Meeting Date: 
Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 18:00
Richardson 313
Description/Additional Information: 

Monthly meeting:


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Online Notes: 

Spatial Data Management Group Meeting, Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 10:00 am in Richardson 313

Attendees: Dave, G. Narayanaraj, Heather, Keith, Kelly, Kuuipo, Matt, Peter, Terralyn


Notes: Dave

Treats:  Matt

Facilitator:  Terralyn

Topic:  None

1.      Meetings:  

a. ESRI Developers Conference in Palm Springs:  March 10-13; http://www.esri.com/events/devsummit

Keith Olsen is going as the OSU Esri Development Center representative.  It was suggested that he could get information from others at OSU doing GIS development work – e.g., Matt G., Marc R.  An OSU student who is also going submitted an abstract and got voted up by a school he has connections with in Slovakia, so he might be a speaker.

b. Willamette Valley GIS Users Group  Winter meeting:  Wednesday February 26, 1-4pm  Lane Council of Governments,  Eugene, OR  (looking for presentations)

c. GIS in Action:  April 16 and 17, Portland State University; Open StreetMap is also meeting in conjunction with GIS in Action.


2.      Software/Hardware issues

ArcGIS 10.2 is available to be rolled out at COF now.  In June 2014, OSU’s license expires for ArcGIS 9.3.1, so there won’t be a functioning license manager for it anymore.

ArcInfo Workstation is a separate install, and is still usable in its 10.0 format (with a license manager).  (The USGS/DOI enterprise license allows for a Single-Use license of Workstation 9.3, but only for DOI employees.)

There was a question as to whether an automated AML script conversion program exists.  No one knew of any.  The assumption was that one has to write new Python scripts manually to replace AMLs.

The COF production ArcGIS Server is still at version 9.3.1 and should be updated.  The development server is at 10 (.0?).


3.      Data:

a.       Digital orthophotography CD’s need a new home.  Theresa no longer wants to host them.  Peter said that USFS-Siuslaw got rid of their cabinet of CDs.


4.      Training: None


5.      Round Table: (includes introductions)

Dave – Biologist/GIS/data manager for USGS FRESC Aquatics group; found a bug in the Zonal Statistics as Table tool.  For some (but not all) rasters, a zone feature class with a long zone field name can crash ArcMap.  Workarounds are to shorten the zone field name, use ObjectID or FID as the zone field, or convert the feature class to raster manually and use the raster as the zone data.

G. Narayanaraj – Dr. Narayanaraj is the new faculty member who is teaching the GIScience courses for this academic year (until June 15).  He’ll be teaching a Python course, Scripting for ArcGIS in Python (might also cover some SAS and R).  He hasn’t taught it before, but has done a lot of programming. He wondered whether there were any cross-listed courses in different departments (e.g., Geosciences, Forestry, etc.).  We mentioned that Michael Wing and Thomas Hilker teach GIS and/or remote sensing courses in Forestry.  We were not sure if any courses are specifically cross-listed.  Michael Wing is also on the coordinating committee for the GIS Certificate Program.  The program has about 20-30 graduates per year.

Dr. Narayanaraj grew up in the forests of Tamil Nadu in India, and has worked in both temperate and tropical regions for the past 15 years while pursuing research in behavioral, ecological and geospatial sciences.  His work experiences include forest fire ecological research in the Pacific Northwest, teaching about butterflies in a Costa Rican cloud forest, designing a biodiversity curriculum for an urban school in Boston, teaching natural history and ecology in the Grand Tetons, and mapping vegetation using Geospatial Technologies in the southern Appalachians.  As a result of these and other experiences, he has developed a strong interest in studying natural resource issues at multiple scale using remote sensing and geographic information systems.  Please visit this link below if you want to learn more about his research background.


Heather – Works on the GNN/LEMMA project for College of Forestry, does DB administrator and GIS work.  She is preparing the database to distribute models, wondering what the best format is to use.  They have been using MS Access, but are wondering about using file geodatabases for part of the data.  But since fGDB are not able to be accessed via ODBC, this limits the value of the format.  She thought that it might work to use Access for the individual tree records, but use fGDB for the stand-level data.

Keith – Works for the College of Forestry on the NASA Carbon Project, modeling tradeoffs.

Kelly – Works with the USFS Aquatics group, studying climate change in SE Alaska, salmon, amphibians; Kelly will be getting and testing the Esri Bathymetry extension, working in estuaries.  He is also tracking plotter usage in FSL.  Let him know if you are printing posters for conferences, so he can track who is using the plotter.

Kuuipo – Program Director of Geographic Information Science Certificate Program.  The program consists of 27 credit hours for the undergraduate certificate, and 19 hours for the graduate certificate. Both on campus and online courses are available.  The graduate certificate is available entirely via Ecampus.

Tony Grubesic, a new professor in CEOAS, will be speaking about the “Vision for the OSU Geospatial Intelligence and Planning Initiative” on March 14 at noon at Kelley Engineering Center 1001.  Geospatial Intelligence is used in military and natural resource hazard applications and deals with big data.

We all have to face reality some time.  The latest painful truth: Dawn Wright is not coming back. (This interpretation is the note-taker’s, not anyone else’s.)  CEOAS is starting a search process to hire her replacement, at an Assistant Professor level.

Matt – Works on the GNN/LEMMA project for College of Forestry, does programming, visualization, and cartography; doing endless GNN modeling.  They are moving into preparing the eastern Oregon data from 1984 to 2012.   They use LandTrendr as their source; California is not ready yet in LandTrendr.  Talked about using LIDAPS for surface reflectance.  At ForestSAT, someone gave a talk on how it extracts all good pixels from all scenes and, using a sinusoidal curve, generates daily trended outputs.

Matt also talked about Google Earth Engine, a computation engine that ingests a lot of different satellite imagery, so you can do image processing using their cloud data.  Matt has the API.  It is free for “trusted testers” (of which, I believe, Matt is one).

Peter – Works for AREMP, BLM/USFS partnership, evaluates watershed conditions in the Northwest Forest Plan region.  They are gearing up for the 20-year NWFP report, preparing the roads layer.  He was experiencing his fGDB behaving sluggishly as it iterated through a bunch of catchments to do a raster analysis.  It would slow down as it went through the iteration.  (Dave had experienced similar issues; fGDBs get slow the more objects they contain.)

Terralyn – Associate Directory of Computing Resources and Systems Administrator, College of Forestry.

People in the College of Business and the School of Environmental Engineering and Computer Science were working on setting up a Software Center of Excellence, a collaboration between the Open Source Lab and Business Solutions Group.  The Center was originally in the College of Business, lost its leadership there, and is looking to move to EECS. They want researchers to write funding into their grants; they don’t have funding of their own.  They are working on a “programmer pool” list, so people know who’s available to work on projects.

Digital Asset Management – for photos, videos, etc., not spatial data.  They are developing some solutions for archiving.  Theresa and Terralyn go to the meetings.  The Vice Provost office for IS is looking to create a repository for their infrastructure data.  They are aware that COF wants to share/collaborate on a cloud solution.

Terralyn looked into Amazon’s cloud computing prices, and found that they charge the same thing COF does for storage – 50 cents/GB above 500 GB.

6.      Next meeting:  February 27

  1. Topic – Dr. Narayanaraj?  Someone else?
  2. Notes: Theresa
  3. Treats: Kuuipo
  4. Facilitator: Kelly
  5. Room Reservation: Terralyn