Entries for 'nkymaplab'

GIS story map provides focus for state legislative hearing

Posted on July 27, 2017

Recent Northern Kentucky mapLAB products were a focal point during the June 7th meeting of the General Assembly’s Interim Joint Committee on Tourism, Small Business, and Information Technology. The electronic story map and accompanying poster product highlight the 11.5-mile-long Riverfront Commons trail in Northern Kentucky.

“We worked carefully with Southbank Partners and Strategic Advisors to create and release this project by the end of March, between the awarding of construction bids and the start of on-ground trail improvements,” said Louis Hill, GISP, AICP, Geospatial Data Analyst with PDS. “The legislative forum provided an opportunity to use mapLAB products to build support among state legislators for future funding from state agencies.”

The public legislative forum was held at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington. NKYmapLAB projects delve into new subjects each month, exposing audiences to geo-based analyses that inform and engage their audiences.

Riverfront Commons is an 11.5-mile uninterrupted walking, running, and biking trail that links Northern Kentucky’s six river cities – Ludlow, Covington, Newport, Bellevue, Dayton, and Fort Thomas – to the City of Cincinnati and other regional trail systems. It is the signature project of Southbank Partners, a community and economic development organization that supports these river cities.

The Riverfront Commons story map provides a resource-rich interactive map that shows users which portion of the trail has been completed, which is being built this year, and which is planned for the future. There are numerous images, links, points-of-interest, reports, and design documents available through the story map.

When finished, Riverfront Commons will seamlessly connect Northern Kentucky’s six river cities with the City of Cincinnati via the Purple People Bridge, the pedestrian-only bridge spanning the Ohio River.

The trail also will connect with other local trails systems such as Licking River Greenway along the Licking River in Covington and the Devou Park Backcountry Trails in that city, the Tower Park Trails in Fort Thomas, and the Ohio River Bike Trail, which will ultimately connect with the Little Miami Scenic Trail that runs through five counties in southwestern Ohio.

For additional information about this or other story maps, contact Louis Hill. NKYmapLAB is available online and on Twitter @NKYmapLAB.

Questions about the Riverfront Commons trail, estimated completions dates, Manhattan Harbour, future trail locations, and project financing should be directed to Southbank Partners.

 


GIS staffer recognized for design work in national competition

Posted on June 01, 2017

A national panel of judges selected an entry designed by Louis Hill, AICP, GISP, PDS’ geospatial data analyst, as the best in this year’s GIS Certification Institute’s annual map competition. The theme of this year’s contest was “Disaster Response” and entries were required to show how GIS could be, or has been used in a disaster response scenario.

Maps could show disaster preparation; the use of GIS during a disaster to manage emergencies, people, supplies, etc.; or, the use of GIS during post-disaster recovery efforts.

The winning entry was titled “Piner, KY Tornado 2012” The 36 x 48-inch poster map demonstrated the storm’s impacts in detail and how GIS was used by field inspection teams for damage assessment after the EF-4 tornado struck southern Kenton County.

“We didn’t take this topic lightly when choosing to enter this map,” said Hill. “While we're very much aware that four people died as a direct result of this storm, we felt that this was an opportunity to continue generating positive outcomes from this negative event.”

The most important of these positives was a new emergency warning siren installed in the Piner community. Much of this project was funded with donations from Duke Energy, Owen Electric Cooperative, and the Rotary Club of Kenton County. Before the March 2nd tornado, no emergency warning siren or system existed in the impacted area.

The Piner-Fiskburg Fire Department applied for and received a grant to purchase a new backup generator for the fire station, which did not have one previously. When the storm hit southern Kenton County, most fire stations were without power.

Finally, the paper damage assessment forms used by the Kentucky Emergency Management team to survey field damage have been upgraded to digital forms. First responders can now access the forms on tablet devices such as iPads to record field damage without the need to transfer the information from paper forms to spreadsheets.

