Kansas Association of Mappers

Breakout Session AbstractS



Advancements in Next Generation Mapping Opportunities - Earth Observation Satellites and UAS
Ben Lindner, President, Alynix, LLC

Improvement in data acquisition technologies (satellite and UAS), particularly in lower costs and longer flight, have allowed organizations access to state-of-the-art drones previously too expensive to consider. Similarly, improvements in satellite access and drone sensor technology, specifically LiDAR, thermal, multispectral, and hi-res RGB have unlocked use cases in mapping that were previously cost-prohibited. With the hardware package, data, and workflow - organizations can make better, more accurately informed decisions based on real data. We will be presenting on these next generation drones and sensors, as well as diving into real world data, workflow, and reports - as they apply to mapping.

Attendees will leave:

  • With a better appreciation for what types of data can be collected through the use of satellite, drones, and sensors - and their impacts on mapping
  • With a better understanding of what kind of drones and sensors are available
  • Able to recommend what drone/sensor package could be helpful in their own contexts
  • With a better framework to figure out ROI for a next generation satellite/drone/sensor package 

ArcGIS Online: Choosing the Right App
Lauren Voelker, Senior Solution Engineer, Esri

Learn how to choose the right app building tool for your goals. View a real-world example that uses ArcGIS Dashboards, ArcGIS Instant Apps, ArcGIS Experience Builder, and ArcGIS StoryMaps.

The Changing Floodplain Mapping World
Tara Lanzrath, NFIP Coordinator, Kansas Department of Agriculture

The only constant in this world is change. Come to this session to learn more about the changes impacting the floodplain world both nationally and in Kansas. The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) serves as a Cooperative Technical Partnership with FEMA to update floodplain maps across the state. In addition to mapping flood risk, we actively work to identify projects to mitigate flood risk. This session will explore both big picture issues and how we use GIS in our daily work to communicate flood risk in Kansas and work towards reducing that risk.

Communicating GIS Value to Leadership

Matt Hoehn, Account Manager, Esri

Learn about how you can effectively demonstrate and communicate the value that GIS brings to your organization. This session is intended to support GIS Managers and GIS professionals who want to grow and expand the impact and influence of GIS in their organization.

  • Identify decision makers and spur investment in GIS.
  • Get the right people motivated to adopt new GIS capabilities.
  • Communicate GIS ideas effectively for successful implementation.
Droning on about UAS Imagery in Shawnee County

Lee Allen, GISP, GIS Manager and Steven Scheetz, GIS Analyst, Shawnee County

In 2022, Shawnee County acquired a quad copter Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). This presentation will cover: how we obtained permission to purchase the drone, the process of getting our FAA licenses to fly it, and the obstacles that we had to overcome to collect accurate and adequate imagery. Along the way we'll show some of the projects that we have conducted and relay some tips and tricks we learned along the way.

Geospatial Analysis at the City of Lawrence
Jason Randall, IT Senior Analyst, and Micah Seybold, GIS Coordinator, City of Lawrence

Join Jason and Micah from the City of Lawrence, Kansas for a presentation on analysis methodology, techniques, and data used for recent projects. The presentation includes topics such as drive time/walksheds, population, infographics, ArcGIS Pro, and ModelBuilder. The presenters will set aside time for discussion on best practices and hope for attendee feedback.

GIS Modernization
Lauren Voelker, Senior Solution Engineer, Esri

GIS Modernization... How GIS has changed, how to understand your current Esri licensing, and how to move forward with purchasing capabilities and enable your workforce to work with Esri Software and fully utilize GIS Technology within government

Implementation of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Into Your GIS Program: It’s Easier Than You Think!
Ryan Howell, UAS Instructor, Kansas State University - Salina

The use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) has risen exponentially in numerous fields and applications. They have become a vital component of many geospatial programs in commercial, governmental, non-profit, and private sectors. As technology advances, sUAS are becoming increasingly user friendly and cost effective, which has made them more accessible to less experienced users and greatly enriched data collection in various non-technical fields. This presentation will explore navigating regulatory requirements and commercial off the shelf UAS solutions for those interested in incorporating sUAS collected data into an existing GIS.

