Northeast Arc Users Group

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Spring Meeting Schedule

Tuesday, May 14, 2013, from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM

University of Massachusetts Amherst     Campus Center

Map it: 72° 31' 37.46" W, 42° 23' 29.57" N           Map the Presentations!

Hover over (or touch) a presentation to see its abstract.

Download a PDF of the Schedule

The NEArc Spring Meeting is sponsored by PhotoScience and Design Products Company.

Monday Pub Meetup
7:00 PM – ? Amherst Brewing Company, 10 University Drive, Amherst, MA, just down the road from UMass.
  For those of you in town the night before the conference, please join a group of GIS locals and other attendees for conversation and good cheer.
8:00 – 9:00 Registration & Refreshments
  Campus Center First Floor Concourse
  Register online here: $45 in advance — $55 after April 30 — Current Students $25 — Student Presenters Free
9:00 – 10:15 Session 1
  Campus Center Auditorium
Niels la Cour
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Campus Planning
Opening Remarks
Darren Mackiewicz, GISP
NEArc President
CDM Smith
Keynote Address — Roadmap of What’s Coming in ArcGIS 10.2
Carl Nylen and Paul Rooney
A preview of ArcGIS 10.2; product positioning; what trends Esri sees as important to our users.
10:15 – 10:30 Refreshment Break and Poster Session
  Campus Center First Floor Concourse
10:30 – 12:00 Session 2
ArcGIS from the Web
Academic Applications
Mobile Apps Workshop
  Campus Center Auditorium Campus Center 169 Campus Center 176 Morrill Hall 271

Moderator: Mike Olkin

Moderator: Jared Newell

Moderator: Andy Anderson

Coordinator: Alexander Stepanov

✧ 10:30
Esri Maps for Office
Mark Scott

Esri Maps for Office is an add-on for Microsoft Office that lets you insert interactive maps from ArcGIS Online into Excel and Powerpoint documents.

Using GIS to Monitor (and Find) Seabirds — A Conservation and Recreational Bird-watching Perspective
Naeem Yusuff
University of Massachusetts Boston
Anne-Marie Runfola and
Michael Thompson
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Presentation: PDF PPT

The pelagic waters off the coast of Massachusetts boast an impressive array of wintering, summering, and migrating seabirds; however our knowledge of their lives is at best fragmentary. A citizen-science initiative, the Stellwagen Sanctuary Seabirds Stewards (S4), was established in 2011 to systematically collect seabird data in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. An additional source of seabird-sighting data comes from recreational bird-watchers, who view pelagic bird watching as “the last frontier of birding in North America” — precisely because so little is known about the status and distribution of species which seemingly occur regularly. This presentation will showcase a preliminary GIS analysis of the Stellwagen Seabird Surveys. In addition, a GIS analysis of sightings from amateur birdwatchers reveals patterns of distribution for rare birds, and offers clues for where to best find them.

Temporal, Geographic, and Demographic Trends of Early-Onset Breast Cancer in Hampden County, MA
Jane Garb, MS and
Holly Mason, MD
Baystate Health

Presentation: PDF PPT

Aims: The aim of this study was to ascertain the incidence and stage at presentation over time in the under-40 population in our region and to identify geographic and socioeconomic risk factors for “early age” breast cancer in Hampden County, Massachusetts.

Methods: Data from 1982-2008 was obtained from the Massachusetts Cancer Registry, Baystate Medical Center Tumor Registry, and the Mercy Medical Center Tumor Registry. Early-onset breast cancer (EOBC) was defined as a diagnosis of breast cancer in a woman before age 40.

Methods: Choropleth mapping using a Geographic Information System (GIS) was carried out to visualize town incidence rates of EOBC over time. Moran’s I and the Spatial Scan Statistic were used to test for geographic and temporal clustering of incidence rates. In the absence of clustering, simple linear regression was used to test for an increase in town EOBC rates over time. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify patient-level risk factors for EOBC.

Results: Six percent of all patients were classified as EOBC. Choropleth mapping showed a clear increase in EOBC incidence rates over time. While rates of EOBC showed no clustering in any individual geographic area in any time period, linear regression showed a significant linear increase in rates over time (p = 0.005) at an average increase of 1 per 100,000 cases of EOBC in each subsequent five-year time period. Significant risk factors for EOBC on multivariable analysis were tumor grade (p < 0.001) and Hispanic ethnicity (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: There has been a documented increase in early onset breast cancer over the last 25 years in Hampden County. Furthermore, the Hispanic population has had a disproportionate increase in EOBC over this time period.

Getting Your Data Ready for
Use in Mobile Applications
Darren Mackiewicz, GISP and
James Klugh, GISP
CDM Smith

Presentation PDF

Are you thinking about or preparing to take your data out into the field? While great strides have been made recently to simplify the entire process of field data collection through simplified workflows, there are still procedures and best practices to prepare your data to prevent the “gotchas” along the way and improve performance. This workshop will include procedures, best practices, and demos for preparing your data to take out into the field, storing that data when it comes back in, and preparing to use that data once it’s been collected.

✧ 11:00
ArcGIS Web-Mapping APIs
Sam Berg

Presentation PDF

Flex Application Builder and other tools for working with the various ArcGIS web-mapping APIs.