The winning map is one in PDS’ series of analytical maps produced through its NKYmapLAB initiative. The initiative analyzes a wide variety of tabular data on a regular basis and presents them in a more visual format that facilitates understanding by the public and its elected leaders.

The Piner Tornado entry was awarded $250 which will be donated to the Kentucky Association of Mapping Professionals (KAMP) Student Scholarship Fund. Hill currently serves as president-elect of KAMP.

For additional information about this project contact Louis Hill, AICP, GISP. The Piner Tornado map and other NKYmapLAB products are available online and on Twitter @NKYmapLAB.



In-house GIS collaboration earns Esri Special Achievement Award

Posted on May 04, 2017

Esri, the worldwide leader in GIS software and technology, announced last month that PDS’ Planning and GIS departments will be honored this summer with a 2017 Special Achievement in GIS award. PDS’ ongoing use of innovative ideas and multi-media methods to communicate stories, comprehensive planning initiatives, and site-readiness selections for economic development prompted the award.

PDS will be recognized in July during the 37th Annual Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) International Users Conference in San Diego.

PDS was selected from more than 150,000 organizations worldwide. Esri bestows the Special Achievement Award to organizations in each state that have made extraordinary contributions to the global society and set new precedents throughout the GIS community.

"The organizations winning this award have used GIS to produce profound work that benefits their businesses as well as the world around them," said Jack Dangermond, Esri president. "They deserve to be recognized for the dedication and diligence apparent through their work with GIS."

“We’re very proud to have earned this recognition from Esri,” said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, PDS’ executive director. “It speaks to the long and distinguished history our staff has earned for collaborating to the benefit of the communities we serve. This is our second such award from Esri for our GIS system.”

Trisha Brush GISP, Director of GIS Administration, commented, "When elected officials, planners, or development professionals work on regional projects, it’s imperative that they use the most accurate information possible."

"By working with numerous stakeholders in the community, we've been able to be creative and innovative while keeping the integrity of our good works," remarked Emi Randall, AICP, RLS, Director of Planning and Zoning.

To see some of the collaborative efforts that led to the award, visit the mapLAB gallery on the agency’s GIS website.

 


Latest NKYmapLAB product highlights Riverfront Commons project

Posted on April 04, 2017

The newest NKYmapLAB project is a collaborative effort between PDS, Southbank Partners and Strategic Advisors featuring the 11.5-mile long Riverfront Commons multi-use trail in Northern Kentucky. Riverfront Commons is an 11.5-mile uninterrupted walking, running, and biking trail that links Northern Kentucky’s six river cities – Ludlow, Covington, Newport, Bellevue, Dayton, and Fort Thomas – to the City of Cincinnati and other local trail systems. This trail is the signature project of Southbank Partners, a community and economic development organization that supports these river cities.

The newly released Story Map will provide several resource-rich interactive maps that allow users to see what portions of the trail have been completed, what is being built in 2017, and what is planned for the future. There are numerous images, links, points-of-interest, reports, and design documents available through this Story Map.

Portions of the trail system already have been completed in two cities. On Tuesday March 14th, the City of Covington Mayor and Board of Commissioners approved an order awarding the Riverfront Commons Project construction bid to Sunesis Construction.

Sunesis was awarded $1,280,480 to begin the construction of pieces of the Riverfront Commons project in Ludlow, Newport and Covington. Construction is expected to start as early as May and will be completed this year.

When finished, Riverfront Commons will seamlessly connect Northern Kentucky’s six river cities with the City of Cincinnati via the Purple People Bridge, the pedestrian-only bridge spanning the Ohio River.

The trail also will connect with other local trails systems, such as Licking River Greenway and Devou Park Backcountry Trails in Covington, Tower Park Trails in Fort Thomas, and the Ohio River Bike Trail which will ultimately connect with the Little Miami Scenic Trail running through five southwestern Ohio counties.

