2018 UGIC Board Elections

The Utah Geographic Information Council Board is composed of volunteers from around the state of Utah who are passionate about geospatial data, topics, and applications. The Board is elected by those who are UGIC members as of the date of the current year’s annual UGIC conference (11 May 2018). Board members serve three year terms.

>>> VOTE HERE <<<

County

David Henrie

Biography: I have worked in GIS for Utah County Government for the last 26 years. I majored in Geography and later earned an MPA from BYU. I started out working for Utah County in the Assessor’s Office as a GIS Analyst. I worked there for 13 years and then took a job at the Utah County IT Department. In the IT Dept I had a hand in developing all the GIS applications that the County uses.

I used to co-chair the now defunct Technical Interchange Group (TIG). TIG served to promote the exchange of ideas and best practices of GIS. TIG used to sponsor annual summer field trips where we would visit some very interesting places and see GIS in action and learn how to use GPS equipment. For example, we visited and GPS’ed much of the infrastructure of Zion, Great Basin, Capitol Reef, and Timpanogos Cave. TIG lasted for many years until it was replaced by local user groups such as SLUG and UVGIS.

I believe that professional organizations such as UGIC and TIG fill a very important role in the local GIS Community. I have been privileged to serve the UGIC organization for many years and would love to continue to serve on its board of directors. Since I have been on the board we have hosted conferences in Logan, Midway, Park City, Bryce Canyon, Moab, Cedar City, Richfield, Salt Lake, Provo, and Vernal. I love UGIC organization and would feel privileged to continue to serve on the board.


Ken Richards

Biography: Hello fellow geospatial enthusiasts! My name is Kenneth Richards, (please call me Ken). Currently I am the GIS Coordinator for Iron County. I have been involved with GIS for 10 years. I received my formal GIS training from SUU where I received my GIS certificate and a bachelors in Engineering Technology. I then went on to the University of Arizona where I completed the Masters of GIS Technology program. I got my start georeferencing historical maps for SUU Special Collections. From there I have been involved in many types of projects in geospatial community including facilities management, web programing, hazard mitigation, addressing, OHV trails. Currently my primary goal is to get GIS into more users hands. I have recently started by deploying Collector and Workforce to our Roads and Weeds departments. What do I do besides GIS? Well I love to go offroading with an emphasis on rock crawling with my family. Utah has some amazing trails for that need to be explored (and mapped)!

Statement: I am running for the UGIC board to better represent the southern Utah GIS community. We have a lot of great people and resources here and I want to help represent them and bring their ideas to the table. I also want to give back to our amazing community. All of you have given me some great opportunities for learning and growth and I want to give back and help each of you. GIS is about connections and I want to build and strengthen the connections we have.


Sheldon Baumgartner

Biography: I grew up here in Utah and attended the University of Utah. There I got my Bachelors of Science in Geography with a certificate in Applied GIS in 2009. I’ve been working in the GIS industry since 2008 and have worked for various private, local, state, and federal agencies. Currently, I work as the GIS Specialist in the Salt Lake County Emergency Management Operations Center. In my free time I enjoy hiking and exploring the Utah landscape!

Statement: I feel honored to be nominated to run for the UGIC board. I feel that Utah has a very strong GIS community and I would like to be able to help strengthen the community through the work UGIC does. Something that I noticed while working in the DC area for the past year and a half is how collaborative and technical the GIS community is here. It is something that I missed while I was working out there. I feel a lot of that comes down to members of the GIS community here being proactive about providing meetings, conferences, and community events or outreach. I would like to be a part of continuing to build relationships with agencies, communities, and bringing continuing education to the GIS community in Utah.


Federal

Andre Coleman

Biography: André Coleman is a senior research scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (18-years) and currently resides in Sandy, Utah. He brings 25-years of experience in the fields of geoinformatics, hydrology, and computer science with significant experience and research interests in spatial and numerical modeling for water resources/water scarcity, snow hydrology, bioenergy and beneficial waste resources modeling, estuarine systems, disaster assessment and response, and climate analysis, in addition to applying digital photogrammetry, remote-sensing, data mining, data fusion, machine learning, and high-performance computing to these research areas. These specialties have been applied to numerous local, regional, national, and global scale environmental, energy, and national/global security related projects. Mr. Coleman graduated with a BS in Geography and Earth Resources from Utah State University in 1995 with emphases in GIS, hydrology, and fluvial geomorphology. In 2008, he completed an MS (cum laude) in Geoinformatics at the Vrije Universiteit, The Netherlands and won the International Award of Academic Excellence in Geoinformatics for his work in neural-based classifiers. Mr. Coleman is currently working on a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Utah with a focus on heterogeneous data fusion for disaster assessment and response. To date, he has authored or co-authored 32 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters.


