Conference 2016 Abstracts


The Past, Present, and Future of OpenStreetMap

Steve Coast – Author and Founder – OpenStreetMap

Steve will be presenting on the past, present and future of OpenStreetMap – discussing how to edit, licensing, community and more.  Steve will also discuss his new book, “The Book of OSM”, containing interviews with 15 early adopters of OSM to capture the early growth and feeling of the project.

Session 1A

Use of GIS to Survey and Identify New Industrial Discharges in a POTW Pretreatment Program

Michael Burkett-Monroe County DES

The Clean Water Act required that certain Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) establish pretreatment programs to regulate industrial discharges to the treatment works.  One of the requirements of a pretreatment program for POTWs is to show continuing surveying and identifying potential industrial discharges into their treatment system.  Monroe County’s Industrial Waste Office used ArcGIS 10 to develop a database for tracking, surveying and identifying industrial discharges.

Capturing Geographic Data from Google Street View

James Zollweg-SUNY Brockport

Google Street View provides very detailed, panoramic views from positions along many streets in the world.  Many important features such as hydrants, road signs, trees, utility boxes, pavement conditions, etc. are easily viewable.  By simultaneously viewing corresponding locations in Pictometry Online, one can extract geographies/coordinates and attributes for these important features.  This procedure may be the most efficient way to generate spatial data for some applications.

Session 1B – Student Lightning Talks

Identifying Septic Field “Hotspots” using Pictometry Oblique Imagery

Nicole DeRose – SUNY Brockprot

Pictometry Oblique Imagery was successfully used to map septic fields in Oak Orchard watershed. Analysis of the imagery was efficient for finding leach fields as 66 to 81% of the septic fields previously mapped by the Genesee Orleans County Department of Health, were identified. Septic systems may not have been identified if the field was located under canopy cover, there was an absence of a leach field, or if the septic field postdated the imagery. Under ideal conditions (septic systems with leach fields and no canopy or shadows) the method should be able to identify at least 80% of the systems. Imagery taken during the transition from dormant to growing season proved best for identifying leach fields. A total of 1277 septic fields were mapped in the watershed, and one example of a plume from a short circuited system was recorded. Spatial distribution was heterogeneous, with dense sites of septic fields concentrated along residential road corridors. Approximately 4.2% of the leach fields were located less than 100 feet of a tributary. This is below the minimum separation distance of a leach field to a waterbody that is required by the NYS Department of Health code. The average distance of a leach field to a tributary is 327 meters with 50% of the leach fields occurring within 240 meters of mapped tributaries. Maps of important septic field “hotspots” were developed for watershed stakeholders and include tributaries along Batavia-Elba Townline Road, Marsh Creek, and tributaries near the intersections of Alleghany and Lockport Road, Judge and Knowlesville Road, Lockport, and Albion Road. Identifying where septic fields are relative to streams provides us with new opportunities for managing septic field nonpoint source pollution because we can retrofit those that may be contributing the most pollution to streams.

Finding Sinkholes with Pictometry Oblique Imagery

Mike Rodgers – SUNY Brockport


 Using Logistic Regression To Predict Spatial Distribution Of Oriental Bittersweet Habitat In New York State

Brandyn Balch – SUNY Geneseo

The invasive vine oriental bittersweet has been having negative impacts on Eastern United States and Canadian ecology since the mid-1800s. Its rapid growth causes the uprooting and girdling of trees due to their excessive weight, and produces dense shade that inhibits new growth of native plant species. The ability to predict and map their suitable habitats will enable their manual removal before damage is done to the surrounding ecosystem.


Katherine Berdan – SUNY Geneseo


What are the Benefits of Trees on a College Campus?

Sarah Kowalski – SUNY Geneseo

Maintaining a healthy tree community on a college campus provides opportunities for sustainability and ecological research, as well as community building and educational opportunities. After further completion of a tree map of the SUNY Geneseo campus, further projects and analyses have developed including interpolation of tree benefits such as carbon sequestration and storm water runoff, Tree Campus USA certification, and the creation of a tree tour.

Nutrient Loading Risk Assessment in Livingston County, NY’s Genesee River Watershed

Tori Roberts – SUNY Geneseo

The purpose of this GIS study is to use environmental data to explore potential nutrient-loading from agricultural land on the Genesee River basin focusing on major tributaries in Livingston County, NY. The analysis uses riparian zone presence, proximity to agricultural land, soil type, and digital elevation model data in order to rank tributaries accordingly.

Session 1C

WTS is Up To with GIS! (“S” is for State, of course. What else were you thinking?)

Frank Winters-NYS ITS

Frank Winters, will describe how the state is migrating from separate agency GIS installations to an enterprise GIS.  ShareGIS will offer GIS data and geoprocessing web services for use in desktop GIS, mobile tools, business systems, and web apps.  ShareGIS will become the modern, web services replacement for the NYS GIS Clearinghouse and enable GIS use for many organizations that have been unable to make their own GIS investment.

Statewide Parcel Map Program

Katherine Kiyanitsa & Robert Gehrer-NYS GIS Program Office

The NYS GIS Program Office has a program to develop and share a statewide GIS tax parcel file.  The objective is to assemble a single layer of tax parcel polygons with a set of assessment roll attributes that can be shared, first among all state agencies, then other government entities, and eventually the public. The presentation includes a brief history, current work, and future direction of the program; challenges and benefits of the data; and examples of uses of the file thus far.

