus is that will either pick up their child/children or where the bus is that will drop off their child/children.
Title:
Introduction to Arcade
Presenter(s):
Carol Goodman Zollweg (Bergmann Associates)
Bio(s):Carol Zollweg is a software developer with many years’ experience in numerous software languages. She currently is employed at Bergmann as a Senior Software Developer where she currently develops desktop applications, ArcMap AddIns, websites, and web services. In her talk, she will introduce the broadly applicable Arcade scripting language and explain the structure/syntax of Arcade expressions. This will give you the insight needed to use and understand the extensive Arcade help documents.
Abstract:
Arcade is lightweight scripting language used in the ArcGIS platform for labeling, popups, and more. Do you need help getting started with Arcade? This presentation will guide you through the fundamentals of Arcade and its structure and syntax. It will show you how to navigate and interpret ESRI’s Arcade website so that you’ll be able to extend your understanding. Examples and clear descriptions of the Arcade code will be used as illustrations.

Session 2 Details (Tuesday, September 24, 3pm – 4pm)

Persian Terrace Room:  GIS Application Development

Moderator: Alyssa Fico

Title:
Using Esri’s Web AppBuilder to Rebuild Custom JavaScript and Silverlight Web Apps
Presenter(s):
Karyn Tareen and Colin Liu (Geocove)
Bio(s): 
Abstract:
GIS department of local governments have custom JavaScript and Silverlight Web Apps built for a variety of uses such as publicly and internally sharing map resources and data, notification tools, and property identification. As Silverlight phased out and technical support for these custom web apps diminished, these web applications are becoming harder to maintain.
This session includes a step by step approach to rebuilding the Town of Grand Island?s custom JavaScript application using Esri?s Web AppBuilder and out of the box widgets. We?ll also provide examples for a couple other apps that were rebuilt using the Web App Builder without a single line of code.
Also in this session, we?ll briefly discuss the differences between the online (hosted) Web AppBuilder and the developers edition and also point out the widgets already developed and available for free.

 

Title:
Configuring a GIS Dispatch Data Dashboard
Presenter(s):
Mark Scott (ESRI)
 Click here to view presentation
Bio(s): 
Abstract:
This session will walk the audience through the process or taking a web-based map containing raw CAD (Computer-Aided Dispatch) data, and turning it into a searchable Dashboard Application. The presenter will discuss and demonstrate using the ArcGIS Online geospatial cloud, and an interactive, no-code-required, application builder to configure the maps, widgets, and charts. The result will be a responsive GIS dashboard, shareable with decision-makers interested in Crime Data Analysis.

Canandaigua Room:  State GIS 2

Moderator: Tom Sears

Title:
Street and Address Maintenance Program Update
Presenter(s):
Craig Fargione (NYS GIS Program Office)
Bio(s): 
Abstract:

We are in our fourth year of active maintenance of the Street and Address Maintenance (SAM) Program. We continue to work with existing partners and are adding new partners to help us maintain our statewide Street and Address data.

This presentation will focus on many ongoing SAM Team activities including: pursuing additional address verification methods through new and existing partnerships, additional training for existing users of our collaborative editing tool (GeoLynx) and continuing to build new County partnerships. Several members of the SAM team are actively participating in NENA Workgroups to keep our data NENA compliant and make the transition to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) easier for everyone.

Some SAM team members were also involved in using SAM Address Point data to help with LUCA and the upcoming 2020 Census. The presentation will discuss how SAM data was used in the LUCA process and the benefits provided. With the 2020 Census and NG9-1-1 getting closer, it is even more important that the SAM data be as accurate as possible. Lastly, with all this work on Streets and Address Points, we?ll discuss the continual improvements seen in our publicly available geocoding service and the future upgrade to a newer version.

 

Title:
NYS Elevation Data Update and How Its Being Used to Update the USGS National Hydrography Datasets
Presenter(s):
Jeffrey Langella (NYS GIS Program Office)
Bio(s):Jeff Langella is the Technical Lead on the NY Statewide Elevation Program and the current state steward for USGS National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) for New York.  He has worked for NYS for 14 years as a GIS specialist supporting multiple efforts including the NY Statewide Elevation Program, NY Statewide Orthoimagery Program, Data Improvement Manager, and NYS emergency management.
Abstract:

This presentation will highlight the status as well as the future of the New York Statewide Elevation Program. A big focus over the past few years is data distribution and Web Services, I will talk about the various ways we distribute data and the Web Services that we make available.

The New York State Information Technology Services (NYS ITS) now has a State Stewardship Agreement with USGS for both the USGS National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD). I will discuss status of updates going on within NYS, as well as how LiDAR data is aiding in those updates.

