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MN GIS/LIS Conference Workshops
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MN GIS/LIS Conference Workshops

Wednesday Workshops

All workshops will be held on Wednesday, October 4 at the Atwood Memorial Center, Spatial Analysis Research Center (SARC) both on the St. Cloud State University Campus.

Check-in for workshop participants begins at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning at the St. Cloud Civic Center. Be aware that all workshop participants (morning and afternoon) must check-in at the Civic Center prior to your workshop. Please arrive at the St. Cloud Civic Center at least 1 hour before your workshop begins to allow for registration and transportation. Transportation to and from St. Cloud State University will be provided throughout the day. There is no available parking at the University.

  •  The morning workshops begin at 9 a.m. and will conclude by 12:15 p.m.
  • The afternoon workshops begin at 1:15 p.m. and will conclude by 4:30 p.m.

Your workshop registration fee includes lunch. Lunches for all workshop attendees will be provided at the Atwood Memorial Center at 12:15 p.m.

Full-Day Workshops

Introduction to Geospatial Programming Using Python (hands-on)
The objective of this hands-on workshop is to provide a broad, introductory overview of the how the Python programming language can be used for geospatial data management and analysis. Five primary topics will be covered: 1) overview of the Python world (5 percent of the total workshop time), 2) Python programming fundamentals (25 percent), 3) Python for ESRI Geoprocessing (40 percent), 4) Python for open-source geospatial applications (20 percent), and 5) Python for data management (10 percent). The workshop format will consist of short lecture sections mixed with longer hands-on exercises related to the lecture material. Particular emphasis will be given to general resourcefulness and specific tips and tricks that will help start you on the way to becoming a wellrounded Python user. A workbook and CD of workshop material, sample code and freely available Python material will be provided to all participants. No programming experience will be assumed, but basic topics such as variables and loops will be covered quite briefly in order to leave ample time for more complex topics such as object-oriented programming, the ESRI Geoprocessing Object Model, and the Python library.
Audience: Intermediate
Instructor: Ryan Kirk, Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota

Getting Started With MapServer (lecture)
This workshop is intended as an introduction to Web mapping with the University of Minnesota MapServer. The participants will be walked through the process of setting up a MapServer environment, which includes configuring a Web server and creating a MapServer application. The creation of a MapServer application will include step-by-step examples of building a map file, including defining the WEB object, the LAYER objects, and assigning symbology to these objects. Examples for several important data formats and Web services protocols will also be provided. Once a map file is created, the workshop will then go through the process of creating a Web-based interface. Important MapServer and Web mapping concepts will be discussed throughout the workshop.
Audience: Beginner
Instructors: David Fawcett, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Steve Lime, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Perry Nacionales, Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota

Making the Most of your ArcIMS (lecture)
This workshop is geared to helping a community get the most out of its IMS presence, either in-house or on the Internet. First we will cover the basics of ArcIMS implementation, including general data security and Web server issues. Next will be an in-depth discussion of how best to serve up maps, and the corresponding data; what kind of searches and reports are most useful, and how do you get them into the hands of your users; and currently available technologies to assist in this process. Last we will review several existing sites, and their strengths. While this workshop is geared around ArcIMS implementations and functionality, most of the concepts will be useful with any IMS.
Audience: Intermediate
Instructor: Suzanne Fliege, PlanSight, LLC

Spatial Databases (lecture)
This workshop explains basic concepts of Spatial Database Management Systems (SDBMS) to GIS professionals and researchers interested in modeling, querying, and analyzing large spatial datasets. It uncovers SDBMS at three levels: conceptual, logical and physical. Trends will be briefly discussed. Familiarity with a GIS or a Relational Database Management Systems is useful but not required.
Audience: Advanced
Instructor: Shashi Shekhar, University of Minnesota

