GIS day


   University of Idaho
   Idaho Commons
   Moscow, Idaho
   November 19, 2014

Join the one-day global celebration!

GIS Day is an annual salute to geospatial technology and its power to transform and better our lives.

The University of Idaho is hosting a GIS Day event that will include prepared talks, exhibits, and printed posters on topics related to geospatial technology. This event brings together educators, students, researchers, professionals, businesses and the public to discuss the impact of geospatial technology on our daily lives. Admission if free.

Contact Bruce Godfrey (, ph. 208-292-1407) for more information.

Schedule of Events | Sponsors | Supporters | Prizes | Parking | Planning Committee
Call for Presentations


Schedule of Events

Download the PDF: UI GIS Day 2014 Schedule of Events At-A-Glance.


Schedule of Events
Time Title/Presenter Description
9:00AM Doors Open
9:15AM Welcome Announcements
9:20AM Where the Water Goes: Retrieving Evapotranspiration from Landsat's Thermal Imager
Dr. Rick Allen, Professor of Water Resources Engineering, UI Kimberly Research and Extension Center

Moderator: Rick Shumaker

Presentation slides

The Landsat satellite series has proven to be a perfect match to the needs of modern irrigated agriculture and water resources management. The 30 m spatial resolution permits the viewing of field scale characteristics of water consumption, which is essential for managing water and water rights, which are often administrated at the field scale. Litigation involving water rights generally revolves around injury caused by shortage of water. Water shortage translates into reduction of evapotranspiration (ET) from affected fields. That reduction, in turn, raises the surface temperature due to a change in partitioning available energy from the ET process and into sensible heat convection. The thermal band of Landsat satellites can be used to estimate sensible heat convection and, in turn, actual ET by inversion of a surface energy balance. The METRIC (Mapping Evapotranspiration at high Resolution using Internalized Calibration) process was developed at the University of Idaho beginning in 1999 to estimate ET at the field scale using primarily Landsat satellites. Other satellites including MODIS can be used also, however, spatial resolution of retrieved ET is coarser. METRIC is now being applied in a number of western states including Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming and Nebraska. Applications are made by state departments of water resources or natural resources and by private consultants. METRIC information have been used in two US Supreme Court cases and in several state-administered court cases. The presentation will discuss the general process of METRIC, general accuracies, challenges and limitations of processing, types of uses of ET maps produced from METRIC, and the challenges with keeping the Landsat program funded and flying.

10:20AM How the Global Positioning System Works
Dr. Lawrence Weill, Co-technical founder of Magellan Systems Corporation and Professor of Mathematics Emeritus at California State University (more information)

Moderator: Bruce Godfrey

Presentation slides

The Global Positioning System (GPS) enables users to determine their position anywhere on earth with high accuracy. Uses for GPS have become much more diverse than originally anticipated. Today’s huge market for GPS receivers includes automotive, marine, aviation, personal, railroad, GIS, and surveying applications, as well as many others.

This presentation is intended for GPS users who want to have a better understanding of how GPS works, which can help in using the system more effectively. To accommodate a diverse audience, technical explanations are simple and easy to understand. Topics covered include the following:

  • History of GPS Evolution
  • Description of Today’s GPS System
  • Fundamental Principles of GPS User Position and Velocity Determination
  • GPS Signal Structure and Functions
  • Sources of Positioning Error and Techniques for Error Reduction
  • Principles of Differential GPS (used for high-accuracy surveying)
  • Looking Into the Future: Modernization of GPS
Exhibits & Printed Posters - Come-and-Go Session
Esri GIS Software [Exhibit Spotlight @ 12:00PM] REgional Approaches to Climate Change
Northern Rockies URISA Fire Research And Management Exchange System
Idaho Geological Survey Idaho Real Time Network [Exhibit Spotlight @ 1:00PM]
Northwest Knowledge Network NetMaps: Spatial Information Cloud
Fire Program Analysis Web Map Viewer [Exhibit Spotlight @ 12:30PM] Site-Specific Climate-Friendly Farming
University of Idaho Facilities Services Wildland Fire Management Research, Development & Applications
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) 3D Visualization
GIS and Environmental Remediation  

