Monday, September 30, 2013

Special Topics in GIS Student Spotlights

GIS4930 Special Topics in GIS, Mrs. Amber Bloechle

Statistical Analysis Prepare Week

In Statistical Analyst Prepare week we prepared census data for geostatistical analysis, created and calculated attribute fields with Python scripts, applied the Spatial Join function to join shapefiles, wrote the introduction and background sections of the written report (following specific guidelines), and created a basemap of the study area. 

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Prepare US census data and other relevant data for geostatistical analysis in ArcGIS. 
  • Automate creation of new fields and calculations within attribute fields using Python scripts.
  • Self-assess comprehension of key concepts with regards to spatial analysis techniques presented and methods utilized in this module.

The following student was chosen for their exception work on the Statistical Analysis Prepare Week assignment:

James Tennyson 

About James:  James is originally from Mississippi and has also lived in Pensacola very near the UWF campus. Currently, he has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 2000 and doesn't want to be anywhere else. He took his first GIS class in 2004 as part of a training course, and has been hooked on GIS ever since. James has used GIS in his past three jobs. The past five years were spent working on a research project as a fish biologist and GIS analyst for Oregon State Univ. in Corvallis, OR. Before that as a Water Resources Environmental Specialist for the Washington Dept. of Ecology, both in Spokane and Yakima, WA, in two very different capacities. In his spare time (when he can get some), he loves to mountain bike and road bike, any biking! Being in the Pacific Northwest affords so many outdoor activities but his favorite is poking around the woods in the Fall when the Chanterelles start fruiting.

What we like: James did an excellent job with his map. He included an inset map for geographic reference, he identified Charleston (the city referenced in his title), and he implemented other basemap layer such as roads and counties to give his map more meaning. We would also like to commend him on his color and symbology choices a swell as his overall organization. He also did a great job of finding outside documents to support his paper. Way to go, James!

Statistical Analysis Analyze Week

This week we reviewed regression analysis basics, ordinary least squares and geographic weighted regression. We also defined dependent and independent variables for regression analysis, ran the ordinary least squares model, and completed the 6 checks for OLS results to determine which variables were significant and non-significant. Deliverables this week included a map showing StdResidual results from the final OLS model and the Methods section the final report including the OLS Results table and the map.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Apply regression analysis basics, ordinary least squares and geographic weighted regression analyses to locational data in ArcGIS. 
  • Define dependent and independent socio-economic variables (derived from US Census and research) for use in regression analysis.
  • Run an Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) model in ArcGIS as basis of analysis.
  • Complete 6 checks as provided by ESRI Help for OLS results to determine which variables are significant or non-significant.
  • Self-assess comprehension of key concepts with regards to spatial analysis techniques presented and methods utilized in this module.

The following student was chosen for their exception work on the Statistical Analysis Analyze Week assignment:

Kala Knapp 

Kala Knapp
About Kala: Kala is an Environmental Ecologist living in Deerfield Beach, FL. She studied Ecology and Geology as an undergraduate at Florida Atlantic University. She initially started this program with the hopes of more job opportunities and has since gotten her current job as an Arborist with FPL on the Vegetation Management team and she utilizes GIS daily. Kala has found a passion for GIS and the many applications. She still between graduate degrees but GIS is in the top 3 choices!

What we like: Kala provided a clear understanding and description of the project. She detailed her process and also provided detailed explanations regarding her OLS table and map. We also liked that her map includes an inset map and basemap layers such as counties for geographic reference as well as her color choice and organization. This was a very tough project for everyone but her presentation simplified its complexity. Great job, Kala!

Check back next week for next week's spotlight on an Internship student!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Special Topics in Archaeology: Student Spotlight

GIS4990/5990 Special Topics in Archaeology, Dr. Scott Palumbo

Finding Maya Pyramids: Report and Publication

This week, students completed their study of the classified Maya Pyramids Landsat imagery. So far, they have learned the significance of the different bands in Landsat imagery, as well as their applications to archaeological data, and they have learned how to generate composite band images and create a training sample for supervised classification. Now that they have a classified image that indicates where additional archaeological resources may be located, students will transform that information into a tool that can be accessed by either our colleagues, a client, or the general public. The final portion of each of the modules will deal with presenting information in a format that is accessible to a wider public, as this is a key component of GIS archaeological studies. We may be the best GIS technicians in the world, but that does us little good if we can’t get our information to a wider audience! 

