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 ).
Back To Schedule
Monday, April 22 • 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.
Applications of GIS at NW Natural
Laurel Garrett and Shivon Van Allen, NW Natural
NW Natural provides natural gas service to over 740,000 customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. A team of two specialists and nine technicians utilize GIS to map and manage assets, interface with customer account information, support data for feeds to internal clients, draft construction plans, and manage emergency response. Mapping and modeling natural gas distribution is critical for maintaining network integrity and meeting regulatory requirements. The importance of GIS is recognized by company leadership, and opportunities to update technology and expand applications are growing. Current and future projects include conflation to utilize public parcel landbase data, implementing an improved field mapping solution, and planning for the transition to the ArcGIS Pro utility network. This presentation provides an overview of everyday uses of GIS at NW Natural and highlights several utility-specific applications and challenges. We will also demonstrate an emergency response feature of a NW Natural web application.

Field Mapping Challenges and Solutions for Utilities
Patrick Gronli and Ben Hillam, Portland General Electric
Maps are integral to safety and reliability for the utility crews who keep the gas flowing and the lights on in our community, but the culture that exists "in the field" has traditionally been reluctant to adopt new mapping tools and workflows. The data behind the maps are often misunderstood by map users, who are quick to identify discrepancies or inaccuracies but who aren’t aware of the complex work processes that exist to get the data from design to construction to maps. It’s a virtual juggling act for us GIS Professionals, who must manage not only data and map products, but expectations as well. At PGE, opportunities to improve GIS data accuracy, visibility, and accessibility are ever-present; this discussion will introduce some of these opportunities and the solutions that have been developed to help our crews “keep the lights on”.

GIS In Utilities: Using Spatial Analysis for Stormwater and Sanitary Sewer Asset Repair Prioritization
Gavin McRobbie, City of Hillsboro Public Works Department
The City of Hillsboro Public Works Department shares a common problem with most municipal utility agencies: aging infrastructure and deferred maintenance due to funding shortfalls. Historically, stormwater and sanitary sewer utility repairs within the City of Hillsboro have been prioritized based mostly on CCTV inspection ratings combined with a labor-intensive video review to ensure these ratings are valid (they are often not). While identifying the most important repairs is a thoughtful process, the approach is subjective and doesn’t easily allow for comparison amongst all assets throughout the City. In order to reduce bias and increase efficiency, a standardized scoring system has been developed for a data-driven, risk-based approach to rank and prioritize repairs. Utilizing spatial analysis alongside asset attributes and inspection data, this score provides a holistic assessment to predict an asset’s likelihood and consequence of failure. Employing an automated process to generate the score enables staff to quickly identify the worst assets city-wide or within a focused area while reviewing only a fraction of what was previously required, thereby freeing up valuable staff time for other projects.

avatar for Shivon Van Allen

Shivon Van Allen

GIS Analyst, NW Natural/URISA Vanguard Cabinet
Shivon Van Allen is a GIS Analyst at NW Natural and has a background in land use planning, technical writing, and project coordination. She earned her MS in Geography and Certificate in GIS from the University of Alabama and her BS in Environmental Studies and Film from Portland State... Read More →

avatar for Laurel Garrett

Laurel Garrett

GIS Technician, NW Natural
Laurel Garrett is a GIS Technician at NW Natural. Before her work at NW Natural, she researched image processing and automated classification of clouds at Lewis & Clark College. She is a graduate of the Environmental Studies program at Lewis & Clark College where she took a special... Read More →
avatar for Patrick Gronli

Patrick Gronli

GIS Manager, Portland General Electric
Patrick is GIS Manager at PGE, having previously spent time in similar roles at NW Natural and PacifiCorp. He is a graduate of PSU's Geography program and has been in the Portland area GIS community for 15+ years.
avatar for Ben Hillam

Ben Hillam

Interim Manager Asset Management Analytics, Portland General Electric
Ben Hillam is currently the Interim Manager of the Asset Management Analytics team at Portland General Electric. He has experience doing GIS work as a consultant, in city & state governments, oil, and electric utility industries. He also is a part-time faculty member at Clackamas... Read More →
avatar for Gavin McRobbie

Gavin McRobbie

Management Analyst, City of Hillsboro Public Works Department
Gavin McRobbie has been working in the GIS field since 2012. Prior to working at the City of Hillsboro, he worked for G2-Integrated Solutions and the City of San Jose, California. Gavin has a bachelor's degree in Geography and GIS certificate from San Jose State University.

Monday April 22, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm PDT
Room 333