gis-2024

Texas GIS Forum

October 21-25, 2024

FULL AGENDA

Workshops: MON & TUE

Our workshops provide access to in-depth training from industry leaders that help further your professional skills and networking opportunities. Registration for workshops is sold separately.


Sessions & Exhibits: WED & THU

Explore two days of talking sessions and exhibit booths to hear about the latest advancements in the private and public sector and connect with the geospatial community.


Texas GIS Community Meeting: FRI

Free admission and open to the public! Join the conversation as Texas GIS community members give quarterly updates and open the floor to discussion.

Mobile agenda sponsored by:

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October 21, 2024 - October 25, 2024

Monday

7:15 AM - 8:00 AM

Registration

Location: Atrium

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The Power of a Story: Presenting Your Work using ArcGIS StoryMaps

Jonathan Doherty, Esri

 

Location: Tower Room


Overview:

ArcGIS StoryMaps let you inform, engage, and inspire your audience by harnessing the power of maps and geography to tell your story. Build apps that combine authoritative maps and data with narrative text, photos, and multimedia content. You can share your story maps publicly or within your enterprise. ArcGIS StoryMaps are part of ArcGIS, so you can use the full power of the world's leading GIS platform to tell your story.

 

About the Speaker:

Jonathan Doherty, Esri

Jonathan Doherty serves as an Account Executive at Esri’s San Antonio Regional Office, where he oversees state government business development activities in Texas. He is dedicated to assisting GIS leaders in adopting enterprise GIS best practices to advance their agency missions. With over 13 years of experience at Esri, Jon has held various roles in business development and account management, supporting both governmental bodies and academic institutions. Before joining Esri, Jon worked as a Business Analyst for CACI and Getronics Government Solutions. He holds a degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and a master’s degree in management information systems (MIS).

 

Registration for workshops is sold separately.

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Introduction to ModelBuilder for ArcGIS Pro: Part 1

Ashley Rately, TeachMeGIS

 

Location: Mustang Room


Overview: 

ModelBuilder allows users to create custom tools in ArcGIS Pro without having to know how to write scripts. Models are creating by dragging existing tools and datasets into a graphic canvas, connecting them, and setting their properties A simple model might display lat/long locations from a spreadsheet, buffer the resultant points, and calculate the area, in acres, of the buffered polygons. More complex models may involve dozens of steps, saving the GIS professional countless hours of manually running processes. ModelBuilder is included with all license levels of ArcGIS Pro.

 

About the Speaker:
Ashley Rately, TeachMeGIS

Ashley Ratley is a trainer, consultant, and the head curriculum developer at TeachMeGIS. Since 2013, she has been teaching GIS training classes for multiple industries and has contracted with a major petroleum company. She holds a Master of GIS degree and a Bachelor of Science degree, both from Texas A&M University. In her free time, she enjoys travel, volunteering at the Houston Zoo and Battleship Texas, and fostering rescue dogs and cats.

 

Registration for workshops is sold separately.

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Introduction to ArcGIS Drone2Map

Joseph Bowles, Esri

 

Location: Longhorn Room


Overview:

Drone2Map for ArcGIS is a desktop app that turns raw still imagery from drones into orthomosaics, 3D meshes, tile images, and more. Use this professional quality imagery product to monitor environmental change and to perform land analysis and critical infrastructure inspection. Together with many other capabilities in ArcGIS, Drone2Map helps you unlock the insights hidden in your imagery.

 

About the Speaker:

Joseph Bowles, Esri

Joseph Brigham Bowles is a Senior Solutions Engineer on the State and Local Government team at Esri's San Antonio office. With 28 years at Esri, he specializes in the technical aspects of the sales process, aiding companies, and individuals in converting their data into spatial formats to enhance problem-solving. His expertise encompasses web mapping, server-based GIS, developer technologies, and democratizing spatial technology.

 

Registration for workshops is sold separately.

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Accessing and Exploring TxGIO Data

Laura Sepulveda, Lauren Kirk; TxGIO

 

Location: Tower Room


Overview:

In this workshop, attendees will get a comprehensive overview of the statewide geospatial data resources acquired, developed, and made available by the Texas Geographic Information Office (TxGIO), and how they may be accessed to inform decision-making and drive actionable insights. Afterwards, attendees will be led through a hands-on activity to create their own custom geospatial artwork with TxGIO data.

 

About the Speakers:

Laura Sepulveda, TxGIO

Laura is the manager of the Design, Innovation, and Marketing department in the Texas Geographic Information Office (TxGIO), and has a background in interaction design, GIS, and government data. She is passionate about information accessibility and making digital products that are useful instead of frustrating for stakeholders.

 

Lauren Kirk, TxGIO

Lauren Kirk serves as the Imagery Specialist at the Texas Geographic Information Office (TxGIO).  Lauren manages TxGIO's orthoimagery, land cover projects and serves on the Texas Geographic Names Committee.  A born and raised native of Austin, Texas, Lauren loves forcing her colleagues to try various hot snacks and stating “it’s always easier the second time” at inopportune moments.  

 

Registration for workshops is sold separately.

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Introduction to ModelBuilder for ArcGIS Pro: Part 2

Ashley Ratley, TeachMeGIS

 

Location: Mustang Room


Overview:

ModelBuilder allows users to create custom tools in ArcGIS Pro without having to know how to write scripts. Models are creating by dragging existing tools and datasets into a graphic canvas, connecting them, and setting their properties A simple model might display lat/long locations from a spreadsheet, buffer the resultant points, and calculate the area, in acres, of the buffered polygons. More complex models may involve dozens of steps, saving the GIS professional countless hours of manually running processes. ModelBuilder is included with all license levels of ArcGIS Pro.

 

About the Speaker:

Ashley Ratley, TeachMeGIS

Ashley Ratley is a trainer, consultant, and the head curriculum developer at TeachMeGIS. Since 2013, she has been teaching GIS training classes for multiple industries and has contracted with a major petroleum company. She holds a Master of GIS degree and a Bachelor of Science degree, both from Texas A&M University. In her free time, she enjoys travel, volunteering at the Houston Zoo and Battleship Texas, and fostering rescue dogs and cats.

 

Registration for workshops is sold separately.

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Mastering ArcGIS Pro: Unleashing Advanced Capabilities

Zena Pelletier, Esri

 

Location: Longhorn Room


Overview:

Are you still on ArcGIS Pro 2.x? Discover why you should be using ArcGIS Pro 3.x and uncover expert tips and tricks to enhance productivity and efficiency within the platform. This class is designed for intermediate users who are already proficient with ArcGIS Pro.

 

About the Speaker:

Zena Pelletier, Esri

Zena Pelletier is a Team Lead Solution Engineer for the State & Local Government team at Esri's San Antonio Regional Office. With over 8 years at Esri, she collaborates with customers to maximize their use of Esri’s software and technology, helping them deploy solutions that achieve their business objectives. Zena brings over 20 years of experience from her tenure at the Department of Defense, where she worked on various geospatial data analysis projects for infrastructures worldwide. Her diverse background also includes expertise in surveying and drafting, construction and design management, computer programming, software development for network and system improvement, and process automation to enhance productivity.

 

Registration for workshops is sold separately.

*Information subject to change.

Tuesday

7:15 AM - 8:00 AM

Registration

Location: Atrium

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The Comprehensive Fieldwork Solution: ArcGIS Field Maps

Zena Pelletier, Esri

 

Location: Longhorn Room


Overview:

Discover ArcGIS Field Maps, the single app essential for your mobile workforce to streamline map-centric tasks. Field workers can seamlessly collect data, annotate maps, track locations, fulfill assignments, and navigate to assets—all within one application. This not only saves time for field workers by simplifying app usage but also reduces configuration efforts for you, as you only need to set up maps for one app. During this session, you'll learn how to configure maps to align with your field workflows, prepare maps for offline usage, and efficiently collect data in the field. Using your own mobile device, you'll test and deploy your map to ensure readiness for your mobile team.

 

About the Speaker:

Zena Pelletier, Esri

Zena Pelletier is a Team Lead Solution Engineer for the State & Local Government team at Esri's San Antonio Regional Office. With over 8 years at Esri, she collaborates with customers to maximize their use of Esri’s software and technology, helping them deploy solutions that achieve their business objectives. Zena brings over 20 years of experience from her tenure at the Department of Defense, where she worked on various geospatial data analysis projects for infrastructures worldwide. Her diverse background also includes expertise in surveying and drafting, construction and design management, computer programming, software development for network and system improvement, and process automation to enhance productivity.

 

Registration for workshops is sold separately.

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Applying Design Thinking to Geospatial Problems

Laura Sepulveda, Space Longoria; TxGIO

 

Location: Tower Room


Overview:

Join us for an interactive design thinking workshop created for GIS professionals and others who may be new to this innovative approach and interested in growing their creative problem-solving skillset.

 

In this workshop we will cover the fundamentals and stages of design thinking, discuss case studies where design thinking has been successfully implemented, and work in groups to apply design thinking methodologies such as empathy, ideation, prototyping, and testing through hands-on activities.