Using the NHD in a Geodatabase (hands-on)
The NHD is a networked and indexed dataset, enabling the user to conduct linear analyses, including upstream/downstream queries, buffers, distances, routes and times of travel. This all day hands-on workshop will familiarize the participants with NHD and how the NHD and associated tools can be used by water resources professionals in the course of their daily work. Using the NHDin- Geo with ArcInfo ArcGIS you will learn how to apply the NHD to various applications involving surface water hydrography. The class will give you all the information you need to conduct this kind of analysis by thoroughly examining the NHD data structure and show you the out-of-the-box ArcGIS tools that build and analyze this type of data. With only limited GIS skills, the NHD makes it easy to conduct powerful analysis, and with strong GIS skills, you will be able to develop complex capabilities to analyze everything from hydraulics to fisheries biology. The class will also look into the future of the NHD, giving you a chance to prepare for the many enhancements that lie ahead.
Audience: Intermediate
Instructor: Jeff Simley, NHD Program Manager for the USGS

Morning Workshops

Introduction to Geodatabases (hands-on)
If you are an ArcGIS user who has heard about geodatabases but don’t know what they are, this hands-on workshop is for you. We’ll talk about personal and enterprise geodatabases and work with a personal geodatabase. Learn about storing annotation for use across multiple maps, performing data validation using sub-types and domains, moving data into/out of a geodatabase and more. We will also discuss functions included with the various ArcGIS licenses.
Audience: Intermediate
Instructors: Terese Rowekamp, Rowekamp Associates

Introduction to GPS (hands-on)
This workshop will provide hands-on instruction on the basic operation of GPS units. Students will learn: how a GPS works; how to upload/download data; basic navigation/orienteering; GPS data collection techniques; and how to view data in a GIS. We will be using Garmin GPS units (provided) and DNRGarmin software in the class. Note: Portions of this class will be held outside. Please dress appropriately.
Audience: Beginner
Instructor: Chris Pouliot, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Hands-On Overview of ArcGIS 9.1 (hands-on)
This workshop will demonstrate the newest functionality in ArcGIS 9.X (the most current version). Topics will include expanded geoprocessing tools, annotation and labeling improvements, mobile mapping toolbars, interoperability toolbar, georeferencing images and more shortcut keys. We will also cover some of the tips and tools that will make you a proficient ArcView 9.1 user, such as, toolbar customizations, working with tables, cartography tips, georeferencing images and advanced editing. A manual with step-bystep instruction will be provided. ArcGIS ArcView experience is helpful.
Audience: Intermediate
Instructor: Annette Theroux, Pro-West & Associates; Jennifer Ward, Pro-West & Associates

Beginning Programming in ArcGIS 9.1 (hands-on)
This workshop will cover functions, procedures, modules, error handling, debugging and using the object browser in the ArcMap VBA environment. Students should be familiar with basic programming constructs. Students will create a form with controls and write VBA code to automate a simple ArcGIS task. We will introduce the ArcMap Object model and programming with interfaces by using sample code from the online help. Prerequisite: Students should view the free workshop “Exploring the VBA Environment” on the ESRI Virtual Campus to become familiar with the ArcGIS VBA Editor.
Audience: Beginner
Instructor: Rose Erickson, Pro-West & Associates, Inc.

Decision Making Using GIS (lecture)
GIS is a powerful tool for making decisions and managing the communication of complicated spatial information. Anything that can be spatially mapped and integrated with any assortment of facts has the ability to influence. This nontechnical course will help you organize your strategy whether you are the one who has to interpret the data, present the data, or ask for data in order to make a decision. Discover new ways to ask the right questions and find the hidden answers in your GIS through instructor-led discussion and exercises. Understand how your presentation of GIS data can unintentionally lead your audience into the wrong decision. Learn to recognize the difference between influencing an expected or desired outcome and maintaining neutrality. Discover ways that you may be wrongly influenced by rogue data. Attendees will leave with templates that can be immediately applied to any decision-making process using GIS.
Audience: Beginner
Instructor: Ed Krum, Mn/DOT