1:30PM Panel Discussion: GIS Career Opportunities - What Employers Are Looking For
Jennifer Egan, Sales & Product Support Manager, Wireless Applications Corporation
Ed DeYoung
, GIS Program Manager, Idaho Department of Lands
Bill Reynolds, GIS Coordinator, Nez Perce County
Brant Steigers, Land Use Forester, Potlatch Corporation

Moderator: Thomas Laxon

How is GIS used in the workplace? What soft skills best complement GIS expertise? Which programming/scripting language will boost your job prospects?

Whether you are pursuing a career in GIS, you are an experienced GIS Analyst ready to take the next step in your career, or you hope to leverage GIS skills in a peripheral career field, this panel will address questions to assist you. We will discuss technological trends, the real-world application of GIS, which particular skills are most in-demand, and more with our panel of experienced GIS experts from across the Northwest.

2:30PM Introduction To Unmanned Aircraft (Drones)
Brad Ward, Vice President of Research & Development, Advanced Aviation Solutions LLC

Moderator: Kristy Borrelli

Presentation slides
This presentation will provide an overview of current issues surrounding drones in agriculture. After a brief introduction to the types of drones available to the farmer and their capabilities, the remainder of the presentation is devoted to the legal and regulatory issues in today's marketplace. Brad Ward is an Air Force veteran with over 11 years of experience in drone operations and policy. He is currently working with the FAA for authorization to operate small drones for commercial agriculture.
3:30PM North Idaho GIS Users Meeting The meeting is open to everyone and all are encouraged to attend. Come and learn about progress with the North Idaho Regional Resource Center as well as additional projects that have an impact on you in the North Idaho Region.
4:30PM Closing Remarks and Student Raffle Prizes


Exhibit Descriptions


Esri GIS Software [Exhibit Spotlight @ 12:00PM]

Demonstrations of how Esri’s ArcGIS platform is used to solve problems and make better decisions around the world in areas as diverse as law enforcement, environmental conservation and local government. He will also discuss the growing and evolving GIS industry and the potential career opportunities it offers.

Mark Stewart
Community Maps Training and Support Coordinator


Northern Rockies URISA

What is URISA? URISA is your international professional organization of choice. URISA has chapters throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and sister organizations in countries worldwide. Northern Rockies (NR) URISA is your local chapter who this year has helped sponsor this event, works with local user groups like the NEIRRC, the SWIG, and the NIRRC to sponsor/host educational and professional work sessions. Additionally, they work with the Idaho Geospatial Committee for the state of Idaho to establish standards for statewide datasets. So two reasons that you need to stop by our booth are the following:

  • Tell us what the acronyms listed in this summary represent for an opportunity to win a GIS related item.
  • Find out about our 2015 Fall Conference in Spokane, Washington.

Ed DeYoung
Northern Rockies URISA & Idaho Department of Lands

Donna Phillips
NR URISA At Large Board Member & City of Hayden

Betty Conces
Kootenai County


Idaho Geological Survey

The Idaho Geological Survey uses GIS and related software technologies to create geologic map data, manage natural resource databases, and make our data available online in web map applications. Stop by and see examples of these tools and the products we deliver to the public.

Loudon Stanford
GIS/CAD map production, data manager, digital cartography
Idaho Geological Survey


Northwest Knowledge Network

The Northwest Knowledge Network (NKN) is a unit within the University of Idaho (UI) Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) that provides research data management and computing support for UI researchers and their regional, national, and international collaborators. The purpose of NKN is to support innovation and enhance and expand the University of Idaho research portfolio in the data-intensive era. NKN provides infrastructure and tools to support many GIS services including INSIDE Idaho, USDA REACCH, and the NKN Data Management Portal. NKN is focused on building and maintaining a catalog of vital and thematic research data accompanied by high-quality, standards-compliant metadata. NKN has tools and expertise for managing metadata, especially including the FGDC CSDGM and ISO 19115 geospatial metadata standards. Finally, NKN can help researchers build data management plans into their projects and proposals that incorporate NKN in a way that is based on widely-adopted standards and best practices.