 

Get ready to explore the fundamentals of design thinking, think outside the standard map boundaries, and unlock new possibilities in your GIS work!

 

About the Speakers:

Laura Sepulveda, TxGIO

Laura is the manager of the Design, Innovation, and Marketing department in the Texas Geographic Information Office (TxGIO), and has a background in interaction design, GIS, and government data. She is passionate about information accessibility and making digital products that are useful instead of frustrating for stakeholders.

 

Space Longoria, TxGIO

Information coming soon.

 

Registration for workshops is sold separately.

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

ArcGIS Experience Builder Workshop: Part 1

Ashley Ratley, TeachMeGIS

 

Location: Mustang Room


Overview:

This introductory course is designed to provide organizations with an understanding of ArcGIS Experience Builder and equip them with the necessary skills to create visually rich experiences by leveraging customizable templates, widgets, layout options, and themes. Hands-on exercises will teach you how to use Experience Builder to create applications that blend storytelling with your online content to create captivating geospatial experiences.

 

About the Speaker:

Ashley Ratley, TeachMeGIS

Ashley Ratley is a trainer, consultant, and the head curriculum developer at TeachMeGIS. Since 2013, she has been teaching GIS training classes for multiple industries and has contracted with a major petroleum company. She holds a Master of GIS degree and a Bachelor of Science degree, both from Texas A&M University. In her free time, she enjoys travel, volunteering at the Houston Zoo and Battleship Texas, and fostering rescue dogs and cats.

 

Registration for workshops is sold separately.

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

ArcGIS Experience Builder Workshop: Part 2

Ashley Ratley, TeachMeGIS

 

Location: Mustang Room


Overview:

This introductory course is designed to provide organizations with an understanding of ArcGIS Experience Builder and equip them with the necessary skills to create visually rich experiences by leveraging customizable templates, widgets, layout options, and themes. Hands-on exercises will teach you how to use Experience Builder to create applications that blend storytelling with your online content to create captivating geospatial experiences.

 

About the Speaker:

Ashley Ratley, TeachMeGIS

Ashley Ratley is a trainer, consultant, and the head curriculum developer at TeachMeGIS. Since 2013, she has been teaching GIS training classes for multiple industries and has contracted with a major petroleum company. She holds a Master of GIS degree and a Bachelor of Science degree, both from Texas A and M University. In her free time, she enjoys travel, volunteering at the Houston Zoo and Battleship Texas, and fostering rescue dogs and cats.

 

Registration for workshops is sold separately.

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Unlocking Insights: Exploring GeoAI in ArcGIS

Joseph Bowles, Esri

 

Location: Longhorn Room


Overview:

GeoAI represents the fusion of machine learning and location intelligence, offering a versatile capability present in numerous ArcGIS products. It aids organizations across various sectors in leveraging their data more effectively. Discover how to harness location data as the common thread to unveil concealed patterns, enhance predictive modeling, and gain a competitive advantage. We invite you to join us in exploring ArcGIS's robust built-in tools, including machine learning and deep learning frameworks.

 

About the Speaker:

Joseph Bowles, Esri

Joseph Brigham Bowles is a Senior Solutions Engineer on the State and Local Government team at Esri's San Antonio office. With 28 years at Esri, he specializes in the technical aspects of the sales process, aiding companies, and individuals in converting their data into spatial formats to enhance problem-solving. His expertise encompasses web mapping, server-based GIS, developer technologies, and democratizing spatial technology.

 

Registration for workshops is sold separately.

*Information subject to change.

Wednesday

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Registration

Location: Atrium

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Location: Big Tex Room

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Keynote Presentation

Unveiling the Past: Innovations in Exploration with Albert Lin

From the jungles to the seas to the high-altitude deserts, his team has utilized advanced GIS technologies to uncover a hidden past. Join Albert Lin, host of National Geographic’s Lost Cities Revealed for a behind the scenes dive into the frontiers of mapping and storytelling. 

 

Location: Big Tex Room

Albert Lin

Host of National Geographic’s Lost Cities Revealed


About the Speaker:

Albert Lin, National Geographic

Albert Lin is, quite literally, a modern-day high-tech explorer, blurring the boundaries between man and machine while redefining how we explore our own humanity. He stands out as one of the most prominent and versatile amputees worldwide, having lost his leg in 2016. Lin maintains a relentless quest into the farthest reaches of our planet, employing a technologist’s approach to unearth captivating stories of both humanity and the natural world. His journey began with the Valley of the Khans project, a pioneering initiative that harnessed technology to search for Genghis Khan’s tomb. Leveraging an innovative tool kit of forest- and ground-penetrating technologies, Lin scoured vast terrains while respecting the traditional beliefs of Indigenous communities, which called for noninvasive exploration. This project marked the genesis of his application of similar approaches that led to groundbreaking discoveries across the globe.

 

One of his most noteworthy accomplishments involves using lidar (laser mapping) and cutting-edge technologies to uncover ancient cities concealed beneath the canopies of remote jungles, mountain ranges, and deserts. These remarkable expeditions have been brought to a global audience in various adventure-driven factual TV series, including “Lost Treasures of the Maya,” “Buried Secrets of the Bible,” and “Lost Cities with Albert Lin.” Beyond ancient history, Lin’s “seeing the invisible” mantra extends to the natural world, where his curiosity gives way to awe, as showcased on National Geographic’s “Welcome to Earth” and “Explorer.” Lin’s uniquely approachable personality and “be-there-with-me” style that merges science, adventure and discovery has become the hallmark of his storytelling.

 

With a Ph.D. in science and engineering, Lin’s chops add to his authenticity. Early in his career, he was the driving force behind National Geographic’s pioneering crowdsourcing effort to assist his expedition in Mongolia, using satellite imagery and public participation, a concept he transformed into the platform known as Tomnod, which has since engaged millions of individuals in projects ranging from search and rescue missions to humanitarian and environmental monitoring. His broad imagination has since led to multiple university research centers, clinical trials and technology startups, earning him numerous awards for his discoveries and inventions. But, as he has always said, “Innovation is just one way to serve the deeply human desire to explore our frontiers.”

 

Ultimately, Lin defines a new age of exploration. He has scaled the imposing walls of Yosemite’s El Capitan, traversed the arid deserts of Arabia, and dove into the deepest underground lakes in Africa with cutting-edge technologies in his backpack, all in the pursuit of a lifelong sense of wonder. Today, as a globally recognized explorer and a trailblazing amputee, he stands as an inspiration and advocate for the indomitable human spirit.

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Break with Exhibitors

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Session

The Role of Higher Education in Preparing the Future GIS Workforce

Stephanie Long, Austin Community College

 

Location: Big Tex Room


Overview:

During this dynamic session, the audience will be actively engaged and invited to participate, fostering an interactive environment where ideas and experiences can be shared collaboratively and built upon to increase the success of our colleagues in the classroom and beyond."

 

Learning Objectives:

Attendees will gain insights into strategic initiatives aimed at equipping them with the necessary skills and competencies to thrive in the dynamic field of GIS. By attending, participants will discover innovative approaches to how they can directly impact the future of the GIS industry and GIS education. Whether you're an educator, industry professional, or stakeholder interested in shaping the future GIS workforce, this interactive session offers valuable strategies and benefits in response to the challenges we face in ensuring success in preparing the next generation of GIS professionals.

 

About the Speaker:

Stephanie Long, Austin Community College

Stephanie Long has over 20 years of professional experience in GIS and Higher Education, a Master of Science in Geography from Texas State, and a GISP certification. Currently, she is the Associate Dean for the Faculty Center for Learning Innovation (FCLI) where she directs a faculty community that champions innovative learning through collaboration, support, engagement, development, and connection. Stephanie works to develop programs of faculty-centered learning opportunities to assist faculty with developing, implementing, and analyzing teaching improvement and innovation techniques. She is also a Professor of GIS at Austin Community College where she develops classroom and online curricula. Stephanie enjoys bringing her real-world experience to the classroom to better prepare her students for a career in GIS and collaborate with faculty on innovative teaching and learning techniques. "In an era of rapidly evolving technology and increasing reliance on spatial decision-making, the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) stands at the forefront of innovation and problem-solving. Rising to challenges through strategic initiatives aligned with industry needs, higher education institutions have an opportunity to ensure a skilled and competent GIS workforce for the future. As professionals and educators, understanding how to effectively prepare the next generation of GIS experts is not only a responsibility we should all be invested in but also an opportunity to shape the future landscape of the industry and the world around us.