Hemlock Room:  LiDAR Applications

Moderator: Jonathan Garner

Title:
Leveraging Lidar for the Advancement of Viewshed Analysis and Visual Impact Assessment
Presenter(s):
Gordon Perkins (Environmental Design & Research, Landscape Architecture, Engineering & Environmental Services, D.P.C.)
Bio(s):Gordon Perkins is a senior project manager in EDR’s Visualization Group.  Over the last 18 years, Gordon has become one of the leading expert consultants in visual impact assessment.  He has provided visual impact assessments and visualizations for numerous renewable,  traditional energy generation, and transmission projects throughout the United States.  Gordon currently specializes in assessing the visual impacts associated with coastal and offshore wind energy development.
Abstract:
Since the 1980’s, technology for viewshed analysis has rapidly evolved to allow both developers and regulatory bodies to understand and predict the visibility of planned development projects with increasing accuracy and precision. This presentation will outline the history of viewshed analysis methods over the past few decades and expand upon the current frontiers of the technology. We will present a case study focusing on a proposed wind farm located in the Atlantic Ocean on the outer continental shelf to explain how recent advances in raw data availability, processing power, and analytical techniques allow GIS practitioners to exponentially improve the accuracy and utility of viewshed analysis.. We will compare viewsheds run for the same study area using three different analytical techniques, representing three milestones in the evolution of viewshed analysis technology up through the current frontier of using lidar data. Typical challenges with using lidar data to run viewshed analysis will be discussed along with discussion of how a lidar-based viewshed analysis harnesses GIS to allow developers to focus time and investment on identifying and evaluating aesthetic resources that are most likely to have views of the proposed project.

 

Title:
Fairfax County LiDAR Implementation: 3D, Analysis and Image Services
Presenter(s):
Gregory Bacon (Fairfax County GIS & Mapping, Department of Information Technology)
Bio(s):

Greg is a native of Auburn, New York and a graduate of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) with a BS degree in Environmental Policy & Management and an MS degree in Environmental Resource Engineering – Geospatial Information Systems concentration. His GIS career began in 2004 as a student employee of the US Forest Service Northern Research station in Syracuse, where he worked on image processing projects and GIS analyses related to urban forestry.  He later held a Senior GIS Analyst position at a landscape architecture and environmental consulting firm where he led data collection, analysis and figure production for energy and planning projects.

Greg’s primary role at Fairfax County, Virginia is to manage the acquisition and processing of aerial photography, satellite imagery, land cover and LiDAR data. He helps county agencies integrate these datasets into their workflows and makes the data available through public web services and applications. Recently, his work has incorporated 2D and 3D products from the county’s increasing use of drones and LiDAR point clouds in planning projects.

Abstract:

Fairfax County, Virginia initially obtained countywide coverage of USGS Quality Level 2 (QL2) Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data in 2015. Since then, several successful projects and aggressive business case development resulted in funding approval to acquire higher density QL1 data. This presentation details the series of milestones that made LiDAR an integral part of county GIS business processes and showcases analyses and applications using the data in both 2D and 3D environments. Lessons learned regarding the ?selling? of the data are shared in hopes of helping the NYS GIS Community to help stakeholders recognize its value and encourage more mainstream usage.

The presentation is a story map format consisting of three major sections: The first includes a gallery of maps and interactive web mapping applications showing streambank erosion/restoration evaluations, surface visualization and line-of-sight analyses. The second section is a walkthrough of publishing and configuring LiDAR image services and associated raster functions for different surface displays and accessibility in web map pop-ups. The final section contains a look ahead at the possibilities a four-fold increase in point density may bring to our users and our hopes for a regular acquisition schedule to enable multi-year comparisons.

 Click here to view presentation

Conesus Room:  GIS Database Administration

Moderator: Sheri Norton

Title:
Automated Catastrophic Events Geographic Data Load Using FME Platform
Presenter(s):
Yashwanth Kaja (Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC), Lesley MacKenzie (Consortech)
 Click here to view presentation
Bio(s): 
Abstract:
Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC is a leading global risk and reinsurance solutions provider with over $1B in revenues. Guy Carpenter needed automation around loading real-time catastrophic events data feeds such as hurricanes, hail, tornados, wind, floods, wildfires and earthquakes from across the globe. The feeds are received in various source formats such as .SHP, KML, CSV and JSON/GeoJSON from different APIs provided by various vendors. Guy Carpenter used the FME Data Integration Platform to develop complex automated data load pipelines to extract, transform and load all of these real-time data events into our proprietary analytics platform. Multiple scheduled jobs are configured in FME to run these transformations with high frequency, daily, to load vector and raster format data. Once the data is loaded into the target database, the users can monitor these catastrophic events in an easy to use workflow in our application. A breakdown of exposures by severity enables users to quickly view the full extent of the event and then easily drill into specific severities. The map layers are then used to estimate the portfolio exposure.

