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MN GIS/LIS 2007 Conference Workshops
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MN GIS/LIS Conference Workshops

Wednesday Workshops

  • All workshops will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Mayo Civic Center.
  • Check-in for workshops begins at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning at the Mayo Civic Center. There will be refreshments in the Grand Lobby.
  • 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 4:30p.m. Your workshop registration fee includes lunch. Lunches for all workshop attendees will be provided at the Mayo Civic Center at 12:15 p.m.
  • All data and materials for the workshops will be provided by the instructors.

Full-Day Workshops

Understanding the ESRI Parcel Geodatabase (GDB) Model (Lecture/Hands-on)
This full-day workshop will consist of a morning lecture and afternoon training session. The lecture will examine and explain the basic structure, key concepts, and several suggestions for modifications to the ESRI parcel GDB model. FGDC cadastral and other standards will be touched on and several example model diagrams will be available for review. The training session will give participants hands-on experience setting up components of a parcel GDB in ArcGIS 9.2 and help to solidify an understanding of concepts presented during the lecture. The session will also utilize demonstrations and several exercises to introduce the participants to the set-up of feature datasets, feature classes, domains, subtypes, feature-linked annotation, topology rules, and (as time permits) basic editing of parcels. The goal of the workshop is to provide the participants with a base understanding of the parcel GDB so they are prepared to further develop a parcel GDB themselves or so they are prepared to work knowledgeably with consultants who have been hired to design and implement a parcel GDB. This workshop is intended for those who have little or no experience with the parcel GDB model and need to gain a better understanding. Note: Some experience with ArcMap assumed.
Audience: Beginner
Instructors: Doug Avoles, Applied Data Consultants Zach Felling, Applied Data Consultants Tony Duerkop, Applied Data Consultants

Wetland Mapping and Monitoring (Lecture/Field)
This full day workshop will cover a variety of wetland mapping and monitoring topics. The morning session will include an overview of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wetland Inventory classification system and Minnesota’s Comprehensive Wetland Assessment Monitoring and Mapping System as well as highlighting future regulatory wetland mapping/delineations. In the afternoon, raster and vector based mapping procedures will be explained. We will also review how to go about checking out the old NWI maps for your area, getting them updated, and then resubmitting them back to the NWI Master Geodatabase. Weather permitting, we may go outside briefly for a short field review at the end of the class. Note: No special equipment or apparel needed.
Audience: Beginner
Instructors: Brian Huberty, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mark Gernes, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Andy Robertson, Saint Mary’s University

Morning Workshops

ArcGIS 9.2 Overview (Hands-on)
This workshop will demonstrate the newest functionality in ArcGIS 9.2. Topics will include the basics and functionality of the three components of the ArcGIS interface: ArcCatalog, ArcMap and ArcToolbox, as well as migrating ArcView 3.X projects and more shortcut keys. We will also cover some of the tips and tools that will make you a proficient ArcView 9.2 user, such as toolbar customizations, expanded geoprocessing tools, georeferencing images, working with tables, and cartography tips. Note: ArcGIS ArcView experience is helpful.
Audience: Beginner
Instructors: Jennifer Ward, Pro-West & Associates, Annette Theroux, Pro-West & Associates

Building an Interoperable GIS (Lecture)
The business needs of the GIS user community have driven the demand for interoperable GIS. This workshop will discuss the tools and strategies that now exist to meet this demand. A broad base of standards bodies (OGC, ISO, WC3), software vendors and end users have worked hard to develop and promote tools for GIS interoperability. Effective interoperability is complex and must be addressed at multiple levels, including: data content standards, technical specifications and protocols, and metadata standards. Interoperable GIS is now also leveraging IT standards for services and service-oriented architecture. This workshop will cover definitions, interoperability enablers, implementation approaches and considerations along with demonstrations of best practices.
Audience: Beginner
Instructor: Jeanne Foust, ESRI

GeoMOOSE — "The Moose is Loose" (Hands-on)
GeoMOOSE is the open-source Web-based GIS project started by the City of Saint Paul. It is a very extensible client for MapServer, adheres strongly to a Service-Orientated Architecture and strives to be as REST-ful as possible. GeoMOOSE has a number of strengths making it ideal for use in a number of varying environments. Most notable are its capabilities for data organization and administration on the back end as well as how well it integrates with both tabular and spatially based data Web services. This workshop will introduce GeoMOOSE, the client interface, as well as cover installation, and configuration of the GeoMOOSE client for services with MapServer. Some advanced topics will be discussed as they come up, but the session is intended to first and foremost convey the ease with which GeoMOOSE can be installed and configured for the typical user and/or administrator who wants to operate their own mapping service.

