February 12th 2014 - SLUG Meeting DiGISt

The 19th quarterly Salt Lake GIS Users Group (SLUG) meeting was held on February 12, 2014, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in the Saltair Room at the U of U.  There were about 101 in attendance.

This meeting’s lunch was sponsored by the DIGIT Lab at the U of U. Thank You to the DIGIT Lab!  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 a SLUG Board member.


Neal  Fraser, SLUG Board

·         Welcome to all, thanks to the DIGIT Lab for arranging for the venue and for providing the lunch.

·         The next SLUG meeting willl be at AGRC. It has been moved to May 21st, due to the UGIC conference being on the week we normally meet in May. Hope to see you there!

·         Dave Henrie of the UGIC board promoted the upcoming UGIC Conference, May 14-16 in Richfield.  Registration and information is available here: http://ugic.info/2014-conference

·         Tom Toronto, outgoing SLUG Board president, spoke for a few minutes about his enjoyment of GIS and his experiences with SLUG.  

·         Ray Montgomery, incoming SLUG Board president, thanked the membership for their great work and to be proud of the effects that their GIS work have on solving real-world problems.

Sponsor Segment:

Steve Farber, Transportation Geographer, U of U Geography Dept

Steve gave an interesting introduction and briefly went over some of the current projects they are working on.


How an environmental consulting firm implemented enterprise GIS

Claudia Gallegos, GIS Administrator, JBR Environmental Consultants

Claudia went through how JBR grew from a small operation to being spread among many different offices in several states. This presented a great problem: how to coordinate and jointly access all their GIS data? They solved this through setting up a central server that serves data remotely.  She explained the process they went through to accomplish this, including the importance GIS - IT relationships. This was all done cleverly using cats. See Claudia's presentation.

Using Python to standardize GIS project folders: JBR’s Project Builder Tool

Nick Faust, GIS Analyst III, JBR

In the consulting line of work, it’s vital to be able to find all the information for a past project quickly. So not only did JBR have to consolidate their data as Claudia explained, but also organize it in a way that everyone who uses it understands.  Nowadays, each project resides in a folder structure using naming conventions. Within each project folder are files, folders and databases that all follow naming rules.  For example,there are specific folders for source data, intermediate data, final data, documents, and so on. Nick’s software provides the user with a form to fill out, then it creates the entire structure based on the user input.  See Nick’s presentation.  You can also download his Python code HERE.

Geography Humor Segment 

Ray Montgomery, Sandy City GIS Administrator

Ray showed a fun video explaining all the technological advantages of a new format for presenting geographic data – the paper MAP. 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.

Improving field data collection efforts using ArcPAD and Custom Scripting

Jason Trook,GIS Specialist/Environmental Analyst, JBR  

Jason explained how JBR has decided to stay with ArcPAD for a number of reasons, all very valid. For example, remote locations often do not have cell phone coverage.  See Jason's presentation.


Thank you to our presenters and our venue. And thanks for your interest and support!