2018 Conference Abstracts


From Rochester to Rwanda: Enabling GIS Around the World. – Brian Tomaszewski Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Geographic Information Science and Technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

Although the GIS industry continues to proliferate world-wide, there are still vast numbers of people who are not able to take advantage of the analytical, representational and problem solving capacities of GIS due to educational, resource and a variety of other issues. Furthermore, the need for GIS to tackle pressing global issues such as natural disasters and forced displacement that cause refugee situations is greater than ever. In this talk, Dr. Tomaszewski will reflect on cases studies from his field research focused on enabling GIS around the world to address these challenges. Specifically, he will discuss his work on building spatial thinking skills and GIS educational capacity with refugees and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Rwanda, building a GIS program for Syrian refugees in Jordan, scientific research on GIS and disaster risk reduction in Germany, and gamification of GIS for disaster resilience spatial thinking . The talk will conclude with specific ideas that GIS professionals, students and others can take away with how to get involved with GIS globally and a discussion of future GIS trends such as machine learning and artificial intelligence that are poised to shape the future of the GIS industry.

Session 1A

City of Auburn Water Map Modernization – Dan Allen, GISP – MRB Group

MRB Group completed a recent project to survey and map all valves, hydrants, and 120 miles of water distribution main for the City of Auburn.  This presentation will review project planning, setup of the ESRI water utilities data model, importing survey data, creating water system mapping, and end use mobile GIS applications for field crews.

Deploying ArcGIS for Water Utilities – Kate Buss & Mike Woolaver – Bergmann

In 2017, the City of Rochester Water Bureau launched a major initiative to modernize its GIS. The City chose Esri’s ArcGIS for Water Utilities platform which consists of a data model and a series of configurable desktop, web and mobile applications. This presentation highlights how the platform expedites the delivery and sharing of GIS data and functionality to end users, while at the same time improving data quality and communication across the organization.

Session 1B – Student Lightning Talks

Identifying Sinkholes Using a Geographic Information System – Andrew Kita –  SUNY Brockport

This study used a GIS to analyze the spatial relationships between sinkholes and a set of geologic and hydrologic factors, in attempt to better predict where sinkholes may form in karst regions. Faults, streams, and soils data were used in the analysis because these factors have been shown to control the distribution of sinkholes. The results of this study will assist in creating sinkhole susceptibility maps for Genesee and Albany County, NY.

Globalization of Britain’s Biggest Boy Bands: The Beatles and One Direction – Shannon Curley – SUNY Geneseo

Both originating from Great Britain, The Beatles and One Direction had strong influence on pop music and pop culture in their respective eras. By using GIS to study the tour stops of these two massive music groups, this project aims to identify geographic patterns of band loyalty and compare the cultural and economic importance of the two bands. Differences in tour stops between the two bands reflect the increasing globalization of pop music from the 1960s until present.

An Introduction to the Monroe Community College Mapping Corps – Catherine DuBreck & Claudia McDaniel – Monroe Community College

This lightning talk will introduce the Monroe Community College Mapping Corps (MCCMC), a new organization aimed at connecting students to other students, faculty, alumni, and GIS professionals. It works closely with MCC’s GIST certificate program to provide workforce connections. The organization is New York State’s first, and the nation’s second, community college YouthMappers chapter, an international humanitarian mapping consortium.  

Assessing Land Use Land Cover Classification Methods for the Chenango Watershed, NY. – Aaron Homer & Chris Badurek – SUNY Cortland 

This LULC study estimates land area dedicated to urban or agricultural use to aid in determining places for buffer zones to reduce runoff. Unsupervised and supervised LULC classification of the Chenango Watershed area were compared to determine which land cover classification method provides the best results for estimating cropland/farmland and urban areas. While the unsupervised approach identified forest and urban areas accurately, it misclassified field/grass areas and urban area extents.

Session 1C

Mapping the Invisible Million: Homeless Students in New York City – Kristen MacFarlane & Anna Shaw-Amoah – Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness

To many people, the face of homelessness is the person they see on the street, typically an adult male. Yet the invisible face of homelessness is that of a child: roughly 1.3 million students in the United States are homeless. ICPH’s Interactive Map of Student Homelessness is the first to fill a critical gap. This tool is used by educators and policymakers interested in developing geographically-targeted supportive services for students facing homelessness in New York City.

Your vote doesn’t count…but how it was counted does. – Luke Wenschhof – University of Southern California

Advocates for the Electoral College argue that without it urbanized and populous states would overwhelm the influence of rural and less populous states in the presidential elections. Using GIS and the measure of voter power this study puts this argument to an empirical test finding that the Electoral College has not functioned to balance the electoral power of voters in urban and populous states with those in rural and less populous states throughout the 20th Century and into the 21st.

Session 2A

Workflow – From Securing Services in ArcGIS Server to Configuring an Operations Dashboard in ArcGIS Online – Maria Dolce – Bergmann

This presentation is a technical session to demonstrate the workflow for securing feature services in ArcGIS Server (AGS) and then utilizing those services in ArcGIS Online (AGOL). The process will show how to secure services using AGS users/roles and then adding the secured services as items into AGOL. The presentation will also demonstrate how to configure a simple operations dashboard as well as a batch attribute editor widget in AGOL.