Marisa Guarinello
MILES (Managing Idaho's Landscapes for Ecosystem Services) Data Manager
Northwest Knowledge Network

Jennifer Hinds
NKN Web Master and Systems Analyst


University of Idaho Facilities Services

University of Idaho Facilities Services uses ArcGIS together with AutoCAD to track and visualize university assets. Some of the ways ArcGIS is used include visualizing time-aware data, development and maintenance of the interactive campus map, and employment of the ArcGIS for AutoCAD plug-in.

Ben Camp
CADD Center Supervisor
University of Idaho Facilities Services


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones)

Multiple drones will be on display and presenters will be available to answer questions and discusses their uses.

Matt Gillis
Senior Project Manager
Welch Comer Engineers

Jeff Lonneker
GIS Analyst/Species Modeler
University of Idaho

Brad Ward
Vice President of Research & Development
Advanced Aviation Solutions LLC

Jeff Zenner
Photographer & UAV Advocate
Jeff Zenner Photography


Wildland Fire Management Research, Development & Applications

Wildland Fire Management RD&A Fuels and Fire Ecology (WFMRDA FFE) assist land managers with implementing effective fuels, fire, and vegetation analysis technology for addressing risks related to severe fire behavior and fire effects, and to restore healthy ecological systems.  Our Learning Pathways are designed to provide guidance to individuals interested in specific areas of study.  These pathways provide easy access to related learning materials in an order designed for optimal learning efficiency.  These pathways include: Fire Behavior, Fire Effects, Fire Regimes, Spatial Analysis, Vegetation Dynamics and Integration. You can access all WFMRDA FFE Tools (including ArcGIS Desktop Extensions) through  

Renee Piper
Instructional Designer and FFE Coordinator

Linda Tedrow
GIS Analyst


REgional Approaches to Climate Change (REACCH)

Regional Approaches to Climate Change (REACCH) is a coordinated agricultural project, funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to enhance the long-term sustainability of cereal production systems in the Pacific Northwest. Through research, extension, and education, REACCH integrates diverse elements of climate modelling, cropping system modelling, social and economic science, agriculture and agronomy, and crop protection to address climate adaptation and mitigation concerns relating to agriculture.

Lauren Parker
Ph.D. Student Geography
Spatial Statistics of Aspects of Climate and Weather in the PNW

Idaho Real Time Network [Exhibit Spotlight @ 1:00PM]

The Idaho Real Time Network is a proposed collection of Global Positioning System (GPS) base stations scattered throughout Idaho which will be connected together via the Internet. The implementation of the network will increase accuracy and precision for day-to-day data collection as well as the long-term benefits of monitoring and height modernization. For more information see An RTN for Idaho?.

Darrel Ramus
Professional Land Surveyor
Reun-Yeager & Associates, Inc.

Site-Specific Climate-Friendly Farming

The Site-Specific Climate Friendly Farming Project (SCF) is a partnership among research scientists at Washington State University, University of Idaho and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service. SCF focuses on using precision technologies to monitor and understand temporal and spatial variability of agricultural fields in the Palouse in order to manage and understand nitrogen dynamics and prevent losses. By improving nitrogen management regional, farmers can improve grain yields and income, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. N2O) and other environmental pollution associated with nitrogen loss.

Matteo Poggio
Ph.D Candidate Soil Science
Washington State University

Caley Gasch
Post-Doc Soil Science
Washington State University

Dave Brown
Assoc. Prof Soil Science
Washington State University


3D Visualization

An extra dimension of GIS: Procedural environment generation with ESRI’s CityEngine.

