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2014 OKSCAug GIS conference summary of presentations


Title: 911 Data: Bringing Communities Together

Presenter:  Jessica Colvin

Organization:  McClain County 911 Trust Authority

Abstract:  The McClain County 911 Trust Authority has been working with the smaller cities and towns within McClain County as well as surrounding communities to maintain and promote the use of GIS data. Because emergencies do not occur in neat standardized scenarios, nor do they fall within the arbitrary boundaries assigned by state agencies, communication between municipalities is key to responding quickly. When someone calls 9-1-1 for help, it is imperative that the dispatcher know where the call is coming from, and who should be responding to provide the best help. This only works when municipalities, other agencies and businesses work together. By working with numerous agencies, we have been able to establish a more accurate, and updated dataset with communities to serve everyone’s needs better. There are numerous challenges associated with GIS data in rural counties, but McClain County has been working together to provide a better end product and greater understanding of our community so that quick action can be taken when an emergency occurs.

Title:  USGS National Geospatial Program Update

Presenter:  Ingrid Landgraf, Geospatial Liaison

Organization:  U.S. Geological Survey

Abstract:  This presentation will cover the latest news on the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) including proposed changes to the LIDAR specifications and products, partnership opportunities for LIDAR, and the on-line elevation inventory.  Additional topics include future directions for the National Hydrography Dataset, and deciphering web map services from The National Map.

Title: Putting Python into Practice

Presenter: Joel Foster

Organization:  Canadian County Assessor’s Office

Abstract:  Python has been integrated with ArcGIS software since the 9.0 days. There are many classes available from a variety of sources that teach Python but it can be difficult to take the things you learn in those classes and use them when you’re back at the office on Monday with your data and your computer, particularly if you learned only the basics. How do you take those ifs, elses, fors, and whiles and use it to your benefit? This presentation can give you a few ideas to help you get some return on your investment in learning Python by covering a few ways the Canadian County Assessor’s Office has found to put Python to practical use in ArcGIS by creating scripts for Model Builder, field calculator expressions, and label expressions. 

Title:  On the Road Again: Claremore Industrial Park Commuting Study

Presenter:  Marcus Arreguin, MIS, EGc(GIS)

Organization: Rogers State University Innovation Center
Abstract:  Where do people live that work in your city and why? These questions inspired us to do a study of commuting in Claremore, OK. Every day, almost 2,000 people go to work at the Claremore Industrial Park. Home addresses of most of the employees were obtained from the top employers at the industrial park. The addresses were geocoded, mapped, and analyzed, and results were compared to other areas. In this presentation, results of the study will be shown and discussed.

Title: Introduction to SQL Spatial Databases

Presenter: Terry Sherman

Organization: Oklahoma State University

Abstract:  This presentation is geared toward those with ArcGIS for Desktop experience interested in storing spatial data in a Relational Database Management System. There are several points to consider before moving beyond file-based datasets to best utilize ArcSDE and a SQL spatial database. This presentation will provide insights on how you can leverage the same spatial database outside the ArcGIS platform as well as situations where file-based datasets are still the best option for your analyses and workflows.

Title:  Using GIS to locate historic survey monuments on the eastern Chickasaw Nation boundary

Presenter: Brian McCurdy

Organization: The Chickasaw Nation

Abstract:  On January 17, 1837, at the first signing of the Treaty of Doaksville, the Chickasaw people were to be removed into Indian Territory amongst the Choctaws. This territory would become the Chickasaw District of the Choctaw Nation in what is now eastern Oklahoma. At the second signing of the Treaty of Doaksville on November 4, 1854, the Chickasaws were granted separation from the Choctaws and their own permanent territory; the current boundaries of the Chickasaw Nation. Both tribes agreed the Chickasaws would employ a surveyor to mark the eastern boundary of the district and bear all expenses of the survey. It was also agreed that the leaders of each Choctaw district would appoint a commissioner to supervise the running of the line, which was marked at every mile on trees where there was sufficient timber, or otherwise by a stone monument. These stones were inscribed on the western side with the word “Chick or Chickasaw” and on the eastern side with the word “Choc or Choctaw”, along with the year and sometimes the mile number. The survey was to be completed before the first day of August 1855. In May of 2013, the Chickasaw Nation GeoSpatial Information (GSI) Department was given the task of locating all the existing stone survey monuments on the eastern side of the Chickasaw Nation. By utilizing geographic information systems (GIS), new technologies and the historic Government Land Office maps, the department was able to complete the project with great success. County land parcels were used to acquire owner information. These owners were contacted to obtain permission to access the land and to gain any prior knowledge of the survey monument’s location. With data collection complete and stored within the GIS, historic data and information can be easily accessed for cultural preservation and historic reference.