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Session

Unlocking the Data Behind the Census Bureau's On the Map Tool for City Governments

Chad Ramos, City of Kyle

 

Location: Balcones Room


Overview:

The Census Bureau's Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) program links employer and household data. The potential uses of the LEHD jobs data are far-reaching, including everything from unraveling important economic questions to planning future transportation routes and projects. The Census Bureau's On the Map web app provides a convenient way to visualize the data at the 'place' scale, allowing cities to gain marginal insights about their workforce such as how many residents travel outside of the city for work and which cities are they travelling to. The data itself is published at the Census Block scale and by working with the data directly it's possible to see not just which 'place' employees are traveling to, but how far they are travelling, which industries they are working in, which sector they are working in, which are the largest employers of your residents, etc. The data allows for the creation of a census block to census block matrix of all the employees travelling to or from your city for work. In this presentation we show where to get the data, and how to tie the tabular data to spatial data with both a low-code and no-code approach.

 

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics data
  • Finding the right dataset for your city
  • Low-code and no-code approaches to making use of the data
  • Useful maps to visualize the data
  • Adding American Community Survey data to gain further insights

 

About the Speaker:

Chad Ramos, City of Kyle

Chad Ramos is a GIS Analyst at the City of Kyle and a Graduate researcher at Texas State University studying Hazards and GIS.

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Session

Dude, Where’s My Cow? Geographic Distribution of Livestock Across Texas

Amanda Covington, Emma Jones; Texas Water Development Board

 

Location: Lil Tex Room


Overview:

The Projections and Socioeconomic Analysis (PSA) team of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is responsible for developing annual and projected livestock water use estimates by County, Regional Water Planning Area (RWPA), and Major River Basin. The TWDB estimates that livestock rearing, excluding the water used to irrigate feed crops, accounts for approximately 300,000 acre-feet of water use per year statewide. The PSA staff utilize agricultural Census counts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to estimate county-level inventory, which are then multiplied by TWDB-developed water use coefficients for horses, goats, sheep, hogs, turkeys, both laying and non-laying chickens, and both milking and non-milking cattle. With each agricultural Census, PSA staff are tasked with updating the geographic splits used to apportion county-level water use estimates to RWPA and Major River Basin. This presentation outlines the steps taken to calculate livestock water use, expands on the data and tools used for geographical analysis, and summarizes the methods used to develop livestock water demand projections for the State Water Plan.

 

Learning Objectives:

The audience will learn how the TWDB-PSA staff develop livestock inventory estimates and specifically, geographical planning region and river basin splits, using the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census data, livestock permit information from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, national land cover data, and stakeholder feedback. Additionally, staff will present how they develop Texas-specific water use coefficients and total livestock water use estimates. The audience will also learn how the livestock water use estimates and geographic splits play a vital role in developing water demand projections for the State Water Plan.

 

About the Speakers:

Amanda Covington, Texas Water Development Board

Amanda Covington joined the Texas Water Development Board as a Planner with the Projections and Socioeconomic Analysis team in September 2019. She participates in the development of population and water demand projections, socioeconomic impact analysis, and data acquisition with specialized work in the geographical distribution of various datasets. Prior to joining the TWDB she graduated with a B.S. from Southwestern University and received her GIS Certification from Austin Community College.

 

Emma Jones, Texas Water Development Board

Emma Jones has been working at the Texas Water Development Board for four years with the Projections and Socioeconomic Analysis team. She is responsible for overseeing annual estimates of population and water use as well as assisting with the development of water demand projections and the socioeconomic impact analysis. Emma has a B.A in Environmental Studies from Rollins College, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in GIS from Penn State University, and a Masters of Natural Resources Development from Texas A&M University.

10:45 AM - 11:30 AM

Session

Enabling the Dissemination of Large Volumes of Historic Texas Maps Using an Automated Georeferencing Workflow

Alex Marden, Michael Shensky; University of Texas at Austin Libraries

 

Location: Balcones Room


Overview:

The University of Texas Libraries at UT Austin maintains an extensive collection of historical scanned maps covering various regions across Texas. A longstanding effort at the UT Libraries is to georeference those maps and share them through the UT Austin Geodata Portal to facilitate their use in GIS software and encourage their utilization in research. However, utilizing traditional manual georeferencing workflows on large map collections can be prohibitively time consuming and expensive. To combat those limiting factors, we present a newly developed scripted method for automating the georeferencing of extensive collections of historic scanned maps to prepare them for dissemination through the UT Austin Geodata Portal. This scalable method relies on a machine learning approach for training an object detection model that can automatically identify map features which can serve as ground control points for the georeferencing process. We have utilized this method to successfully georeference and disseminate Sanborn Fire Insurance maps of Texas from the late 19th century and early 20th century based on street intersections and corresponding street labels.

 

Learning Objectives:

The audience will be introduced to historical maps of Texas, the UT Austin Geodata Portal, and the process of large map collection georeferencing. The audience will then learn about our new method that utilizes an automated machine learning approach to georeference and make available large numbers of historical maps of Texas.

 

About the Speakers:

Alex Marden, University of Texas at Austin Libraries

Alex Marden is the GIS and Geospatial Data Coordinator at the University of Texas at Austin Libraries and is an Open Geospatial Software Specialist with the UT Austin Open Source Program Office. Alex has a PhD in Geography from UT Austin where his research focused on spatiotemporally complex climate-disturbance linkages and how scale relates to the observability of those linkages. In his role with the UT Libraries he supports the GIS needs of the university community and works to make geospatial data broadly available and accessible.

 

Michael Shensky, University of Texas at Austin Libraries

Michael Shensky is Head of Research Data Services for the UT Libraries at the University of Texas at Austin and is a co-PI for the UT Austin Open Source Program Office. He has a BA and MA in Geography and over a decade of professional experience providing support for university research and instruction in the areas of GIS and research data management.

10:45 AM - 11:30 AM

Session

Optimizing GIS and Office 365 Applications to Manage Energy-related Regulatory Activities

Jared Ware, Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC)

 

Location: Lil Tex Room


Overview:

The previous two Texas legislative sessions produced laws that increased the regulatory activities of the Railroad Commission of Texas. The agency has recently implemented new information technology and GIS applications to regulate critical infrastructure, carbon transportation and storage, geothermal injection wells and hydrogen production. To ensure commonality and consistency of the data and processes, the agency uses software and applications available to all employees, specifically Office 365 and Esri’s ArcGIS Pro and Online. For closed loop geothermal wells, the agency developed a workflow in Power Automate using the Artificial Intelligence module to extract data and map it using the ArcGIS view in Microsoft Power BI. The agency also collects priority reports that automatically extract geospatial data, map it in Power BI’s mapping applications, and sends email updates using Power Automate functions that require no additional GIS data manipulation. The agency also uses GIS to integrate Class VI well (carbon dioxide) permitting activities in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG). GIS and Office 365 have improved the regulatory activities without increasing costs, personnel or resources for the agency. The agency has also embarked on developing training modules to ensure adequate GIS skills for permitting processes to address all aspects of regulatory responsibilities and requirements.

 

Learning Objectives:

Understanding how baseline applications in Esri's ArcGIS Software and Microsoft Office 365 can enhance the management of energy-related regulatory requirements at the state level.

 

About the Speaker:

Jared Ware, Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC)

Jared Ware is a systems analyst and senior engineer at the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC). He works special projects with respect to geothermal energy, Class VI well permitting, and lithium/brine mining activities. He previously led the agency’s Critical Infrastructure Division. Jared served at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) leading the Program Support and Environmental Assistance Division (PSEAD). Prior to TCEQ he was the senior facilities engineer in Army Futures Command G4/9 Directorate responsible for the program management of the command’s research and development sites. He previously worked at RRC as the Well Mapping Department and GIS Manager in the Oil and Gas Division (Administrative Compliance). Jared also served in the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). His academic assignments included leading a training division at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and as an assistant professor and course director in the Geospatial Information Science program at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. Jared has earned a BS in Geography, an MS in Engineering Management, and an MS in Geographic Information Science. He is a geographic information systems professional (GISP), a certified energy manager (CEM) and a member of Gamma Theta Upsilon geographic honor society.

10:45 AM - 11:30 AM

Session

Integrating GIS into Disaster Response to Streamline Multi-Agency Operations

Barry Larsen, Bill Dozier; Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) Emergency Services Training Institute (ESTI)

 

Location: Big Tex Room


Overview:

Emerging GIS applications now allow responders to collect, analyze and report reconnaissance data, victim locations, damage observations, hazard information and critical infrastructure needs in near-real time, empowering Incident Commanders to create more effective and efficient strategic plans. With applications for both urban and wilderness search and rescue, this is a game-changing application of technology that can assist responders at all levels.

 

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding the need of GIS in search and rescue responses
  • Detailing the critical components of GIS (apps, maps, data, analysis and reporting)
  • Discussing the benefits and constraints of GIS in search and rescue
  • Using GIS to establish a Common Operating Picture
  • Leveraging intelligence to establish operational objectives and create strategic plans

 

About the Speaker:

Barry Larsen, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) Emergency Services Training Institute (ESTI)

Barry Larsen has more than 35 years practical experience in Search and Rescue, at the local, state and federal levels. He is both a full time instructor for TEEX and a lead instructor for FEMA. Barry is also a Search Team Manager with TX-TF1 (Urban Search & Rescue).