Session 2A

Small Unmanned Aerial Systems & Applications

Brian Pitre-SkyOp

A general overview presentation on the uses and applications of Small Unmanned Aerial Systems a new transformative technology. There are different types of sUAS available which will be briefly described. A system level review to understand the functionality of each element of the sUAS and how the different elements of a sUAS complement each other. This all leads to some of the current and soon to be applications for this type of system.

Session 2B

Disaster Response with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

Thomas Hynes-Ulster County

When major disaster strikes anywhere in the world, The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) rallies a huge network of volunteers to create, online, the maps that enable responders to reach those in need.  We’ll take a look to see how the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team accomplishes this and how you can volunteer to provide professional mapping assistance in times of crisis.

ArcGIS and Refugees: Practical Lessons Learned from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Kigeme Refugee camp, Rwanda Humanitarian Field Work Mission

Tayler Ruggero-RIT

In January, a faculty-led study abroad program from RIT went to Rwanda with nine students and Dr. Tomaszewski. The RIT team used a combination of GIS tools to create the first complete map of Kigeme Refugee camp. The presentation will discuss key GIS educational activities conducted during the trip. It will also outline the key highlights of the 16 day trip to Rwanda, explain and display the data collected, discuss follow-up plans and the lessons learned during the trip, and much more.

Session 2C

Demystifying ArcGIS Online

Larry Spraker-VHB

ArcGIS Online is an exciting and powerful new mapping platform, however, inherent in this robust technology exists a significant amount of confusing new terminology and techniques. This presentation will “demystify” ArcGIS Online by explaining terms such as items, groups, feature layer, and web maps, as well as clarifying techniques such as: publishing services, managing users, organizing content into groups, credit usage, security, and deploying apps with both templates and Web App Builder.

Open Source Municipal GIS

Mickey Dietrich-Tug Hill Commission

Open source can be the pathway for a municipality to get started with GIS.  The tools and resources for open source GIS have grown over the last few years and provide a way for municipalities to get started with GIS on a budget.  In this presentation, you will see how some communities in the Tug Hill Region are using PostGIS, QGIS, and GIS Cloud.  These solutions are providing municipalities on a budget with the tools needed to get started with GIS.

Session 3A

Introduction to UAS Flight Operations for Mapping

Ben Houston & Matt Mercurio-Spatial Analytix

We will explore how applying standard mapping principles can impact UAS data quality. We will describe the workflow to consistently produce high quality data, and pitfalls to avoid along the way. Included will be a demonstration of example data from several different UAS platforms collected for engineering design and mapping projects.  Attendees will leave with a better understanding of the primary issues affecting data accuracy, precision, and repeatability.

Session 3B

Analytical Flood Risk Models for First Responder Use: Obstruction Detection and Risk Assessment

Brett Edmond Carlock-RIT

Two models were developed to direct first responders during floods. The models were designed to be easy, fast & interconnected.

The Obstruction Detection Model (ODM) uses a reclassified slope analysis of LiDAR DEMs of the free surface of rivers to detect subsurface obstructions.

The Risk Assessment Model (RAM) uses a Risk Point from the ODM to generate flood scenarios using USGS Flood Classes. Demographic, parcel and Critical Infrastructure data are combined to rate each parcel by Risk Factor.

Simplified Flood Inundation Mapping

Razy Kased-GFLRPC

This presentation looks into the approach and methods of producing a flood inundation map using a combination of historical flood levels, out-of-the-box GIS tools, flood gauge data and 30m DEM.

Session 3C

Developing 3D Basemaps

Eric Brady-Bergmann Associates

3D GIS continues to evolve as a tool to support Urban and Regional Planning.  This talk will focus on the technical fundamentals of developing a 3D GIS base map while offering examples on how a 3D GIS can support common planning use cases.

Pictometry Critical 360 Integration

Jon Langstaff-Pictometry

Critical 360 is an indoor LiDAR and panoramic mapping program providing detailed analysis of a buildings interior layout. Acessed through Pictometry’s Connect360 viewer, the data seamlessly integrates with external 3D and oblique imagery

Session 4A

Supporting a Mobile Workforce with ArcGIS Apps

Mark Scott-ESRI

The ArcGIS platform includes a host of components, and technologies to support the operation of a mobile workforce, collecting data in the field, and communicating with a home office.  In this session, we will explore the use of apps such as Collector, Survey 123, Operations Dashboard, Navigator, Workforce, and others, integrating them in a distributed collaboration environment.

Session 4B

Centimeter GPS Accuracy on your Tablet or Smartphone

Jean-Yves Lauture-EOS Positioning Systems

The explosion of mobile devices in the past few years has created a demand for high-accuracy GPS receivers that can be used with your iOS, Android or Windows smartphone or tablet. At the same time, high-accuracy GNSS receivers are becoming smaller an much more affordable for GIS users. These two trends are coming together to bring a powerful high-accuracy mapping solution for GIS users.

GIS Data Collection with Carlson SurvCE/SurvPC

Michael Hyman-Carlson Software

Attendees will gain a better understanding about the process of GIS attribute with one of today’s most popular Land Surveying/GIS field data collection software packages, Carlson SurvCE /SurvPC. We will show attendees how to field collected data for ESRI. Students will learn the interface options for Point, Line and Polygon GIS features.  SurvPC will be highlighted with a direct interface with ESRI MXD file. ESRI Image sources will also be discussed and shown within Carlson Software

Session 4C

MAP TAB LAB – Downloading Census Data & Shapefiles

David Kraiker-Census Bureau

Presentation explains Census data, where to find it, how to get tables and varieties of information, and download those data with shapefiles that will easily join up in your mapping application.  This is a backdoor method that will save you time and frustration during moments of duress, and will make you want to use Census data more readily.