Making Better Maps (lecture)
“Making Better Maps” is a short course for those without cartographic training. Maps are the tools that communicate results of Geographic Information Systems. What sets them apart from other tools is that you build them yourself. You can do it well, or poorly. This workshop will help you to make better maps for your purposes. The fundamentals of good map design will be covered, including choosing symbols, data classification, map elements and effective layouts of the map elements. The overall goal of this workshop is to show how to optimize those map revisions and make more effective maps. If possible, everyone should bring 15 copies of some of their own maps for a round of constructive criticism. Most examples will be ArcGIS products, but the intent is to be generic.
Audience: Beginner
Instructor: Charlie Parson, Bemidji State University

ArcGIS 9.2 Server GIS (lecture)
Server GIS is used for many kinds of centrally hosted GIS computing. GIS software can be centralized in application servers to deliver GIS capabilities to large numbers of users over networks. Enterprise GIS users connect to central GIS servers using traditional desktop GIS as well as Web browsers, mobile computing devices, and digital appliances. This workshop will discuss and demonstrate server technologies that build enterprise information systems for data management, editing, mapping and analysis.
Audience: Beginner
Instructor: Chris Liske, ESRI

Advanced Remote Sensing for Image Processing and Analysis (lecture)
This workshop focuses on advanced theories and techniques of remote sensing for image processing and analysis. Topics covered include image statistics, principal component transformation, Tasseled-Cap transformation, convolution filters; Fourier transforms; radiometric calibration; distortion correction; multi-image fusion; and advanced classification methods. Examples of remote sensing applications will be presented along with methods. After completing this course, students will have a good overview of advanced image processing techniques.
Audience: Advanced
Instructor: Fei Yuan, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Advanced Editing in ArcGIS (hands-on)
During this half-day workshop, participants will perform several advanced editing exercises via the advanced editing, editor and topology toolbars. Tools such as traverse, inverse, rotate, extend/trim, proportion and construct features will be covered, including exercises in creating, populating and using COGO fields. In addition, participants will perform editing tasks via a geometric network. A manual with step-by-step instruction will be provided. ArcGIS ArcView or ArcInfo experience is required.
Audience: Advanced
Instructor: Lisa Schaefer, Pro-West & Associates; Kendis Scharenbroich, Pro-West & Associates

Afternoon Workshops

Increase Your Understanding of Laser Scanning or High Definition Surveying "HDS"TM (hands-on)
Laser Scanning is a data collection method. A laser light is issued and the reflection measured. Each discrete measurement results in an intelligent x,y and z data point. Millions of data points are gathered from each instrument set up. A measurable mirror of reality -a point cloud- is created on your computer so you can survey/engineer virtually. This workshop will explain and demonstrate this technology. You will learn the basic principles of laser scanning, see the types of projects that are benefiting from this technology, and learn how laser scanning is applied to mechanical engineering and civil engineering solutions.
Audience: Beginner
Instructor: Greg Schneider, Leica Geosystems, Inc.

Working with Topology & Relationship Classes in Geodatabases (hands-on)
Expand your knowledge of geodatabases by learning how to create and edit topologies (spatial rules). You will work with map topology and persistent topology and the topology toolbar. You will also learn how to create relationship classes between feature classes and tables or between multiple feature classes and see how relationship classes can be used in ArcMap when exploring or editing data. A personal geodatabase will be used for workshop exercises.
Audience: Advanced
Instructor: Terese Rowekamp, Rowekamp Associates, Inc.