Introducing the Administrative Boundaries Data Committee: a Panel Discussion and Forum
Eileen Battles, Manager, Data Access & Support Center, Sherry Massey, IT/GIS Director, Dickinson County, Ken Nelson, Kansas Geographic Information Officer (GIO), James Stewart, GIS Manager, Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), Xan Wedel, Sr. Research Data Engineer, Kansas (Census) State Data Center/KU Institute for Policy & Social Research

This session will introduce the new Administrative Boundaries Data Committee, formed in late 2021 to examine and streamline current processes related to making and communicating changes to administrative boundaries (primarily for changes to city boundaries related to annexations). The Committee will discuss its related activities and findings to date as well as its goals, meant to result in a universal and streamlined process for local authorities to make and transmit updates through a single channel and to ensure that boundary updates meet the needs of and are shared with all local, state and federal stakeholders.

The second half of this session will be dedicated to an open discussion about current processes and issues as well as ideas for improving and addressing them, respectively.

KDOT’s 2021 Mobile LiDAR Data - How You Can Use It and Ways to Improve It
James Stewart, GIS Manager, Kansas Department of Transportation

KDOT commissioned collection of terrestrial/vehicle-based LiDAR data, which occurred in spring of 2021, and subsequent GIS data extraction. The data were collected only along the State Highway System (interstates, US routes and KS highways) in order to identify areas where safety improvements were needed and to gather data that will be required by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as part of its Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE) starting in 2026. In addition to the video and LiDAR point data collected, KDOT also received GIS extracts of the following features: intersections and intersection approaches, gore points, guardrails, rumble strips, shoulders, sign faces and vertical clearances of bridges. KDOT has since published the GIS data extracts for download, viewing in ArcGIS Online (KanPlan) and dashboard visualization on a new LiDAR Portal site that is available to the public: https://www.ksdot.org/bureaus/burtransplan/lidar/home.asp.

In this session, we’ll briefly review the data and the LiDAR Portal and discuss ways in which the data collection and extraction might be improved in a potential new collection and extraction project. Feedback will be welcome at the end of the session as well as after the KAM conference.

Kansas Geoportal Hub
Eileen Battles, Manager, and Dave Grolling, GIS Developer, Kansas Data Access and Support Center

The Kansas Data Access & Support Center (DASC) GIS clearinghouse's new ArcGIS Hub-based website is an assemblage of Kansas public domain GIS data from multiple government organizations and data partners. Come to this session to learn about how content is shared with the Kansas Geoportal Hub and how DASC administers and monitors shared content. We will also demonstrate navigating around the Kansas Geoportal Hub, as well as how to discover data and the many ways users can interact with content.

Kansas NG911 GIS User Group
Eileen Battles, Manager, Kansas Data Access and Support Center, Sherry Massey, IT Director, Dickinson County, and Will Trimble, GIS Developer, Kansas Data Access and Support Center

The Kansas NG911 GIS User Group session will provide a brief update of the Kansas NG911 GIS project and related topics including but not limited to the NG911 Toolbox, geoMSAG processing and the Kansas NG911 GIS Data Model. The majority of this session will be open for NG911 GIS data maintainer discussion, questions and networking.

Keynote Q&A

Chris Dunn and Brent Haden, Attorneys at Law

This session will be an “Ask the Experts” question and answer session. Rather than giving a formal presentation, our keynote speakers will be available to answer questions on such topics as property boundary issues, geospatial law, and geospatial forensics. Come prepared with your questions!

Manned vs. Unmanned Lidar Mapping - A Head to Head Comparison
Scott R Perkins, Business Development Director, Prairie Engineers, P.C.

In February of 2022 the Illinois DNR requested topographic mapping of an abandoned coal strip mine. The site is similar to the abandoned strip mines SE Kansas with step slopes, undulating terrain, numerous pit ponds and 50+ years of vegetation as the current landcover.

This led to a decision to conduct two (2) independent aerial lidar collections of the site:

  • A manned flight using a fixed wing aircraft with a large lidar & imaging sensor
  • An unmanned flight using a multirotor drone with an ultra-light weight lidar & imaging sensor

During the site reconnaissance three unexpected objects were spotted and noted in the interior of site in the recon report: an old car tire, an upside down 5-gallon bucket, and a flat limestone rock approx. 2’x2’ in size. Those objects were utilized as blind quality assurance test objects

In this presentation, the authors will discuss:

  • Which lidar data set was better at capturing those discreet small target objects?
  • Which lidar data set was better at capturing the bare earth surfaces?
  • Which lidar data set was better at capturing the elevation of the road surfaces?
  • What is the difference in the size of the lidar data sets?
  • What is the difference in the point density or point spacing in the lidar data sets?
  • What is the difference in the cost of each lidar & imaging sensor used?