 

Title:
Contracting the GIS Administrator: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
Presenter(s):
Matthew Sutton (Town of Tonawanda) and Karyn Tareen (Geocove)
 Click here to view presentation
Bio(s): 
Abstract:
The Town of Tonawanda, a first ring suburb of Buffalo, has been contracting their GIS Administrator position for over 4 years. The reasons for hiring this position out were numerous: lack of in-depth ArcGIS server knowledge in house, cost of full-time person in house, conserve time & money that would otherwise be dedicated to training, etc. In this session we’ll discuss what has worked well, what doesn’t and hear from our contracted GIS Administrator on what helps them perform in the best interest of the Town.

Session 3 Details (Wednesday, September 25, 8:30am – 10am)

Persian Terrace Room:  GIS and Drones

Moderator: Chris Badurek

Title:
UAV-Based High Spatial Resolution Monitoring of Soil Surface Temperature and Moisture During the Grape Growing Season in a Vineyard
Presenter(s):
Tao Tang (State University of New York, Buffalo State)
Bio(s):Dr. Tao Tang is a Professor of GIS and geography at State University of New York (SUNY) – Buffalo State, Buffalo, NY. He earned his Ph.D. at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1997. He studied GIS and physical geography under the supervisions of professors Michael J. Day and William E. Huxhold. Prior to Ph.D. degree, Dr. Tang also earned two Master’s degrees, one from University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada; and the other from the Institute of Geographical Science and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences & University of Science and Technology, Beijing, China. Dr. Tang is also an Adjunct Associate Professor, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo. Dr. Tang served as a board member for both the New York State GIS Association and the International Association of Chinese Professionals in GIS (CP-GIS) previously. Dr. Tang’s current research and applied research interests are drone remote sensing, LiDAR remote sensing, 3D-GIS, and Spatial Statistical Analysis in GIS.
Abstract:

UAV based RGB and thermal infrared remote sensing is rapidly becoming a useful tool for monitoring crop and soil temperature and water status for precision farming. Thermal infrared sensor can quickly determine the surface temperature of crops and soils, while high resolution RGB or color images allow to build digital surface elevation models. The objectives of this study are: 1) flying drone to collect RGB and Infrared images during the growing season; and 2) producing high resolution RGB and infrared mosaics, and DSMs in helping farmers to predict soil surface temperature and moisture.

The vineyard is located in Eden Valley, Erie County, New York. A total of four aerial surveys were conducted during the growing season of 2018 from May to August. Both RGB and infrared images, and the DSMs were processed using Pix4D. A comprehensive soil moisture prediction index (SMPI) model was proposed based on previously published models of normalized difference water index (NDWI) and topographic wetness index (TWI). This model combines factors both radiant reflection properties by moisture bearing surface and vegetation and the micro-topographic positions in the field. The digital maps of SMPI show that the low moisture content areas are mainly concentrated in the northeast part of the farm during May. The low moisture stress intensity decreased, but the distribution of relative low moisture content areas increased from May to June and from June to July. The drone remote sensing predictions are coincident with those ground sample tests.

 

Title:
Landfill Delineation – Using UAVs to Locate and Measure Landfills
Presenter(s):
Jason Newton (OBG Part of Ramboll)
Bio(s): 
Abstract:
The delineation of historic and unmaintained landfills can be a difficult, dangerous, and time-consuming task. With the recent changes in FAA regulations concerning the operation of UAVs, that task, in some cases, can now be done faster, safer, and more accurately. This presentation will cover the basics of UAV operations, mission planning, data collection, and the use software such as PIX4D and Drone Deploy to create and interpret surface models in order to delineate landfill boundaries and volumes. To illustrate this process a recent project that uncovered the boundaries of an asbestos contaminated C&D landfill with be reviewed.
Title:
Innovative Techniques for Small Area Mapping Using Drone and LIDAR
Presenter(s):
Bill Gutelius (Qntfi, Inc.) and Scott Harrigan (Harkin Aerial)
Bio(s): 
Abstract:

The emergence of low-cost, easy to operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV/drones) has enabled a new opportunity for small area data collection, especially for topographic mapping. With the addition of compact and lower-cost LIDAR sensors, the option to deploy these same small sensor packages on drones allows users to collect 3D data for not only topography, but also the vertical built environment (i.e. cell towers, electric transmission lines, buildings, etc.).