Note: For this workshop ONLY you may bring your own laptop. The GeoMOOSE session software can be installed and configured on your own portable computer at your discretion. A limited number of laptops will be available for those who do not have access to one. (Please specify need at sign-up.) All operating systems are welcome, but the emphasis will be on Windows, MacOS X and Linux flavors. Some familiarity with MapServer mapfiles and configuration is helpful, but not required. See the GeoMoose Website at and the MapServer website at for more details.
Audience: Intermediate/Advanced
Instructors: Jim Klassen, City of St. Paul; Dan Little, City of St. Paul; Bob Basques, City of St. Paul

Get the most out of your Trimble GPS (Lecture/Field)
This GPS course for intermediate to advanced users will discuss how to maximize GPS accuracy and performance and will demonstrate the integration of peripheral devices such as digital cameras and laser rangefinders. Students will experience the latest in GPS technology using sub-foot Trimble GPS mapping systems, and they will learn how to increase productivity in the field using digital cameras and laser rangefinders. The field data collection software to be used will be Trimble’s TerraSync and ESRI’s ArcPad. Many tips and tricks will be shared on how to increase real-time and post processed accuracy as well as how to streamline data collection workflow. Note: Portions of this class will be held outside. Please dress accordingly.
Audience: Intermediate/Advanced
Instructor: Del Stewart, CompassTools, Inc.

Integrating GIS Data and 3D Models Using Google SketchUp and Google Earth (Hands-on)
Visualization of data in three dimensions is no longer limited to high-end computer systems and expensive software. Participants in this workshop will have an opportunity to create 3D buildings and landscapes and explore techniques for integrating these 3D objects into their GIS projects. Software covered in the workshop will include ESRI’s 3D Analyst Extension, SketchUp and Google Earth. Note: This course requires some basic ArcMap knowledge.
Audience: Intermediate
Instructor: Chris Seeger, Iowa State University

Introduction to Geodatabases (Hands-on)
If you are an ArcGIS user who has heard about geodatabases but doesn’t know what they are, this hands-on workshop is for you. We’ll talk about the various types of geodatabases available in ArcGIS 9.2 (personal, file and ArcSDE) and work with personal and file geodatabases in class. 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. Note: ArcMap and ArcCatalog experience assumed.
Audience: Intermediate
Instructor: Rebecca Cooper, Rowekamp Associates, Inc.

Introduction to Geospatial Programming using Python (Hands-on)
The objective of this hands-on workshop is to provide an introductory overview of how the Python programming language can be used for geospatial data management and analysis. It is designed for people with minimal or no programming experience, and aims to establish a basic foundation and starting point for geospatial scripting. Three primary topics will be covered: overview of the Python world, Python programming fundamentals (data types, control structures, syntax and libraries) and Python for ESRI Geoprocessing (running Geoprocessor commands, adding tools, and reading the Geoprocessor Programming Model). The workshop format will consist of short lecture sections mixed with hands-on exercises related to the lecture material, with emphasis on additional resources for continued learning.
Audience: Beginner
Instructor: Ryan Kirk, University of MN, Forestry Division

Introduction to GPS (Hands-on/Field)
This workshop will provide hands-on instruction on the basic operation of handheld GPS units. Students will learn: how a GPS works; how to transfer data between a GIS and GPS; basic navigation/orienteering; GPS data collection techniques; how to view collected data in a GIS; and linking digital photos to GPS points. This class will use Garmin GPS units (provided) and DNRGarmin software. Note: Portions of this class will be held outside. Please dress appropriately.
Audience: Beginner
Instructor: Shelly Sentyrz, MN Department of Natural Resources

Introduction to Model Builder (Hands-on)
Learn about creating models in ArcGIS, beginning with a review of ArcToolbox toolsets and tools. You will then build a few basic models using standard ArcToolbox tools. You will learn how to string tools together in a model (e.g., add a field and then calculate a value into it within the same model) and how to create model parameters to make your model more flexible (e.g., be able to specify an input feature class at the time the model is run). Finally, you will create documentation for yourself and for the model user. Note: ArcMap and ArcCatalog experience assumed.
Audience: Intermediate
Instructor: Terese Rowekamp, Rowekamp Associates, Inc.

Spatial Database Design (Hands-on)
The goal of this workshop is to provide a brief but comprehensive overview of the key elements encountered during spatial database design. Topics are organized in a logical progression within the confines of a structured database design approach. Accessing legacy file formats, data integrity issues, spatial and attribute indexing, field data type comparisons, and normalization are just a few topics that will be explored in a mix of lecture and hands-on exercises. Spatial database creation, querying, and maintenance will be discussed from both a GIS and SQL Server (2005 Express Edition) perspective, with an emphasis on the Geodatabase and utilizing SQL. Participants will learn how to construct SQL statements, field calculation expressions using VBA, simple triggers, and stored procedures. Note: No programming experience required, though a working knowledge of ArcGIS and basic understanding of a RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) is needed.
Audience: Beginner/Intermediate
Instructor: Jay Meehl, Saint Mary’s University

Afternoon Workshops

Advanced Editing in 9.2 (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. Note: ArcGIS ArcView or ArcInfo experience is required.
Audience: Intermediate
Instructors: Jennifer Ward, Pro-West & Associates Annette Theroux, Pro-West & Associates