Map That Spreadsheet!
Amy Roust, GISP, Geospatial Database Administrator, Kansas Department of Health and Environment

We use tabular data every day because spreadsheets are an easy and convenient way to track all kinds of information. Often, our lists have location information stored in them: an address, a county, a city, or maybe even latitude and longitude. That table, however, doesn't always tell the whole story. Getting that data on a map can provide a new perspective, including equitable access to resources or the spatial distribution of a phenomenon. This session will provide a beginner-level introduction to three methods for mapping tabular data in ArcGIS Pro: attribute joins, display XY data, and geocoding. In addition to explaining the use cases for each method, this session will provide step-by-step walk-throughs in ArcGIS Pro for moving data from an Excel or CSV document into a map.

Map Your Mind to Tame Your Anxiety
Sabra Sherrow, MA, LPC, Goodmatter Counseling

Our emotions serve as guideposts along the path of life, yet oftentimes we learn to ignore, compartmentalize, or silence them altogether. While this may help us in the short term, it can turn into anxiety, depression, or other maladaptive feelings in the long run. In this class you will learn a beautifully simple yet effective way to understand your own defenses, inhibitory emotions, and core emotions. Engage in psychoeducation presented with warmth and humor, practice activating your parasympathetic nervous system (learn how to press the brakes on anxiety) and gain a greater understanding of the mapping of the brain. You will leave class with the ability to make meaning of your own internal experience, calm anxiety and depression, and gain insight into your emotions. As a bonus, these tools are useful with your kids, your partner, and even your coworkers and friends.

Mapping Kansas Crash Locations
Shawn Saving, GIS Specialist and Will Trimble, GIS Developer, Kansas Data Access and Support Center

Accurately mapping and documenting car crashes is critical to improving public safety. Traffic safety engineers require high quality information, especially locational data, to properly assess conditions that contribute to automotive accidents. The Kansas Department of Transportation contracts with the Kansas Data Access and Support Center to translate aspatial crash reports into geographic data using intersection geocoding and offsetting, milepost referencing and other techniques. The Kansas Next Generation 911 Road Centerline layer is critical to this process. Proper road labeling, particularly for highway road name aliases, greatly improves the percentage of reports that can be located accurately. Improved crash data quality can lead to greater opportunities for funding of local traffic safety and road improvement projects.

MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) on Drones and NSRS 2022 Update
Stephen Thompson, GIS/GNSS Consultant, Adjunct Professor, Civil Engineer

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) have driven the miniaturization of the navigation systems and sensor payloads for todays drones. Prior to these advances sensors like LIDAR and inertial navigation systems were too large for smaller drones to carry. We will discuss some of the sensors placed on todays drones and their impact.

Also National Geodetic Survey (NGS) has officially announced target dates for the implementation of the new 2022 National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) datums. We will discuss the implementation that is expected to take from 2025 - 2030.

A Nested Multiscale Grid and Thematic Database to Facilitate Data Sharing and Access
Michael Houts, GIS Specialist, Kansas Biological Survey

The Nested Hexagon Framework (NHF) is a hierarchical multiscale grid (1 km2 hexagon, 7 km2 cog, 49 km2 wheel, 343 km2 ring) that currently covers all of North America and provides standardized cells to summarize and reference datasets to. The Landscape Summary Database (LSDB) is a PostgreSQL database with thematic data tables of summarized information and metadata referenced to cells of the NHF. The information associated with the NHF cells can inform preliminary site planning, environmental reviews, research endeavors, and make datasets more discoverable. The NHF/LSDB allows for the integration of local, regional, and national datasets, including wildlife observations, habitat models, land cover, land management, socio-political data, weather, and more to facilitate the sharing of useful information while keeping sensitive data private. Having datasets pre-processed and readily available will make efforts more efficient and transparent while promoting interdisciplinary analysis and research.

Researchers have spent the first year of this two-year project developing the database structure, using the NHF grid to summarize datasets, and creating a beta version of the web mapping interface. As year two of the project continues through June 2023, we will continue developing web mapping application, integrating data into the LSDB, launching the web application at the beginning of 2023, and seeking collaboration on additional datasets to integrate into the LSDB.

The New Kansas Data Explorer: A One-Stop-Shop for Kansas Environmental and Health-Related Data
Rachel Santos, Advanced Data Analyst and Amy Roust, GISP, Geospatial Database Manager, Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Interested in learning more about environmental and health-related topics in your community? Spend this break out session discovering Kansas Tracking’s brand-new Data Explorer that allows you to visualize and download datasets on a wide variety of topics. Live demonstration of the Explorer will show just how easy it is to find, examine and download environmental and health-related data that pertains to you and your community.

