2015 GIST-Online Master Projects

Halibut Avoidance Areas; Spatial Methods to Reduce Hablibut Incidental Catch by Non-Pelagic Trawl Vessels in the Bering Sea

Author: Joshua Keaton
Pacific Halibut is economically and culturally important. Halibut incidental catch is managed with prohibited species catch limits. Non-pelagic trawl catcher/processors catch halibut incidentally while fishing for multiple flatfish species in the Bering Sea and must minimize halibut prohibited species catch to maximize groundfish harvest. One way to minimize halibut prohibited species catch is to avoid areas with higher rates of halibut in relation to groundfish catch. Aggregating North Pacific fishery observer point data to a grid cell is necessary to avoid confidentiality concerns and to calculate a halibut rate per metric ton of groundfish. Various grid cell sizes can be used and the proper grid cell size should carefully be considered. Using Getis-Ord GI* hotspot analysis, the halibut rates per grid can be analyzed to find where high halibut rates cluster and identify halibut avoidance areas. Halibut rates are complex and influenced by many factors, including the target fishery and time of year. These factors should be considered when trying to define halibut avoidance areas. Using data from 2011 through 2014, several halibut avoidance areas were identified. These areas can be used by non-pelagic trawl catcher/processors to reduce halibut prohibited species catch.

Identifying Housing Patterns in Pima County, Arizona Using the DEYA Affordability Index and Geospatial Analysis

Author: Deyanira Nevarez Martinez
When the Fair Housing Act of 1968 was passed 47 years ago, the United States was in the midst of the civil rights movement and fair housing was identified as a pillar of equality. While, progress has been made, there is much work that needs to be done in order to achieve integration. As a country, the United States is a highly segregated country. It is important to understand the factors that contribute to this and it is important to understand the relationships that exists between them in order to attempt to solve the problem. While the legal barriers to integration have been lifted choices continue to be limited to families of color that lack the resources to live in desirable neighborhoods. The ultimate goal of this study is to examine the relationship between the impact of individual indicators and housing patterns in the greater Tucson/Pima county region. An affordability index, the DEYA index, was created to determine where affordability is at its highest. The index includes different weights for foreclosure, Pima County spending on affordable housing, the existence of Pima County general obligations bond affordable housing projects, land value and inclusion in the community land trust. Once this was determined a regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between affordability and individual factors that may be affecting integration. The indicators used were broken down into 3 categories: the categories were education, housing and neighborhoods, employment and economic health, transportation and mobility and health and the environment.

An Examination of Best Practices for Rural Addressing to Improve Public Safety

Author: Joshua Lacayo
Rural addressing is a geographically pertinent issue especially for smaller communities that lack this type of information. Businesses and residential structures within rural areas that do not have an authoritatively-assigned address can make emergency response to an incident quite difficult. The purpose and importance of rural addressing is intended to improve public safety response time in areas that currently lack traditional location markers such as street name, housing number, and/or cardinal directions. By assigning physical addresses to inhabitable structures, emergency dispatchers can better describe to first responders where an incident is actually taking place so they can more quickly and easily find the residence and/or business. My project will focus primarily on studying the methodology used in rural addressing and determining which process is best suited for implementation by communities that currently lack this type of location management. Additionally I will explore reverse geocoding and how this type of geoprocessing technique is used within ArcMap to assign addresses. My analysis will demonstrate whether the use of reverse geocoding against local road network data has made the overall process of rural addressing easier or more difficult.

An Introduction to Identifying Non-Point Sources of Water Pollution Using the Non-Point Source Identification Strategy (NPSIS), a Modified Land Use Conflict Identification Strategy (LUCIS)

Author: Jarrett Cziesch
Unlike point sources of water pollution (i.e. known sources of water pollution discharge such as pipes and outlets) non-point sources of water pollution are much more difficult to identify and in a sense unregulated. As an attempt to identify “potentially high sources of non-point water pollution”, the Non-Point Source Identification Strategy (NPSIS) standardizes and combines primary and secondary data based on the three known contributors (agricultural, domestic, and natural) of non-point source pollution. The NPSIS model is based upon the Land Use Conflict Identification Strategy (LUCIS) methodology and each non-point category (NPC) element is ranked, normalized and combined creating a final raster surface that illustrates the potential impact to water quality useful for identifying each dominant NPC by rank and location within a specified USGS watershed. . In addition to the NPSIS model illustrating NPC impact, the model also provides a numeric calculation of impact by contributor. In conclusion, the modifications to the LUCIS method yields results beneficial for identifying non-point source loads of water pollution.

