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Welcome to the Annual GIS Training

May 15th - May 17th 2018, Cookeville, TN

  • Plenary Session

    Jason Duke, GIS Steering Committee Members

    Tuesday, May 15th: 8:00am - 11:30, Nursing Auditorium

    • Welcome, Logistics, and Introductions - Jason Duke, Region 4 GIS
    • Regional GIS Update - Jason Duke
    • What's New in ArcGIS and ArcGIS Pro - ESRI Staff
    • Break
    • IT Update - John Taitano, R4 CTO
    • Break
    • Keynote - Implementing UAS-based LiDAR for High-Resolution Data Capture, Andy Carroll, Skytech, LLC
  • Keynote: Implementing UAS-based LiDAR for High-Resolution Data Capture

    Andy Carroll, Skytec, LLC

    Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensors are commonly used to capture of high resolution 3D point clouds, surfaces and terrain models. LiDAR sensors are fully capable of vegetation and ground cover penetration for accurate terrain surface measurement, as compared to more common, less obstruction tolerant, photogrammetric methods. Recent advances for inertial measurement unit devices, global navigation satellite system receivers, and regulatory authorizations have increased the deployment of unmanned aerial systems (UASs) for geospatial data acquisition. Comparably, commercially manufactured LiDAR sensor payloads are available in smaller form factors and weights. Results from recent field mapping missions and LiDAR sensor evaluations, indicate increased mobility, reduction of safety hazards, and high data quality results from LiDAR enabled UAS platforms. In addition, UAS systems offer potential time and cost savings, verses traditional survey or manned aircraft acquisitions.

    Mr. Andy Carroll is Co-Founder and CTO of Skytec LLC, an aerial data service provider, based in Chattanooga, TN. Andy has over 18 years of professional experience in environmental and natural resource applications of GIS and remote sensing. Andy has a Master’s of Science Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is a registered Professional Geologist and GISP. Andy has managed multiple state and federally funded applied GIS and remote sensing research projects through his role as Director and principal investigator for the Interdisciplinary Geospatial Technology Lab at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Andy previously served as project manager for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Superfund, where his work focused on geospatial application development for CERCLIS site management. Andy and his business partner, formed Skytec in March of 2015.

  • GIS Introduction

    Matt Snider, Daniel Adams, Mark Parr, Jose Barrios, Jason Duke, Angela Erves

    Tuesday, May 15th - Thursday, May 17th: all day, Foundation Hall TBD

    Required skill sets: Basic computer skills and a willingness to learn. A sense of humor helps, too.

    Never used a GIS? Last used GIS 15 years ago? This class is for you. ArcGIS Professional. Hands-on.

  • ArcGIS Professional (Pro)

    ESRI Staff

    Tuesday, May 15th 1:00pm - 5:00, Wednesday May 16th 8:00 - 10:00am Foundation Hall TBD

    Learn ArcGIS Pro the Desktop GIS successor to ArcMap.

  • LiDAR and Terrain Analysis

    Doug Newcomb

    Tuesday, May 15th: 1:00 - 5:00pm, Wednesday May 16th: 8:00 - 10:00am Foundation Hall TBD

    LiDAR derived data products are being used to determine hydrologic and vegetation metrics important to species habitat requirements. In this session , you will learn what LiDAR data is, the various types of LiDAR data, different software packages (ArcGIS,Global Mapper, GRASS) that you can use to process LiDAR point data, and different methods of performing terrain analysis from LiDAR derived surfaces.

  • ERDAS Imagine Tips and Tricks

    Hexagon US Federal

    Wednesday, May 16th 10:00am - 12:00pm Foundation Hall TBD

    This 2-hour session will cover Advanced Change Detection, Image Indices and Using the Image Chain. During this 2-hour session, students will learn the various methods of change detection starting with visualization, followed by image differences and finally by a change detection project based on user-defined areas. In addition, students will learn how to use some of the imbedded water and vegetative indices within ERDAS Imagine. Finally, students will learn how to create and export images based on thematic color ramps.

