May 11th 2011 - SLUG Meeting DiGISt
 
The 8th quarterly Salt Lake GIS Users Group (SLUG) meeting was held on May 11, 2011, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in the auditorium of the Free Enterprise Center Bldg (MFEC) on the Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus in Sandy.  There were just over 100 GIS users in attendance.

 

Food and drinks were sponsored by AshTech.    

 

Deidre Beck, SLUG Board

·         The next SLUG meeting will be held August 10, 2011, at Sandy City Hall (10000 Centennial Parkway, Sandy). More details to follow.  Please plan on it now. 

·         We are always in need of Presenters, Sponsors, and Venues. Please contact a SLUG Board member to volunteer.

 

Sponsor Segment:  Introduction to Ashtech by Mark Silver, and a brief discussion of the latest GPS field units.

 

Presentations:

 

UDOT's UPLAN Web Mapping Application (40 minutes)
John Thomas, Planning Director - UDOT

John spoke about, and demonstrated, the UPLAN system- a web mapping app that for the first time unifies many sets of UDOT data in an easy-to-use interface. UDOT manages 6000 miles of roadway. He talked candidly about the challenges faced by their engineers using older methods, where data was collected and used once per project. 75-80% of the costs of a project in the older system involved time needed to collect and process data. They have realized the value in integrating and re-using this data. He spoke of how GIS can help them to better process and manage the older data as well as terabytes of new field data flowing in from vehicles collecting things like road conditions every inch along with the GPS coordinates.  UPLAN also provides automated reports on road projects in minutes, rather than days as in the past.  They now are starting to see GIS as an equal partner to the engineers.

Frank Pisani, GIS Analyst - UDOT
Frank talked about how meetings and discussions about projects are becoming what he called "Content-Driven Discussions".  This is where the project data is available during the discussion using UPLAN, which avoids misunderstandings and wasted time.  He also went over how challenging it is to keep up with the latest technology.  They are currently using Silverlight, but fully expect to have to change to something else every year or two.  See the UDOT presentation materials or a video of their presentation below

 

APRS: Ham Radio and GIS Hit the Road (15 minutes)
Andy Johnson, KE7UQO

APRS is a GPS-based tracking service available to Amateur Radio Operators. This service has proven itself useful in natural and manmade disasters, as well as public service events such as races and parades. The system allows the user to transmit additional things like weather data, in addition to the location. Andy gave an overview of the APRS system; including how the system works, a brief history and how to get involved. He included a demonstration of APRS on the internet.  See Andy's presentation materials or a video of his presentation below.

 

Geography Humor: 

Ray Montgomery   A short video clip from "Are you Smarter than a 5th grader?" titled "Isn't Europe a country?"

 
 

Workaround for Network Analyst Bug (30 minutes)
Nick Faust, Sandy City GIS

ESRI's service area calculator is a great tool, but it does contain a major flaw. It improperly includes unreachable areas (that are enclosed by the road network) in the results, such as parks, canyons, large open fields, etc. ESRI's tool shows these areas being easily reached by vehicle, when physically they may be impossible to get to.
Nick developed a more accurate solution using Network Analyst to only generate travel time lines.  A geoprocessing model then uses a system of buffers to generate the service areas. The advantages of this method are its consistency in predicting service area times, exclusion of unreachable areas, and greater user control over service area generation.   See Nick's presentation materials or a video of his presentation below.

 

To our presenters and our sponsor, “Thank you!”    And thank you for your interest and support!