“We have worked carefully with Southbank Partners and Strategic Advisors to release this project during the part of the year that is most timely. We intentionally aimed for an end of March release date, which falls between awarding the construction bids, and the start of the on-ground trail improvements,” said Louis Hill, Geospatial Data Analyst with PDS.


For additional information about the Story Map contact Louis Hill, AICP, GISP. NKYmapLAB is available online, and on Twitter @NKYmapLAB. Questions about the Riverfront Commons trail, estimated completions dates, Manhattan Harbour, future trail locations, and project financing should be directed to Southbank Partners.



Analytics show new GIS website capabilities increase user traffic

Posted on January 03, 2017

PDS’ new LINK-GIS website experienced a 49 percent increase in unique visitors during the first quarter of FY17 compared to the first quarter of FY16, according to Google Analytics. That increase in unique visitors drove an increase in the number of sessions by 70 percent during the same period.

Unique visitors are determined by the IP or internet protocol address of the device that visits the website. Sessions are groups of pages that the user visits before exiting the site, either by going to another site or closing the browsing window.

“Our site’s new content works well on mobile devices,” said Christy Powell, GISP, PDS’ senior GIS programmer. “We’re seeing more users across more devices accessing our site. Much of that increase in sessions is attributable to visitors using the interactive maps on their mobile devices.”

The main LINK-GIS MapViewer showed a 174 percent increase in sessions for the first quarter of FY17 versus the same quarter of FY16.

Page views have increased by 44 percent during this time.

“Much of this increase is due to additional content we added during the update,” said Joe Busemeyer, PDS’ principal GIS programmer. “We wanted the end user to have better access to our maps and especially the NKYmapLAB content.”

Time spent using the MapViewer has decreased over 30 seconds on average from two minutes three seconds to one minute 28 seconds.

“Quicker load times and easier-to-use tools are responsible for getting answers to users faster,” said Powell.

Powell and Busemeyer will use the insights gained from Google Analytics to continue to improve the LINK-GIS website over the next year.


NKYmapLAB earns state award for use of technology in planning

Posted on June 07, 2016

Two simple goals drove initiation of PDS’ NKYmapLAB project: to illustrate the robust analytical capabilities of LINK-GIS and to use those capabilities to support Kenton County’s economic development program. As those goals are being realized now 18 months later, NKYmapLAB has also garnered top honors during this year’s awards program of the Kentucky Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-KY).

The 2016 APA-KY Special Merit Award for Outstanding Use of Technology in Planning was given to NKYmapLAB for the project’s ongoing effort to highlight community issues and educate the public using GIS technology.

“This award is a great recognition for our team,” said Louis Hill, GISP, AICP, geospatial data analyst for PDS and project manager for NKYmapLAB. “I’d like to think that it acknowledges not only our efforts to better use technology and GIS, but also to use it in a meaningful way—one that makes our cities, our county, and our citizens better informed and more proactive.”

In announcing NKYmapLAB’s initiation last January, PDS’ executive director Dennis Gordon said, “We’ll soon celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of LINK-GIS’ founding. That makes it one of the oldest GIS systems in this part of the country. And, because time has a way of translating into data within these systems, LINK-GIS is a veritable treasure trove of intelligence.”

Gordon went on then to say that he was banking that when the community is exposed to ongoing examples of GIS analytics, more people will come to appreciate what PDS and its partners have built for the community. Somewhat prophetically, he also asserted that outside interests would come to recognize NKYmapLAB’s capabilities.

Some of the topics covered to date include issues as diverse as: energy efficiency; landslides; urban tree canopy; and, walkability—topics that are part of Direction 2030, Kenton County’s new cutting-edge comprehensive plan.

“There’s no secret to the fact that a geographic information system (GIS) can be one of the most potent tools a community can have in its arsenal when it comes to economic development,” said Gordon last January. “The ability to provide enormous amounts of geospatial data in short periods of time can mean the difference between winning or losing a prospect.”

