The Cool Kids

Be like the cool kids… come to Maps on the Hill 2017.

Where: Capitol Rotunda (350 State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah)
When: Wednesday January 25th, 2017 from 10:00am to 1:00pm
Why: Even if you didn’t register a presentation for Maps on the Hill, if you are interested in the Utah geospatial community it is a great event to attend.  The focus of the event is the application of geospatial technology.  Many Utah GIS folks will be in attendance and it will be a great chance to network and see what others are doing.  So please attend, even if you didn’t register a map for display.  All the COOL KIDS are doing it!

Can I Convince You to Participate in Maps on the Hill?

 

MOTH2017(2)Okay lets start with the where and when…
Maps on the Hill will be held on January 25th, 2017 at the Capitol Rotunda.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Maps on the Hill let me describe it for you.  Maps on the Hill is an event that lets you put your best geospatial work on display in the ‘Times Square‘ of Government in Utah, the Capitol Rotunda.  The rotunda is a beautiful and historic setting you will not soon forget.  Your work will also be highlighted in a mapbook that is the de facto who’s-who of Utah GIS.

Still not convinced…

Let’s talk about the who…
Do you know who hangs out at the Capitol Rotunda?  That’s right, impact players in Utah Government.  Have you ever wanted the chance to show your boss how cool your work is?  You’d love to sit down and help the geo-challenged see that spatial light?  Well how about getting the opportunity to demo your best geospatial efforts face to face with State Senators or Representatives,  or maybe someone from the Governors Office, or a high level Department Director.
Government hoity toities don’t do it for you?  How about interested citizens, lobbyists, and a whole bunch of really cool geospatial geeks?  They will be there too.

Still not convinced…

Here’s why…
The people who hang out at the Capitol Rotunda influence resource distribution.  Those resources impact your geospatial operations, oh and maybe even your paycheck.  This is not an exaggeration.  In fact it is one of the driving goals of Maps on the Hill.  We want Government leaders to see and appreciate the valuable work we do.  We want them to know what GIS is and what it can do.  When they know the power of geospatial, they think about how GIS can solve the real world issues they face.  And when they feel like GIS is a tool they can trust, they will direct resources toward GIS.  And that is a good thing.

Maps on the Hill is only a thing for State GIS Orginizations“…
Are we still having this conversation?  Sigh and eye-roll.  Here’s how it works, the State is broken up into legislative districts which constitute local representation.  Those Senators and Representatives are interested in helping their local constituents.  Furthermore, they live in those districts and care about local matters.  And it works the other way as well.  Federal organizations benefit from State support.

The basic concept is that “a rising geospatial tide lifts all geospatial boats“.

So if I’ve convinced you to come and participate, hit the sign up page and reserve your spot.  Further details can be found here.  Registration closes on January 5th so be sure to sign up soon.

Maps on the Hill 2017

Maps on the Hill, sponsored by the Utah Geographic Information Council (UGIC) and AGRC, will be held on January 25, 2017. This event, in its sixth year, is a good opportunity for students and professionals to share maps, mapping tools, and mapping projects with elected officials, fellow practitioners, and the public. This year’s theme is “How to Tell the Story of GIS”. We hope to highlight how GIS improves quality of life, increases our understanding of the world, and helps us make better decisions.

New this year will be a competition, with a five-judge panel awarding honors to the best map displays. Bring your best and leave with bragging rights and some prizes!

Who should participate:
Individuals: Anybody who makes a map through their work or education.
Organizations: An organization that has worked on multiple mapping projects.

Maps on the Hill Event:
The map display event will be held during the 2017 Legislative session, in the Capitol Rotunda, from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, with setup time beginning at 9:00 am. We request that at least one participant is present to discuss each map entry throughout the display event.

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ESRI UC 2016

Many UGIC members make the trip to San Diego each summer to attend the ESRI International Users Conference.  This year was no different as Utah was well represented at the UC.