 

Bill Dozier, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) Emergency Services Training Institute (ESTI)

Information coming soon.

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Lunch

Included in pricing.

12:30 PM - 1:15 PM

Platinum Presentation

Information coming soon.

 

Location: Big Tex Room

1:15 PM - 1:45 PM

Session

Gold Sponsor Presentation

Information coming soon.


1:15 PM - 1:45 PM

Session

Gold Sponsor Presentation

Information coming soon.

1:15 PM - 1:45 PM

Session

Gold Sponsor Presentation

Information coming soon.


1:45 PM - 2:15 PM

Session

Gold Sponsor Presentation

Information coming soon.


1:45 PM - 2:15 PM

Session

Gold Sponsor Presentation

Information coming soon.


1:45 PM - 2:15 PM

Session

Gold Sponsor Presentation

Information coming soon.


2:15 PM - 2:45 PM

Break with Exhibitors

2:45 PM - 3:30 PM

Session

GIS Governance at the City of Austin

Marna McLain, City of Austin

 

Location: Balcones Room


Overview: Since the City of Austin implemented its first GIS in the 1980s, governance existed with the common goal of supporting the City’s geospatial foundation and framework. As it stands today, the Geospatial Information Management Operating Board (GIMOB) works together to support a shared strategic vision, promote the most efficient use of resources, and coordinate citywide geospatial activities. While GIS governance at the City of Austin is considered mature, it still experiences many of the challenges that come with managing a large and complex organization. In this session, find out the history of our GIS Governance, how it is currently managed (the good and the bad), and what the future holds for GIS at the City of Austin.

 

Learning Objectives:

How governance helps to develop GIS strategy, develop standards, coordinate geospatial activities, and build community; Tips and tricks for starting governance in any organization.

 

About the Speaker:

Marna McLain, City of Austin

Marna McLain is the IT Corporate Manager for Enterprise Geospatial Services at the City of Austin. Originally from the Houston area, she moved to Austin to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Geography from University of Texas and never left. She has over 24 years of experience in the industry, with a background in data editing and maintenance, GIS project management, and application and infrastructure management. Marna lives in Austin, Texas with her two daughters and two corgis, and in her free time... (just kidding, what free time?)

2:45 PM - 3:30 PM

Session

Transition Tales: Navigating the Retirement of Web AppBuilder

Ashley Schutt, Catherine Hodde-Pierce; TxDOT

 

Location: Lil Tex Room


Overview: 

In response to Esri's announcement of Web AppBuilder's retirement in 2023, TxDOT swiftly initiated an agency-wide strategy aimed at migrating both public-facing and internal Web AppBuilder applications to Experience Builder, Instant Apps, and more! Our presentation will explore the journey of TxDOT's app migration, detailing the comprehensive steps undertaken from start to finish. Through our narrative, attendees will gain valuable insights into identifying potential roadblocks encountered throughout the migration, while also highlighting our proactive outreach and educational efforts. By sharing practical insights gleaned from our experience, we aim to empower other organizations facing similar transitions, regardless of their size or scale. Join us as we navigate the retirement of Web AppBuilder and unveil the boundless possibilities awaiting in the realm of web applications.

 

Learning Objectives:

The audience will learn how a large organization can migrate from Web AppBuilder to Experience Builder.

 

About the Speaker:

Ashley Schutt, TxDOT

Ashley Schutt attended Stephen F. Austin State University where she graduated with a BS in Environmental Science. Before coming to TxDOT Ashley served as a GIS Technical Specialist at the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, where she leveraged GIS technology for emergency response and decision-making, earning awards for her innovative applications. Currently serving as a GIS Training Coordinator for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Statewide GIS department, Ashley designs and executes tailored training programs, orchestrates sessions for sizable audiences, and offers support and guidance to TxDOT users, ensuring all training needs are met. Ashley combines her education and extensive professional experience to deliver impactful GIS solutions and training programs.

 

Catherine Hodde-Pierce, TxDOT

Catherine Hodde-Pierce earned her Bachelors in GIS from Texas State University. She has worked for the State for over five years and is currently a GIS Training Coordinator at TxDOT. Catherine has participated in all sides of GIS: infrastructure and backend, geodatabase administration, project management, customer support, cartography, management, and more, so training was a natural fit for her. She is passionate about empowering users to create tools to meet their needs by providing high quality training tailored to serving their job functions.

 

2:45 PM - 3:30 PM

Session

How to Tame the Wild West - Web GIS Administration and Governance

Laura Chapa, Mat Peck; Texas Department of Transportation

 

Location: Big Tex Room


Overview: 

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is the authoritative source of a multitude of GIS data layers that receive tens of thousands of views per day and serve both internal and public interests. Just over ten years ago, TxDOT began the adoption of ArcGIS Online as a web GIS platform for sharing data, maps, and applications. For the first few years, there were no agency-set standards or rules to follow, and ArcGIS Online was a wild frontier. As web GIS adoption surges, the organization faces exponential growth that requires a forward-thinking approach. Leveraging ArcGIS Server, Enterprise, and Online, TxDOT crafted a system to meet both internal and external needs. The first step included transforming ArcGIS Online into a curated “trophy” case of authoritative TxDOT content, which required a comprehensive review of users, content, and account trends. A custom reporting tool was created to join various content and user reports to aid the understanding of the current usage trends on the platform. Through this process, low-value content was identified and removed while strategically migrating select assets to ArcGIS Enterprise, where users are empowered to explore and create freely. User access was streamlined based on governance criteria and automated administrative reporting using FME, ensuring consistent updates and efficient management. Additionally, a custom tool was developed to help users easily manage their authoritative content in existing environments, whether ArcGIS Enterprise Test, Production or ArcGIS Online, to ensure metadata standards are met. Join us to learn how these efforts are shaping a more innovative and sustainable GIS ecosystem at TxDOT.

 

Learning Objectives:

As web GIS adoption surges, the organization faces exponential growth that requires a forward-thinking approach. Leveraging ArcGIS Server, Enterprise, and Online, TxDOT crafted a system to meet both internal and external needs. The first step included transforming ArcGIS Online into a curated “trophy” case of authoritative TxDOT content, which required a comprehensive review of users, content, and account trends. A custom reporting tool was created to join various content and user reports to aid the understanding of the current usage trends on the platform. Through this process, low-value content was identified and removed while strategically migrating select assets to ArcGIS Enterprise, where users are empowered to explore and create freely. User access was streamlined based on governance criteria and automated administrative reporting using FME, ensuring consistent updates and efficient management. Additionally, a custom tool was developed to help users easily manage their authoritative content in existing environments, whether ArcGIS Enterprise Test, Production or ArcGIS Online, to ensure metadata standards are met. Join us to learn how these efforts are shaping a more innovative and sustainable GIS ecosystem at TxDOT.

 

About the Speakers:

Laura Chapa, Texas Department of Transportation

Laura Chapa is a leader of GIS innovation at the Texas Department of Transportation. She is focused on enterprise governance, innovative solutions, and training to support sustainable GIS growth for the agency. Laura has a background in mapping Texas flora and fauna, teaching environmental science and GIS, as well as engineering GIS solutions for Texas governments. Laura is a born and raised Texan and is dedicated to making a positive impact in her home state.

 

Mat Peck, Texas Department of Transportation

Mat Peck is a contractor for the Texas Department of Transportation, where he has worked as the Web GIS Platforms Administrator in the IT Division for over three years. He has worked in Municipal and State government for over 12 years, and specializes in ETL automation, GIS data management, and web mapping. In his off time, he enjoys cycling and working on and racing classic cars. Mat lives in South Austin with his wife, son, and their two Great Pyrenees dogs.

3:30 PM - 4:15 PM

Session

Overcoming Institutional Inertia through Automation

Zachary Stern, Shawn Strange; Texas General Land Office Division of Community Development and Revitalization

 

Location: Balcones Room


Overview:

Growing from an organization of 45 people to over 150 responsible for administering $14 billion in federal disaster recovery funds can present a challenge. While the Texas General Land Office maintains a department-wide CRM system of record, we all know that people love their Excel files. To address the challenge of promoting and maintaining data quality while turning that data into geospatial information accessible to internal and external stakeholders, the GLO has embraced ESRI’s online suite of tools along with the Microsoft Power Platform and Feature Manipulation Engine (FME)/Data Interoperability (DI) Tool.

 

Learning Objectives:

The audience will learn how to structure data and workflows to leverage ESRI and Microsoft tools that allows for the integration of a QA/QC regime while automating workflows, resulting in up-to-date data visualizations that inform the public and organizational decision-makers, all at the click of a button

 

About the Speakers: 

Zachary Stern, Texas General Land Office Division of Community Development and Revitalization

Zachary Stern, AICP, is the manager of the Policy & Mapping group within the GLO's division of Community Development and Revitalization. He has a Master's in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin and a combined 17 years of experience in the planning, housing, and disaster recovery fields.

