GIS in Action 2019 has ended
Welcome to the 27th annual GIS in Action Conference!

GIS technology and professionals are at work around the clock to support our basic needs and our livelihoods. From directing emergency responders to the scene of an accident, to synchronizing trading on Wall Street, to building 5G networks that support self-driving cars, geospatial data and technology helps us understand our environment and improves the quality of our lives.

Whether you are a LiDAR analyst working on risk mitigation, a wildlife biologist conducting habitat assessment, or an economic policy advisor modeling for financial stability, the geospatial approach provides a lens to illuminate and advance our diverse interests and goals.

We are excited to have you join us at this year’s GIS In Action conference. For our keynote, Sisinnio Concas, Ph.D., Program Director for the Center for Urban Transportation Research, will share his insights into autonomous and connected vehicles and how new data sources are critical to developing smarter cars and smarter roads. Through the conference’s diverse sessions, workshops, and socials, you will have opportunities to learn and share with your colleagues and make new professional connections.

GIS in Action is a collaborative effort between the Oregon and Southwest Washington chapter of URISA and the Columbia River Region chapter of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). The value of the geospatial industry grows greater every year, and every year GIS In Action brings together talented, creative people to share what they’re working on. Let’s share our collective IQ, learn from one another, and build a stronger, more vibrant community. We look forward to meeting you!

Camille Westlake, President, ASPRS Columbia River Region
Molly Vogt, President, Oregon & SW Washington URISA

The conference takes place Monday, April 22nd and Tuesday, April 23rd in the 3rd floor ballroom at Smith Memorial Student Union on the Portland State University campus (1825 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 ).
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Tuesday, April 23 • 1:30pm - 3:00pm

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Leftscapes: A Quantitative Analysis of Electoral Trends and Partisan Geographies
Matthew Gregg, Portland State University
The west coast – in popular imagination as well as every four years on electoral college maps – appears to be a stalwartly blue jewel in the Democratic party’s crown. But no region is a monolith. This presentation focuses on examining the diverse electorate of the west coast and attempts to analyze how they vote, why they vote and what their votes achieve for themselves and their communities. Quantitative methods such as Ordinary Least Squares linear regressions were leveraged, along with observational and comparative analysis, to help answer these questions, revealing both the embrace and the rejection of expected party line outcomes.

The invasion ecology of ivy in Portland's Forest Park
Eric Butler, Portland State University
I am presenting results from a study on the invasive plant ivy (Hedera spp.) in a large Pacific Northwest urban forest, looking at sources of invasion vulnerability and resistance on the plot and landscape scales and how these relate to the overall health of an important ecosystem under urban stress. The factors I analyze include canopy cover, soil condition, interiority, understory shrub abundance, and fragmentation by roads and trails, as well as the spatial patterns of ivy distribution in the park. My findings will likely have important implications for how ecosystem managers think about and manage ivy in urban landscapes.

Biketown at PSU
Lauren McKinney, Portland State University
Bike share has become an integral part of transportation in Portland, Oregon. Sponsored by Nike and Motivate, the iconic orange bikes are now being used in core areas of the city. This project, in collaboration with PSU’s Living Lab and transportation department, looked at ‘PSU related trips’ (trips that started or ended within the PSU boundary). This information was used to determine patterns of use through density mapping and route simulation (generated through the creation of a network with ESRI ArcGIS’ Network Analyst tools). The product shows origin/destination hot spots, possible routes, and streets that were simulated to receive the most use (through routing). This information can be used to advocate for new projects and hub locations in the future.