3D Technology for Roadway Asset Visualization and Mapping

Author: Ausrine Kelbauskiene
The Federal Highway Administration publishes the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which describes the requirements for the installation and maintenance of traffic control devices on public and private streets. To meet these requirements, local governments use inventory techniques, such as high spatial resolution GPS technology, that are often costly and time-consuming. This project describes a web-based application capable of aiding public entities to efficiently and cost-effectively comply with federal standards. The application was developed using ArcGIS API for JavaScript and Google Maps API v3 for JavaScript and utilizes the panoramic view feature of Google Street View to identify traffic signs and signals on streets. Developed and tested using data from Banning, California;this tool allows users to perform a full spectrum of cataloging, editing, and other managing tasks on the street data of any city. This toolallows users can collect the data needed to plan for the timely installation and maintenance of traffic control devices at a low cost without having to leave their offices.

Web Based Site Suitability Tool for the Marcellus Well Pad Placement in Pennsylvania

Author: Gregory Kimmel
Natural gas exploration in the U.S. has increased dramatically over the last several years due to advances in hydraulic fracing. With new technology, natural gas extraction in areas such as the Marcellus formation in the eastern U.S. has become economically viable. The Seneca Resources Corporation uses subsurface data to locate the best possible locations for natural gas well pads in the Marcellus region of Pennsylvania. However, such a strategy may fail to account for environmental surface features, which may be subject to local, state, and federal regulations. This project aimed to produce a site suitability model and web-based application capable of allowing Seneca geologists to consider surface features and environmental and government regulations when choosing a well pad site. The suitability tool was developed using ArcGIS ModelBuilder and incorporates data on streams, wetlands, terrain, and threatened and endangered species. The model was published to the Seneca Resources GIS Portal and allows users to interactively view the suitability of well pad sites in the Marcellus region. This tool can be used to protect sensitive areas while supporting natural gas extraction in the region.

Assessing Landscape Fragmentation to Support the Prioritization of Grassland Restoration Treatments in Central Arizona

Author: Julie Mikolajczyk
Landscape fragmentation is a major concern to wildlife resource managers. Considering finite resources, spatial prioritization can help land managers justify expenditures to stakeholders and target interventions to areas where restoration activities, or conversely development projects, may have substantial impacts. Landscape fragmentation can be calculated using a number of spatial tools; however, sorting through the sheer number of options can be a challenge. This project aims to determine the most appropriate tools and measurements to calculate landscape metrics that can be used to assist with the prioritization of grassland projects. For the Central Arizona Grasslands Conservations Strategy (CAGCS) study area, fragmentation statistics were calculated using Python, ArcGIS ModelBuilder, and standalone programs, in a manner that allows for repetition, modification, and transparency. The results obtained from these tools are displayed in a lattice of hexagons, which contain relevant data that has already been collected as part of the CAGCS project. The fragmentation statistics calculated using these tools can be used by land managers to help answer management questions that guide habitat restoration resource allocation.

Deploying an Open Source GIS Application to Identify and Rank Undeveloped Parcels in Pima County, Arizona

Author: Brian Cunningham
: Many local governments collect and maintain data that can be used to evaluate the development potential of vacant land. Establishing a GIS architecture capable of housing this data and performing a suitability analysis, however, can be costly. This project utilizes affordable open source GIS software to model the suitability of vacant parcels in Pima County, Arizona, and to develop an interactive online application. The open source system utilizes data from public sources and transforms and analyzes it using integrated geospatial methods and structured query language (SQL). The interactive online application communicates up-to-date suitability to a target audience of market researchers tasked with locating, assembling, and ranking parcels for potential acquisition and development. This project demonstrates that it is possible to use affordable open source GIS to evaluate the suitability of vacant land and to provide updated data for land and development research.