 

Shawn Strange, Texas General Land Office Division of Community Development and Revitalization

Shawn Strange, PMP, is the Director of the Regulatory, Policy & Mapping branch within the GLO's division of Community Development and Revitalization. For the last ten years Shawn has worked on implementing programs and policies for over $14 billion in Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery and Mitigation funds. He has a Master's in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin and has ongoing interests in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other data analysis tools and project management methods that can better inform disaster response, recovery, and mitigation programs and projects.

 

3:30 PM - 4:15 PM

Session

Are You Lost? Enhancing Campus Navigation with ArcGIS Indoors Routing

Deborah Massaro, Andrew Peterson; Austin Community College

 

Location: Lil Tex Room


Overview:

In response to the needs of the ACC community, our FIS team embarked on a project utilizing ESRI's ArcGIS Indoors products to develop interior routing applications across all 11 campuses. Internally driven, this endeavor has provided insights & highlighted the benefits of integrating space management & GIS teams within a single department for efficient collaboration & data integrity. This presentation will shed light on key learnings & end users' testimonials, illustrating our project’s tangible impact.

 

Learning Objectives:

  • How to create a wayfinding product in house using ESRI's ArcGIS Indoors product
  • How having all facilities teams under one department makes the process seamless and efficient

 

About the Speaker:

Deborah Massaro, Austin Community College

Deborah is the GIS/Digital Information Manager for the Facilities Information Systems department at ACC. Before ACC, Deborah was the CAD/Signage assistant at MIT. She has a Bachelors of Science in Architecture from Wentworth Institute of Technology.

 

Andrew Peterson, Austin Community College

Information coming soon.

3:30 PM - 4:15 PM

Session

Evaluating the Impact of Landcover Changes on Urban Heat Islands: A Case Study of Houston

Romina Tafazzoli, City of Austin

 

Location: Big Tex Room


Overview:

Urban Heat Islands (UHI) occur as natural landscapes are replaced by urban infrastructure such as buildings, streets, and impervious surfaces, which absorb and retain heat. This phenomenon has become more severe due to climate change and poses significant risks, particularly to vulnerable populations including the elderly, children, individuals with disabilities, and low-income residents in urban centers. Houston, with a population exceeding 2.3 million and located just 50 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, spans an area of 665 square miles and ranks as the fourth largest city in the United States. Notably, Houston is identified as the fourth most severe UHI in the nation according to Climate Central. This presentation delves into the effects of landcover changes on the severity of Houston's UHI over the past two decades, providing critical insights into the interactions between urban development and climate impacts.

 

Learning Objectives:

From planning perspective, this study establishes a clear link between landcover and cooler land surface temperatures, revealing that greater vegetation coverage can significantly reduce heat. It emphasizes the importance of green spaces in mitigating Urban Heat Islands (UHIs), particularly in urban settings. Also, it highlights how strategic urban planning, such as increasing parks and planted green spaces, can effectively combat rising temperatures in city centers like Houston. This approach not only cools areas but also enhances urban resilience, suggesting a practical blueprint for cities facing similar challenges. From a technical perspective, this presentation will elucidate the methodologies involved in creating land cover maps utilizing the Classification Wizard tool in ArcGIS Pro. Additionally, it will demonstrate the process of calculating surface temperatures and constructing Urban Heat Island maps from scratch using ModelBuilder. These insights will equip participants with practical skills and techniques essential for conducting in-depth environmental analysis and planning effective urban heat mitigation strategies.

 

About the Speaker:

Romina Tafazzoli, City of Austin

Romina Tafazzoli serves as a Senior Urban Planner at City of Austin Planning Department. She brings urban planner academic background to her role, holding a Bachelor’s degree in City Planning, a Master’s degree in Urban Planning, another Master’s in Community and Regional Planning, and a GIS certificate. Romina's professional interests are centered on the equity-wise and environmentally sustainable development of built environment and transportation. Also, she has a keen interest in advancing her technical skills; she is actively engaged in exploring and mastering advanced GIS tools, as well as automating GIS analyses using Python.

4:15 PM - 5:00 PM

Platinum Presentation

Information coming soon.

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Forum Social

Featuring a DJ, interactive games, and refreshments, there will be ample opportunities to touch base with long-time colleagues - and make new connections.

 

Location: Atrium

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Breakfast and Registration

Location: Atrium

*Information subject to change.

Thursday

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Registration

Location: Atrium

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Session

Teaching GIS Using the Geospatial Technology Competency Model

Adrienne Goldsberry, Penn State University

 

Location: Big Tex Room


Overview:

Designing a online course for adult learners relatively new to the GIS profession has unique challenges, both due to the online format and the content that should be covered. This presentation will describe how the US Department of Labor's Geospatial Technology Competency Model is used to organize the content of a graduate-level introductory GIS course for Penn State University's online Post-baccalaureate Certificate in GIS. Results of self-assessments taken by students in the course over several years will be presented, and the presenter would also like to hear from audience members on how the GTCM reflects their current job duties in the geospatial field.

 

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of this presentation, audience members will able to:
  • Identify and describe core components of the Geospatial Technology Competency Model
  • Detail how their job duties and skills correspond to skills in the model, and where they differ
  • Reflect on the efficacy of using the GTCM to structure an introductory online GIS course
  • Offer their thoughts and opinions on the content of online GIS courses for adult learners new to the field.

 

About the Speaker:

Adrienne Goldsberry, Penn State University

Adrienne Goldsberry is an instructor for Penn State University's Online Geospatial Education program, and is also an advisor for students earning the program's Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems. Prior to joining Penn State, she was an online instructor for Michigan State University’s Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences and managed its online Professional Certificate in GIS. She has also worked as an urban planner for jurisdictions in California, Texas, and Michigan. Adrienne holds a BA in Geography from The University of Texas at Austin and earned her MA in Geography from UC-Santa Barbara.

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Session

A Satellite-based Approach to Detecting Small Livestock and Agricultural Ponds to Monitor Change Over Time

Jennifer Jensen, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

 

Location: Balcones Room


Overview:

We used Sentinel-2A/B satellite imagery and National Elevation Dataset elevation models to classify small livestock and agricultural ponds in the Highland Lakes subwatershed for 2015, 2019, and 2023. We compared our classification results with the National Hydrography Dataset and performed change detection over time.

 

Learning Objectives:

The audience will learn about our relatively simple methodology to detect and monitor changes in surface water over time, how the approach can be used to document increases in impoundments over time, how our results compare to the National Hydrography Dataset for our study region, and how the products can be used for advanced water resource planning and related applications. This project was funded by LCRA and should have broad interest among a wider audience.

 

About the Speaker:

Jennifer Jensen, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Jennifer Jensen is a Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Texas State University. She has over 20 years of research experience focused on the intersection of geospatial sciences, physical geography, environmental science, and landscape ecology. Her research activities involve a large remote sensing and/or GIScience component with the overall goal to investigate and apply methods for geospatial data integration within broader disciplines with a focus on providing operational knowledge and data, contributing to an improved understanding of the physical landscape and associated changes, and exploring and implementing fine and coarse resolution datasets to estimate/model landscape composition and structure.

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Session

TxDOT's Custom App for GIS Roadway Network Workload Tracking

Chris Bardash, Eric Kinsey; TxDOT

 

Location: Lil Tex Room


Overview:

Texas's roadway network is the largest in the country. TxDOT's Mapping Branch is responsible for digitizing all of those roads. A small team of our talented analysts came together to build a custom app for the purpose of managing the backlog. We'll share some of the factors that made this a successful team project, along with a demonstration of some slick, custom tools and the aesthetically pleasing user interface.

 

Learning Objectives:

Audience members should take away some inspiration for attempting a group project to meet an internal need. They will also learn about custom web maps using the Esri JavaScript API along with the Vuetify framework, in addition to using database triggers to make database updates and webhooks to kick off automations using FME server.


About the Speakers:

Chris Bardash, TxDOT

Chris Bardash is the Mapping Branch Manager in TxDOT's Transportation Planning and Programming Division where his team manages TxDOT's spatial roadway network. He has been with TxDOT for more than 10 years. Chris is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, , and holds a GISP certification. He is the proud father of three children. Favorite past times include traveling, cooking, building, and chillin' on the front porch with his family.


Eric Kinsey, TxDOT

Eric Kinsey earned a BS in Geographic Information Science from Texas State University before joining the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in 2018. Over his six years at TxDOT, he has become a subject matter expert in SQL, FME, FME Server, and ArcGIS Online. He led the automation of TxDOT GRID extracts, a project that utilizes SQL and FME to update over 60 ArcGIS Online and SDE feature service layers, supporting web applications such as the Statewide Planning Map. His hobbies include soccer, biking, swimming, and playing guitar.