Recently, ground-based and airborne LIDAR systems have begun to take advantage of sophisticated algorithms (developed within the robotics industry) to provide ?on-the-fly? laser scan registration. These new algorithms employ Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM) process techniques to render continuous 3-dimensional output of the environments in which the sensors are carried, driven or flown through.
Some of the benefits to using this synergistic combination of technologies (Drone, LIDAR & SLAM software) include:
–  No requirement for external GPS nor direct-georeferencing sub-systems
–  Continuous, automatic scan-to-scan registration
–  On-the-the-fly mapping without the need to stop-and-go
–  Enhanced collision-avoidance capabilities for UAV operations.
–  Reduced expertise requirements for operators

We will present a set of techniques that will assist interested topographers and GIS data users in acquiring inexpensive, enhanced 3-dimensional data, readily ingestible into a GIS system for various applications such as: indoor GIS, asset management, forest inventory, critical infrastructure, DEMs and simplified hydrologic delineation. Further, we will present a simplified approach to collecting ground control data using field deployable targets. We will show how using this method will allow users to quickly and easily geo-register their aerial SLAM-LIDAR data.

 

Canandaigua Room:  Census Data

Moderator: Tom Sears

Title:
How GIS is Used to Prepare for the 2020 Census
Presenter(s):
James Bogart (United States Census Bureau)
Bio(s): 
Abstract:
The Decennial Census is the US Government’s largest peacetime operation. This operation will result in the hiring of over a million employees and the opening of over 200 offices across the country, with the end goal of counting every single person within the United States. Now more than ever the Bureau is leveraging geospatial technology to make Decennial operations more efficient and accurate. Census geographers use GIS to assist internal operations in a variety of ways including: the update and maintenance of address point database, delineation of collection geographies, demographic analysis to target hiring efforts, and production of maps to support operational decision making in the field. The Census Bureau also supports vital geographic partnership programs with local governments and makes GIS accessible to all partners through the development of free GIS software. Geographic Partnership Programs provide the opportunity for local input on Census geographic data. GIS technology is being leveraged across the Bureau to Count everyone, once and only once, in the right place – and in this session we will go over in greater detail how GIS is being used in the 2020 Decennial Census.

 

Title:
Mapping Hard To Count Census Tracts for 2020
Presenter(s):
William Field and Steven Romalewski (CUNY Graduate Center)
Bio(s):

Will Field is a Software Application Developer at the Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center and co-chair of the South Orange/Maplewood (SOMA) Complete Count Committee in Essex County, NJ.  He has been working with the CUNY Mapping Service at the Graduate Center since April 2019. He is developing various web based projects which focus on civic engagement. Most notably, he is developing www.censushardtocountmaps2020.us, a website to identify Hard To Count census tracts nationwide and the subject of the talk.

Steven Romalewski directs the CUNY Mapping Service at the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center. The Mapping Service works closely with CUNY researchers and with outside foundations, businesses and nonprofits, specializing in spatial information and analysis techniques to develop and execute applied research projects. For the 2020 census, as in 2010, the Mapping Service is playing an important role in assuring a fair and accurate census count – mapping “hard to count” communities — by providing online maps supporting census advocates with outreach and education.

Abstract:

The CUNY Mapping Service at the Center for Urban Research in the CUNY Graduate Center has developed an interactive online map to highlight the areas of the country that are ‘hardest to count’ in preparation for the decennial 2020 US Census. The mapping tool helps provide information to organizations who are working to ensure a fair and accurate count in 2020. The map is available at www.CensusHardToCountMap2020.us

The decennial census attempts to count each person in the United States based on their residence on April 1. In prior censuses, the self-response rate has varied greatly between different geographic tracts. Low-response areas are considered ‘hard to count’ because the Census Bureau must send enumerators into the field to talk with each non-responding household one-by-one. This is expensive, time consuming, and can lead to people being missed or counted inaccurately. Under-counting leads to disproportionate political representation and federal funding over the course of the following decade, and is a concern for many researchers, activist groups, and policy makers.

This presentation will focus on high-level software engineering concerns. Our mapping project integrates local population estimates from the American Community Survey, operational data from the Census Bureau?s Planning Database, and several GIS datasets. The project presents numerous challenges from both a software engineering and usability perspective, as the project has evolved from its first iteration in the 2010 census. It also demonstrates how best practices can be followed to ensure that a large project can be easily and smoothly transitioned from one developer to another, maintain flexibility, and provide a robust set of tools to a wide range of users.

Title:
2020 Census Geography Partnership Program Updates
Presenter(s):
Jonathan Rivas (United States Census Bureau)
Bio(s):

Jonathan Rivas is a Geographer at the U.S. Census Bureau. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California (M.P.L., Urban Planning) and James Madison University (B.S., Geographic Science).  His interests include GIS, Tactical Urbanism, and Public Transit.

Abstract:

This presentation discusses the current status of the Census Bureau Geographic Partnership Programs and details the ways in which participants may get involved. The Geographic Partnership Programs include the Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS), the Spatial, Address, and Imagery Data (SAID) Program, the Local Update of Census Addresses Operation (LUCA), the New Construction Program (New construction), and the Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP).