Using GIS to Evaluate Habitat Loss Due to Sea Level Rise in the Republic of Panama
Kim Diver
Wesleyan University
Julissa Domínguez
University of Panama
Alicia Ibáñez
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Coastal areas and islands are at an increased risk of losing habitats with rising sea levels, potentially affecting species that rely on those locally threatened habitats. We utilized field work, geographic information systems (GIS), and island biogeography theory to evaluate potential consequences of sea level rise on island area and habitat diversity for eighteen islands within the Coiba National Park and its Special Zone of Marine Protection UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Republic of Panama. Using GIS techniques and satellite imagery, we calculated loss in island area and habitat diversity at particular time series based on data from sea-level prediction scenarios incorporated with digital elevation models (DEMs). The islands will likely lose 2 to 100% land area with a sea level rise of 1 m, and 11 to 100% with a sea level rise of 10 m. Due to habitat compression, we predict that the archipelago will lose “sangrillal” habitat completely with a sea level rise of 10 m. Beach, mangrove, and “alcornocal” habitats will be partially lost. Predicted decreases in island area and number of habitats are discussed in reference to the Choros model for predicting plant species richness on islands. A 1 m sea level rise in Coiba over the next century has the potential to cause extirpation of approximately 9% of plant species per island due to area and habitat losses. Caveats of the results are discussed in terms of endemic species, ecological adaptation, and shoreline configuration.
Biological Applications of ArcMap as a Statistical Tool to Quantify Zebrafish Post-Optic Commissure Formation
Jin Sook Park, Corinna Keeler,
and Jon Caris
Smith College

Presentation: PDF PPT

Though GIS programs such as ArcGIS are typically applied to geographic datasets, the utility of this software has implications for image analysis of non-geographic data. We are using the statistical analysis tools of ArcMap to quantify and characterize post-optic commissure (POC) formation in zebrafish. This application of ArcGIS is an important step in zebrafish forebrain analysis because it provides a way in which the commissures can be characterized using an unbiased, computerized method.

Bilaterally symmetrical organisms must have a way in which the two hemispheres of the brain and body are able to effectively relay information to one another. Commissures are bundles of axons that traverse the midline of the organism and successfully establish proper neural connections between the two hemispheres. We are currently studying the Slit-Roundabout signaling system, which is known as a crucial mechanism in axon-glia interactions and proper commissure formations. Misexpression of the Slit proteins or Roundabout receptors causes improper POC formation. By using ArcMap, we are able to not only visually see the differences in post-optic commissure formation from a wild type zebrafish to a mutant, but we also may be able to see the differences quantitatively by analyzing the fluorescence data of the commissures and by determining if the differences are statistically significant between the various genotypes. In this way, we will be able to potentially compile a series of post-optic commissure formation data that will serve as a general reference for what the typical commissures would look like for both wild type and mutant fish lines.

✧ 11:30
GIS as a Tool in Marine Spatial Planning and Ocean Management Decision Making
Kate Longley and Andy Lipsky

Presentation: PDF PPT

Coastal and ocean investments and ocean management decisions require current, credible information about how, when and where people use the ocean and the value associated with those uses. Characterizing the nature of ocean activity fills important gaps in baseline information, identifies trends and informs tradeoff analyses. SeaPlan is an independent ocean science and policy non-profit which specializes in developing and applying methods to collect ocean use data, mapping their spatial and temporal distribution, quantifying their socioeconomic attributes and analyzing their respective impacts. This presentation will detail the utility of GIS tools in several of SeaPlan’s ocean planning projects in the Northeast including the following:

  • Mapping the economic values of commercial and recreational fishing, which analyzed and mapped the commercial fishing, recreational fishing, recreational boating, and navigation sectors in Massachusetts waters and incorporated commercial fishing landings and vessel navigation data into spatial data formats;
  • Spatial analysis of recreational boating activity, which uses spatial data collected during an innovative online survey technique to produce density and routes maps of recreational boating activity;
  • Northeast Ocean Data Portal, an interactive ocean mapping and planning tool;
  • Marine resource and use compatibility analysis, which investigated temporal and spatial use compatibility considerations, potential siting standards and mitigation measures associated with a set of emerging uses to inform development of the Massachusetts Ocean Plan;
  • Cumulative impacts of ocean uses assessment, which characterized the relative vulnerability of specific habitat types to a variety of human uses and used these data to create cumulative impacts maps of human stressors in Massachusetts and adjacent federal waters.

These projects highlight the role of GIS technology in the field of marine spatial planing and ocean management decision making.

Laying the Groundwork for a GIS Basics MOOC
Peggy Minnis
Pace University

Presentation: PDF PPT

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are the current buzz in higher education. There is no limit to the enrollment, and affiliation with the institution is unnecessary. Pace University wants to jump on the bandwagon and GIS may be among the first offerings because I offered to do it. Preparing a MOOC involves making many choices. Learn how I plan to democratize learning ESRI’s GIS.

12:00 – 1:15 Lunch
  Campus Center Auditorium
✧ 12:15
Lightning Talks
  Campus Center Auditorium

Moderator: Mike Olkin         Introduction: PDF PPT

The Importance of Standardized Shared Symbology in ArcMap
Brian Stice

Presentation: PDF PPT

Background: How many times have we created a map series for a client, and they are confused, disappointed, because the map labels/symbols are not uniform? The GIS output might look fine to our team, but the end user is confused or unimpressed. Ultimately, this is a problem that plagues different GIS shops in almost every market sector. Using preset symbology is easy and convenient, but if multiple team members are working on a single map series, problems can occur. This can be detrimental for aspiring GIS users and seasoned professionals alike.

This presentation will discuss why standardizing symbology in ArcMap is important for the end user, the team, and for consistency. It will also discuss how to create customized symbology in ArcMap and how to save it properly. Lastly, it this will show the audience how to use the style manager in Arc 10-10.1 to combine symbology. This will let multiple users have access to the same symbology, labels, and attributes assigned.

This presentation is meant for all levels of Arc users from the novice, to the highly skilled GIS professional.

Results: By assigning this uniform and customized symbology, it will increase efficiency, quality, and cohesiveness of maps for any organization.