  • Predictive Distribution Modeling with Maxent

    Mark Endries

    Wednesday, May 16th: 10:00am - 12:00pm, Foundation Hall TBD

    Required skill sets: Knowledge of ArcGIS, including use with Spatial Analyst and ModelBuilder. However, all participants are encouraged to attend the class, regardless of still level.

    This session will provide an introduction to Maximum Entropy (Maxent) Modeling. Maxent is a machine learning technique that can be used to predict the geographic distribution of any spatial phenomena, including plants and animals. The course will expose participants to thinking about how to include data in a Maxent model, how to properly format data for use with Maxent, running a Maxent model, interpreting the model results, and formatting Maxent output for use in GIS. The course uses ArcGIS for data formatting and viewing, however other options will be discussed.


    • Understand how limitations of existing GIS data affects Maxent model results
    • Understand how to take existing GIS data and properly format it for the Maxent modeling software
    • Understand how to run a Maxent model. This includes understanding all of the various modeling options available and how to set the modeling parameters.
    • Understand how to interpret Maxent model statistics, charts, graphs, and map.
    • Understand how to take the Maxent model output and format it for use in ArcGIS.
  • ERDAS Imagine and Point Cloud exploitation

    Hexagon US Federal

    Wednesday, May 16th 1:30 - 4:30pm Foundation Hall TBD

    This 3 and 1/2 hour session will cover the basics of LiDAR and Point clouds within ERDAS Imagine. Topics covered will include viewing, measurements, classification and filtering as well as creating digital surface models. Upon completion, students will extract a point cloud from a stereo image pair.

  • Model Builder Intro

    Blaine Elliot, Roy Hewitt

    Thursday, May 17th: 8:00am - 12:00, Foundation Hall TBD

    Required skill sets: Good working knowledge of and experience using ArcGIS. Experience using tools in ArcToolbox.

    Haven't used ModelBuilder before or have a cursory understanding of it and want to get a better understanding of the basics of ModelBuilder? ModelBuilder Intro will set that foundation. You will learn what ModelBuilder is, familiarize yourself with it's interface and how to build a basic model(s).

  • Story Maps

    Kirsten Luke, Jose Barrios

    Wednesday, May 16th: 1:00 - 4:30pm, Foundation Hall TBD

    Story Maps let you combine authoritative maps with narrative text, images, and multimedia content. They make it easy to harness the power of maps and geography to tell your story. In this section we will introduce you to StoryMaps, show some ESRI templates and develop a story map from scratch using maps from ARCGIS Online (AGOL) and specially formatted tabular data. (all participants need their own AGOL account. Please set up in advance - use this form if you are FWS.

  • Introduction to QGIS

    Doug Newcomb

    Wednesday, May 16th: 3:30pm - 4:30, Foundation Hall TBD

    QGIS is a free, open source cross-platform (Windows, OSX, Linux) full featured desktop gis which can be used for vector and raster editing and analysis. This session will cover the basic qgis interface, common vector data creation, editing, and analysis, along with the functionality of commonly commonly used plugins for gps, geotagged photos, etc. As time permits, supervised raster classification may be covered.

  • Avenza

    Brian Van Druten

    Thursday, May 17th: 10:00am - 12:00pm, Foundation Hall TBD

    Prerequisites: Install the Avenza Map application on your device. For federal participant, most agencies now have a blanket license for the Pro version. Please consult with your agency prior to the training on how to properly register for the Pro version.

    Avenza Maps is a mobile application that allows users to use their device GPS to track their location on a map, measure distance and area, plot locations and photos, and more in the iOS and Android environments. During this 2 hr short course, users will learn to produce a custom map for use in the Avenza Maps app, import a map from the web and map store, collect and export data in both the iOS and Android environments. Participants will have ample time to ask questions and participate in field data collection (weather permitting).