The Census Bureau is responsible for tracking America?s legal boundaries and population data. Geography Partnership programs provide an opportunity to collaborate with state and local governments to improve our geographic data. Geography provides a framework for survey design, sample selection, data collection, tabulation, and dissemination. Accurate legal and statistical boundaries and addresses allow the Census Bureau to count all residents and ensures that the best data is available for users. Census Bureau data are publicly available and are used by federal agencies, researchers, and the public. Furthermore, Census data is used to distribute $675 billion dollars annually for federal programs and services, including education, housing, health care services, transportation, and more. This presentation highlights the importance of local, state, and national participation in updating geographic data through the Geographic Partnership Programs conducted by the Census Bureau.

Hemlock Room: Water Applications

Moderator: Alyssa Fico

Title:
Innovative Approaches to RIDOT Stormwater Data Management
Presenter(s):
Annie Bastoni (VHB)
Bio(s): 
Abstract:

In 2015, the EPA and DOJ issued a consent decree to RIDOT for RIPDES violations. Since then, RIDOT has worked to improve its stormwater program to meet these requirements with a large focus on data management. This presentation will provide an overview of RIDOT?s stormwater data management system and discuss how RIDOT collects, tracks, and reports on consent decree compliance. This will include how tools, such as Portal for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, Collector, ArcPro, and Operational Dashboards, are being used to allow for multiple different users to access and update the data in various settings.

RIDOT’s consent decree outlines requirements for water quality improvement, illicit discharge detection and elimination (IDDE), and good housekeeping. To comply, RIDOT must collect a wide variety of data on drainage infrastructure, inspection and condition ratings, IDDE sampling results, and RIDOT catchment areas to impaired waterbodies. RIDOT must also track locations of potential treatment measures, their water quality treatment credit at each design stage, and the total treatment provided within each impaired watershed.

RIDOT’s data is collected, viewed and used by many different users. The office of stormwater management reviews RIDOT projects and tracks newly constructed treatment measures. RIDOT uses many consultants to complete stormwater control plans, perform IDDE investigations, and complete the statewide drainage inventory. Finally, RIDOT submits data to RIDEM and EPA for review and makes much of their data available to the public.This presentation will provide an overview of the comprehensive database developed to meet all of these needs.

 

Title:
Development of a Tool for Identifying Critical Restoration Zones of RIparian Buffers
Presenter(s):
Ge Pu (SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry)
Bio(s):

Ge Pu: Ge (Jeff) Pu is a PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Resources Engineering at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. His Ph.D. research is focusing on the delineation, monitoring, and analysis of riparian vegetation and channel dynamics using a variety of geospatial and remote sensing approaches.

Lindi Quackenbush: Dr. Lindi Quackenbush is a professor in the Department of Environmental Resources Engineering at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Her research interests cover a range of remote sensing application areas in forestry, urban management, and water resources.

Abstract:
Riparian buffers are the vegetated zones along waterways that play a significant role in filtering contamination and maintaining water quality. However, these buffers serve ecological functions far beyond their direct extent. Under stress from climate change, agricultural practices and urbanization, buffers in many areas within New York State are in critical need of restoration and protection. This project developed a tool that uses landscape metrics based on vegetation fragmentation and hotspot analysis across time to identify stressed zones to target for rehabilitation. As a pilot study, this tool was applied to identify critical buffer zones along streams in a sub-watershed of the Hudson River Estuary between 2006 and 2015. We validated the spatial and temporal variations of the critical zones identified using independent visual interpretations. While this study focused on a small area and short time interval, we developed a framework that could be readily expanded. This framework can be used to explore the potential of the approach for riparian buffer modeling and forest applications to address various temporal and spatial scales. This presentation will describe the development and management implications of the tool.
Title:
Examining the Spatial Connection Between Road Culverts and the Spread of Invasive Purple Loosestrife
Presenter(s):
Nolan Rishe and Dr. Jessica Rogers (SUNY Potsdam)
Bio(s):

Nolan Rishe is a senior Environmental Studies major at SUNY Potsdam with a minor in Environmental Science.  He has been working on mapping invasive species in Northern New York for 2 summers.

Dr. Jessica Rogers is an assistant professor of Environmental Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies at SUNY Potsdam. Her research focuses on conservation policy, using GIS to make spatially informed decisions about deforestation and invasive species.

Abstract:
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is an invasive wetland plant that has begun its long march through Northern New York. While this plant has been well studied for many years, the best practices for management are still site-dependent. Dr. Rogers and several SUNY Potsdam interns have been mapping purple loosestrife along NY State Highways since 2017 in St. Lawrence and Jefferson Counties. In 2018, we hypothesized a connection between the spread of purple loosestrife and road culverts. During the spring of 2019, all culverts along our route were mapped with the Collector app as Department of Transportation layers were incomplete. Using this and 2 years of mapping data, we were able to examine the connection between the spread of purple loosestrife and road culverts. The next step it to determine how to limit that spread via culverts.