Web Based Crime Identification Tool for the Tucson Police Department

Author: Aninna Thornburg
Keeping up with and using technology to aid in decision making is one of many challenges facing law enforcement. Integrating these tools into existing problem-solving and identification processes could thwart the commission of some crimes. The Tucson Police Department is challenged with depicting crime in its jurisdiction to the personnel that are charged with making resource allocation decisions (stakeholders). A platform that provides a visual depiction of the crime that occurs on a weekly basis as well as hotspots for criminal conduct was developed for the department using ArcMap. These maps are viewed by officers in the briefing areas so they can see what types of crime have occurred recently. An online representation of crime data that is visible by stakeholders as well as officers in the field was also developed using ArcGIS online. Both of these products use data that is updated to the City of Tucson GIS repository. The types of data depicted are Type I crimes (sex assaults, robberies, aggravated assaults and burglaries). Giving officers and commanders an idea of the areas where crime has occurred will aid them in the decision making that allows them to be patrol areas and allocate resources to areas to approach crime prevention in a proactive manner

Wildfire Risk Forecasting: Using Remote Sensing to Predict High Risk Wildfire Ignition Areas in Shasta County, California

Author: Michael Dehn
Wildfire presents a significant threat to life, property, and natural resources. This study explores how remote sensing applications can be employed to estimate the risk of wildfires in Northern California. The focus of this study will be on Shasta County as well as subsets of Northern Tehama County and Eastern Trinity County. The severity of wildfire is a function of elements within the fire shed such as vegetation cover, solar insolation, and vegetation moisture and biomass. Previous literature has made extensive use of various remote sensing applications to assess the threat of wildfire ignition and spread by identifying these fire shed elements that pose the greatest risk. This study will examine supervised and unsupervised classifications of vegetation species using a number of different spectra to determine which is most accurate. Using regression analysis, the most accurate of these classification systems is grouped with solar insulation as well as several NDVI raster’s as dependent variables to estimate wildfire size. Regression results indicate that the classification process can successfully identify areas of vegetation that increase the likelihood of large wildfire and potentially wildfire management agencies in identifying wildfire hazards.
Projects Date and time

Halibut Avoidance Areas; Spatial Methods to Reduce Hablibut Incidental Catch by Non-Pelagic Trawl Vessels in the Bering Sea


Author: Joshua Keaton
Pacific Halibut, avoidance areas, halibut rates, non-pelagic trawl catcher/processors
Pacific Halibut is economically and culturally important. Halibut incidental catch is managed with prohibited species catch limits. Non-pelagic trawl catcher/processors catch halibut incidentally while fishing for multiple flatfish species in the Bering Sea and must minimize halibut prohibited species catch to maximize groundfish harvest. One way to minimize halibut prohibited species catch is to avoid areas with higher rates of halibut in relation to groundfish catch. Aggregating North Pacific fishery observer point data to a grid cell is necessary to avoid confidentiality concerns and to calculate a halibut rate per metric ton of groundfish. Various grid cell sizes can be used and the proper grid cell size should carefully be considered. Using Getis-Ord GI* hotspot analysis, the halibut rates per grid can be analyzed to find where high halibut rates cluster and identify halibut avoidance areas. Halibut rates are complex and influenced by many factors, including the target fishery and time of year. These factors should be considered when trying to define halibut avoidance areas. Using data from 2011 through 2014, several halibut avoidance areas were identified. These areas can be used by non-pelagic trawl catcher/processors to reduce halibut prohibited species catch.

Identifying Housing Patterns in Pima County, Arizona Using the DEYA Affordability Index and Geospatial Analysis


Author: Deyanira Nevarez Martinez
Fair housing, segregated housing, affordability, geostatistical analysis
When the Fair Housing Act of 1968 was passed 47 years ago, the United States was in the midst of the civil rights movement and fair housing was identified as a pillar of equality. While, progress has been made, there is much work that needs to be done in order to achieve integration. As a country, the United States is a highly segregated country. It is important to understand the factors that contribute to this and it is important to understand the relationships that exists between them in order to attempt to solve the problem. While the legal barriers to integration have been lifted choices continue to be limited to families of color that lack the resources to live in desirable neighborhoods. The ultimate goal of this study is to examine the relationship between the impact of individual indicators and housing patterns in the greater Tucson/Pima county region. An affordability index, the DEYA index, was created to determine where affordability is at its highest. The index includes different weights for foreclosure, Pima County spending on affordable housing, the existence of Pima County general obligations bond affordable housing projects, land value and inclusion in the community land trust. Once this was determined a regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between affordability and individual factors that may be affecting integration. The indicators used were broken down into 3 categories: the categories were education, housing and neighborhoods, employment and economic health, transportation and mobility and health and the environment.