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM

Session

Dredge Spoils Toxicity in the Houston Ship Channel

Naomi Yoder, Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University

 

Location: Balcones Room


Overview:

The upper reaches of the Houston Ship Channel are lined with over 200 industrial facilities. These facilities are point-source polluters, some of which had been in place long before the Clean Water Act of 1972 or the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976. The latter specifies disposal regulations of hazardous waste. The area is also home to several Superfund (National Priorities List) sites, as well as numerous hazardous waste sites and brownfields. These conditions have led to large amounts of pollution released into the air, water and soil over time, even after environmental laws were enacted. The non-water soluble pollution that occurs in the water can adhere to sediment particles and sink to the bottom of the channel. The US Army Corps of Engineers (“the Corps”), in consultation with the Port of Houston, dredges the Ship Channel regularly to maintain the depth and width of the channel for navigation to the same facilities that are often point-source polluters. Those regular dredging operations are referred to as “maintenance and operations” dredging. Occasionally, the Corps undertakes a deepening and widening effort to expand the Channel. In both cases (maintenance or expansion dredging), the wed sediment slurry scooped out of the Ship Channel is put into “dredge placement areas” in neighborhoods with more lower income residents and higher percentages of people of color than comparable areas. This project examined toxicity of sediments from samples taken from the Houston Ship Channel, as well as a community-funded sampling study of soil around the berms of the dredge placement areas. The results refute claims that there are no toxins of concern in the Houston Ship Channel, and show that the dredge sites pose unknown risks of pollutants to communities that have suffered for decades with environmental injustice.

 

Learning Objectives:

Learn about the state of knowledge of toxins in Houston Ship Channel sediments, and historical environmental injustice of several communities along the Ship Channel.

 

About the Speaker:

Naomi Yoder Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University

Naomi Yoder is the GIS Data Manager in The Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University. They contribute maps and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) spatial analysis to efforts across the organization and in coalition spaces. They also write policy statements and testimony for the Center. Naomi holds two Master of Science degrees, one in Marine Science from the University of Southern Mississippi and one in Geography from the University of Oxford, in addition to a BA in Geography from the University of Colorado. They specialize in Texas and Louisiana, and they have extensive experience with additional Gulf Coast environment and justice areas of concern including liquefied fossil gas (LNG), carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), hydrogen, petrochemicals, pipelines, pollution, disasters and wetlands.

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM

Session

What is InSAR Technology: Applications and Services for Texas

Danielle Smilovsky, Conrad Blucher Institute - Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

 

Location: Big Tex Room


Overview:

In Texas, Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) technology has proven highly effective in tracking and analyzing various geological and environmental events. This presentation provides a comprehensive overview of InSAR technology and its diverse applications in the region, with a specific focus on its role in natural hazard assessment, oil and gas operations, land subsidence, and coastal and urban infrastructure monitoring. InSAR's ability to identify millimeter-scale ground deformations is particularly valuable for monitoring subterranean operations associated with oil and gas extraction. This facilitates the identification of potential environmental impacts and supports resource management. It contributes to sustainable practices, infrastructure resilience, and proactive responses to environmental changes. In Texas's dynamic and varied geography, InSAR proves to be a vital tool due to its capacity to deliver precise and timely information on ground deformations. Awareness and knowledge of this technology is becoming increasingly important as the newest radar satellite deploys soon and will provide game-changing capabilities that will help us understand land deformation in the State of Texas like never before.

 

Learning Objectives:

An understanding of what InSAR technology is and how it works. How it can be useful for Texas. Awareness and knowledge of an important upcoming deployment of a new radar satellite and the game changing data it will provide and what that means for Texas. What the Conrad Blucher Institute (CBI) is and how we leverage InSAR technology for monitoring and management.

 

About the Speaker:

Danielle Smilovsky, Conrad Blucher Institute - Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Dr. Smilovsky focuses on SAR/InSAR and GIScience applications and serves as a Geospatial Service Center leader. She has 15 years of professional geospatial experience, with over 10 years focused on InSAR and GIS technology. She received her Ph.D. in Geographic Information Science from Texas State University at San Marcos and holds a Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sustainability from Arizona State University at Tempe.

 

Dr. Smilovsky worked as a Remote Sensing and GIS Scientist at a global engineering firm for much of her career. In this role, she worked on large multimillion-dollar geotechnical and environmental engineering projects that sculpted her skill set and industry expertise. She has received many accolades for her contributions, including the Top 40 Under 40 Geospatial Professional Leader award.

 

Her passion is leveraging remote sensing and GIS technologies to monitor and manage the physical processes that affect our landscape under anthropogenic pressures in a changing world. Her mission is to make this information accessible to the community. Her research focuses on InSAR time series analyses and GIS processes to characterize and monitor ground deformation due to groundwater pumping, hydrocarbon production activities, mining, landslides, earth fissuring, and more."

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM

Session

Leveraging Public Data for Visual Storytelling, Community Mapping and Engagement

Mashal Awais, Bayou City Waterkeeper

Uilvim Ettore Gardin Franco, Center for Research Computing/Spatial Studies Lab, Rice University

 

Location: Balcones Room


Overview:

BCWK partners with local communities and academic institutions, to identify and translate communities' needs to understand data through community mapping projects, story maps, and data visualizations. The more recent collaboration between Spatial Studies Lab (Rice University) and the organization has developed and launched a Wetland Watch Hub, and a Justice in the Sewers Mapper that allows communities to continue to understand data in real time, and advocate for their communities right to Clean Water. 

 

Learning Objectives: 

Participants will leave this learning lab with the practical skills and tools needed to initiate wetland preservation efforts in their own communities. They will have a clear understanding of how to use our mapping tools, interpret data layers, and empower community members to actively monitor and protect their local wetlands. Additionally, participants will be equipped to showcase the mapping tools to local leaders, enabling them to submit informed comment letters to regional and federal agencies, thus amplifying the community's voice in decision-making processes.

 

About the Speakers:

Mashal Awais, Bayou City Waterkeeper
Marshal Awais joined Bayou City Waterkeeper in February 2021. As an environmental scientist, she partners with local and regional communities in the pursuit of healthy waters and communities throughout the Lower Galveston Bay Watershed.
Having received her Masters in Environmental Analysis from Rice University, she has works alongside environmental justice communities advocating for communities’ right to clean air and water. Prior to joining Bayou City Waterkeeper, Mashal’s work focused on risk management in disaster recovery and mitigating health impacts from environmental pollution for fence line and underinvested communities. She currently is Chair and nominated representative of Precinct 1 for Harris County Flood Control Districts Community Flood Resilience Task Force, working alongside local experts to advise the county on regional flood planning efforts.


Uilvim Ettore Gardin Franco, Center for Research Computing/Spatial Studies Lab, Rice University
Uilvim Ettore is a seasoned professional in geographic information system technology and environmental engineering, with notable expertise in project management. During their internship with Dr. Farès el-Dahdah in May 2016, Ettore spearheaded the development of a pioneering series of diachronic web map projects, showcasing their exceptional project management skills. Since joining Rice's Center for Research Computing in 2018 and becoming a key member of the Spatial Studies Lab, Ettore's adept organization, strategic planning, and efficient execution have been instrumental in driving the successful development of web map applications that illustrate urban evolutions in both time and space. Their combined passion for geographic information systems, environmental engineering, and project management positions Ettore as a reliable leader, making significant contributions to the field of spatial studies.

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Break with Exhibitors

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Session

Using Field Collection Apps to Be Less Reliant on Paper

Michael Vetter, Jane Chen; City of Houston - SWM

 

Location: Balcones Room


Overview:

The City of Houston's Solid Waste Management Department (SWM) has deployed ESRI's field collection applications to be more efficient and less reliant on paper. One area where SWM has become more efficient is the handling of 311 service requests. Before using Field Maps, dispatchers print a pile of service requests each morning for the field crews to complete. These crews would service the request and return the paper to the dispatchers at the end of the day. This process had numerous disadvantages to overcome. First, the field crews had to rely on the dispatchers to schedule their work. Second, if the field crews lost the paperwork after completing the request, then the dispatchers couldn't close the request, and the crews would have to revisit the site to confirm that they already serviced the request. With the introduction of Field Maps, the field crews aren't reliant on the dispatchers to schedule their work since they can see the requests on a map. Once the crews finish the request, they submit that the work has been completed, which closes the request immediately. SWM uses Survey123 at the Neighborhood Depositories and Reuse Warehouse to eliminate the paper intake forms. Survey123 allows SWM to create custom functions that help identify the eligibility of the visitors. Since Survey123 data is stored in a database, SWM can quickly perform analysis on the visitors instead of waiting until the data is reentered to a spreadsheet. Dashboards have been created from all the data collected in the field for supervisors and executive-level staff can have an interactive display of the data.

 

Learning Objectives:

The audience will learn the steps SWM took to move away from an archaic paper-based workflow into a 21st century workflow. The audience will also see the benefits that the department received when transitioning into the new workflow.

 

About the Speakers:

Michael Vetter, City of Houston - SWM

Michael Vetter has been with the City of Houston's SWM department for over 3 years first as a Senior GIS Analyst and now as a GIS Supervisor. He obtained his master's degree in Cartography and GIS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

 

Jane Chen, City of Houston - SWM

Jane Chen is the GIS Division Manager for the City of Houston's SWM department. Jane has over 15 years working for the City of Houston in various departments. Jane obtained her master's degree in Information System and Decision Science from LSU.