Digital Terrain Analysis (hands-on)
With the increasing availability of high-resolution elevation information, specifically via stereo or LIDAR derived DEMs, GIS users across the state of Minnesota are requiring some new skill-sets to make full use of this information. A pilot DEM project currently taking place in the Red River Valley, and proposed for the whole of Minnesota, is further impetus to educate our members in the utilization of DEM data. Topics covered include, but are not limited to: high-resolution data discussion (LIDAR, Stereo, GPS), data acquisition, DEM creation/calculation, terrain attribute calculations, digital terrain analysis interpretations/limitations, terrain analysis applications, software tips and strategies for dealing with DEMs.
Audience: Intermediate
Instructor: Joel Nelson, University of Minnesota

Getting Started with Crystal Reports (hands-on)
Crystal Reports is a comprehensive Web and Windows reporting solution that lets you access, analyze, report, and share data. This workshop is for those who are new to Crystal Reports and would like to create their own reports from scratch. Topics covered will include creating report templates such as mailing labels for use with ArcGIS, linking reports to other databases, and report distribution strategies.
Audience: Beginner
Instructor: David Brandt, Washington County

Intermediate Programming in ArcGIS 9.1 (hands-on)
Students will learn how to navigate the ArcObjects Object Model Diagram and explore online code samples. The fundamentals of the VBA development environment in ArcGIS will be covered as we create an automated mapping application. Students will write VBA code to add a map date and attribute data to a layout in a map template. Registrants should be experienced users of ArcMap software. This course will not cover advanced topics such as creating dlls.
Audience: Intermediate
Instructor: Rose Erickson, Pro-West & Associates

Introduction to ArcGIS Toolbox and ModelBuilder (lecture)
ModelBuilder is a simple way to automate a series of processes in ArcGIS. It allows users to develop and save geoprocessing procedures using the toolbox. With scripting, even more complex processes and models can be automated. This introductory level half-day workshop will focus on the ArcGIS toolbox and the use of ModelBuilder to use these tools to automate geoprocessing. Students will learn about the types of tools available in the toolbox and how to create their own toolboxes and tools. Model elements and model creation will be explained. Several types of models will be discussed and illustrated. Some of the strengths and weaknesses of Model- Builder will be discussed. Basic scripting will be introduced.
Audience: Intermediate
Instructor: Elizabeth Hobbs, Mn/DOT

Information Technology (IT) Basics for the GIS Community (lecture)
In recent years, GIS has unquestionably earned its way into the mainstream of technology. This course is designed specifically for those who have not had much exposure to other technologies that make GIS possible. Lecture style course will help make some sense out of such things as desktop computer specifications, monitor and screen resolutions, software licensing and maintenance agreements, IT roles and organizational structures, database terminology and connectivity, server and network structures, World Wide Web construction, storage media and retention, data sources, reporting tools, just to name a few. Knowing the basics of IT is especially important in job interviews, marketing of your GIS business, or getting along with those mysterious IT characters in your school or work place.
Audience: Beginner
Instructors: Ed Krum, Mn/DOT

Raster Data Management Strategies and Tools (lecture)
With the ever-increasing variation and amount of raster data available to GIS professionals and organizations, managing and using this data can seem daunting and complex. Storage options, delivery, distribution, analysis, and display are critical to the successful and productive use of raster data in today’s GIS environments. Using a business case approach, we will discuss strategies and tools available to address these challenges, so you can manage and use your raster data easily and efficiently.
Audience: Intermediate
Instructors: Travis Saladino, ESRI

Field Data Collection Basics (lecture)
Field data collection is becoming more and more common as organizations seek to increase their operational efficiency. There are a wide variety of software and hardware options available for professionals considering getting into this arena and the costs associated with these vary a great deal. When you include GPS the choices become even broader. This half-day workshop will explore some of the options that exist for professionals that are considering implementing field data collection in their organization. Workshop attendees will get a chance to try out some of the hardware and software that is available and contrast and compare various solutions that are available.
Audience: Beginner
Instructors: Tim Loesch, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources


Call for Papers PDF
Conference at a Glance
Conference Sessions
Directions to the Conference
Exhibitors Information
Final Program PDF
General Information
Hotel Information
Keynote Speakers
Online Registration
Poster Gallery
Preliminary Program PDF
Registration Fees
St. Cloud Visitor Info.
Conference Workshops

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