A few major themes coming out of the conference included:

  • 3D GIS – 3D is becoming mainstream functionality within ESRI’s products.  From desktop software and analytics to sharing maps in 3D in the web browser, 3D is a major focus of ESRI’s development efforts.
  • Big Data – ESRI is providing tools to leverage ‘Big Data’.  Visualization of very large datasets is made possible by massively scaleable computing infrastructure provided as a service.  This capability expands what is possible and brings Big Data computing to geospatial workflows.
  • Insights for ArcGIS – Insights is a new web application that allows users to visualize data (both spatial and non-spatial) in creative and interactive ways.  The app provides ‘cards’ consisting of maps, charts, and tables that are all linked to each other and symbolized in a consistent manner.  The Insights application is very flexible and configurable even for non-technical users.  Insights for ArcGIS is focused on exposing patterns in data that may not be otherwise accessible or apparent.
  • Drone2Map – Drone2Map is an application that leverages the new and exciting UAV technology to easily produce ultra high resolution ortho-imagery as well as DSM’s, point-clouds, and 3D models.
  • Free eLearning – ESRI is offering access to 100’s of self-paced eLearning courses at no additional cost for users who are current on maintenance.  ESRI  President Jack Dangermond said, “We are happy to offer organizations the opportunity to train more people in their workforce in how to use Esri ArcGIS at no additional cost.
  • GIS Evolution – ESRI see’s ArcGIS as a unified technology platform that supports multiple types of systems (system of record, system of engagement, system of insight).  Technologies such as web services, distributed computing, real-time data, configurable templates and apps, smart mapping, story maps and Big Data analytics are replacing older patterns such as client/server, static databases, and proprietary application development.
  • Field GIS Tools – ESRI is providing tools such as Workforce, Navigator, Collector, and Survey123 to better support GIS field operations.  We were able to see much of this technology first-hand from Chris LeSueur at the UGIC Conference in May.
  • Living Atlas – ESRI is providing 1000’s of ready to use datasets, layers, and basemaps (as well as millions of user contributions) through the living atlas.  In addition, ESRI announced a new partnership with DigitalGlobe to provide current high quality aerial imagery for the entire world offered through the living atlas.
  • Real-Time – There continues to be emphasis on integrating real-time data including geo-fencing, citizen and customer engagement, and many other examples of ‘high velocity data streams’.
  • ArcGIS for Adobe Creative Cloud – ESRI announced a new add-in that allows users to import ArcGIS Online map data into Adobe Illustrator (as vectors) to take advantage of the high end graphics design capabilities of the Adobe Suite of products.
  • ArcGIS Shared Code – For those of us who have been in the industry for a while, we remember a super useful little website called ArcScripts.  This site was loaded with cool scripts, tools, and ideas that were freely shared among GIS users.  Now that concept has been resurrected into a site called ArcGIS Code Sharing (codesharing.arcgis.com).  Users can log in and share their development work as well as browse and use the work of the collective.  This site which was recently launched is bound to be a valuable tool for many of us.

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The Importance of the UGIC Board Elections

As you may already know voting is now open for several positions on the UGIC Board.  You can review the candidates here.

Serving on the UGIC Board is a big responsibility that requires a real commitment.  Of course serving on the Board is a volunteer position.  Many of you may see the work that the Board does at the UGIC conference.  But, serving on the board is much more than just running around at the conference.  It takes a lot of effort from the Board year round to make UGIC work.  We are focused on facilitating connections within our community, supporting public outreach efforts, and acting as a unified voice for geospatial professionals in Utah.

Producing a successful UGIC conference is a major undertaking that keeps the Board busy for months.  There are a thousand details to work out.  If you have an enjoyable conference, it’s largely because the UGIC Board spent hours planning and working to make things run smoothly.

UGIC is really fortunate to have a lot of great candidates willing to serve on the Board.  So it is important for the UGIC membership to vote in this election.  Please take a few minutes to read through the candidates and vote.

It’s important.