ESRI’s CityEngine software can serve as a useful tool to visualize 2D GIS data as a more realistic 3D scene. A demonstration of the CityEngine scene generation process shows how common GIS data can be translated into a relatively accurate representation of the real world. Additionally, a demonstration will show how GIS data and spatial analysis can be used in conjunction with CityEngine to present potential future scenarios of development and landscape change.

Kevin Henry
Graduate Student
University of Idaho Department of Geography


Understanding the interactions between ecosystems, ecology, and human behavior dynamics in order to develop design tools for sustainable, harmonious management principles.

We are building a framework for modular virtualized worlds that include multiple layers of data, many from GIS, which interact with each other using programmed behaviors assigned to virtual assets, some examples being terrain, foliage, and fauna. These can be modified to suit the designer’s needs and construct relevant dynamic VR ecosystems. The ecology responds to this ecosystem such that its behavior and/or health may be impacted by the present, remembered, and/or predicted conditions. Human behavior is included in the environment by making the user present in the model where they can perceive and chooses to interact with this world. The demonstration will cover how (and what) different GIS layers of data are incorporated into the virtual environment, how this allows for a versatile and lasting modeling tool, and explore two of these worlds to show potential applications using the PC and Oculus Rift platforms.

Seth Haynes
Graduate Student
University of Idaho Department of Art and Architecture​​


Fire Research And Management Exchange System (FRAMES)

FRAMES (Fire Research and Management Exchange System) [] provides a convenient, systematic exchange of information and technology within the wildland fire research and management community. The FRAMES portal provides searchable information, online courses, a platform for data sharing and storage, development of new tools, and support to wildland fire management agencies throughout the various stages of wildland fire, including planning, operation, and post-fire monitoring. This online resource was developed by the University of Idaho in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station.

Lynn Wells
Program Manager

Gina Wilson
Content and Online Course Managment Specialist


NetMaps creating a spatial information cloud to facilitate invasive plant susceptibility modeling

Land managers and researchers working with invasive species are often hampered in their efforts by an inability to access shared spatial data and use it as a real time planning tool. Recent technological breakthroughs in cloud computing and wireless data syncing may make spatial data sharing between agencies and entities possible and economical for evaluating mapping priorities and susceptible areas. Netmaps polygon data entry and display servers are designed for multiusers with many different devices. Data may be used on Android and Iphone/Ipad based using the Collector or Arcgis apps as mobile platforms or a web browser using the Arconline java app or with Arc Desktop 10 for computers in the office. Portal is available at and select Invasive Plant Training for fully functional training data. Collector is an out of box ready to use app allowing both online and soon offline functionality. Once users become trained they will need to sign up to (free) and access the Invasive Plant Public Mapping to allow user tracking and mapping. The Invasive Plant Public Mapping attributes are species, cover, community type, phenology, disturbance, and date and do not show ownership data although the user may link ownership through an outside website. Users will find site susceptibility maps for 25 weed species currently being mapped by Idaho and Montana land managers a useful background map when searching for new infestations. The site susceptibility maps are based on current Netmap data where models used a distance algorithum to match vegetation (satellite NDVI), maximum and minimum temperature, and potential sun radiation of training data to predict the site’s susceptibility to invasion. Netmap is one small step to enhanced invasive plant mapping where ever you stand on earth.

Larry Lass
Research Scientist
Univeristy of Idaho - Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences


Fire Program Analysis Web Map Viewer [Exhibit Spotlight @ 12:30PM]

This FPA Web Map Viewer is an Internet-based mapping tool designed for displaying geospatial data associated with the Fire Program Analysis (FPA) Project and other wildfire decision support efforts.

Web Map Viewer - Utility:
The Web Map Viewer utility is a viewing and analysis tool giving users the ability of examining and exploring geospatial data associated with the Fire Program Analysis (FPA) Project. The Viewer allows users to observe the FPA geospatial data in an easy to use GIS-type working situation without the need of GIS software on their computers. The Viewer requires only an Internet connection and the Microsoft Silverlight plug-in. With the inclusion of associated backdrop reference layers in the Web Map Viewer, FPA data layers can be placed in context spatially for analysis and display in a responsive and attractive mapping environment.