At-Large

Dennis Allen

Biography: Dennis Allen is the GIS & IT Administrator for Farmington City. He has been involved in GIS for the last 10 years filling the following additional roles: GIS Manager at Vivint Internet, GIS Specialist III at Brigham City, GIS Technician/Intern at Box Elder County, and Private GIS Consultant. Dennis received his BS in Geography with a minor in Geospatial Analysis from Weber State University.

Statement: I love GIS and I love learning! For me, UGIC does more than satisfy both of these loves. Each time I attend the conference, I am able to continue to expand my knowledge and understanding of GIS. I always take away something that I can implement in my work and enjoy the new friendships I develop as well. I would be thrilled to be able to give back by serving as a part of the UGIC board!


Stan McShinsky

Biography: Stan McShinsky is a GIS Web Developer for Provo City. Stan enjoys building interesting maps like puzzles, augmented reality sandboxes, mazes and map art. Currently Stan develops web applications for various projects in the city. He recently completed the Part 107 drone test and is a certified drone pilot. He graduated from BYU. Stan likes to play softball, go geocaching, and ride his 4 wheelers.

Statement: For me, GIS is not just a job but a way of life. I see the different needs of those around me from coworkers to customers and I look for a way to fill that need through maps. By having a position on the board I believe I can clearly see the bigger picture and needs of those I come in contact with. I consistently push myself to improve my skills and learn new things. I like to think outside the box and believe I can bring a fresh perspective. Many GIS professionals have helped me along the way–from getting an internship to troubleshooting projects. I would appreciate the opportunity to be on the board and have a way to contribute to the GIS community myself.


Talsan Shulzke

Biography: Talsan has worked for Unified Fire Authority since October 2014, where for most of that time he was the GIS Supervisor in the Emergency Management Division for Salt Lake County. In December 2017, Talsan moved into Administration as the Strategic Data Manager, where he now oversees the datasets used by UFA (GIS and otherwise) and has begun an initiative under the direction of the fire chief to utilize data metrics in guiding decision making throughout the organization. In this new role, Talsan will also help develop UFA’s first Standards of Response Coverage document, which will formally define the department’s baseline of operations, identify benchmarks for achieving its goals, and determine the levels of service UFA communities should expect. Talsan has over 10 years of experience in GIS—including utilities, municipal government, and education—and as a GIS analyst and cartographer with the City of Rexburg, Idaho, Talsan worked closely with the fire department, the sheriff’s office, and the police department to provide GIS support and create Madison County’s first comprehensive 911 responders atlas. Working closely with first responders has taught him a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices these good people make to ensure we all get the help we need when it’s needed most. Talsan holds a master’s degree in English from Idaho State University and earned his GISP certification in 2015. Together with his wife Alesha and their three children, he has thoroughly enjoyed getting better acquainted with Utah and all it has offered him and his family.

Statement: My only hesitation in accepting the nomination to run for the UGIC Board was the time commitment, but it didn’t take long for me to consider the impact UGIC has had on me in the short time I’ve been in Utah. The network of talented and friendly professionals made my transition to this particular GIS community seamless. So first of all, thanks; and second, I feel that the time commitment doesn’t even come close to repaying the benefits I’ve reaped as a member of UGIC, which is just a sentimental way of saying, I’d love to run for a spot on the board! I’ve come to know several members of the board over the last few years, and in working with them have gained a lot of insight regarding our industry here in Utah. But I also hope to contribute to UGIC’s work throughout the state by offering some of the insights I’ve gained working both out-of-state and abroad. We see on a regular basis that part of GIS culture is a willingness to share with colleagues those things that have benefitted us. And that’s a huge part of what makes GIS the best field to work in. It comes down to the people, and the chance to interact with more of you from around the state is an alluring prospect. So again, thanks for being an awesome GIS community, and thanks for giving me the chance to run for the board!