Session 4 Details (Wednesday, September 25, 10:30am – Noon)

Click here to view presentationPersian Terrace Room:  GIS Education

Moderator: Sheri Norton

Title:
Integrating UAS Drone Training into Applied GIS Education
Presenter(s):
Christopher Badurek, PhD, GISP, Associate Professor of Geography and Director of Research (Institute of Geospatial and Drone Technology, SUNY Cortland)
  
Bio(s): Chris Badurek’s interests are in GIS modeling, digital image processing, UAS (drones), and web GIS. He serves on the NYSGISA Board of Directors, NYSGISA Education Committee, and is Co-Organizer of the 2019 NYS GIS Conference. Chris is a graduate of Cornell University (Biology) and University at Buffalo, SUNY (PhD, Geography).
Abstract:
This SUNY IITG-funded project supported students in upper level GIS-related courses with training on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), also commonly called drone technology, with application to STEM disciplines. It also integrated GIS data processing to meet the growing demand of UAS savvy GIS workers. The first learning objective was to enable students to articulate the foundation knowledge requirements for safe operation of UAS and demonstrate ability to control a training-quality UAS. The second learning objective was to enable students to demonstrate ability to process GIS data collected from UAS for use in data analysis in STEM application areas. Students demonstrated learning through successful completion of lab exercises, including answering questions on data processing and quality of graphics produced. Results indicate significant learning on UAS technology as evidenced by pre and post course content Likert-scale surveys. In addition to evidence of acquisition of content, students also reported high interest in taking additional UAS related courses and in attempting the FAA Drone Pilot Certification Exam. Full results from in-course surveys and student work focused on direct UAS operation and GIS analysis of drone collected data are presented to inform other GIS educators on lessons learned in integrating GIS and UAS education.

 

Title:
Open Geospatial Lab (OGL) and Remote Workforce Opportunities Across Rural New York State
Presenter(s):
Jonathan Little (Monroe Community College)
 Click here to view presentation
Bio(s):Jonathon Little is an Associate Professor of Geography/GIS at Monroe Community College (SUNY) where he teaches a number of Physical Geography and Geospatial Technology courses.  He coordinates the GIST Certificate and is the Principal Investigator the SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant (2019-2020) titled: Open Geospatial Lab (OGL) and Remote Workforce Opportunities Across Rural New York State. He was the PI for the NSF ATE grant titled: GeoTech Consortium of Western New York: Get the GIST (Geospatial Information Science Technology) Certificate! He provides professional development for high school teachers interested in geospatial technology and partners with regional industry. He is a Board Member of GIS-SIG and New York Geographic Alliance, and serves on the NY state GIS Education committee. He participated in NSF’s Mentor Connect, iGETT-Remote Sensing training and SUNY COIL’s (Collaborative Online International Learning) Turkish Initiative. He traveled to Kazakhstan as a Fulbright Specialist in geospatial technology June of 2019.
Abstract:
Monroe Community College and SUNY Cortland’s GIS/Geography program recently (June 2019) received a SUNY Innovative Instructional Technology Grant for $54,000 to develop an Open Geospatial Lab (OGL) and virtual geospatial internships in rural areas of Upstate New York. The open lab provides students with access to a remote computer with specialized software any time of day and has potential to be scaled up across both campuses and the SUNY system. The Open Geospatial Lab (OGL) will expand GIST undergraduate student pass rate and retention at MCC and SUNY Cortland?s GIST Certificate and degree programs through online peer and faculty support. The GIST virtual internships project will focus on rural areas of New State, 2) a global pilot hybrid GIST internship in Colombia, 3) creativity and workplace innovation, and 4) enhanced student opportunities for employment. This presentation will discuss the collaboration between MCC and SUNY Cortland, plans for implementation spring of 2020, and potential OGL expansion.
Title:
Enhancing the Geospatial Student Experience: A Monroe Community College Case Study
Presenter(s):
Catherine DuBreck (Project Manager, EagleView; Monroe Community College)
 Click here to view presentation
Bio(s):Catherine DuBreck is a Project Manager at EagleView.  Prior to becoming a Project Manager, she was a municipal GIS Technician and a Planner at a regional planning council.  Catherine loves mapping and GIS so much that she is working on the GIST certificate at Monroe Community College (MCC) to compliment her BA and MSc degrees in Geography.  Since beginning this program part-time in January 2018, she has served as MCC Mapping Club Treasurer, participated in a hybrid study-abroad program involving a mapping collaboration with students in Cartagena, Colombia, and she has recently started helping beginner GIS students at MCC as the new peer online GIS tutor (funded through the SUNY Innovative Instructional Technology grant).  Catherine will be discussing her experiences with these innovative GIST opportunities at MCC to share how the college is enhancing geospatial education on campus and beyond.”
Abstract:
This talk will showcase a handful of new and exciting things Monroe Community College (MCC) is doing to enhance geospatial education on campus and beyond. First, the speaker will share her experience as one of four students selected to participate in a new hybrid study abroad program this past April at MCC that sought to increase cultural awareness through collaboration between MCC students and students in Cartagena, Colombia. Student tasks included developing a mapping app to monitor water quality, leading a humanitarian mapping workshop, and travelling to Cartagena, as well as hosting Colombian students during their visit to Rochester. The talk will also highlight a new peer online GIS tutoring program funded through the SUNY Innovative Instructional Technology grant as well as MCC?s award-winning Mapping Club which functions simultaneously as the first NYS community college chapter of YouthMappers, an international consortium focused on humanitarian/disaster relief mapping. The talk will conclude with a brief overview of MCC’s GIST certificate program.