Web Map Viewer - Design:
The Viewer has been designed for wildfire budget planners as a tool for assisting in performing budget analysis scenarios that are used by the participating agencies to develop and implement associated budgets within the context of the Fire Program Analysis System. These have been implemented to guide effective implementation of Fire Management Plans for the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Viewer has been instrumental in supporting and contributing to the development of landscape scale interagency fire planning and budgeting to meet the intent of the National Fire Plan, the Federal Wildland Fire Policy and other related guidelines as directed by Congress and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Web Map Viewer - Uses:
The Web Map Viewer has been used for various applications beyond its developed design for wildfire budget formulation. The Viewer has been utilized for orienting field users to the location of wildfire fighting dispatch centers, crews, equipment and other resources in the context of their proximity to agency units (national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges, reservations, and other wildfire-fighting agency managed lands).

Craig Thompson
GIS/IT Specialist
Department of Interior - Office of Wildland Fire – National Interagency Fire Center


GIS and Environmental Remediation

Highlighting the different opportunities to use GIS in the course of an environmental remediation project, and how current developments will change and expand the role of GIS in such projects.

Benjamin Bailey
TerraGraphics Environmental Engineering, Inc.

Jennifer Gilley
TerraGraphics Environmental Engineering, Inc.




The following entities have generously provided financial contributions to make this event a success.


 Idaho Commons
 University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
 View Larger Map


Become a Sponsor

If you or your organization would like to become a sponsor of GIS Day at the University of Idaho please make a donation using one of the options:

  1. Online with a credit card
    Go to:
    Click the “Give Now” button
    Under “1. Select a Fund or Priority”
    Start typing in “GIS Day Fund” (the fund title will auto complete) and click on “GIS Day Fund”
    Click “Next” and follow the online payment instructions

  2. By phone
    Call the University of Idaho Gift Administration Office at (208) 885-6796 and give with a credit card. Indicate you are giving to the “GIS Day Fund.”

  3. By mail
    Checks may be mailed to:
    University of Idaho Foundation 875 Perimeter Drive MS 3147 Moscow, ID 83843-3147
    Please have the checks made out to the “University of Idaho Foundation, Inc.” Put “GIS Day Fund” on the check memo line or on a note accompanying the check.

Contact Bruce Godfrey (, ph. 208-292-1407) if you have any sponsorship questions.


Sponsorship Levels & Entitlements

We welcome any financial contribution but respectfully suggest to following amounts:

Friend: $50
Professional: $100
Corporate: $250 - logo on webpage & flyers; banner space; recognition during the event

These contributions may be tax deductible.



The following entities have generously contributed time and effort to make this event a success.

Gap Analysis Program
Northwest Knowledge Network (NKN)
REgional Approaches to Climate CHange (REACCH)
University of Idaho College of Science
University of Idaho Department of Geography
University of Idaho Department of Landscape Architecture
Washington State University




The following businesses have generously contributed items for prizes.

C & L Locker
Jamms Frozen Yogurt
La Casa
Moscow Food Co-op
Nourish Yoga
Spence Hardware
The Man Shop




The 2013-2014 UI Campus Parking Map shows all parking lots and their associated permit requiements.

For those driving to campus a Visitor Permit is required to park in any of the Gold, Red, or Blue lots. Exempt vehicles do not require a permit.

Contact Bruce Godfrey for a Visitor Pass.

GIS Day will take place in the Idaho Commons (highlighted on the map); Lots 19, 56, and 17 are within a few minutes walk.



Planning Committee Members

Bruce Godfrey - Chair (Library)
Judy Bielenberg (Library)
Kristy Borrelli (REACCH)
Greg Gollberg (Northwest Knowledge Network)
Jeremy Kenyon (Library)
Thomas Laxson (Gap Analysis Program)
Patrick Olsen (Geography)
Toru Otawa (Landscape Architecture)
Nancy Sprague (Library)