Conclusion: Being able to limit the QA/QC part of labeling and symbology can help to increase visibility, provide a standard for what should be used, and ultimately will keep your GIS team organized and reduce frustration on the end users part.

#GIS + #DH = #ack
Jon Caris
Smith College

Presentation: PDF PPT

Universities, colleges, foundations, and consortia, including the Five Colleges, are throwing money at a relatively new movement termed the “Digital Humanities”. What are the Digital Humanities and how do they intersect with GIS? What does #GIS contribute to #DH and vice versa? I’ll share some stories and curiosities found along my #DH journey.

Writing about the Influence of Place
Marcy Thomas
Wellesley College

Presentation: PDF PPT

In a writing course for first-year college students, we look at the powerful effect of location on humans and nonhumans trying to make their way in the world. Using global data, students write about environmental health hot spots, the geography of gender and extreme habitats. As they hone their skills in academic research and writing they consider the bidirectional effect of place. The focus on "where" allows us the freedom to ask questions at the confluence of science, geography, and many other disciplines.

Accessibility in a Small-Urban and Rural Context
Nathan Belz
University of Vermont

Presentation: PDF PPT

One of the main issues with respect to accessibility measurement is the problem of zonal representation and aggregate quantification producing extremely varied results with respect to the availability of goods and services. Moreover, the planning data, staff, and systems available in urban areas are often less available in rural areas, which presents a challenge in the way we measure accessibility for more remote locations. This is of particular concern in Vermont where 62% of the population lives in rural areas.

Presented here is a case study of Chittenden County, VT — which represents a mix of small urban, suburban, and rural landscapes – illustrating the role that disaggregate data plays in measuring accessibility. These data include GIS layers such as: point locations of all residential buildings and types, public infrastructure, employment locations, sidewalks, transit routes, land use, and geocoded surveys. These surveys capture residents’ attitudes and perceptions about their neighborhood and transportation.

Utilizing both place-based and people-based perspectives can provide a better measure of accessibility and its spatial-temporal variations. The results provide an indication of the distances at which residents begin to worry about their ability to reach basic needs. In addition, the research stresses the importance of finer resolution data with respect to the issue of isolation.

Investigative Report from Redlands California:
The Esri Papers
Mark Scott

Presentation: PDF PPT

See how an idea hatched at a meeting at Esri headquarters in Redlands could be used to support a timely and worthwhile effort to help our returning troops.

Lightning Karaoke
Michael Olkin, The Composer
Town of Amherst

Presentation: PDF PPT

An intrepid member of the audience agrees to tell a story about a stack of seemingly unrelated slides, with hilarious results!

1:15 – 2:45 Session 3
Data Management
Map Services
Municipal GIS
ArcGIS Online Workshop
  Campus Center Auditorium Campus Center 169 Campus Center 176 Morrill Hall 271

Moderator: Darren Mackiewicz

Moderator: Guido Stein

Moderator: Niels la Cour

Coordinator: Andy Anderson

✧ 1:15
Staying within a Small Budget to Update GIS Procedures
Kara Weinsaft
KLD Engineering

Presentation PDF

Every ten years the Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires an update to the Emergency Time Estimate for every site in the United States. GIS has become a fundamental approach to managing all data that is collected for every site. As with every company budgets play a huge factor in how many resources that can be afforded. Over the last year, as the new director at the firm, I have taken them from using shapefiles to integrating database design and management techniques for over 47 Nuclear Site projects. With a smaller than average budget, we have been able to manage all of these projects at the same time the same way maintain consistency. We have also been able to integrate techniques that allow desktops without ArcGIS to be able to contribute to the same projects through Access front end data forms as well as redesigning the ArcGIS Animator to better suit our needs through SQL Server.

Bridging GIS Environments
using FWTools, OGR/GDAL,
and Google Maps/Fusion Tables API
Arielle Simmons
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

Presentation: PDF Scripts

On-going complications with reliable funding in the public sector often place limitations on software purchasing and workflow distributions. Significant challenges can arise when relatively trivial GIS tasks (such as re-projecting a file, or identifying the attributes of a geospatial file), are only achievable using specific personnel and specific software platforms. This demonstration will focus on the ‘real-life’ lessons-learned while trying to integrate open-source geospatial technologies (such as QGIS and Google Maps) into an ESRI only GIS environment. Utilizing the flexibility of programming interfaces such as the OGR/GDAL; various scripts were created that can help novice and experienced GIS users view and analyze various data types across different platforms. Furthermore, these processing techniques offer a way to reduce basic GIS processing requests which enable an office with limited GIS staff to focus their efforts on tasks more suited to their experience level.

This presentation will specifically highlight the challenges that exist for a regional planning agency, and how they are working to overcome limited expertise and funding opportunities by creating a flexible geospatial working environment.

Patrick Gahagen

Presentation PDF

CityEngine is a procedural modeling application from Esri. Procedural modeling offers the ability to generate and texture detailed 3D buildings and street geometries out of 2D GIS data. CityEngine also integrates existing 3D content in many formats and fully supports the Esri file geodatabase and Shapefile format.

Several organizations are purchasing the software and having models built by Esri Business partners, such as CyberCity and Pictometry.

ArcGIS Online
Mark Scott
Come see how an ArcGIS Online Subscription can help your organization leverage its authoritative data, exposing GIS capabilities to your entire user base. An Esri representative will be there to help you with a set of hand-on exercises involving creating and sharing web maps, building an editing application, and using maps inside of Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint.
✧ 1:45
Data Modeling Demystified
Brian Hebert

Presentation: PDF PPT

Classic relational database and object-oriented modeling diagrams, tools, and techniques are often too complicated for GIS users and project managers to fully understand. This presentation will demonstrate a simplified approach to modeling geospatial feature classes and tables, using simple attribute lists generated through data profiling. Attendees will then be able to apply this useful technique on their own data projects for either improving existing data models, or creating new ones.