 

Canandaigua Room:  GIS Analytics 2

Moderator: Jessie Pellerin

Title:
Lightning Talks
Presenter(s):

David Burgoon (Bergmann Associates): Real-Time Data Collection using Social Media in Your GIS

Melinda Shimizu (SUNY Cortland): A Community Applied Learning Approach to Teaching Advanced GIS Techniques

Paula Kay Lazrus (St John’s University): Challenges and Benefits to Community Collaborations in an Introductory GIS Setting

Meg Wilkinson (NY Natural Heritage Program): Are you Doing Invasive Species Work at the Local Level? Learn about iMapInvasives!

Adam Levine (SUNY Cortland): Building a Native App Using ESRI AppStudio: Cortland Tree Walk App

Biographies

Meg Wilkinson – Meg’s background is in conservation and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  Her career has spanned several states and organizations including the Powder River Basin Resource Council in Wyoming, and Information Manager for the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.

Her involvement with Invasive Species issues began in 2005 as the Program Coordinator for the NYS Invasive Plant Council, and then continued with her current role with the NY Natural Heritage Program and the iMapInvasives Project.

Tai Chi, yoga, biking, and skiing are some of the activities Meg pursues outside of work.

 

Title:
Analyzing Time-Series GIS Data With Animation
Presenter(s):
Kamal Abdelrahman (City University of New York – Brooklyn College)
Bio(s): 
Abstract:
The aim of this study is to explore capabilities of animation in providing more insight with geospatial data visualization. Data visualization is a key tool that allows analysts to communicate and illustrate key insights in data. However, static visualizations struggle when helping to assist decision-makers with making predictions of future events. This is especially vital in areas such as public policy when managing budgets to plan for public needs or determining areas of potential growth in marketing. With the use of animation of time series data, analysts will not be able to assist individuals who do not have a background in analytics the ability to make sound decisions. Much of the help with GIS capabilities allows analysts and audiences to communicate an understanding of past and present of a given study. Thus, being able to build on that to make predictions of the future. In doing so, these decision-makers, are empowered to continue in improving quality of life. This holds true regardless of the field an individual may be in.
Title:
Evaluating Current Regulation: Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Trihalomethanes (THMs) in Drinking Water
Presenter(s):
Mohammed Alazawi (HRI) and D. Peter Berical (NYSDOH)
Bio(s): 
Abstract:

The presence of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water due to water disinfection is a significant public health concern. As such, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) DBPs with the goal of minimizing the occurrence of these contaminants. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the current EPA regulation in terms of 1) monitoring frequency, 2) sampling and reporting methods, and 3) monitoring method. This study examines the spatial and temporal patterns of one of the main classes of DBPs and the marker for total DBP load in drinking water, trihalomethanes (THMs). THMs are a volatile group of four compounds: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, chlorodibromomethane, and bromoform, which are formed during water disinfection, mostly chlorination.

We adopt point pattern analysis. Specifically, we use intensity for point patterns with real-valued THMs concentrations to estimate the spatial-temporal variation within THMs compounds, while we use Mark Correlation function to examine the spatial dependence among the four THMs compounds. The significance of spatial and temporal variability within and among the resulting THMs patterns are statistically tested with 95% confidence intervals using ANOVA test and Monto Carlo simulation, respectively.

Our analysis examined the 1998-2018 DBP data for three selected regulated New York State public water systems using groundwater as a source of water. A total of 3,504 samples were collected and analyzed from 37 sampling locations within the study area. The results of our analysis concerning the spatial and temporal dynamics of THMs can inform environmental research on DBPs and contribute to the development of effective policies and regulations for DBP monitoring.

Hemlock Room:  Environmental Applications

Moderator: Rick Reichert and Alyssa Fico

Title:
Building Data for Climate Change Adaptation
Presenter(s):
Kytt MacManus and Greg Yetman (CIESIN)
Bio(s):

Kytt MacManus is a GIS Programmer and Senior Systems Analyst for CIESIN and an adjunct lecturer in GIS at Columbia University. He has extensive experience with global dataset and web application development for the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). He has been a primary investigator for local research and development of GIS based interactive online decision-support systems for flood adaptation and mitigation in the Hudson River Valley, and in Jamaica Bay, New York.