On-Demand Custom Topographic Maps from USGS using topoBuilder
Claire DeVaughan, National Map Liaison for Kansas, US Geological Survey

The U.S. Geological Survey’s National Geospatial Program has released the public application topoBuilder, which enables users to create topographic maps on demand using the best available National Map data. In topoBuilder, users can generate topographic maps, called OnDemand Topo, centered anywhere in the United States or Territories, with customized contour smoothing, and export formats GeoTIFF or GeospatialPDF. Maps are made at 1:24,000-scale for the conterminous United States and Hawaii, 1:20,000-scale for U.S. territories, and 1:25,000 for Alaska. Future releases are planned for additional customizations such as user-selected layers, user-added content, GIS data exports, and other map scales. TopoBuilder, its capabilities, and OnDemand Topo maps will be demonstrated.

The Once and Future of Floodplain Mapping Data

Joanna Rohlf, Floodplain Mapping Coordinator, Kansas Department of Agriculture

Recent enhancements to publicly available floodplain mapping software has supported the state's efforts to accurately map floodplains across the state. This presentation will cover the technical advancements in floodplain mapping and compare it to older methods. High-resolution topography with the use of 2D modeling software is a major improvement over topo from quad maps and 1D modeling. Now that the state is close to having statewide floodplain data, this presentation will also cover what the next steps are and how that data can be used.

Pay to Park - GIS Implementation of KC Parking Structure

Tyler Wehr, GIS Analyst, LAZ Parking

A combination of unkept parking meters and non-compliance has established a culture of "free" parking in the KCMO area. A recent initiative from the KCMO Parking Department has prompted to contract out enforcement and management of the On-Street program to LAZ Parking. The goal is to come up with solutions for implementation, rate structure, and enforcement in key areas around Kansas City.

Recipe for Road Records
Bryce Hirschman, GIS Coordinator, Douglas County

If you’ve never heard of “Road Records” or “Road Notes” your world is about to change if you read on. Road records have an enormous influence on how parcels appear in a county’s GIS. Road records are typically managed by a Public Works department and organized, by number, into folders thus can also be referred to as Road Folders. Road records present unique challenges from a mapping perspective and in this session we will focus on how to quickly design a container in GIS to organize and access these valuable records. We will also go over an excellent guiding document to keep your efforts out of the ditch.

The Rapid Image Viewer (RIV) Tool Capability for Visualizing Flood, Drought, and Fire
Kenneth Ekpetere, Graduate Research Assistant, University of Kansas

2022 Recipient of the John Cowan Memorial Scholarship

Previous floods, droughts, and fire events in Kansas particularly those of 2007 flood, 2012 drought, and 2021 wildfire outbreak have necessitated the development of the Rapid Image Viewer (RIV) web application tool. With support from the Kansas Water Office (KWO) and as part of the broader flood mapping tool development effort led by the Kansas Biological Survey, the RIV was built to achieve that goal. The RIV is important for rapid visualization and download of satellite images and data products covering past and current events to facilitate research and support planning and disaster response activities. As a tool for reconnaissance and rapid decision making, the RIV has an in-built capability of visualization, monitoring, and downloading historic, current, and near-real-time satellite images. RIV leverages on Google Earth Engine’s big data processing capabilities, providing a user-friendly interface with vast collections of optical (high and low resolution) and non-optical (radar) to avoid the effect of clouds on scenes. Recent enhancement includes RIV’s ability to detect hotspots for floods, droughts, and fire using set indices and built-in functions. Users can now see the before and aftermaths of extreme events at scales ranging from localized areas such as farms, to states and up to global reach.

Shining Light on the Black Box: A Simple Approach to Merge Flood Modeling and Local Knowledge
Kate Nelson, Assistant Professor, Kansas State University

In 2021 a small team of community scientists, organized via the American Geophysical Union's Thriving Earth program, worked with the city of Paxico, KS to address the city’s chronic drainage and flooding issues. As city residents expressed dissatisfaction with recently updated floodplain maps that categorize most of the city as falling in high flood risk areas, one of the goals of the project was to evaluate how well official floodplain maps match with what is observed on the ground. This presentation will discuss the simple ground truthing method employed in this evaluation and demonstrate the Story Map used to communicate findings with residents.