Managing ArcGIS Server 10.1 with Python
Sean Sweeney
City of Cambridge, MA

Presentation PDF

The ArcGIS Server Manager has been updated and improved in version 10.1, but there are still operations that are faster do to from the command line. The ArcGIS Server Command Line Utilities now come bundled with ArcGIS Server to replace the AGSSOM ArcScripts download in 10.0.  Better still, the ArcGIS Server Administrator REST API opens up the entire suite of 10.1 administrative tasks to any language that can support Web service calls.

I will describe and demonstrate how Cambridge is taking advantage of these new tools to manage our ArcGIS Server 10.1 site and Web services using Python.

Assessing the Degree of Potential Visual Impact of Vertical Structures
Brett Shaver
Environmental Resources Management

Successful visual impact assessments rely on effectively combining viewsheds and field observations from potential viewpoints. Traditional viewshed analysis only considers whether a structure will be visible or not and not the degree of visibility. This may mean that viewpoints are selected where only a small section of the top of the structure would actually be visible.

In addition, many elevation models use bare earth elevations, ignoring the potential screening effect of vegetation and buildings. This presentation will review an iterative ModelBuilder based approach developed for mapping the percentage of structure visible including sources of data used and the specific models that were created to automate the process. This will include consideration of how existing vegetation screens can be incorporated to correct the model output.

Overall, this approach enables better selection of viewpoints and in some preliminary studies may remove the need for field verification entirely.

✧ 2:15
Westchester County GIS in the Cloud: Providing Products and Services for Local Governments in 2013
Sam Wear
Westchester County GIS

Presentation PDF

In its 25th year of operation, Westchester County GIS continues to be a model program in providing geospatial products and services to local governments. Leveraging the County’s established GIS hardware and software infrastructure, local governments can easily download datasets, consume and mash-up live map services in a variety of viewers, and now enable mobile devices for field data collection efforts. Collectively, the availability of these services from the County is increasingly being referred to as “GIS Cloud” as illustrated through computing concepts such as Data as a Service (DaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

Individually or combined, these Westchester County GIS products and services enable local governments, typically with limited resources, to build or extend GIS capacity in the organization with limited or no investment. This presentation will provide an overview of the County’s “GIS Cloud” products and services which may serve as example for similar-sized county or regional GIS programs.

Mobile Tree Inventory Application for the Village of Garden City, NY
Girk Cakmak
Bowne Management Systems

As a result of super-storm Sandy in late October 2012, the Village of Garden City, NY lost several hundred of their 12,000+ Village-owned trees. Fortunately, since 2002, the Village has been collecting locations and attributes related to their trees with GPS devices for inclusion in their enterprise GIS database. Now tasked with the enormous, post-Sandy effort of cataloging and recording data on both the damaged and destroyed trees, the Village turned to Bowne Management Systems, Inc. for a user-friendly, field data collection option that would run on a larger tablet PC, versus the smaller screen GPS devices. In this session we will discuss the Bowne’s ArcGIS-for-Mobile-based application developed to address the Village’s post-Sandy tree-related issues.

2:45 – 3:00 Refreshment Break and Poster Session
  Campus Center First Floor Concourse
3:00 – 4:30 Session 4
Natural Resources
Python + ArcGIS Workshop
  Campus Center Auditorium Campus Center 169 Campus Center 176 Morrill Hall 271

Moderator: Nathan Belz

Moderator: Peggy Minnis

Moderator: Kara Weinsaft

Coordinator: Andy Anderson

✧ 3:00
GIS as a Tool for Water Distribution System Planning
Kevin Bartsch
Otis ANG Base

Presentation: PDF PPT

This presentation starts with exploring one water distribution system and how its history and various data sources can be used to develop the details of a GIS database. Using GPS and old drawings to develop the water system GIS is old news but a few lessons learned are mentioned. The presentation quickly continues with how the water infrastructure GIS is enhanced with historical imagery, elevation data (LiDAR), land use features, and SCADA data. How extensive system down-sizing creates problems in water quality and how GIS helps to solve these problems. Questions about water loss, firefighting, and deferred maintenance are addressed with GIS solutions. All characterizing and planning of this system is done with out-of-the-box ArcGIS Desktop.

Integrating Mitigation Planning into Campus Culture and GIS
and Development of a Campus Continuity Strategy
Niels la Cour, Alexander Stepanov, and Thomas O’Regan
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Jamie Caplan

Jamie Caplan Consulting

Jonathan Contract
University of Massachusetts Amherst
The University of Massachusetts Amherst campus recently completed a FEMA-sponsored grant to develop an All Hazards Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan with emphasis on Natural Hazards. To accomplish this, UMass Amherst embraced FEMA’s Hazus-MH software methodology for estimating building impacts, and recovery costs from (earthquakes, hurricanes & tornados). Population of the Hazus-MH data structure was accomplished primarily by incorporating ESRI GIS campus maps, TRIRIGA building data, and natural hazard vulnerability data from the surrounding communities. In addition, a structure for stakeholder involvement was developed to ensure mitigation planning becomes part of the on-going campus planning culture. This presentation will explore the workflow and process used to develop the mitigation plan, and integration of the Hazus-MH data into the expanding campus GIS/Base Map interface.
FracTracker Alliance: Promoting an Understanding of the Impacts of Natural Gas Development on Our Communities
Karen Edelstein
FracTracker Alliance

Presentation PDF

In our energy-thirsty society, one of the next frontiers for fossil fuel extraction may be the shale beds that lie thousands of feet below us. However, natural gas extraction, using a process known as high-volume, slickwater, hydraulic fracturing, has been tied to a list of social and environmental impacts, including air pollution, water pollution, earthquakes, and socio-economic displacement. Using ArcGIS Online as a mapping platform and a blog format for posting analysis and commentary, provides a forum that includes access to a data library, a tool for data visualization, and a site for sharing stories, images, and information. Currently focused on shale-gas development issues in the US, with an emphasis on Pennsylvania, New York State, and Ohio, FracTracker can be used by scientists, decision-makers, and citizen groups in Europe, South Africa, Canada, and elsewhere in the continental U.S.—wherever natural gas development is likely to stir public concerns.