Greg Yetman is the Associate Director for the Geospatial Applications Division for CIESIN at Columbia University. He is a geographer specializing in the application of GIS technologies in applied and research fields, including population geography, natural disasters, and environmental assessment. He has acted as a technical advisor on GIS to government and international organizations and led implementation of geospatial services for the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC).

Abstract:
Successfully adapting to climate change requires access to detailed data on the potential impacts from coastal and riverine flooding under different storm and sea level rise scenarios. This presentation will describe the data and methods from projects funded by the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) to apply the Hazards US (HAZUS) flood assessment methodology to New York State at a detailed scale. A new integrated and comprehensive collection of building footprints is being developed for New York State (outside of New York City). The building footprint data set is a combination of data collected from state and local governments and Microsoft open source building footprints, extracted from LiDAR data, and manually digitized from New York State orthoimagery. These data will be combined with economic valuations, building characteristics, critical infrastructure data, and modeled flooding from storm and sea level rise scenarios to produce detailed information on possible flood impacts. The project results and data will be made publicly available for use in regional and local planning through a web map application which visually displays flood scenarios, summary statistics, building footprints, and critical infrastructure by county and municipality. During this presentation, the data collection, integration, quality checks, and analysis methods will be discussed along with a summary of the data and information that will be made public at the end of the projects.
 Click here to view presentation

 

Title:
Shoreline Change and Restoration at North Sandy Pond along the Eastern Shore of Lake Ontario
Presenter(s):
Tom Hart (Skidmore College)
Bio(s): 
Abstract:

The eastern shore of Lake Ontario includes a 17 mile stretch of dunes, ponds, and wetlands. North and South Sandy Ponds lie within the 5-mile center of the area and feature a dynamic barrier island system and high dunes reaching 65 feet in elevation. Linear and volumetric shoreline change analysis was completed for this area, documenting nearly 1000 feet of shoreline retreat since 1895. Change analysis was completed using topographic maps, aerial photography, and more recent digital orthoimagery to derive nearly 40 shore sets. Change rates were calculated using the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (USGS). Recent GPS measurements, LiDAR and bathymetric data were used to calculate volume losses from beach areas and gains in both filled inlets and a unique inlet shoal at the current channel.

GIS is being used to characterize this highly changeable environment since publication of the North Pond Resiliency Plan in 2017 including updated shorelines, volume change estimates and geotagged aerial overflights to document the effect of record high lake levels in 2017 and 2019 with concomitant record erosion and loss of barrier structure. GIS analyses helped obtain funding for a nature-based shoreline restoration project where 18,000 cubic yards of shoal sand is to be moved temporarily into an array of fabric geotubes which would then be unloaded to restore beach and dune areas to match LiDAR-derived 2011 beach profiles. Overall, the original study illustrates how use of GIS can led to better understanding of coastal processes, impacts of lake level impacts, and planning for restoration.

 Click here to view presentation
Title:
Techniques for Mapping Invasive Plant Species in Northern New York
Presenter(s):
Jessica Rogers, Owen Maskell and Nolan Rishe (SUNY Potsdam)
Bio(s):

Dr. Jessica Rogers is an assistant professor of Environmental Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies at SUNY Potsdam. Her research focuses on conservation policy, using GIS to make spatially informed decisions about deforestation and invasive species.

Owen Maskell is a recent graduate of SUNY Potsdam with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies, with minors in Environmental Science and Biology.

Nolan Rishe is a senior Environmental Studies major at SUNY Potsdam with a minor in Environmental Science.  He has been working on mapping invasive species in Northern New York for 2 summers.

Abstract:
Designing field collection layers requires thoughtful planning, but can’t always predict the best way to create the most useful layer for analysis later. Since 2017, I’ve been collecting spatial data about the extent of purple loosestrife infestations in St. Lawrence and Jefferson Counties. Purple loosestrife is an invasive flowering plant that can create monocultures of thousands of plants displacing native wetland species. The data was collected with a single point for each infestation, with a field describing how far along the road the infestation continued and approximately how many plants the infestation contained. Because most of the infestations were on private land, creating a full polygon of the infestation wasn’t possible. However, this was problematic when attempting to understand where purple loosestrife existed on both sides of the highway. In 2019, we switched to collecting line data instead of single points. Our hope is that this will allow for a more comprehensive analysis of the spatial extent. In particular, it might allow for a better comparison with state mowing patterns and dates. In addition, we have begun a program to fly drones for aerial imaging of the larger infestations that spread away from the road. Being able to best understand and map the largest and most dense infestations is important to choose the most appropriate areas to release a biological control beetle.
 Click here to view presentation