Tom Thompson

Biography: Tommy Thompson is a Senior GIS Analyst for the Department of Natural Resources in the Division of Oil, Gas and Mining. He’s constantly advocating for Geographic Information Systems (GIS), drones, and the use of geospatial data in our everyday lives. Tommy demonstrates how various spatial analysis and mapping can be leveraged in ways that helps us better understand and explain what is happening in our complex world. He gained his undergraduate degree in Geography emphasizing in Bioregional Planning and Analysis and minoring in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He is a member of the Geography Honor Society (Gamma Theta Upsilon), and was a Service Learning Scholar and he received the S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources Legacy of Utah State Award and the Legacy of Utah State Robins Award. For the past three years, he has focused his time and effort on small unmanned aerial vehicles (sUAS), commonly called drones, and infrared thermography (IRT). His just received his master degree and his research focused on using sUAS and IRT to detect and monitor sage-grouse and how temperature data can aid in classifying the different sexes of sage-grouse. His research has created a unique spatial dataset that wildlife managers and researchers can use in real world applications. He has eight years of experience in conducting spatial analysis using various GIS and remote sensing software. If you are not currently thinking of using drones and GIS for natural resource management, he will make you think twice about not using it.

Statement: I’m a great candidate for the UGIC Board as I have a strong passion for both Utah and GIS. I was born and raised in Utah and am a responsible steward to this beautiful place I call home. I believe that GIS is key to measuring successful and responsible natural resource extraction and reclamation. I am running for the UGIC Board because I see it as an important vehicle allowing me to work with individuals, as well as, groups across Utah in a mutually beneficial manner. I would also like to be on the UGIC Board because it exposes me to larger perspectives and helps me better understand the needs of the GIS community in Utah. In 2017, I was awarded the UGIC student scholarship and was lucky enough to aid in the UGIC conference set up, which was a positive experience for me. I would like to have more a roll than I did as a scholarship recipient and I think that by serving on the board that would give me that ability. Lastly, I want to be on the board so I can aid in the advancement of geospatial science in and around Utah. I enjoy helping to advance the latest and greatest technology to improve our ability to responsibly manage Utah’s natural resources and I believe that by being on the board will help me achieve this goal. I would really appreciate the opportunity to server in this capacity. Thank you for your time and consideration.


>>> VOTE HERE <<<

2018 ArcGIS Online Competition

 2018 Map Competition for Utah High School and Middle School Students

Basic Information

  • Theme:
  • Deadline:
  • Eligibility: All Utah public, private, or homeschooled students are eligible to enter the contest. Maps can be submitted individually or as a team of two students. Limit of one entry per student or team.
  • ArcGIS Online Requirement: You must use ArcGIS Online to create an original map that features an interesting story about your hometown. The map you submit must be a story map in one of the following formats:
    • Story Map Journal
    • Story Map Series
    • Story Map Tour
  • ArcGIS Online is available to any K-12 school in the United States free of charge from Esri: Go to https://esri.app.box.com/connectedpdf to sign up for a free ArcGIS Online school organization account. Your final map must be created using the school organization account. You may not use a public account.
  • Prizes:  The five maps judged the best in each division will be awarded a $100 gift certificate to Amazon.com. All students whose maps are submitted and their teachers will also receive Map Competition T-shirts.

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Guidelines

  • Each school is allowed to submit up to five student maps for the state competition.

All qualified entries need to meet the following guidelines for topic and map construction:

  • Your final project may include images and videos but must be primarily based on the data on your original map.
  • Your mapped story must include some analysis based on the information presented. Some examples of analysis are:
    • Use the ArcGIS measure feature to determine the size of an area shown on your map.
    • Create symbols for your map using Map Notes to show important locations.
    • Create a layer using a csv file to show the geographic distribution of some type of feature, and include your explanation of the distribution as a part of the story map.
    • Create a layer using a csv file with numerical information that can be displayed using the ArcGIS “Counts and Amounts” feature.
    • Compare two or more imported layers and explain the patterns you find.
  • All of your research must be documented on the Details page of your ArcGIS tory map. All non-original materials need to be properly referenced. Include a description of how your original map was created and how you did your analysis.