Python + ArcGIS BootCamp
Guido Stein
Applied Geographics

Python scripting has become an important tool to have in every GIS analys’s toolbox. Guido Stein will guide you from the field calculator to scripting with python within an hour. He will lay out some basic python concepts and show you how to build some scripts with Esri tools. Topics that will be covered include:

  • String manipulation in the field calculator
  • Basic prototyping of your process with ArcGIS ModelBuilder
  • Converting from ArcGIS ModelBuilder model to a reusable python script
  • Handling inputs/outputs of scripts with ArcGIS ModelBuilder
✧ 3:30
Leveraging Remotely Sensed Data for International Projects — What’s Out There, What’s Free, and How Can I Use It?
Jared Newell
CDM Smith

Presentation: PDF PPT

Finding geospatial data for remote or international sites can be a daunting and time intensive process, often resulting in dead ends and the realization that there’s just nothing out there. In many instances remotely sensed data may be the only option for geospatial data development and mapping. This presentation highlights some of the best free remotely sensed data available today and describes how it can be leveraged to fit your project needs.

Using case studies in the Middle East, we focus on how remotely sensed data has been used for environmental assessments, air and hydrological modeling, and field reconnaissance activities. We showcase a variety of custom tools and products developed to process and manipulate such data in support of these international projects.

Assessing GIS and Information Management Needs in a Multi-Agency Partnership
Kate Hickey
Applied Geographics
BJ Richardson
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NALCC) is comprised of private, state, tribal, and federal conservation community partners working together to address increasing land use pressures and widespread resource threats amplified by a rapidly changing climate. To address these goals, the NALCC partners must agree on common goals for land, water, fish, wildlife, plant, and cultural resources and jointly developing the scientific information and tools needed to prioritize and guide more effective conservation actions. But how can common goals and priorities be identified when partners don’t have access to common data and tools? In a collaborative model, who “owns” and organizes information resources and how can large data sets from a variety of sources be best managed and shared? How can an information management system provide both a relevant regional view as well as appropriate detail resolution to support local analysis? The NALCC recently completed an information needs assessment to address these important questions and improve coordination and data sharing among partners. This presentation will describe the study’s strategic recommendations including a model relevant to any organization facing the challenges of information management amongst diverse stakeholders.
Using Spatial Analysis to Improve Health Care Services and Delivery at Baystate Health
Jane Garb, MS and Richard Wait
Baystate Health

Presentation: PDF PPT

Baystate Health has been recognized by the industry for its innovative and wide-ranging use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to address problems in health. Spatial analysis is a key component in the effective use of GIS in health care for data exploration, hypothesis testing, and modeling. This presentation describes GIS applications by the Health Geographics Program at Baystate Health. These applications include direct patient care, epidemiologic research, disease prevention and intervention, strategic planning, and marketing. Particular attention is directed to the spatial analytic methods used in these applications. Finally, the challenges faced in obtaining and using health data for our analyses are discussed.

✧ 4:00
A Multi-Scale Approach to Assess the Hydrological Connectivity of Road and Stream Networks
Alison Pechenick
University of Vermont, College of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences
Donna Rizzo
University of Vermont, School of Engineering
Leslie Morrissey and
Kerrie Garvey
University of Vermont, Rubinstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
Kristen Underwood
University of Vermont, School of Engineering
Beverley Wemple
University of Vermont, Department of Geography

Presentation: PDF PPT

Roads in rural, upland landscapes are important sources of runoff and sediment to waterways. The downstream effects of these sources should be related to the connectivity of roads to receiving waters. Recent studies have explored this idea, but only simple metrics have been used to characterize connectivity and few studies have quantified the downstream effects of road-stream connectivity on sediment or solute budgets and channel morphology. In this study, we evaluated traditional and newly developed connectivity metrics that utilized features of landscape position and delivery pathway to characterize road-stream connectivity in upland settings. Using data on stream geomorphic conditions developed by the Vermont (USA) Agency of Natural Resources, we related road connectivity metrics to channel condition on a set of 102 forested, upland streams with minimal development other than predominantly gravel road networks. Logistic regression indicated that measures of road density, proximity, and orientation successfully distinguished among categories of stream geomorphic condition at multiple geographic scales. Discriminant function analysis using a set of inherent channel characteristics combined with road connectivity metrics successfully distinguished channel condition for nearly 67% of the channels evaluated and for 90% of channels within ± one class of condition. This research contributes to efforts to evaluate the cumulative downstream effects of roads on stream channels and aquatic resources.

Thinking Spatially at Bank of America
Andrew MacDougall
Bank of America
Learn about the different types of GIS users at Bank of America and how they’re using the technology to manage their portfolio of branches and ATMs.
Creating ArcReader Projects for Local History
Bob Jones
Skidmore College

Presentation: PDF PPT

ArcReader is a free viewer for ArcMap projects. ArcReader may be used by people who are not GIS users but who want to use the features of ArcMap. ArcReader projects can be created using ArcMap and given to others to use. In the past year, I have created ArcReader projects for Town Historians in Saratoga County, NY who can now use georeferenced historical maps as part of their work. For one town, I have created hot links for cemeteries. The user (historian) can now provide individuals with a brief story, directions to (sometimes hidden) cemeteries and a photograph of that cemetery. A URL link also enables viewers to see a list of the names and other information taken from the gravestones in (some of) these cemeteries. Future hot links are being created for historical points of interest in each town. This presentation will explain the differences in usability between ArcMap and the details of how to create and distribute ArcReader projects.

