May 16th 2012 - SLUG Meeting DiGISt

The 12th quarterly Salt Lake GIS Users Group (SLUG) meeting was held on May 16th, 2012, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in the Barn at Wheeler Farm in Murray. There were about 100 in attendance.  We did not have a food and drink sponsor for this meeting, so it was a brown-bagger.


SLUG Business:

Scott Davis, SLUG Board

·   Thanks to SL County Parks for the use of the facility.

·   The next SLUG meeting will be held August 8, 2012. Location and details to follow. Please mark this on your calendars. 

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



Reid Denman, Salt Lake County Surveyor

Reid welcomed all those present, and commented about how GIS has been an effective tool for the County. He explained that government produces tons of data, but it's GIS that makes this data meaningful. He mentioned how the SL County GIS Steering Committee was now setting standards and policy. In a bit of self-deprecating humor, he said "Elected officials are sometimes the epoxy that greases the wheels of government".  Reid said that while trying to explain what "GIS" means to others, he sometimes says it's "Giggle in Silence" or "Google is Stupid".



This meeting was presented in a "lightning talk" format. Each County organization was limited to 7 minutes. Mark Miller, GIS Administrator for the Surveyor's Office, organized and managed the presentations.


Barbie Rolling, Izabella Miller - SL County Addressing Division

Several addressing demonstrations were presented, as well as an overview of the GIS address data currently available and under development.  See the Addressing presentation materials here, or watch below.


Jarom Zenger - SL County Assessor's Office

Jarom explained the difficulty of managing the assessment process and data for the 347,000+ parcels in SL County. Every parcel needs to be appraised every 5 years, so portions of the County are done each year. They use CAMA as a tool for managing this. He showed maps showing things like % of change by year, as a way to identify problem areas. He also demonstrated how they use Pictometry for an assessment aid.  Jarom also talked about their future plans.  See the Assessor presentation materials here, or watch below.


Thomas Zumbado - SL County Development Services

Thomas gave an overview of his department functions, and how it is a very "public face" of the County. They handle Business Licensing, Permits, Code Enforcement, long range planning, etc.  He said his motto is, "The best map is one that is used." See the Planning presentation materials here, or watch below.


Matt Schultz - SL County Engineering

SL County Engineering uses GIS extensively for all sorts of infrastructure management. See the Engineering presentation materials here, or watch below.


Geography Humor Segment  Ray Montgomery  

Ray showed a short video clip from 'The West Wing" TV show titled "Why are we Changing Maps?" about how an upgrade to ArcGIS Server goes terribly wrong… and the aftermath. View it here: LINK 

Please see our new Geography Humor page where all the humor videos we have shown at SLUG meetings can be accessed.


Dale Burtch, Ryan Sadler - SL County Information Services

Topics presented included an overview of the County GIS structure, that is, decentralized but cooperative GIS.They manage the SDE geodatabases, the different levels of users, editing rights, version management. They have developed Python scripts of automate the copying of data nightly to a public-facing File Geodatabase. Watch their presentation below.


Leon Berrett - SL County Public Works

Duties of the Public Works department were covered.  GIS is used in many areas.  They have automated such services as emailing affected agencies if anyone plans to dig in a roadway, so prevent cutting into a new area of pavement, for better coordination. They are also involved in emergency prep, EOC operations, weed control, snowplow routing, and so forth, all of which were shown in map form. See the Public Works presentation materials here, or watch below.


Emily LaMunyon, John Kennamer, Mark Miller - SL County Surveyor's Office

The surveyor's Office has been working on integrating AutoDesk MapGuide and GIS.  They have worked on Mobile apps and had to figure out the best API to use for development.  They also demonstrated the creation of contours from LiDAR data using Global Mapper. See the Surveyor presentation materials here, or watch below.


Rick Baker - SL County Recorder's Office

Rick talked about the challenges of managing the 347,000 or so parcels as a single Feature Class, and how this evolved from the old days of managing dozens of tiles in older ESRI storage formats (coverages, ArcStorm, Libraries). There are 13 technicians working on maintaining this data, including an extensive annotation Feature Class containing all measurements, etc.  He says they are at about 87% complete on COGOing all the parcels.  Watch his presentation below.


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