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Session

When water doesn’t flow downhill… Integration of urban stormwater networks with elevation derived hydrography:

Mischa Hay, Jason Nyberg, NV5 Geospatial

 

Location: Lil Tex Room


Overview:

With the rollout of the USGS 3D Hydrography Program, many states and local governments are rethinking how they maintain and update hydrography mapping in their area. Depending on the desired use case however, elevation derived hydrography may not meet local needs in all landscapes so additional and complimentary analyses may be advantageous to consider. In urbanized landscapes, surface flow is often not the primary hydrologic driver. Rather surface flow directs water into subsurface stormwater networks for transport to outfalls typically reconnecting with surface flow outside the urbanized area. Therefore, elevation derived hydrography alone is potentially insufficient to meet user requirements in urban landscapes.

 

Learning Objectives:

This presentation will outline some potential approaches to integrating subsurface networks with surface flow to create accurate and comprehensive representation of hydrography. The focus will be on complexities, considerations, and potential solutions for integration. Specific topics will include subsurface network data quality, many-to-many relationships between inlets and outlets, implications for catchment delineation, and appropriate applications and limitations of integrated hydrography. The goal of this presentation is to provide agencies and communities information relevant to planning their hydrography mapping programs in preparation for broad-scale updates

 

About the Speakers:

Mischa Hay, NV5 Geospatial

Mischa has 20 years of experience developing applied GIS solutions. With a broad understanding of remote sensing technologies and exceptional technical abilities, Mischa leads the field in the development and deployment of biophysical modeling analytics derived from remote sensing data, specifically in forest timber inventory, hydrology network and wetland mapping, cultural resource mapping, Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) wildfire hazard mapping, and terrestrial and benthic habitat modeling. Mischa uses his understanding of remote sensing technology and rich background in natural resources management to create specialty value-added data products.

 

Jason Nyberg, NV5 Geospatial

Information coming soon.

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Session

Empowering Community Leaders: Citizen Mapping Workshop for Environmental and Climate Justice

Dr. Liza Powers, Dr. Al Henson; Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice

 

Location: Big Tex Room


Overview:

Our presentation explores the intersection of community leadership, environmental justice, and citizen mapping. We focus on integrating citizen mapping modules into our Community Environmental Leadership Program (CELP) to foster grassroots engagement and empowerment in addressing environmental and climate justice challenges.

 

StoryMapping is a powerful tool for engaging community participants, altering typical power dynamics, and ensuring marginalized populations can voice and address social conditions (Mitchell & Lange, 2011). StoryMapping also widens research participation (Riley & LaMarre, 2023) and involves community members in data collection (Swanson & Leader, 2023).

 

CELP participants explore crucial environmental and climate justice issues, such as water and air pollution, flooding, and extreme heat. In the Citizen Mapping module, they use their knowledge to create StoryMaps that highlight these issues, combining mapping data, imagery, and citizen insights to provide a comprehensive view of their challenges and opportunities.

 

We will discuss project outcomes and the transformative potential of citizen mapping in community-based environmental activism. Our session will cover methodologies, challenges, and lessons in bridging academic research with grassroots action. This participatory approach benefits environmental justice scholarship by incorporating local knowledge and ensuring data reciprocity for affected communities (Boll-Bosse & Hankins, 2018; de Jager, 2023; Hemsworth et al., 2022).

 

Boll-Bosse, A., & Hankins, K. (2018). ""These Maps Talk for Us:"" Participatory action mapping as civic engagement practice. The Professional Geographer, 70(2), 319-326. de Jager, A. (2023). Story maps to support sense of place and conservation within urban greenspace. International Cartographic Association, 6(48). Hemsworth, K., Greer, K., Paulin, M., Sutherland, K., & Mcleod Shabogensic, J. (2022). Maada 'oonidiwag gete-dibaajimowen (""sharing old stories""): reflections on a place-based reparatory research partnership in Nbisiing Anishinaabeg Territory. Geography Journal, 87(Suppl 2), S267-S280. doi:10.1007/s10708-021-10432-3 Mitchell, C., & Lange, N. (2011). Community-based participatory video and social action in rural South Africa. In E. Margolis, & L. Pauwels (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of visual research methods (pp. 171-185). Sage Publications Ltd. Riley, S., & LaMarre, A. (2023). Developments in Qualitative Inquiry. In H. Cooper, M. Coutanche, L. McMullen, A. Panter, D. Rindskopf, & K. Sher (Eds.), APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology: Research Designs: Quantitative, Qualitative, Neuropsychological, and Biological (pp. 5-23). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Swanson, L., & Leader, J. (2023). The Case for Using an Intergenerational Multi-Methods Approach in Community-Based Research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 22, 1-14. doi:10.1177/16094069231184823"

 

Learning Objectives:

  • Importance of Citizen Mapping in Environmental Justice (EJ) Advocacy: Learn about the significance of citizen mapping as a tool for amplifying EJ community voices, raising awareness, and advocating for environmental justice.
  • Practical Applications of StoryMapping: Explore the practical applications of StoryMaps in conveying compelling narratives about environmental and climate justice issues, combining mapping data, imagery, and citizen data for maximum impact.
  • Insights into Methodologies and Challenges: Gain practical insights into the methodologies employed and the challenges encountered in integrating citizen mapping workshops into EJ community leadership programs, including data collection, analysis, and community engagement.

 

About the Speakers:

Dr. Liza Powers, Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice

Dr. Liza T. Powers is a Data Scientist in the Bullard Center at Texas Southern University, where she received her PhD from the Department of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy. She was awarded the Best Dissertation Award in Fall 2021 for her research on mitigating roadway disasters in extreme flooding, focusing on Harris County, Texas. Dr. Powers holds an MA in history from Stephen F. Austin State University. Beyond her research, she serves as an adjunct professor for the History Department at Texas Southern University and has been a facilitator of the Community Environmental Leadership Program, held for grassroots Environmental Justice leaders in the Texas coastal communities. Dr. Powers is dedicated to bridging academia and community engagement, thereby fostering positive change through education and advocacy.

 

Dr. Al Henson, Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice

Dr. Al Henson is an accomplished Assistant Professor at the University of Houston, specializing in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications for Transportation Planning and Management. He brings a wealth of practical and academic experience to his role, having previously served as an adjunct professor at Texas Southern University. His professional journey includes a significant tenure as a staff analyst and GIS manager for the City of Houston, where he honed his skills in spatial data and analysis. Dr. Henson’s research interests are multifaceted, focusing on GIS/Data Visualization and web creation for logistics and urban planning. His expertise extends to the application of spatial data in disaster recovery programs, notably with the Texas General Land Office. This work has provided critical insights into housing affordability, housing choice, and the supply and delivery of affordable housing. In addition to his academic and research roles, Dr. Henson is a dedicated freelance Senior Planning Consultant, offering strategic advice and solutions in urban and transportation planning. His contributions to the field are characterized by a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical application, making him a valuable asset to both the academic and professional communities in urban planning and GIS.

10:45 AM - 11:30 AM

Session

Single Sign-On in an Evolving ArcGIS Online Platform: Analyzing Costs and Performing the Quiet Migration of User Accounts with Python

Michael Potts, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

 

Location: Balcones Room


Overview:

Texas Parks & Wildlife has over 600 Creator User Type licenses in its ArcGIS Online Platform (AGO) and nearly 7,000 owned items. As AGO User Types and pricing are changing, TPWD can no longer afford the 600+ Creator licenses it has purchased in the past, but instead will purchase licenses based on user needs.

 

Additionally, TPWD is adopting Single Sign-On (SSO) in all supported applications, including AGO. Existing user accounts cannot be directly changed to SSO; instead, a new SSO account must be created and loaded with information and items from the non-SSO account.

 

An analysis was conducted to determine the optimal User Type and Role for individuals based on their activity and items owned. This analysis not only served to identify people who had but did not need AGO logins, but it also allowed for an intelligent and targeted restructuring of User Types and Roles without affecting a user’s duties.

 

Python scripts were developed to document user activity and owned items, thus allowing for an automated transfer of user profile information and item ownership to the new SSO accounts. This scripting allowed for further developments in monitoring the AGO platform by exporting data and building Dashboards to display user statistics, thus allowing for managers to review AGO needs and plan for the coming cost increases.

 

 

Learning Objectives:
Users will be presented with a coding solution for transferring user settings and owned items from a non-SSO account to a new SSO account. Coding pitfalls will be reviewed. A dashboard solution for displaying and reviewing cost increases will be shown.
 