An Examination of Best Practices for Rural Addressing to Improve Public Safety


Author: Joshua Lacayo
rural addressing, emergency response, database management, reverse geocoding
Rural addressing is a geographically pertinent issue especially for smaller communities that lack this type of information. Businesses and residential structures within rural areas that do not have an authoritatively-assigned address can make emergency response to an incident quite difficult. The purpose and importance of rural addressing is intended to improve public safety response time in areas that currently lack traditional location markers such as street name, housing number, and/or cardinal directions. By assigning physical addresses to inhabitable structures, emergency dispatchers can better describe to first responders where an incident is actually taking place so they can more quickly and easily find the residence and/or business. My project will focus primarily on studying the methodology used in rural addressing and determining which process is best suited for implementation by communities that currently lack this type of location management. Additionally I will explore reverse geocoding and how this type of geoprocessing technique is used within ArcMap to assign addresses. My analysis will demonstrate whether the use of reverse geocoding against local road network data has made the overall process of rural addressing easier or more difficult.

An Introduction to Identifying Non-Point Sources of Water Pollution Using the Non-Point Source Identification Strategy (NPSIS), a Modified Land Use Conflict Identification Strategy (LUCIS)


Author: Jarrett Cziesch
non-point source pollution, LUCIS, water pollution, watershed modeling
Unlike point sources of water pollution (i.e. known sources of water pollution discharge such as pipes and outlets) non-point sources of water pollution are much more difficult to identify and in a sense unregulated. As an attempt to identify “potentially high sources of non-point water pollution”, the Non-Point Source Identification Strategy (NPSIS) standardizes and combines primary and secondary data based on the three known contributors (agricultural, domestic, and natural) of non-point source pollution. The NPSIS model is based upon the Land Use Conflict Identification Strategy (LUCIS) methodology and each non-point category (NPC) element is ranked, normalized and combined creating a final raster surface that illustrates the potential impact to water quality useful for identifying each dominant NPC by rank and location within a specified USGS watershed. . In addition to the NPSIS model illustrating NPC impact, the model also provides a numeric calculation of impact by contributor. In conclusion, the modifications to the LUCIS method yields results beneficial for identifying non-point source loads of water pollution.

3D Technology for Roadway Asset Visualization and Mapping


Author: Ausrine Kelbauskiene
3D mapping, traffic control devices, roadway assets, sign inventory
The Federal Highway Administration publishes the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which describes the requirements for the installation and maintenance of traffic control devices on public and private streets. To meet these requirements, local governments use inventory techniques, such as high spatial resolution GPS technology, that are often costly and time-consuming. This project describes a web-based application capable of aiding public entities to efficiently and cost-effectively comply with federal standards. The application was developed using ArcGIS API for JavaScript and Google Maps API v3 for JavaScript and utilizes the panoramic view feature of Google Street View to identify traffic signs and signals on streets. Developed and tested using data from Banning, California;this tool allows users to perform a full spectrum of cataloging, editing, and other managing tasks on the street data of any city. This toolallows users can collect the data needed to plan for the timely installation and maintenance of traffic control devices at a low cost without having to leave their offices.

Web Based Site Suitability Tool for the Marcellus Well Pad Placement in Pennsylvania


Author: Gregory Kimmel
well pad, Marcellus formation, site suitability, natural gas
Natural gas exploration in the U.S. has increased dramatically over the last several years due to advances in hydraulic fracing. With new technology, natural gas extraction in areas such as the Marcellus formation in the eastern U.S. has become economically viable. The Seneca Resources Corporation uses subsurface data to locate the best possible locations for natural gas well pads in the Marcellus region of Pennsylvania. However, such a strategy may fail to account for environmental surface features, which may be subject to local, state, and federal regulations. This project aimed to produce a site suitability model and web-based application capable of allowing Seneca geologists to consider surface features and environmental and government regulations when choosing a well pad site. The suitability tool was developed using ArcGIS ModelBuilder and incorporates data on streams, wetlands, terrain, and threatened and endangered species. The model was published to the Seneca Resources GIS Portal and allows users to interactively view the suitability of well pad sites in the Marcellus region. This tool can be used to protect sensitive areas while supporting natural gas extraction in the region.

