2023 Conference Abstracts


Where Are We with Open-Source GIS Solutions in 2023? – Kurt Menke

Not only are we in a data rich period but a software rich period as well.  The number of potential solutions can be overwhelming. The business models behind open-source GIS can be counterintuitive. To complicate things, we all have deadline after deadline to hit. As someone who cut my teeth on Esri solutions but have transitioned to using 100% open-source tools, I will provide a broad overview of the past, present, and future of open-source GIS. This will be done with examples and stories. Some of these will be from my new home, Copenhagen Denmark, and some from my days as a GIS consultant based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There are some exciting tools out there and I hope to shed some light on the gems in open-source GIS.

Session 1A

Reinvigorating Rochester: Modifying the I-490 Corridor Utilizing Geodesign

Miles Druce– Penn State Geodesign

This project’s purpose is to analyze a section of the I-490 Highway in Downtown Rochester and modify it in order to create a more sustainable future for the transportation corridor and its surrounding neighborhoods. Concepts from GIS, Geodesign, and Green Infrastructure are all utilized to analyze the existing conditions, prospective changes, and the effects these changes could have on the study area. This is a Capstone project for Penn State.

Mapping WNY Library Technology Assets

Rob Beutner– Western NY Library Resources Council

Heidi Ziemer (hziemer@wnylrc.org)

The Western New York Library Resource Council is currently mapping and the library technology resources available in the WNY region. Surveying and mapping is currently being conducted using ArcOnline to inventory the existing technology resources available. The importance of having geographic and activity-type information WNY libraries will raise the their profile, helping member libraries leverage shared resources and develop new relationships and focus on digital equity issues in WNY region.

Session 1B – Student Lightning Talks

You’re Right To Vote: Examining the Relationship Between Income and Voter Turnout

Johnnathan Martinez– Monroe Community College Geospatial Program

The privilege to vote is a right that is granted to all citizens once they come of age. Nonetheless, not everyone exercises that right. In Monroe county there are just shy of a half-million voters. Voter turnout in Monroe County ranges from sub 30% to upper 70%, but what impacts the voter turnout. Using 2020 Census data and GIS, this project focuses on the critical question: How does voter turnout in lower income neighborhoods compare to voter turnout in higher income neighborhoods?

Estimating the sum of anthropogenic debris from a rural-urban gradient in the Lake Ontario watershed

Jay Kucharek – Environmental Science Program, Rochester Institute of Technology

We evaluated the input and transport of debris along a rural-to-urban landscape gradient in the Rochester Embayment of Lake Ontario watershed.  Input was assessed using three methods: LittaTraps installed in stormwater drains, modified Manta trawls deployed in streams; and Seabins installed at the mouths of major tributaries. With these data, we will use anthropogenic and land use variables in GIS to statistically model the sources and sinks of debris entering Lake Ontario from the watershed.

Acadia National Park and COVID-19: Understanding Changes in Trial Use During the Introduction of a Pandemic

Natalie Siwek – Environmental Science Program, Rochester Institute of Technology

During COVID-19, in- and out-of-state visitors to Maine’s public lands turned to outdoor recreation to connect with others. Under challenging circumstances, places like Acadia National Park provided an outlet for nature-based activities that complied with distancing orders and provided a plethora of mental and physical benefits. As the pandemic continues and outdoor recreation destinations maintain high levels of visitors, it is important to gauge how increased visitation to Maine’s public lands is contributing to social and environmental impacts, such as overcrowding and trail erosion. The aim of this research was to identify how trail use in Acadia National Park has changed since the introduction of COVID-19, specifically differences amongst in- and out-of-state visitors. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), descriptive and kernel density analyses were performed to examine how the frequency and density of trail use dispersed over the years 2018, 2019, and 2022. While minor changes in frequency and density were identified for all three years, the changes from 2019 to 2022 demonstrate that COVID-19 is not currently restricting visitors from traveling to Acadia but may be drawing them toward the park. Further, results reflected that trails traveled by in- and out-of-state visitors differed, demonstrated by low in-state visitor use on highly frequented trails to out-of-state visitors. Overall, results from this research convey that in 2022 COVID-19 is not negatively impacting trail use and that in-state visitors may be recreating on trails not included in the survey instruments. This information can provide insight into understanding which trails may require additional resource allocation and management to meet visitor use and conservation goals. Future work is needed to identify highly frequented trails by in-state visitors to gauge how COVID-19 and overcrowding have modified their trail-use experiences.

Parametric Modeling of Urban Heat Island in Semi-Rural Environments

Stefan Korfmacher – Architecture Concentration, Brown University and Penn State REU

The Urban Heat Island effect is increasingly a focus in urban planning, but can be expensive and complicated to predict due to the variety of factors that contribute to urban microclimates.  Previous research has found that heat islands are primarily caused by urban materials which readily absorb and retain heat and lower cooling from evapotranspiration due to reduced plant cover.  Consequently, the initial design of new urban and semi-urban developments has a strong influence over the intensity of heat island effects.  Studying a potential development in State College Pennsylvania, this study explores the parametric impact of different material and planning decisions on heat island outcomes.