How to make my GIS Environment secure using HTTPS – Vijay Sambandhan & Carol Zollweg – Bergmann

In the presentation we will describe what HTTPS is, what the different types of certificates are, and what their role is in securing your GIS environment. We will show a live example of how unsecured communication between computers can be easily viewed and subsequently how enabling HTTPS prevents this from happening. We will then demonstrate how to set up an end-to-end secure GIS environment. Microsoft IIS, ArcGIS Server, and SQL Server will be the GIS environment for this demonstration.

Session 2B

Using Storymaps in an Urban Ecology Course in Malmö, Sweden – Karl Korfmacher & Elizabeth Haine – Rochester Institute of Technology

The broad and emerging field of Urban Ecology seeks to enhance ecosystem services and functions in urban planning.  Urban Ecology addresses diverse environmental issues such as transportation, restoration ecology, urban agriculture, green infrastructure, and sustainable energy use. Malmö, Sweden is a showcase of urban ecology applications, and RIT students from multiple disciplines showcase their favorite urban ecology stories using ESRI Storymaps for the final project of a study abroad course.

A Landsat Look at the Impact of the Lake Ontario High Water Levels – Justin D. Cole, GISP

The timeliness of data is very important when looking at impacts to a region, and many sources of data are expensive, so they are not regularly updated.  Landsat is a great source of data that has a 16 day repeat and that is great to see the impacts to a landscape.  This project is looking at how the high water levels changed the Lake Ontario shoreline and how ArcGIS Pro’s new classification workflow can help speed up similar types of analyses.  

Session 2C

Improving Transparency for Planning and Zoning Boards with Web GIS – Pam Delaney – City of Rochester

In the city of Rochester, land use boards are essential for helping citizens shape their community. In a digital age, however, traditional methods of providing information lack the reach and impact of more modern forms of communication. This presentation will highlight efforts to improve transparency by migrating agendas and cases into an ArcGIS “story map” application, enabling citizens to rapidly access and consume critical information about development activities impacting their communities.

Projects Mapping Application (Story Maps and Web AppBuilder) – Mike Ross –  City of Rochester

Session 3A

ArcGIS Solutions for Economic Development and Neighborhood Stabilization –  Gerard Aiken – ESRI

Local Government agencies around the world use the power of GIS to aid in the rebuilding of cities, counties, and states that have felt economic pressure over the years.  Economic development organizations have found ArcGIS to be an invaluable tool to create strong and stable community identities that make people want to visit and live in their areas.  This session will put sharp focus on these solutions with examples and discussion.

ArcGIS Data Reviewer – The Greatest Esri Extension You’ve Never Heard Of – Kate Buss – Bergmann

Are you responsible for creating, editing, or managing GIS data? If the answer is yes, then come learn about a powerful tool called ArcGIS Data Reviewer. Data Reviewer is an extension to ArcGIS Desktop used for assessing data quality. This technical session will explain how you can use the tool to find attribute and spatial errors in seconds and perform tasks that would be impossible without it. We will demo how Data Reviewer was used during a recent project with the City of Rochester.

Session 3B

Integrating 360 cameras and Virtual Reality (VR) into your workflows – Greg Hale, P.E. – Hale Technology In Practice

The emergence of 360 (spherical) cameras and VR headsets is providing great opportunities to look at our projects in new ways.  Come see why these technologies are a must have and why you should integrate them into your process. We’ll discuss and display available hardware and software and show you how to adopt these latest game changers.

Session 3C

Drones in Construction – Brian Pitre – SkyOp LLC

The SkyOp presentation will provide an overview of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) commonly referred to as drones. This overview will specifically cover drones in construction, uses and applications, and operations management.  Also included will be Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and requirements for commercial use of drones and what it takes to receive an FAA Remote Pilot Certificate that is required for all commercial pilots.

Using IoT and Dashboarding to Enhance Efficiency and Improve Sustainability – Elizabeth Arabadjis – VHB

This presentation will highlight projects undertaken for sustainability groups to leverage technologies to meet goals including IoT, business analytics, and GIS. Various data are analyzed to better understand the planned initiatives. Trends, deficiencies, and the power of the “where” in the data can be used to better understand what is working. Methods used to screen sustainability initiatives using evaluation criteria to determine feasibility, costs, and benefits will be discussed.

Session 4A

ArcGIS Platform Review: Pro, Enterprise, & Apps – Mark Scott – ESRI

Whether you use ArcGIS to manage data and asset information, engage with internal and external stakeholders, perform spatial analysis (or, all of the above!), you know that there are a variety of applications and implementation patterns that meet your needs. This session will put those different options into context by providing an overview of ArcGIS, including a look at new and future capabilities across the Desktop, Enterprise and Apps.

Session 4B

Drones, Data and GIS – WIll Schulmeister – EagleHawk

EagleHawk is a drone services and data collection company that specializes in aerial based infrastructure inspections and in geographic data collection for mapping and surveying.  EagleHawk is an expert in understanding how UAS technology is being used as a more effective tool to collect data that is safer, faster, and more affordable than most traditional means of collection.  EagleHawk believes that the method in which drones can collect data offers transformational benefits.