4:30 – 5:30 NEARC User Group Forum / Open Discussion / Poster Contest Winner Announcement
  Campus Center U-Pub (Second Floor)
All Day Posters — Please Vote for Your Favorite!
  Campus Center First Floor Concourse
  Coordinator: Marcy Thomas
Environment / Conservation
International Development
Presenters will be at their posters at least at these designated times:

10:15 – 10:30

2:45 – 3:00

You may also find them there at these times:

8:00 – 9:00
1:00 – 1:15
Using GIS to Monitor Invasive Plants in Candlewood Lake
Jordan Gibbons and Gregory Bugbee
CT Agricultural Experiment Station

Presentation PDF

Invasive aquatic plants pose serious threats to Connecticut lakes and ponds. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station’s Invasive Aquatic Plant Program (CAES IAPP) has conducted over 200 vegetative plant surveys of Connecticut’s lakes and ponds. Candlewood Lake is the largest lake in CT covering over 5000 acres with 62 miles of shoreline. The lake is used for hydrogeneration of electricity and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requires yearly documentation of the extent of the invasive aquatic plant problem. CAES IAPP surveys Candlewood Lake yearly to monitor the invasive aquatic plant population. Three invasive plants are currently present in Candlewood Lake: Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), brittle waternymph (Najas minor), and curlyleaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus). Eurasian watermilfoil poses the biggest problem because it grows in dense patches that reach the surface and interferes with recreation. Winter drawdowns are performed to manage the invasive plants with drawdown depths alternating between 4 feet and 8 feet on a yearly basis. Our surveys are conducted with an onboard GPS navigation system that is used to draw polygons around plant patches and locate reference transects. These polygons and transects are then geo-corrected and laid over aerial imagery in ArcMap. We now have six consecutive years of surveillance that encompasses deep drawdowns in 2007, 2009, and 2011 and shallow drawdowns in 2008, 2010, and 2012. Deep drawdowns resulted in Eurasian watermilfoil coverage of 221, 373, and 331 acres while shallow drawdowns resulted in coverage of 451, 461, and 505 acres. Though a considerable amount of Eurasian watermilfoil remains after a deep drawdown, the most abundant areas are at a depth of 3 - 5 meters where the plants are not exposed by drawdown. Our research suggests three possibilities for better control of Eurasian watermilfoil; 1) better management of the water level during the deep drawdown to maximize desiccation and freezing, 2) more frequent deep drawdowns, 3) deeper deep drawdown.

Elevation Changes Associated with Various Salt Marsh Plant Communities
Rachael Dye
GeoCorps America
Megan Tyrell and Stephen Smith
National Park Service; Cape Cod National Seashore
Jane Barnes
GeoCorps America

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Denudation of salt marsh vegetation (aka salt marsh dieback) on Cape Cod, MA is driven by herbivory of a native, nocturnal crab species, Sesarma reticulatum. Large areas of bare sediments as well as rapid shifts in the distribution and abundance of salt marsh plants are occurring at the mouth of the Herring River in Wellfleet, where high densities of these crabs occur. We conducted ground-based elevation surveys in 2011 and 2012 to assess annual change at this site. In addition, we compared results with a 2011 LiDAR survey. Results show that this salt marsh dieback site lost approximately 430 m^3 of elevation due to dieback-induced erosion and that sediment loss is substantially higher in dieback areas than when vegetation is intact. Shifts in plant distributions and variable sediment accumulation rates associated with these communities synergistically lead to continued rapid change in the physical and biological characteristics of this site for the next several years.

A Preliminary Map Depicting the Shorelines and Features of Glacial Lake Vermont
Sarah Joy Kwiatkowska and John Van Hoesen
Green Mountain College
Several authors have mapped the various levels and shorelines of Glacial Lake Vermont, but a professional map depicting glacial termini, shoreline features, and the relationship between the lake and surrounding topography is not currently available. Most regional maps of Glacial Lake Vermont are simplistic, lack detail, and serve as educational graphics rather than a cartographically accurate representation of the lake. We developed a single, high-resolution map depicting the various stages of Glacial Lake Vermont, shoreline features, and related sedimentary deposits. Shoreline features document the fluctuations and corresponding extent of Glacial Lake Vermont during deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. We are seeking input and feedback on this preliminary map, which will provide the geologic community with a more refined and informative resource regarding the spatial extent of Glacial Lake Vermont.
Uncovering the Past: GIS Analysis of Archaeological Features under New England Forests Using High-resolution Topographic Data (LiDAR) From
Katharine Johnson and William Ouimet
University of Connecticut, Department of Geography

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Recently, LiDAR data has been made publicly available for the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. One of the defining characteristics of southern New England is the rapid reforestation that occurred in the late 19th century, obscuring a once cleared agricultural landscape. As a result, in our geographic region LiDAR is an invaluable tool for geomorphological and archaeological landscape studies because it not only provides a view of the terrain beneath the dense New England forest canopy, but does so with higher resolution than has been previously available. Our work aims to answer questions related to quantifying the human impact on the landscape by using high resolution LiDAR data, and products derived from various image processing and extraction techniques. Some of the research topics we are currently exploring include calculating estimates for the volume, dimensions, density and distribution of stone walls and their relationship to surficial geology and other geomorphological factors; historic land use and its effects on current forest vegetation patterns using first- and last-return data; how historic property divisions have influenced the modern landscape we experience today; and how LiDAR can be used archaeologically in New England.