Map Construction Guidelines

  • You must use ArcGIS Online to construct your map.
  • Your map must address the theme for 2018.
  • Your map must be original and not created using only layers of data already available either online or from Esri.  To meet that criteria, you must have created at least one layer of your own data.
  • Your final map for submission must be one of the following:
    • Story Map Journal
    • Story Map Series
    • Story Map Tour

Maps can only be submitted by an individual student or a team of two students.

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Judging Criteria

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Questions

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Sean Fernandez named NGS Geodetic Coordinator for Utah

Sean Fernandez, Utah Automated Geographic Reference Center (AGRC), and Bill Stone, NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey (NGS), are pleased to announce that Sean is now serving as the NGS Geodetic Coordinator for Utah. In this voluntary role (in addition to his day-to-day AGRC responsibilities), Sean will assist Bill, the NGS Southwest Region (UT, AZ, NM) Geodetic Advisor, with various aspects of outreach and interface between Utah’s geospatial community and NGS. The volunteer State Geodetic Coordinator program augments the NGS Regional Geodetic Advisor program by providing a single point of contact within participating states to assist in supporting users of the National Spatial Reference System. For further information, including full contact information for Sean and Bill, see: https://geodesy.noaa.gov/ADVISORS/index.shtml. Feel free to direct any questions to Sean (sfernandez@utah.gov) and/or Bill (william.stone@noaa.gov).

Reflections on the 2017 NSGIC Midyear Meeting

NSGIC’s State Caucus Meeting

Annapolis, MD: Josh Groeneveld and Kasey Hansen (UGIC Board Members)

The National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) held its Midyear Meeting in Annapolis, MD from February 27th – March 2nd.  Representatives from 27 states and the District of Columbia were in attendance to collaborate, share best practices and learn about the latest geospatial advancements, particularly in the federal space.  

NSGIC promotes the philosophy of “make it once, use it a bunch”.  There is so much value to all involved in terms of time and effort saved if we can share existing solutions and best practices.  When we have to explain what GIS is to a non-professional, we often hear things like, “Hasn’t everything already been mapped?”  

Not at all!  It was apparent at the Midyear Meeting that there are still challenges creating data in a timely fashion and sharing it with stakeholders across all levels of government. Many national data programs have been implemented for the purpose of addressing these challenges. For first-timers at NSGIC, the sheer number of programs can feel a little overwhelming (not to mention the abundance of federal acronyms!), however the purpose and goal of each program was discussed thoroughly at the meeting.  Even so, while many GIS professionals may be willing to share data, some are under legal constraints to not share data because of privacy concerns.  There are also concerns of some “shared” datasets where the authoritative agency can submit their data into a database and then never see the resulting product.  Some of the hot-button topics at the meeting were Next-Generation 911, the USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), open data, and the GIS Inventory.  

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Maps on the Hill 2017 Recap

Thank you to everyone who participated in Maps on the Hill 2017! It was a great day for the GIS community to participate in telling the story of how geospatial technology can improve efficiency, support decisions, and communicate complex topics. Be sure to check out the photos of the event and Maps on the Hill 2017 Book. AGRC also compiled a video of the event being announced on the house and senate floors (along with great praise), and a time lapse of the morning.

In an effort to reward the best work at Maps on the Hill, a judged contest was added to this year’s event in the capitol rotunda. Recognition and small prizes (Utah AGRC wall maps and ESRI press books) were awarded to the map displays that best conveyed the value of GIS-based solutions.

A four judge panel, consisting of Beth Overhuls (Salt Lake County CIO), Evan Curtis (Governor’s Office of Management and Budget), Lance Newman (Dean, Westminster College Arts & Sciences), and Mike Hussey (State CIO), rated the map displays for overall effectiveness, visual appeal, data integration, and innovation.

 

This year’s winners are:

UGIC 2017 Maps on the Hill – Best of Show

  • Division of Forestry Fire and State Lands (FFSL) – Wildfire Risk (11*)

UGIC 2017 Maps on the Hill – Awards of Excellence

  • City of West Jordan – Sewer and Sidewalk Infrastructure (18, 31)
  • Division of Wildlife Resources – Wildlife Tracking (10,41)
  • Salt Lake City Public Utilities – Infrastructure Mapping (26-28)
  • Utah State Remote Sensing/GIS Lab – Sage Grouse Habitat (13,36)

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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!

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.