February 11th 2015 - SLUG Meeting DiGISt

The 23rd Quarterly Salt Lake GIS Users Group (SLUG) meeting was held on February 11, 2015, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at Sandy City Hall. There were about 125 in attendance.

This meeting’s lunch was boxed Mexican, provided by HDR. Our sincere thanks to them for sponsoring!  If you have any business contacts that would like to ‘sponsor’ a lunch by providing food and drinks in exchange for their advertising at the meeting, please contact Tom Toronto, SLUG Board member.


Nancy Strickland, SLUG Board

·         Welcome to all, thanks to Sandy City for the venue and HDR for sponsoring the lunch.

·         The next SLUG meeting willl be at Sandy City on May 20th, 2015. Hope you will be able to attend!

·         We are always in need of presenters. If you would like to present, or suggest someone who you’d like to see present, please contact Neal Fraser, SLUG Board member.

Nick Kryger, UGIC Board

·         Nick announced the 2015 UGIC (Utah Geographic Information Council) Conference, “UGIC-GeCo of the West”.  (Every 5 years, it’s Utah’s turn to host the Regional user group conference (now GeCo West) in conjunction with the UGIC conference. So Utah GIS people will attend as well as people from Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.)  This conference will be held May 11-15, 2015 at Snowbird Resort.  Check out the special conference activities and learn more HERERegistration is now open.


Utah Department of Transportation’s LiDAR Collection

Mike Butler and Nick Kenczka, Contract Administrators, UDOT

Mike and Nick discussed the process that UDOT went through to hire Mandli Communiations for data collection and plans going forward. They explained the methods used to collect and process tha data. They also showed many interesting movie clips of simulated driving down Utah’s roads with the LiDAR data and extracted GIS features overlaid on them.  They also showed many other datasets that are able to be accessed through the GIS environment.

Geography Humor Segment 

Ray Montgomery, SLUG Board

Ray showed a video clip of a live TV newscast where the weatherman had to deal with the weather map going crazy- showing temperatures into the thousands of degrees. He handled it with aplomb- acted straight-faced throughout, acting as if the temps were real. “I’m not authorized to order an evacualtion, but if I were you, I’d get out while you still can” was one such.  See that video here: LINK  

Or you can check out our Geography Humor page where most of the humor videos we have shown at SLUG meetings can be accessed.

Helpful GIS Naming Conventions

Ray Montgomery, GIS Administrator, Sandy City

Ray showed examples of how Sandy has developed naming standards for data held in their Enterprise SQL Server geodatabases. Sandy has separated GIS data into multiple databases, which makes setting up SQL Server maintenance plans much more effective. For example, you don’t need to back up a collection of aerial photos, unless things change in it. But a database of Public Utilites piping, valves, work orders, etc should be backed up several times a day because it’s always changing. Having them in separate DB’s makes that possible, saving a lot of time in backing things us.

In ArcMap’s TOC, any Feature Class, including rasters, coming from a Geodatabase are shown as “databasename.ownername.featureclassname”. Might as well use that owner name for something. Sandy has set up conventions where, for example, a dummy user named ”2012” was used to load the 2012 aerials, so in the ArcMap TOC the full name of the raster would be “Aerials.2012.Sandy_area_6_in_Color”. That gives, just by looking at the name, what it is, the year it was taken, and the basic metadata. Most feature class names follow a similar idea. If anyone is interested to learn more, contact Ray at rmontgom@sandy.utah.gov

Using GIS with Airports

Neal Fraser, Project Manager, Gateway Mapping

Neal showed some great examples of how GIS is and will be used in the Nation’s airports to comply with FAA regulations for safety, management, etc.  A good part of this involves detailed 3D views of the air corridors leading in and out of airports, for detection of potential obstructions and prevention of new ones (such as large buildings).


Thank you to our presenters, sponsor, and our venue. If you have any ideas for a presentation or any other matter, please contact a SLUG board member.  And thanks for your interest and support!