Title:  Preserving Historical Aerial Photographs to Keep Our Land (and Water) Grand

Presenters:  John Harrington, Kellie Duncan, and Madeline Dillner

Organizations:  ACOG and OK Corporation Commission

Abstract:  Over the years, historical aerial photographs, along with electromagnetic and geophysical scanning equipment, have revealed that brine, a common, persistent, and destructive contaminant resulting from oil and gas exploration and productionundefinedespecially old, high-density exploration and production--, was responsible for several groundwater contamination events in the central Oklahoma area. Because of this, the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments has been conducting brine patch identification studies in their four-county area since 2012 (?). These studies included collecting historical aerial photographs from city governments and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s extensive collection and using those photographs to identify white patches on the earth that could be oilfield brine. In the same groundwater-pollution-prevention vein, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has created a shapefile of historic dense oilfields (HDOs) across the state of Oklahoma. HDOs are places where salt and oil contamination is more likely to occur, due to the wells’ age (completed before 1980, when big environmental laws came into effect) and density (over 16 per square mile; 40-acre spacing). After the OCC’s HDO shapefile was released, ACOG started using it and census data to identify areas of high-risk and attempt to get an EPA Area-Wide Planning Grant to help clean up some of the areas where the higher risk of groundwater pollution would have a more severe impact. The support goes both ways: after reading ACOG’s white paper on their brine patch identification project, the OCC decided to use their massive historical aerial photograph collection to copy ACOG’s workundefinedbut on a statewide scale. The OCC plans on using the polygon shapefile created from delineating brine patches across Oklahoma to check whether the HDO shapefile is an accurate representation of where pollution exists in the state.
Clearly, historical aerial photographs have helped ACOG and the OCC identify areas of pollution across the state of Oklahoma and move in directions to help protect the groundwaterundefinedand citizensundefinedof Oklahoma. We believe that historical aerial photographs could help anyone, which is why the OCC is pleased to announce that the final step of the Oklahoma Historical Aerial Digitization Project has begun. Since 2007, the OCC has been collecting, digitizing, and georectifying historical aerial photographs from repositories all over the state of Oklahoma. Now, the process of uploading all of these photographs to the state data viewer, OKMaps, has begun. Soon, historical aerial photographs of the entire state of Oklahoma since the 1930s will be available to the public to download easily, for free.

Title: Attracting Retail: How GIS is Used to Recruit New Retail in Oklahoma City

Presenter: Taylor Hatchett, GIS Research Analyst & Eric Long, Research Economist

Organization:  Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce

Abstract:  For over 100 years, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber has been the voice of business and the visionary organization in Oklahoma City.  The Chamber is directly involved in economic development efforts to attract new businesses and quality jobs to the Greater Oklahoma City region. This presentation will highlight several tools that the Chamber leverages in order to aid retail growth, including ESRI Business Analyst Online, ArcGIS Online, OKCEDIS, OKCLBI, ACOGMaps, Oklahoma County Assessor GIS, and Xceligent. You will also hear stories about how retailers like Cabela’s, TopGolf, and Whole Foods used GIS and location analytics to open their Oklahoma City locations.

Title: What's New at

Name: Dawn M Sowinski, GISP

Organization: Visual Lease Services, Inc.

Abstract:  OKAssessor is an unparalleled search tool for property data offering more than 200 ways to search for properties of interest, alleviating the need to manually wade through county courthouse files. Over the past fourteen years, Visual Lease Services, Inc., (VLS) has been revising its online property search tool to include access to building footprints, photos, plat map pages, and more. Now, VLS combines their extensive knowledge of property and assessment and state-of-the-art technology to roll out a leading-edge parcel search web page. This innovative site will include all of the search functionality our customers expect, with so much more. This session will show a sneak-peak of what our clients will be seeing in the near future.

Title: Environmental Data at Your Fingertips, How an ArcGIS Online subscription is used 
to meet DEQ’s data sharing needs

Presenter:  Amy Brittain

Organziation: Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality

Abstract:  The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has been utilizing ArcGIS Online to create web maps and web GIS applications to share environmental data within the Agency and with the public since 2012.  In 2013, DEQ purchased an Agency subscription for ArcGIS Online.  This presentation will talk about how the Agency is implementing ArcGIS Online into the everyday business of GIS in the Agency (  The advantages of using this subscription and the challenges of full scale implementation will be discussed. 

Title:  Automating Quantitative Sub-seasonal Long Range Climate Forecasts using 
ArcGIS - WxOps Climate Toolkit Toolbar

Presenter: Amber Cannon - GIS Analyst

Organization: Weather Decision Technologies (WDT), Norman, OK

Abstract:  The WxOps Climate Toolkit was designed to automate and standardize the process of creating quantitative sub-seasonal long range forecasts in ArcGIS. A custom toolbar was created using the Python Add-In Wizard by ESRI. The functionality of this toolbar includes creating a polygon feature class from a template, generating a forecast, and exporting the resulting map to a .png image file. The forecast is generated for the specified date range using a custom dataset built from 30 years of National Weather Service (NWS) Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) sensor network data. Using this tool in combination with the climate dataset, WDT’s expert forecasters are able to produce quantitative sub-seasonal long range forecasts for Max/Min/Avg temperatures, growing degree days, and heating/cooling degree days. The tool is built fundamentally with the arcpy.mapping and arcpy.SA (spatial analyst) modules. The WxOps Climate Toolkit is presently undergoing testing by our WxOps forecast team in Houston and is expected to be an operational product in the coming months. It is currently in the second phase of development for the addition of many more features including blending of the hand drawn climate anomalies, automated extraction of all forecast values for specified points, and the incorporation of model data in addition to the current climate dataset to increase forecast accuracy.