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Edit a raster image to display select information
  • Export raster data to .kml or .kmz formats
  • View and share this data in Google Earth
  • Compare our Maya perspective to Southeast Asia (undergrads)
  • Begin a comparative analysis in Southeast Asia (grads)


The following student was chosen for their exceptional work on the Finding Maya Pyramids: Report and Publication assignment:

Andrea McCarthy

About Andrea: Andrea is an archaeologist living in Baton Rouge, LA.  She went to LSU for her undergrad in Anthropology and got her Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of New Orleans.  She currently uses GIS in the field and in the office.  Andrea is about to start a new job in Historic Preservation, which is her passion, and will be the GIS specialist for the State of Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation.  

Congratulations on being this week's student spotlight!

What we like: One of the things we particularly liked about Andrea's project was her ability to use the skills practiced for the classification of satellite imagery in Guatemala and translate them to Cambodia. Both Cambodia and Guatemala have roughly similar environments and the archaeological sites in each both contain stone architecture. Andrea was able to critically assess the utility of different classification types in each area and, in Cambodia, come to a rough estimate of the spatial distribution of stone architecture and canal features

Tune in next week on the same bat channel to see our spotlight on Special Topics in GIS!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Remote Sensing: Student Spotlight

GIS4035 Photo Interpretation and Remote Sensing, Mr. Brian Fulfrost

Visual Interpretation

In this laboratory exercise, students learned some basic principles of interpreting features found on aerial
photographs. These principles range from concepts so basic that they might never have considered them, to
quite obvious ideas, and finally some more advanced techniques.  

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Interpret the tone and texture of aerial photographs 
  • Identify land features in an aerial photograph based on several visual attributes 
  • Compare similar land features in true color and false color infrared (IR) photographs project name


The following student was chosen for their exception work on the Visual Interpretation assignment:

Lynne Johnson

About Lynne: Lynne started her schooling in Maine at the University of New England as a marine bio major but transferred to Suffolk University in Boston after one year.  From there she got her B.S. in Communication & Journalism.  After a few years of being out of school and wanting to change her direction, she found GIS. She hopes that GIS will be her foot in the door to marine conservation - specifically focusing on plastic pollution in the oceans. When asked if she would describe herself as a raster or vector, she replied "I would describe myself as a raster I think.  I like to be very organized and have things well structured."  Welcome to the spotlight Lynne - bask in the glow!

What we like: Many of the students found success in accomplishing this week’s laboratory tasks. However, Lynne’s map stood out for being neatly designed. She did an excellent job creating clear and legible labels, and making the most of the layout space. Furthermore, her process summary explanation was very detailed, specifically her reasoning for choosing her features (Shape & Size, Shadows, Pattern, and Association) in the exercise 2 map.

Keep your eyes open for next week's spotlight which will feature a student from Special Topics in Archaeology!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

GIS Internships - Let's get to work!

GIS4944/5945, GIS Internship, Instructor, Mrs.Leah Lewis, GISP


The following students were chosen to highlight their current GIS internship experience.  

Jack Gibson 

About Jack: Congratulations are in order to Mr. Jack Gibson, our first internship spotlight.  Jack has secured an internship with Orange County Public works in sunny Orlando, Florida.  Jack is a graduate of the University of Central Florida.  During his internship, Jack will be working a variety of tasks.  These include creating python scripts to update stormwater models and also for tasks in the traffic division.
He will also be creating training tutorials and teaching at least one of the courses.  It sounds Jack is going to have a very busy semester! Congratulations on being the first Fall Spotlight.  Keep up the good work!

Jay Johnson 

About Jay: Our second internship spotlight is Jay Johnson.  In May 2006, Jay earned my AA from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College then moved to Liberty County, Georgia where his wife was serving in the Army. He spent the next year and a half as an Army husband before he started working for the Liberty County Board of Assessors as a Mapping/GIS Technician. Jay is responsible for creating, correcting and maintaining tax parcel data from real estate deeds and plats using a GIS. He also provides technical mapping assistance and support to department personnel. During the past 5 years, he has played a key role in developing Liberty County's public facing web application for tax parcel information. Currently, Jay is working on creating an address point feature class that can be linked directly to each residential and commercial improvement in the County's Computer Aided Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system. Upon completion of the GIS certificate program, Jay plans on submitting my application for GISP. The Online GIS team had the pleasure of meeting Jay at the ESRI's Southeast User's Conference in Jacksonville, FL.  Way to stay involved in the community and welcome to the club!

Stay tuned for next week's spotlight!!