    • Overall familiarization with the application
    • Import a customized map into Avenza Maps
    • Collect data with Avenza
    • Export collected data
    • Measure distance and area
  • Data Management

    Jason Duke

    Tuesday, May 15th: 1:00 - 2:30pm, Foundation Hall TBD

    Learn how effective geodatabases are at storing data and how to create one. Recommended feature datasets will be covered as will how to convert your shapefiles to feature classes.

  • Queries

    Jason Duke

    Tuesday, May 15th: 2:30 - 3:30pm, Foundation Hall TBD

    Learn how to perform definition, attribute and location queries. The use of wildcards in queries will also be covered. Students will use data to answer queries that are a combination of types during class. Queries will start out basic and grow in complexity.

  • Editing/Digitizing/Attribution

    Kirsten Luke

    Tuesday, May 15th: 3:30 - 5:00pm, Foundation Hall TBD

    In this section we will edit vector data and attribute tables. Plus create a brand new geodataset and feature data class, populate the attribute table and create and populate fields.

  • Tabular Joins/Relationship Classes

    Roy Hewitt

    Wednesday, May 16th: 11:00am - 12:00pm, Foundation Hall TBD

    Required skill sets: basic data-management tasks such as creating a geodatabase and importing/creating feature datasets, feature classes, and data tables.

    Creating relationships between spatial and tabular data can help you to reduce duplication in field data collection. In this course we'll take a look at how to join existing points with tabular data from Microsoft Excel. We'll also learn how to create permanent relationships between the data in your geodatabase, which will make it easier to collect data in the field and easy to explore when you're back in the office.

  • Introduction to Raster/Vector Analysis

    Blaine Elliott, Amy Keister

    Wednesday, May 16th: 8:00am - 9:45, Foundation Hall TBD

    Required skill sets: Basic knowledge of ArcMap and ArcCatalog.

    Introduction to Vector and Raster Analysis will introduce you to the two primary forms of GIS data, show you how they compare and contrast to one another, and will provide a brief glimpse into how to use and manipulate both with ArcGIS' Geoprocessing tools in order to answer conservation-related questions. Requires basic knowledge of ArcMap and ArcCatalog.

  • Field Data Collection (ArcGIS Collector and Survey123)

    Mark Endries, Brian Paddock, Ryan Theel

    Wednesday, May 16th: 1:00pm - 4:30 - Thursday, May 17th: 8:00am - 10:00, Foundation Hall TBD

    Required skill sets: ArcGIS Online Account and an a mobile phone or tablet (Android or iOS). Or, you can look over the shoulder of someone who does.

    In this training you will be creating a Geodatabase and publishing a Feature Service for the collection of data using ArcGIS Collector with ArcGIS Online. This course will focus on understanding geodatabase structure, feature classes and domains by using them to build and publish a working feature service. You should leave with the knowledge to build a working feature service that can collect field data using Mobile technology such as smartphones and tablets.

    Do you or someone you know collect data in the field? Do you have a smartphone or tablet? Would you like a simple way to create custom forms that can be shared and have the data all collected in a single location? Then Survey123 might be the answer!

    Survey123, from ESRI, is a simple and intuitive form-centric data gathering solution that makes creating, sharing, and analyzing surveys possible. Survey123 allows users to create custom field data entry forms via a web browser or standalone program, and use those forms to capture data in the field on- or offline. The data collected is all stored in a single location regardless how many different people are entering data. The collected data is then available immediately in ArcGIS.

    This course will introduce people to the capabilities of Survey123 and guide people through the process of creating a form via a web browser.

  • ArcGIS Environment Settings

    Blaine Elliott, Amy Keister

    Wednesday, May 16th: 9:45am - 11:00, Foundation Hall TBD

    Geoprocessing environment settings are additional parameters that affect a tool's results. They can be huge time savers in that several processes can be done during one process. Further, they can help you organize your data. If you're using geoprocessing tools and you're not using them, you're missing out. Come and find at how! This will be a short class prior to and in conjunction with Introduction to Raster / Vector Analysis.

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