State of the State – GIS in Kansas State Agencies

Eileen Battles, Kansas Data Access and Support Center, Sherri Chaturvedi, Kansas Department of Labor, Katie Goff, Kansas Water Office, Nolita LaVoie, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and James Stewart, Kansas Department of Transportation

Kansas is fortunate to have a wide presence of GIS resources at the Kansas agency level. This breakout session will be a series of lightning talks by various state agency GIS gurus. Each agency will highlight GIS topics such as: footprint, infrastructure, application, data and major initiatives.

The Use of Geospatial Data to Track Harmful Algal Blooms in Kansas
Katlynn Decker, GIS Data Specialist, and Elizabeth Smith, Environmental Specialist, Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Since 2010, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has been tracking harmful algal blooms (HABs) in public water bodies. Each week from April 1 to October 31, advisories are issued based on cyanobacterial cell counts and microcystin toxin concentrations from samples taken at public access points. This complex program relies on good planning and clear communication among the many participants, which include lake managers, analysts, and samplers, and it is strongly supported by GIS applications. In 2010, KDHE staff built an Oracle APEX application to track and manage HAB data, which includes an internal web map used to identify water bodies and establish sample sites, as well as a public-facing map of active advisories and downloadable data. Soon after, lake sampling priority was formalized with the help of the visitation potential calculation, which incorporates data derived today using ArcGIS Pro, such as lake size and surrounding population. In more recent years, the program has utilized Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN) remote sensing data to help identify possible blooms within water bodies, even before a report has been made. As the program evolves, program staff and agency IT staff will continue to enhance the program with GIS applications.

Utility Networks vs Trace Networks
Clint Miller, City of Lawrence

This discussion we will focus on the differences between a Utility Network and a Trace network deployment as it relates to underground utilities. Which one is appropriate based on data needs and workflow requirements. We will also look at some deployment considerations for office or if editing from the field is a requirement.

Utilizing GIS to Inform Fieldwork Safety Planning
Blair Schneider, Associate Researcher and Science Outreach Manager, Kristen Jordan-Koenig, GIS Developer, and Samuel Zipper, Assistant Scientist, Kansas Geological Survey

Scientists at the Kansas Geological Survey participate in field research all throughout the year. This fieldwork is critical for their research, however, field work poses unique safety issues that can affect the success of a research project. For example, accessibility to restrooms or medical services may be limited or non-existent in remote locations. The KGS Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) committee developed multiple resources in 2021 and 2022 to address these safety issues while in the field. This presentation will introduce a new GIS tool that is being utilized as a reporting mechanism for all KGS employees to prepare for fieldwork. With this tool, supervisors can identify previous safety issues that occurred at or near their field site and develop a plan for how to address that issue if it occurred again. Additionally, the tool is also used to identify and promote areas that support different needs, such as individuals with dietary restrictions. Dietary restrictions can make it difficult to find a place to eat or get groceries. With this tool, users can now review their field area in advance to identify the closest restaurants or grocery stores that accommodate their needs before leaving. The goal of this resource is to provide a transparent and easily accessible tool that scientists can use to both prepare for their fieldwork and debrief with their research team after the fieldwork is completed.

When Disaster Strikes: Our Role in Helping Prepare, Respond, and Recover from Natural Disaster
Mark Schmidt, GIS Analyst, Butler County

On Friday, April 29, 2022, an EF-3 tornado touched down and made a path of destruction a quarter mile wide and 13 miles long in eastern Sedgwick County and western Butler County. Early the next morning our GIS department was called to assist in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Once there, it was our responsibility to create and provide maps and spatial data when requested. In this talk, we will cover our experience and involvement with the EOC from the time we were called until the last map was requested. We will go over the challenges that we faced with damage reporting and how we improved our process to make future disaster response operations easier. The new applications and web forms that we built as a response to this event will also be showcased in this presentation. Command centers can seem chaotic at times, but if we are ready and able to support the operation, our role as GIS professionals can make everything else run smoothly.

Wildfire Risk and Community Land Use with a Focus on Tree Canopy

Darci Paull, GIS Analyst, Kansas Forest Service

In the last year, the Kansas Forest Service has completed two projects, one focusing on Wildfire Risk across the state and the second a mapped tree canopy for every community.

After major fires over the last five years, communities and counties are now looking at their wildfire risk. KS WRAP will go live in 2023 so catch a sneak peak of the results and find out more information about this project.

In coordination with USFS - Northern Research Station, the Kansas Forest Service mapped land use for 669 communities throughout Kansas with a focus on tree cover. The data also includes grass, bare ground, impervious and water. This data is available to public now. KFS will be reaching out to communities in the next year to share the data and work with community leadership on tree canopy.

This presentation will cover methodology, results, data location and how your community or county can use this data for both projects.

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