Slope Stability Assessment for State Arterial Roads in
Berkshire County
Daniel Kobzarm, Andrea Daly, James Roy, Pamela Patrick, David Posner, and Mi-Hyun Park
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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This study is aimed to identify areas along state arterial highways that could present a hazard for a landslide and erosion in the event of a major storm. The study areas focused on the state roads located within Berkshire County, Massachusetts, which is expected to have significant variations in topography. A scoring system was developed to evaluate the slope stability hazard based on slope, flood potential and soil properties. The result shows a color-coded prioritized map of the areas of high, moderate, and low hazards, which highlight the areas of highest priority based on their relative hazards. This will assist in budgeting and urban planning with regard to erosion control, landslide mitigation, and repairs, as warranted. Therefore, our results can be used for decision support system for transportation road management.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Rollover Crash Analysis in Massachusetts From
Matthew Skelly, Ariel Brooks, John Guzze, Balazs Martai, Mi-Hyun Park, and Michael Knodler
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has recently placed a great emphasis on the prevention of Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) rollover crashes. These crashes are associated with an elevated level of risk due to their relatively high chance of resulting in a fatality. Rollover crashes also have the potential to instantly close down a major roadway for many hours. Along with the increased risk for major negative consequences comes an increased liability for litigation as well as a greater scrutiny from the media. Although the Commonwealth has identified this as a concern, there is no real basis for deciding exactly how big of a problem CMV rollover crashes are, and what kind of measures might be useful for lessening the risk of these crashes, as well as where these measures might be applied. This project identifies hot spots for this type of crash and shows commonalities between the contributing factors of these crashes using GIS in Massachusetts during the years 2011 and 2012. However, instead of the typical method of grouping clusters of crashes by how many happen within a certain radius of a given point, this study associates the crashes to the roadway on which they occurred and then groups the crashes based on how far apart from each other they occur on a given roadway. This makes the results much more useful to State and Local Police departments who can now use this information to help determine enforcement strategies.

Assessing Vulnerability in Community Water Point Systems in Blantyre, Malawi, Africa
Mark Hagemann, Joseph Goodwill, Srinivas Santhanam, David Choi, and Mi-Hyun Park
University of Massachusetts Amherst
In order to prevent the significant social, economic, and public health stress caused by well failure in the developing world, it is crucial to effectively gather and analyze data about a large number of wells throughout the communities. Tools like AKVO Flow, an application for GPS-enabled smartphones, can aid in data collection, but they do not assess the overall security of the system. This study presents the results of an analysis of ranking drinking water wells by their importance to the health of the water system in a section of Blantyre, Malawi. Using data from the NGO Water for People and ArcGIS software, we assess areas vulnerable to well failure, and which wells are most vital to the overall system. This includes the number of households directly affected and indirect costs such as increased stress on neighboring wells. The results of this analysis may inform monitoring and maintenance programs and suggest potential locations for additional wells.
Rural Electrification in South Africa: Design Challenges, Considerations, and Choices
Jennifer Holliday
Smith College

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After apartheid ended, South Africa instituted a national electrification program that connected three million households to the national grid. While this was a significant accomplishment, the only drawback was that the increased electricity demand put a strain on the existing power network, which led to rolling blackouts. Despite the success of the rapid electrification program, there are still millions of people, particularly in rural areas, without electricity. In light of the current electricity crisis and the policy support for renewable energy generation as outlined by the South African government, it is the right time to consider rural electrification by way of hybrid off-grid power systems.

A rural electrification project consists of multiple steps, which are site selection, load prediction, resource assessment, technology selection, and finally system configuration. The choice of site shapes the rest of the project and a model in ArcGIS was built, which in conjunction with census data identified potential sites. The next step was to determine the load that the system would have to serve, which was done by creating a load-modeling tool in MATLAB. Resource assessment requires finding the wind and solar resources at the site in question, while technology selection involved finding manufacturers of wind turbines, generators, PV panels, inverters, batteries, and other technologies. Possible system configurations were found using two models, one a specialized simulation software HOMER and the other a model based on simple solar geometry. The results from these models showed that hybrid off-grid systems are a feasible solution, and that setting up systems to serve multiple households is the most cost-effective solution.

Web Mapping
Storm Impacts
Westfield State University WebGIS: A Student-Led Project Serving the Campus
Nicole Giles
Westfield State University

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Online maps and interactive visualizations are increasingly important tools in an ever changing world of technology for colleges and universities to promote their trademark and to attract potential students. Campus visitors, Facilities and Operations, Public Safety, and emergency responders benefit from up-to-date dynamic infrastructure maps accessible anytime on any device using an Internet browser. Online mapping aims to do all that and more.

The Westfield State University Web GIS is a comprehensive student-led effort developed using the web-based ArcGIS Online for Organization platform by Esri. Phase 1 of this project (Fall 2012) included conducting stakeholder surveys and data collection, followed by data analysis, online mapping, and the development of a prototype Web GIS as Phase 2.

  • Current and prospective students can now take interactive 3D virtual tours of the campus and surrounding areas to find the location of food services, hiking trails, reliable car mechanics, and much more.
  • Campus visitors, parents, and members of the community now have access to up-to-date information about events, parking, and campus resources.
  • Facilities and Operations staff can easily locate, maintain, and inventory campus infrastructure (including signage, fire hydrants, recycle bins, and more) using basic tablet computers or smart phones.
  • Emergency responders will be able to evaluate building safety buffers, locations of hazardous materials, building exits and characteristics before arriving on-scene.