LiDAR Predictive Modeling of Kalapuya Mound Sites in Oregon
Tia Cody, Portland State University
This presentation details the development and testing of a LiDAR predictive model to identify precontact mound sites in the Calapooia Watershed in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. Mound sites are low-lying, generally ovoid, earthen features, which are considered culturally sensitive locations. Various sources and limited archaeological investigation suggest that some are burial sites. Little is known, however, about why and how people created these mound sites, how old they are, and how common mound sites are across northwest Oregon. Investigating and protecting these mound sites is a priority, however the watershed covers 234,000 acres and is 94% privately owned, making traditional archaeological survey impractical. These issues informed my primary question: where are these mounds located on the landscape? To address this problem, I used LiDAR data and aerial photography to develop a model that identifies probable mound locations in the watershed. This model takes advantage of the unique analytical capabilities of GIS as well as the malleability of LiDAR data. Development of the model revolved around the initial filtering of the LiDAR dataset so as to remove “noise” or non-mound features. From here the LiDAR dataset could be inverted and digitally flooded to identify “sinks” (e.g. inverted mounds). After the model was created, I tested the model by carrying out a pedestrian survey in the project area to assess the rate at which my model successfully identified mound sites.

Growing Old: Urban Design and an Ageing Population
Erin Leithead, University of Washington Tacoma
The city University Place, WA has invested in walkability and economic development over the past twenty years. What does a network analysis of their growing city center look like for seniors who constitute a large percentage of the surrounding residential area? Research includes interpolation of demographic age groups, network analysis of walkability between residential areas and sites of interest in the city core, and potential new access routes to improve pedestrian traffic around the city.

Traversing the Lents Neighborhood
Beth Lamb and Lindsay Palmquist, Portland State University
This project was partnered with the Green Lents staff. Green Lents is a non-profit, community focused organization in the Lents neighborhood. They work with community members in the Lents neighborhood to establish and develop projects related to safety and community resources.

Our project focused specifically on accessibility for pedestrians on foot and in wheelchairs in the Lents Neighborhood, both during the day and at night. Our first goal for this project was to quantify the experience of, and barriers to, mobility in the Lents neighborhood as a wheelchair user as compared to a pedestrian on foot. Our second goal was to find the safest, most well-lit walking routes in and around Lents during hours of darkness in order to reduce the safety risks to pedestrians on foot and in wheelchairs. This part of our project focused on street lights, where they exist, where they are needed, and which routes through the neighborhood utilize these lights as much as possible.

A guiding focus of this project was that of the Green Ring, a major Green Lents project that proposes "a loop of neighborhood streets and greenways" that connects popular Lents destinations. Currently, this loop needs transportation upgrades. Routes generated for this project looked at the traversability to and from these destinations in and around the Green Ring.

Link to presentation: 


Rich L'Esperance

Campbell Group

avatar for Matthew Gregg

Matthew Gregg

Student, Portland State University
Matthew Gregg is a graduate of Portland Community College's GIS certificate program and is currently pursuing his BS in Geography at Portland State University. Matthew focuses primarily on mapping political landscapes and exploring the territory between cartography and data visualization... Read More →

Eric Butler

Master's student, Environmental Science and Management, Portland State University

Lauren McKinney-Wise

Graduate Student, Portland State University
Lauren McKinney is a second-year graduate student at PSU where she works as a graduate assistant on the Oregon Connectivity Assessment and Mapping Project. She also works part time as a GIS tutor at Portland Community College. Lauren serves as a member of the PSU GIS Club and is the... Read More →
avatar for Tia Cody

Tia Cody

Portland State University
Tia Cody recently graduated from Portland State University with a masters of science in archaeology. Her thesis was titled "LiDAR Predictive Modeling of Kalapuya Mound Sites in the Calapooia Watershed, Oregon".
avatar for Erin Leithead

Erin Leithead

undergraduate, University of Washington Tacoma
I am a senior in the Sustainable Urban Development program while also pursuing a certificate in Geographical Information Systems as well as a minor in Global Engagement. My undergraduate research centers on our ageing global population and how cities are responding to this challe... Read More →

Beth Lamb

Student, Portland State University
Undergraduate of Geography at Portland State University

Lindsay Palmquist

Student, Portland State University

Tuesday April 23, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm PDT
Room 333