Beyond Mapping: Spatial Analysis and Cartographic Modeling using ArcGIS 9.x (Hands-on)
The aim of this hands-on workshop is to provide a broad overview of how to use relatively simple map operations on geospatial data to solve complex spatial problems. The workshop will consist of short lectures on the theory and methodology of spatial analysis, blended with a series of hands-on exercises to put your analytical skills to work. Exercises will be based on real-world tasks, but all of them will use common GIS techniques that can be applied to almost any situation. Emphasis will be placed on algorithmic thinking and how to break even complex analytical problems into manageable steps. Note: No programming experience is required, and no scripting will be used in the workshop.
Audience: Beginner
Instructor: Jason Menard, University of MN

Enterprise Data Management with ArcGIS Server 9.2 (Lecture)
This session will introduce you to the Enterprise Data Management capabilities and new enhancements available in ArcGIS Server version 9.2. ArcGIS Server 9.2 has been significantly enhanced to enable users with tools for simple creation and administration of enterprise GIS data and services. Server GIS is used to host a centralized GIS software and application environment capable of delivering GIS Data to a large numbers of users within, between, and outside of your organization. The workshop will include discussion and demonstration of server-based technology that helps build enterprise information systems for data distribution/replication, data history, and data editing. This session is intended for anyone who currently manages GIS data and is interested in learning more about using ArcGIS Server 9.2 for Enterprise Data Management.
Audience: Beginner
Instructor: Travis Saladino, ESRI

Integrating CAD and GIS Data (Lecture)
Bridge the gap between CAD and GIS. In this workshop, students will be introduced to a field-to-finish approach to GPS data collection, CAD design, GIS analysis and display. Interoperability and dynamic workflow will be emphasized in this educational opportunity for new users and experienced professionals alike. Students will have the chance see how state-of-the-art hardware and software can be used in order to test theories and prove concepts. This workshop will showcase AutoCAD Map and Civil 3D software. Autodesk Geospatial products enable organizations to fully harness the power of their data by linking engineering and GIS data with the end user. From planning through design, construction, and maintenance, Autodesk Geospatial delivers powerful data interoperability and a fully integrated platform for managing spatial data assets.
Audience: Intermediate
Instructor: John Humphrey, CompassTools, Inc.

Integrating GIS Data and 3D Models Using Google SketchUp and Google Earth (Hands-on)
Visualization of data in three dimensions is no longer limited to high-end computer systems and expensive software. Participants in this workshop will have an opportunity to create 3D buildings and landscapes and explore techniques for integrating these 3D objects into their GIS projects. Software covered in the workshop will include ESRI’s 3D Analyst Extension, SketchUp and Google Earth. Note: This course requires some basic ArcMap knowledge
Audience: Intermediate
Instructor: Chris Seeger, Iowa State University

Intermediate Geospatial Programming with Python (Hands-on)
This workshop explores the following intermediate and advanced geospatial programming topics: 1) Python/ESRI tips & tricks (memory management, looping, error handling), 2) Open-Source geospatial analysis (GDAL/OGR, Numeric Python), and 3) text/database processing. It is aimed at users with at least modest programming experience in Python or extensive experience in another language, and assumes a general theoretical knowledge of data types, loops, and basic debugging, and at least a basic exposure to the Python scripting conventions for ArcGIS 9.x. Python syntax and conventions will be reviewed for the first half hour, followed by a series of short lectures, demos, and hands-on exercises.
Audience: Intermediate/Advanced
Instructor: Ryan Kirk, University of MN, Forestry Division

Introduction to Field Data Collection (Hands-on/Field)
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 as well as contrast and compare the various solutions. Note: Portions of this class will be held outside. Please dress appropriately.
Audience: Beginner
Instructor: Chris Pouliot, MN Department of Natural Resources

Expanding Model Functionality (Hands-on)
If you’ve begun working with models in ArcGIS and would like to learn more, this workshop is for you. Come and learn about controlling model flow using preconditions. Explore modular model building and running one model from another. Expand model capabilities using scripts. Learn how you can export a model to a script and run it as a scheduled task. Note: You will explore Python scripts in this class but not write any Python code yourself. Basic knowledge of Model Builder assumed.
Audience: Intermediate
Instructor: Terese Rowekamp, Rowekamp Associates, Inc.

Viewing the World in Three Dimensions: Lidar Remote Sensing Research and Applications (Lecture)
This workshop is an introduction and overview of light detection and ranging (LIDAR) remote sensing technology, and how these unique data are being used across the country in a variety of applications and research settings. We’ll show how to work with and take advantage of lidar data and bring the third dimension to your research and projects. We’ll walk through downloading free publicly-available lidar data from the USGS Center for Lidar Information Coordination and Knowledge (CLICK). Using free and demo COTS software we will explore the lidar point cloud in detail and show how to turn millions of Lidar points into useable information.
Audience: Beginner
Instructor: Jason Stoker, U.S. Geological Survey

Working with Topology and 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, persistent topology and the topology toolbar to fix common data integrity errors (streets that don’t connect, polygons that overlap). You will also learn how to create relationship classes between feature classes and tables or between multiple feature classes and learn how relationship classes can be used in ArcMap when exploring or editing data. Personal and file geodatabases will be used for workshop exercises. Note: Basic knowledge of geodatabases assumed.
Audience: Intermediate
Instructor: Rebecca Cooper, Rowekamp Associates, Inc.

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Conference at a Glance
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