Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Applications in GIS Student Spotlight!

GIS4048, Applications in GIS, Mrs. Penelope Mitchell

MEDS Project

In the previous week we assembled the Minimum Essential Dataset as defined by DHS for the Boston Metropolitan Statistical Area.  This week we identified critical infrastructure, define associated security checkpoints, and set up clear view surveillance points in the vicinity of the Boston Marathon finish line location.  We then compiled our analysis to provide useful maps for security and surveillance teams.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Create new point data
  • Summarize attribute data in a table
  • Generate a near table analysis
  • Explore LiDAR data using the LAS toolbar
  • Convert LAS Dataset to Raster
  • Generate Hillshade surface
  • Perform Viewshed analysis
  • Create a Line of Sight in 2D and 3D
  • Use ArcScene Viewer from the 3D Analyst Toolbar
  • Compile and present results for real world problem solving
  • Provide synopsis of maps, the overall processes of creation, and potential applications.

The following student was chosen for their exceptional work on the MEDS Project assignment:

Brandon Griswold 

About Brandon: Brandon has been in the GIS field for almost three years now. Recently, he made the move from the public sector to the private sector. Formerly, he was a GIS Specialist for Bernards Township in New Jersey. He spends most of his time maintaining existing shapefiles for the municipality, performing system administration of GeoClinet, capturing data points in the field, and training other staff in GIS related software and hardware. He recently left this position when a new opportunity came along, and now he words for a GIS software company that specializes in making municipal management software that integrates GIS data directly into it. When asked if he would describe himself as more of a raster or a vector, Brandon said that it would vary by the day. Sometimes he can feel precise and totally accurate in his work, like a vector, and other days he isn't so precise, but accurate enough to make it look pretty, like a raster. Overall, he thinks he is more of a vector though. He feels knowing exactly where you stand on something is better than having a general idea.

What we like: In map 1, Brandon did a great job employing and stylizing with the military template. He also did an excellent job highlighting important information of the map while subtly yet effectively displaying necessary background information.  The inset maps are nicely done; it is obvious where on the map the finish line inset is referencing and the locator inset provides an appropriate geographic reference at county level.

In map 2, he did a great job utilizing the the Line of Sight tool to pinpoint surveillance locations.  The Surveillance points and important associated information such as optimal observation height are displayed clearly on top of the orthoimagery and viewshed layers in one data frame.  The LOS profile references one of the furthest and more obstructed observation points to provide valuable information to the surveillance team.  The locator inset map is very effective at the city level and with the addition of a couple major roads.  The supplemental text throughout the map does a great job guiding the user through the information.

Keep up the superb work, Brandon!

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