Post-deployment stakeholder surveys and training in collaboration with campus Facilities and Operations and Public Safety staff in Spring 2013 (Phase 3) will assess the effectiveness of the prototype Web GIS and is anticipated to result in the development of additional data sets, interactive map services, and online maps for a variety of audiences on and off campus. The official launch of the Westfield State University Web GIS (Phase 4) is planned for April 2013 complete with the necessary improvements.

LEGO Brand Retail Store Expansion in the New York City Tri-State Area
Nicholas Armata
Westfield State University

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In a market and consumer-driven economy, retail stores remain an important component of brand recognition and company profit. For retail, the old adage remains as true as ever: location, location, location!

Here we present a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – based analysis of existing and potential future retail location for the globally-recognized brand LEGO® in the New York City Tri-State Area (New York City and proximal parts of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut). The locations of existing retail stores were geocoded together with their relevant attribute data and characteristics to create a series of maps depicting their current distribution.

We then assessed potential locations of new LEGO® retail stores with the goal of conserving the attendance and revenue of all existing and surrounding stores in the regions. Factors and selection criteria in our analysis included population size and demographics using 2010 Census and American Community Survey data, target audience demographics, demand points, and supply locations. We also performed a transportation analysis to evaluate drive times and distances to current and potential future retail locations using the ArcGIS Network Analyst extension.

Our completed analysis suggests a series of four potential new retail locations for LEGO® that meet the site selection criteria to accommodate intelligent growth. That criterion ranks our candidate mapped locations using a number of variables taken from real-world data used by The LEGO® group. The variables include, regional population density, the percentage of the population that are LEGO® Group’s target aged audience, proximity to existing locations, and retail costs.

Business Park Map of the Quonset Business Park
Antonio Ambrosio
Quonset Development Corporation
This map was created to promote the Business Park on a brochure created by QDC. The map includes roads, tenants that agreed to be on the map, rail, ports, points of interest, airport, etc. Lately the map has been used by the tenants who send it to their customers and truck drivers. Since the Navy left, the Quonset Business Park has been through many infrastructural projects including removing, relocating, and adding new roads. Due to many of the street-mapping companies such as Navteq and TomTom taking a long time to update, this map has been more useful than using a GPS navigation. This map is also available on QDC’s website. The map includes data, besides QDC data, RIGIS, & RIDOT.
4-H Geospatial
Kim Pond
UMass Extension 4-H Youth Development
The 4-H GIS program highlights the work of the land-grant university system, and exposes more 4-H youth to current technology and potential future career opportunities youth might have in this field. 4-H youth from around the United States are selected annually as members of The National 4-H GIS GPS Leadership Team that provides leadership, serve as GeoMentors to 4-H clubs, and are active presenters and participants in the Esri Education User Conference each year. This program serves to help 4-H expand the use of GIS technology across its mission mandates in Science, Citizenship, and Healthy Living programs. The 2013 4-H National Youth Science Experiment will focus on geospatial technology and serve to reach out to all youth beyond the nearly seven million 4-H participants.
Analysis of the Effect of New Construction on Stormwater Runoff at UMass Amherst
Thomas Carleton, Damien Dmitruk, Tyler Colvin, and Brendan Avery
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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The University of Massachusetts Amherst is continuously growing, as can be seen by the multitude of new construction around campus. While the effects on the student population are well known (new dorms, classrooms, recreation buildings), the effects on the land itself are yet to be seen. New development means big changes to stormwater runoff around campus. As more buildings and pavement goes up, the amount of stormwater runoff follows suit. It is important to map and understand the impact of these buildings on the future stormwater runoff to ensure proper drainage and storage locations are secured.

New construction in an area poses several challenges including increased traffic, utility expansion, and water runoff increase. Impervious cover can be defined as surfaces that reduce the infiltration capacity of an environment and can include roads, parking lots, buildings, and sidewalks. Part of a development plan is designing infrastructure to deal with the larger amount of impervious cover and to limit the effect that increases in stormwater runoff has on an ecosystem. ArcView GIS and Mass GIS have current and historical data layers for land use, rainfall, and topographical information. From these data layers, a record can be constructed as to how an increase of population or change in land use affects the amount of runoff from a region. UMass has been steadily expanding its infrastructure over the last few years, and plans to be finished with construction of several new buildings, such as the Commonwealth College, Life Science Laboratories, and new housing by 2013.

We are proposing that through the maps available from the Facilities Planning Department, a current/future campus runoff maps can be created. Using the historical maps and data, it is proposed that a historical comparison of runoff from the University before construction and after construction is conducted. New construction including roads, parking lots and sidewalks all affect the amount of runoff coming from the University during storm events. Our study plans to examine how significant this increase is through the use of map creation, historical data layers, and hydrologic calculations.

Through use of ArcGIS, we will be able to establish the implications of future development on stormwater runoff. We can identify prime locations for drainage grates and stormwater storages. Using our findings, proper plans can be constructed as to avoid serious issues such as flooding and overflow, and these plans can be implemented as a baseline for the stormwater utilities construction of the future.

Visualizing Potential Flood Inundation Impacts in Conimicut, Rhode Island
Greg Rowe
Growe Geospatial


Over the past few years, extreme weather conditions appear to be steadily increasing. In November 2012, FEMA estimated $14 million in public damages to Rhode Island alone as a result of Superstorm Sandy. Public officials and emergency responders must be able to effectively visualize and convey potential flood impacts to the general public. Growe Geospatial developed a video animating the potential impact of a 3-meter sea level rise at Mean Higher High Water to the Village of Conimicut in Warwick, Rhode Island. The video animates the inundation and water depths of the flooding, as well as the impact on 3D models of local structures.