Feelin the Bern @ UGIC2016

UGIC is honored to have GIS evangelist Bernie Szukalski @bernszukalski join us as our plenary session speaker.  Bern has decades of experience in the industry and has a unique perspective of the ESRI user community.  Beyond his obvious qualifications, Bernie is a long time friend of UGIC and has joined us for many UGIC conferences.  Bernie’s greatest satisfaction comes from helping the user community understand and become successful with new technologies, bringing feedback to development teams and driving software evolution, and lifting new products to success.  We are thrilled to have him join us for the plenary session, workshop sessions, and he will also spend time with individual users.  Joining Bern will be Chris LeSueur @ChrisLeSueur, technical marketing analyst and product specialist with ESRI.  Chris will present at the plenary session and share the latest mobile solutions from ESRI.

On Friday we are excited to hear from Kevin Poe @ithedarkranger.  Kevin is with the National Park Service and is a night sky expert.  Kevin is a stargazer and runs an astronomy and tourism business from near Bryce Canyon.  By the way, Bryce Canyon has one of the darkest night sky’s in all of North America so be sure to bring your telescope!  So stick around at the conference through Friday and be inspired by Kevin Poe “The Dark Ranger”.

Something New For UGIC 2016 Map Gallery

UGIC 2016 would like to invite you to enter this year’s map/poster gallery and competition.    Most of us do what we do because we love maps.  So let’s see the results of your work in the form of a stunning display.

 

There will be a professional map and professional poster competition as well as a special student category (maps and posters).  In 2016 for the first time UGIC is introducing an online map/app competition.  You know you have the skills, now it’s time to show them off.  Prizes will be awarded for the best professional map and poster and for the best online map/app.  There will be cash awards in the student category.

 

Bring your hard copy maps and posters to the conference and submit them at the conference registration desk at Ruby’s Inn on Wednesday, May 11.  If the map or poster is larger than 24” x 36” then you must provide your own foam core board or other mounting material.  Online maps/apps: Bring an 8.5 x 11” or 11 x 17″ sheet with a screenshot and short description, including the URL and a QR codeSee example.  Note: there are websites that will convert a URL to a QR code for free.

 

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Register for UGIC 2016 Today to get a Hoodie

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UGIC 2016 is less that a month away!  The board is busy planning, organizing, and attending to all details that make up a good conference.  The agenda is set and available to view at ugic.org/agenda.  We’ve got a fantastic lineup scheduled.  As always, we will see the latest ESRI technology in action.  This year we also have some opportunities to see a wide variety of geospatial technology and techniques presented by top notch technology artists.  We are really excited about the variety of creativity and technology that will be shared at this year’s conference.

We’ve got some really cool swag selected for the conference.  One of the coolest things is a UGIC branded hoodie in heather grey.  Be sure to register for the conference before the board submits the hoodie order to make sure that you get yours.

So, lets frame this up.  UGIC 2016 is one of the best regional geospatial conferences in the country with an excellent plenary session, a great workshop lineup of the latest mainstream GIS technology as well as some really cool application specific offerings. Some of the best geospatial experts in the state as well as the country are scheduled to appear.  Oh, and the conference is being held at Bryce Canyon with a hike and chuckwagon dinner on the official conference agenda.  So you know that you are going to attend, you might as well register today and get a sweet hoodie out of the deal.

Register today at ugic.org/register

Global Mapper Workshop @ UGIC 2016

Global Mapper is a low cost, fully functional GIS application from Blue Marble Geographics. In this daylong workshop we will explore some core functionality of the software with a particular emphasis on LiDAR and point cloud processing.

The workshop will begin with a basic introduction to Global Mapper that will include navigating the key components of the interface; file and layer management; importing and export data; creating and editing vector data; and working with raster layers.

In the afternoon session, we explore the LiDAR and terrain analysis capabilities of the software. We will demonstrate basic LiDAR filtering and editing techniques; automatic ground point detection and reclassification; terrain surface creation; various analysis procedures including watershed analysis, view shed analysis and cut and fill optimization and volume calculation; vector extraction from classified LiDAR points; and 3D visualization options.

This workshop will offer the opportunity for hands-on participation. Attendees are encouraged to bring a windows-based laptop computer to the session. A trial version of Global Mapper, a temporary license file, and all of the required data files will be provided.

Register for this workshop and the 2016 UGIC Conference

Global Mapper

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