Assessing Landscape Fragmentation to Support the Prioritization of Grassland Restoration Treatments in Central Arizona


Author: Julie Mikolajczyk
wildlife, Arizona, GIS, grasslands, fragmentation, Central Arizona Conservation Strategy, CAGCS
Landscape fragmentation is a major concern to wildlife resource managers. Considering finite resources, spatial prioritization can help land managers justify expenditures to stakeholders and target interventions to areas where restoration activities, or conversely development projects, may have substantial impacts. Landscape fragmentation can be calculated using a number of spatial tools; however, sorting through the sheer number of options can be a challenge. This project aims to determine the most appropriate tools and measurements to calculate landscape metrics that can be used to assist with the prioritization of grassland projects. For the Central Arizona Grasslands Conservations Strategy (CAGCS) study area, fragmentation statistics were calculated using Python, ArcGIS ModelBuilder, and standalone programs, in a manner that allows for repetition, modification, and transparency. The results obtained from these tools are displayed in a lattice of hexagons, which contain relevant data that has already been collected as part of the CAGCS project. The fragmentation statistics calculated using these tools can be used by land managers to help answer management questions that guide habitat restoration resource allocation.

Deploying an Open Source GIS Application to Identify and Rank Undeveloped Parcels in Pima County, Arizona


Author: Brian Cunningham
open source, Pima County, PostGIS, Web mapping, Geoserver, suitability
: Many local governments collect and maintain data that can be used to evaluate the development potential of vacant land. Establishing a GIS architecture capable of housing this data and performing a suitability analysis, however, can be costly. This project utilizes affordable open source GIS software to model the suitability of vacant parcels in Pima County, Arizona, and to develop an interactive online application. The open source system utilizes data from public sources and transforms and analyzes it using integrated geospatial methods and structured query language (SQL). The interactive online application communicates up-to-date suitability to a target audience of market researchers tasked with locating, assembling, and ranking parcels for potential acquisition and development. This project demonstrates that it is possible to use affordable open source GIS to evaluate the suitability of vacant land and to provide updated data for land and development research.

Web Based Crime Identification Tool for the Tucson Police Department


Author: Aninna Thornburg
crime data, law enforcement, crime identification, Tucson Police Department
Keeping up with and using technology to aid in decision making is one of many challenges facing law enforcement. Integrating these tools into existing problem-solving and identification processes could thwart the commission of some crimes. The Tucson Police Department is challenged with depicting crime in its jurisdiction to the personnel that are charged with making resource allocation decisions (stakeholders). A platform that provides a visual depiction of the crime that occurs on a weekly basis as well as hotspots for criminal conduct was developed for the department using ArcMap. These maps are viewed by officers in the briefing areas so they can see what types of crime have occurred recently. An online representation of crime data that is visible by stakeholders as well as officers in the field was also developed using ArcGIS online. Both of these products use data that is updated to the City of Tucson GIS repository. The types of data depicted are Type I crimes (sex assaults, robberies, aggravated assaults and burglaries). Giving officers and commanders an idea of the areas where crime has occurred will aid them in the decision making that allows them to be patrol areas and allocate resources to areas to approach crime prevention in a proactive manner

Wildfire Risk Forecasting: Using Remote Sensing to Predict High Risk Wildfire Ignition Areas in Shasta County, California


Author: Michael Dehn
wildfire, remote sensing, spectra accuracy, classification, northern California
Wildfire presents a significant threat to life, property, and natural resources. This study explores how remote sensing applications can be employed to estimate the risk of wildfires in Northern California. The focus of this study will be on Shasta County as well as subsets of Northern Tehama County and Eastern Trinity County. The severity of wildfire is a function of elements within the fire shed such as vegetation cover, solar insolation, and vegetation moisture and biomass. Previous literature has made extensive use of various remote sensing applications to assess the threat of wildfire ignition and spread by identifying these fire shed elements that pose the greatest risk. This study will examine supervised and unsupervised classifications of vegetation species using a number of different spectra to determine which is most accurate. Using regression analysis, the most accurate of these classification systems is grouped with solar insulation as well as several NDVI raster’s as dependent variables to estimate wildfire size. Regression results indicate that the classification process can successfully identify areas of vegetation that increase the likelihood of large wildfire and potentially wildfire management agencies in identifying wildfire hazards.