Title: Mobile GIS for Public Garden Management

Presenter: Gary Philbrook

Organization: Philbrook Museum of Art GIS 

Abstract:  The Philbrook Museum of Art GIS is the outgrowth of an initiative to develop a comprehensive Tree Management Plan for the 29 acres of grounds.   The Philbrook GIS became an integral part of the Tree Management Plan by providing the data store and analytical tool to house a myriad of attribute data regarding each of the 1152 trees comprising 115 different species.  The GIS has become the tool of choice for managing its tree resources by collecting and displaying data on a wide variety of attribute information associated with each tree.  Tree hazards, pruning needs, tree health, tree lighting, tree photos, vine impacts and maintenance actions along with tree genus/species, diameter, height, and crown spread all provide a snapshot in time regarding the management needs and issues surrounding this valuable resource that dates to approximately 300 years ago.

The Philbrook GIS uses ESRI’s mobile web-based GIS applications to catalog and map each of the trees and was based on a combination of site specific survey data points, aerial photos, and GPS data points.  The GIS also houses other mapping applications such as topo and soils maps, flood plain maps for Crow Creek, City of Tulsa utilities, property surveys, management area designations and other site features such as sidewalks benches, outdoor sculptures, fences, gates, refuse containers, water fountains and signage.

The long-term objective of the Philbrook GIS is to provide two applications, one of which will run on either desktop or mobile applications that access all information remotely, and the other which will be used by our visiting public to access tree attribute and mapping information through the Philbrook Museum of Art web portal.  While the first GIS application is approximately 95 percent complete, it is anticipated that the public application will be completed and fully functional by the end of 2014.  Funding for this initiative was through a grant by the Phillips Foundation which endeavors to leverage public information in meaningful ways.

Questions regarding the Philbrook Museum of Art GIS and/or Tree Management Plan can be directed to Gary Huneycutt (918-748-5332); e-mail or Shelia Kanotz, Philbrook Garden Manager (918-748-5383); e-mail   

Title:  The City of Tulsa Storm Shelter Locations

Presenter: John Gregorovic & Josh Wise 

Organization: City of Tulsa

Abstract:  This project began directly after the May, 20th 2013 tornado in Moore, OK.  After the disaster, the City of Tulsa pulled resources from various departments (Police, Fire, E-911, Permitting, IT and the Emergency Operations Center) to determine the feasibility of creating a process to identify and map storm shelters. The ongoing collaboration produced a systematic process for mapping the location of storm shelters in the Tulsa area, which will allow emergency personnel to quickly determine the approximate location of storm shelters and possible survivors during catastrophic emergencies.  We would like to present our solution, and how it was developed from the permitting process into a GIS solution. 

Title:   GIS to the Rescue:  “Getting Emergency Responders to the Right Location”

Presenter:   Kurt Bickle

Organization:   INCOG

Abstract:  INCOG’s Regional E-911 Board members include the cities of Bixby, Claremore, Collinsville, Glenpool, Jenks, Owasso, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook, Tulsa and Tulsa County.  INCOG’s Mapping Division maintains the E-911 Streets and the Master Street Address Guide (land line telephone database) for each of these communities.  We are also responsible for verifying cell tower routing to each of the Public Safety Answering Points (E-911 Centers).  The presentation will describe INCOG’s E-911 mapping program beginning with the process of establishing an accurate Emergency Service Zone (ESN) shape file.  Currently there are thirty six (36) emergency service zones within the INCOG E-911 region.  We will also describe the process of maintaining and updating the E-911 Streets shape file and the land line telephone data base (MSAG).  We will explain the method we use to verify cell tower sector routing to ensure the cell phone caller reaches the proper E-911 Center.  This presentation will include examples of each of these processes and show how they come together to ensure that the emergency responders arrive at the caller’s location without delays.

Title: Using ArcGIS, Python, and R to study social interaction potential (SIP) in Tulsa 
and Oklahoma City

Presenter: Matt Haffner

Organization: Oklahoma State University

Abstract:  Social degradation is now a serious problem in cities in the United States. People are interacting in physical space with their neighbors, families, and those within their community less frequently. Recently “time geography” has enabled researchers to rethink traditional approaches to studies in social interaction along with studies in transportation, accessibility, and mobility. This subdiscipline of geography is based on an individualized approach that incorporates the constraints that all humans face on a day-to-day basis.
The programs ArcGIS, R, and Python valuable tools that can aid researchers in studying and measuring social interaction, especially when coupled with a time geographic theoretical framework. In this presentation I demonstrate a quantitative approach to measuring social interaction potential in Oklahoma City and Tulsa using ArcGIS, R, and Python. Using restaurants as activity locations, I calculate the amount of time that can potentially be spent interacting with others at activity locations based on different combinations of work locations and home locations within the two cities. The results of these studies can provide urban planners with valuable information about the nature and structure of cities.

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