About the Speaker:
Michael Killgore Potts, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
  • MA from Texas A&M University, College Station TX
  • 5 years experience at Casey Trees, Washington DC
  • 8 years experience at TPWD, Austin TX

10:45 AM - 11:30 AM

Session

Easement Revolution: Unlocking Potential in GIS and Cityworks

Nathan SmithCity of Round Rock

 

Location: Lil Tex Room


Overview:

Nathan has been the Geospatial Services Manager at the City of Round Rock for 5+ years where he leads citywide GIS & Asset Management efforts. Prior to Round Rock, he worked at Esri as a Support Analyst and then Technology Lead for ArcGIS Enterprise.

 

Learning Objectives:

We'll explore - from start to finish - the process for digitizing historic easements, implementing a streamlined workflow in Cityworks, and integrating hyperlinking functionality with a document management system, Laserfiche.

 

About the Speaker:

Nathan Smith, City of Round Rock

Nathan has been the Geospatial Services Manager at the City of Round Rock for 5+ years where he leads citywide GIS & Asset Management efforts. Prior to Round Rock, he worked at Esri as a Support Analyst and then Technology Lead for ArcGIS Enterprise.

10:45 AM - 11:30 AM

Session

The Right Way to Modernize Right-of-Way Data: How lifecycles, CAD to GIS, and digital delivery can break down data silos.

Matt Hiland, Sanborn Geospatial

 

Location: Big Tex Room


Overview:

Right-of-Way (ROW) is a physical asset of all public agencies. Digital representations (GIS, as-builts, CAD, and deeds) of ROW parcels can be an asset if they are organized and published across the agency. However, in many cases, the digital assets are siloed by regional departments, becoming inaccessible. Disconnected information systems arise naturally when data, workflows, storage, and data standards are created for specific purposes without understanding the benefit of that information to the enterprise. Unfortunately, this is a normal occurrence, and when not addressed can increase the loss of information.
Processing CAD files and as-builts, Colorado DOT publishes and maintains an authoritative statewide GIS database of 8,500 miles of ROW and 24,000 parcels. Using CAD/GIS, data lifecycles, and digital delivery practices, multiple departments have collaborated to remove data silos and maintain a published statewide ROW database for the agency’s benefit.

Learning Objectives:

Standard data and processes (governance) can help break down data silos and increase the value of data to the enterprise.

 

About the Speaker:

Matt Hiland, Sanborn Geospatial

Matt previously served as a Program/Project Manager onsite at TxDOT, defining the requirements and overseeing the design, development, and implementation of the GRID system. Mr. Hiland has served in similar roles for many other IT/GIS/LRS related projects for TxDOT and other DOTs. Mr. Hiland currently serves as Sanborn’s Director of Strategic Accounts for the Central Region.

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Lunch

Included in pricing.

12:30 PM - 1:15 PM

Platinum Presentation

Information coming soon.

 

Location: Big Tex Room

1:15 PM - 1:45 PM

Session

Gold Sponsor Presentation

Information coming soon.

1:15 PM - 1:45 PM

Session

Gold Sponsor Presentation

Information coming soon.

1:15 PM - 1:45 PM

Session

Gold Sponsor Presentation

Information coming soon.

1:45 PM - 2:15 PM

Break with Exhibitors

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM

Session

Coldhearted Reality of CAD and GIS Integration

Courtney RoePape-Dawson Engineers

 

Location: Lil Tex Room


Overview:

Let’s dive into the cold hard truths about the tools that the GIS and CAD industries present as integration solutions. What works? And what doesn’t? Why are some solutions still not making it into the daily workflow mix? How can we more effectively communicate to share data and collaborate with groups within our organization, as well as outside companies and clients?

 

Learning Objectives:

Using Autodesk Civil 3D and Esri ArcGIS Pro, we will explore the CAD and GIS integration tools. Some additional resources and company highlights will be shared to showcase the variety of solutions on the market.

 

About the Speaker:

Courtney Roe, Pape-Dawson Engineers

has been a member of the GIS, CAD, and Survey community since 2013, with her roots in these fields going back to her academic experience at Texas State University and Austin Community College. Courtney is currently employed at Pape-Dawson Engineers as a Civil CAD Designer in Land Development and is a GISP, Autodesk Civil 3D Certified Professional, and Part 107 Certified Remote UAS Pilot (to fly drones). She enjoys being a leader with Supporting Women in Geography & GIS (SWIGGIS), ATX GIS Day, TxGIS Day, URISA, Austin CAD User Group, and is always engaged in the GIS and CAD community.

As a curator of knowledge, Courtney brings an enthusiasm and passion for the integration of Civil CAD, Surveying and GIS to maximize the potential of the industry. “Embrace it, we never stop learning!

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM

Session

3000 Easy Steps: Large-Scale Data Integration and Stewardship

Russell TaylorCoreLogic

 

Location: Big Tex


Overview:

Few of the county level units of the US maintain their parcel boundary data in the same way, so integrating over 3000 of them into a single layer presents many challenges. Over the course of 17 years, my team at CoreLogic has learned lessons about how to approach the geospatial, technical, and ethical issues around curating this fascinating dataset.

 

Learning Objectives:

The audience will learn about the origin of parcel boundaries, key differences in local practices, systems of control for data stewardship, long-term dynamic process design, and multidisciplinary team coordination.

 

About the Speaker:

Russell TaylorCoreLogic

Russell Taylor is a lifelong central Texan based just a few block to the east of this conference. His geospatial career to date has focused on information stewardship, process design, and systems management, but his interests include urban land use, transportation, and sustainability. You may see him out and about on one of his bikes, accompanied by is partner on her trike, both a bit overdressed.

3:00 PM - 3:45 PM

Session

An Update on the GISCI: What is Happening and What’s New

Tony Spicci, GIS Certification Institute

 

Location: Balcones Room


Overview:

Come see what is new and exciting at the GISCI and what we have planned for the future. This session is ideal for anyone that wants to learn more about the GISCI and the GISP program.

The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) is a non-profit organization that promotes the advancement of proficient GIS professionals through its international GISP (Certified GIS Professional) certification program. The Institute fosters rigorous professional and ethical standards, community engagement, and professional mentoring within the GIS industry.

 

Learning Objectives:

GISCI overview and update. Learn about new programs the GISCI is working on.

 

About the Speaker:

Tony Spicci, GIS Certification Institute

Tony began his 30+ year geospatial career by building the GIS program for the MO Dept of Conservation. He recently retired from MDC and is currently the Executive Director of the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI). Tony is an active member of the MGISAC, NSGIC, MoGNB, and a past member of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee. Tony helped lead the effort to create COGO where he serves today. In addition to working for the GISCI, Tony is a member of MoTF-1, a FEMA USAR Team.

3:00 PM - 3:45 PM

Session

Mapping Vietnam War Helicopter Deaths

Ken McElroyAustin Community College

 

Location: Lil Tex Room


Overview:

Using a database of helicopter crew deaths from the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association and Google MyMaps to show where the deaths occurred. The plotted death have icons that show the date and unit of the incident but are also a window into information about that particular incident and the unit involved.

 

Learning Objectives:

This presentation allows former pilots and their families to see the conditions that existed during that conflict. This record will let historians better understand the air war in Vietnam.

 

About the speaker:

Ken McElroyAustin Community College

The presenter received a history degree and an US army commission from Texas A&M before being a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War where he flew in the Mekong delta during1969-1970. He left the army and received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas. As an Engineer, he worked for Bell Helicopter, two oilfield equipment companies, Outboard Marine Corp (Johnson and Evinrude), Applied Materials, and DonJoy Medical company. In the fall of 2023 he began taking GIS classes at Austin Community College to learn about GIS options for presenting the helicopter data using the Vietnam Helicopter Pilot Association's database of incidents and how to embed this GIS map in the Association's website.

3:45 PM - 4:45 PM

Keynote Presentation

Information coming soon.

Location: Big Tex Room

Nick Buettner

Vice President, Blue Zones


About the Speaker:

Nick Buettner, Blue Zones

“How many of you think you will live to 90?”

 

This is how Nick Buettner starts an engaging keynote speech designed to inspire and provoke his audience into rethinking their ideas on a healthy long life.

 

In his admirable career so far, Nick:

  • Led 17 world expeditions, including explorations to identify the blue zones regions and explore the commonalities between healthy individuals and their communities
  • Presented over 100 times at events around the world
  • Serves as Vice President at Blue Zones, LLC, implementing Blue Zones Project across the U.S.

 

Nick’s role as is to bring the longevity lessons from areas like Ikaria, Greece, Nicoya, Costa Rica, and Okinawa, Japan to a larger audience, positively impacting the health of millions of people. As a speaker, he shares both the encouraging real data about the blue zones areas and their habits and practices as well as his own personal anecdotes about his conversations with these amazing people. He confesses that a 104 year old woman told him she feels sexier at her age than she did at 103. It’s these stories that make his feature presentations so engaging while spreading crucial health guidance to help everyone live a better, longer life.

4:45 PM - 5:00 PM

Closing Remarks

Location: Big Tex

*Information subject to change.

Friday

Free admission! Everyone is welcome to attend.

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Registration and Breakfast

Location: Atrium

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

4th Quarter Texas GIS Community Meeting

*Information subject to change.