August 12th 2015 - SLUG Meeting DiGISt

The 25th Quarterly Salt Lake GIS Users Group (SLUG) meeting was held on August 12, 2015, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at the Department of Natural Resources building in SLC. There were about 130 in attendance.

This meeting’s lunch was provided by DNR. We had pizza, sandwiches, chips, drinks, etc. 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.


Ray Montgomery, SLUG Board

·         Welcome to all, thanks to DNR for the venue and the lunch.

·         The next SLUG meeting will be at the U of U on Tues, Nov 17th. 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.

Sponsor’s Segment:

Wade Kloos, GIS Director at DNR, introduced us to how DNR uses GIS, giving a brief overview of some of the programs used by their 7 divisions.


GIS Addiction

Wade Kloos, DNR GIS Director

Wade gave a very interesting presentation about how to use a “12-step program”  to CREATE addictions to GIS applications.

Some highlights:  Dig into requestor’s GIS needs with questions. Leverage the Story Map concept. Be an expert at the organization’s mission, goals, challenges, and pain. Why did the org. buy into GIS in the first place? Aim high- be the top supplier of usable knowledge to management. Spend 10% of your time on being an expert on the organization and volunteering management needs. Spend 5% of time measuring, documenting results, show to management. He shared a one-page GIS ROI & benefit report, which is available through the link below, to get us started on doing this.  Wade's Presentation

How LiDAR Data Benefits Cities

Kelly Francis, Aerographics

Kelly talked about LiDAR Pros and Cons, platforms, sensors, quality levels, etc with examples. Fixed-wing aircraft can deliver LiDAR with up to about 9 sample points per sq meter, and is better of areas over a square mile. Helicopter-based can do up to 50 pts per meter, and is better for small areas, and things like power transmission lines and structures. 

He shared how Logan used LiDAR to determine what trees had branches hanging below 12 feet over roadways, where they could hit snowplows. They tnen knew where to go to do tree trimming. Another project involved a city that used LiDAR to determine EXACTLY where to do sandbagging prior to an upcoming flood.  Kelly's Presentation

Geography Humor Segment 

Ray Montgomery, SLUG Board

Ray showed two short video clips.  The first was a clip from the 1940 film “The Great Dictator” in which Charlie Chaplin mocks Hitler. He sends his servant out of his palatial HQ room, then plays like a child with an inflated globe of the Earth (while muttering “Emperor of the Earth!”) ...with bad results.  The second was the Google Maps 2014 “Pokemon Challenge” segment where you are supposed to use Google Maps to find and catch all the Pokemon. Winner to get a job at Google with the title of “Pokemon Master”.   You can see most of the videos we’ve shown at SLUG meetings here: Geography Humor Page

Learning from Experience and Feedback

Matt Sheehan, Web Map Solutions

Matt shared some great knowledge about things to do, and things to avoid, when doing a new GIS project. One client didn’t have a clear vision of what they wanted GIS to do, and so it became hard to work with them.  A different client “caught the vision” and so were very successful at implementing GIS. He also talked about a couple of projects where GIS was used to do things that never involved mapping, such as a system to help hospital staff in a busy metro area rearrange inbound patient schedules because of traffic delays.  Matt's Presentation

Thank you to our presenters 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!