Session 1C

ESRI and Autodesk Interoperability Data Workflows – Past Present and Future

Chuck Pietra– C&S Companies

More than ever GIS/CAD/BIM practitioners are realizing the value of their legacy data and are faced with transporting that data between platforms.

Whether your endpoint is Digital Twin or not you are many times faced with a lack of one federated single point of truth.

This presentation is a 30 min whirl wind tour of the evolution of Data Interoperability between the GIS environment and the CAD/BIM environment.

 Chuck Pietra has 30 plus years of professional history in this arena.

The latest in Cloud-Based Field Data Collection

Charlene Muscatell– Waypoint Technology Group

Douglas Churchill dchurchill@waypointtech.com

This presentation will focus on some of the latest cloud-based field data collection methods and how they differ from some of previous field workflows.  We will discuss some of the Pros and Cons associated with office-field-office type of workflow and what to do when you are working in an area without cellular or internet access.

Session 2A

Interactive Zoning Maps- Solving Age Old Problems with GIS

Wayne Childs– General Code

Bill Trask- Fisher Associates

Since their origins in the early 20th century, accessing and understanding zoning codes has been a difficult and time consuming proposition. Delays and errors in correctly interpreting the administration of these codes has slowed the development process and obfuscated citizen’s property rights for far too long. In this presentation, we will explore how our interactive zoning code platform provides a variety of benefits for users through the use of GIS. 

City of Rochester Property Information Application: A behind the scenes look into the City of Rochester’s new parcel viewer

Michael Staples– City of Rochester NY

As one of the most heavily used public facing applications the City of Rochester Property Information Application is an essential tool for viewing records and providing information on properties throughout the City of Rochester.  Web browser code deprecation of the old application and budgetary constraints created a unique opportunity to develop a new property information application using ESRI’s low code no code product Experience Builder.

Session 2B – Career Speed Dating

Session 2C

Leveraging AI and Machine Learning to Expedite Remote Sensing Analysis

Adam Kersnowski– Airworks

AI is advancing the industry by making sense of massive amounts of data much faster than ever before.

▪ Create pixel-accurate vector data autonomously by extracting features of aerial images and point clouds

▪ How AI can automates workflows, like vectorization and analysis of buildings, pavement markings, roads, utilities, and topography

▪ How AI will require complex metrics and drafting time comparisons

▪ Demonstrate the potential of AI to reduce manual drafting times by at least 50%

3D Printing Maps for The Visually Impaired. 

Justin Cole– University of Wisconsin Madison – GIS Professional Program

Whenever we teach Cartography classes, we have sections on how to make maps accessible. Most of the time we focus on colorblindness or other types of limited vision enhancements. With the increased availability of 3D printing, we can now create maps that give texture and fill the gap of making our maps accessible to the visually impaired. We will go through the process and challenges of creating these maps and present different geoprocessing workflows that will help you to create them.

Session 3A – Giant Map Exploration

Session 3B

Buffalo in 50 Maps in 30 Minutes

Vicky Johnson-Dahl

Plotting out places that used to be Catholic churches, mapping market inequality, sniffing out the boundaries of The Cheerio Smell, and everything else it takes to conduct the research, develop a unified voice over a large set of delightful and disparate maps, and turn them into a book!

Holocaust Survivors of Rochester: Their Stories and Legacy

Leah Mathis– The Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Project of MCC

This is the first in a series of StoryMaps that will follow local Holocaust survivors from birthplace to present day life or burial site, to tell the story of their struggle and survival. This year’s focus is on a woman named Helen Levinson, who was instrumental in education and interaction with students of the Holocaust, Genocide, & Human Rights Project at MCC.

This series will be an ongoing capstone internship project for students of MCC’s Geospatial Information Science & Technology program.

Session 3C

Creating No-Code Apps with ArcGIS Experience Builder

Mark Scott– Esri

ArcGIS Experience Builder (ExB) can help you to transform your data and maps into compelling web apps, using drag-and-drop operations, and configuration tools, without writing a single line of code. See how to build apps that can be used on a laptop, mobile device, or web site, quickly and easily.

Experience Builder: Replacing Web App Builder apps

Colin Liu– Geocove

Esri is retiring the ArcGIS Web App Builder (WAB), a favorite for building quick web apps without writing code. Experience Builder (EB) is the Esri suggested replacement for the WAB.

We’ll talk about the deprecation timeline of WAB, show a step-by-step approach to migrating a WAB app to an EB app, and compare current functionalities between WAB and EB. We’ll also take a look at what functionality is coming for the EB and highlight a couple of our favorite capabilities.

Session 4 – Afternoon Keynote

30X30: A movement to protect a third of our planet’s surface

Gerard Aiken– ESRI

A global conservation agenda is emerging to conserve 30% of land and waters by 2030 and halt the loss of natural areas and millions of species. Geospatial infrastructure is essential to supporting organizations and communities working to achieve 30 by 30. GIS supports integrating diverse spatial data into advanced analytics via lightweight apps to provide spatial reference on conservation efforts, incorporating community feedback and evaluating scenarios for sustained conservation.