LINK-GIS data have been a useful resource for recent economic development discussions being pursued by members of Kenton County Fiscal Court. Future NKYmapLAB products will begin the public awareness phase of Kenton County’s economic development program.

NKYmapLAB products may be accessed here. Contact Hill and Ryan Kent, GISP, Principal Geospatial Analyst, for more information. Suggestions for future analyses are always welcome.

LINK-GIS is an interlocal partnership made up of Kenton County Fiscal Court, SD1, the Northern Kentucky Water District, and PDS. PDS is the managing partner.


NKYmapLAB initiative celebrates first year, expands into new analyses

Posted on March 04, 2016

The Northern Kentucky mapLAB (NKYmapLAB) initiative wrapped up its’ first year of projects last month, producing 11 high-quality poster map displays, and eight Story Maps. Story Maps are online multi-media applications that allow users to interact with maps, images, videos, embedded websites, and other documents (think PDFs).

NKYmapLAB projects help local leaders and citizens better understand issues affecting Kenton County, while highlighting the analytic capabilities of LINK-GIS. The first year’s topics include:

  • Energy Efficient Construction
  • Solar Potential
  • Urban Tree Canopy
  • Parks
  • Current Bridge Conditions
  • Walkability
  • KY 536
  • Baseball Across the Region
  • Plan4Health
  • Buttermilk-Orphanage Road Realignment
  • Linden Grove Cemetery and Arboretum

NKYmapLAB products were presented at the 2015 Fall Kentucky American Planning Association Conference in Frankfort and then again at the 2015 Kentucky GIS Conference in Owensboro. In June NKYmapLAB staff will continue to share their work with GIS users from around the world, having been selected to present at the 2016 ESRI International User Conference. 

The NKYmapLAB initiative was recognized with a first place finish in the Map Gallery at the 2015 Kentucky GIS Conference and a third place finish in the Large-Format Printed Map Category at the 2015 ESRI International User Conference.

The initiative’s Walkability Story Map garnered the attention of the Story Map team at ESRI and became part of their Story Map gallery on ESRI’s website. View it here on the LINK-GIS site.

“While getting the attention of the GIS community is great, the real reward is being able to assist a community with an issue when they ask for it,” stated Ryan Kent, GISP, part of the NKYmapLAB team.  

NKYmapLAB has partnered with agencies, where mutually beneficial, in order to improve their collaborative work efforts by leveraging existing GIS capabilities, cartography, and data partnerships. One such project was created in collaboration with the City of Fort Mitchell on a proposed realignment of the Dixie Highway-Buttermilk Pike-Orphanage Road intersection.

As 2016 gets underway, NKYmapLAB has already released two products: “Trails of Kenton County” and “Landslides in Kenton County.” The initiative seeks to continue its goal of addressing one topic per month over the course of the year.

Louis Hill, GISP, the other part of the NKYmapLAB team, stated that “so far NKYmapLAB work has been very well received. It’s also continued to generate requests for technical assistance on projects that require a deeper level of analysis and partnership.”

For more details on NKYmapLAB, email Louis Hill, GISP, AICP, or Ryan Kent, GISP, or call them at 859.331.8980.

NKYmapLAB is available online and on Twitter @NKYmapLAB.


NKYmapLAB receives international recognition at annual Esri conference

Posted on October 08, 2015

An initiative begun in January by two members of PDS’ GIS team achieved considerable attention during the Esri annual conference held recently in San Diego. NKYmapLAB seeks to highlight the wealth of GIS data that have been collected by the LINK-GIS/Kenton County partnership since its inception in 1985. It accomplishes this by publishing a monthly map that highlights these data as they relate to a topic of current discussion.

PDS staff and one of their entries in the “large format printed map” category earned a third place in the international completion.

“Competition for attention to your maps at this annual conference is intense,” said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, PDS’ executive director. “Thousands of maps from across the globe are displayed. To do something that catches the eye of your peers and prompts them to vote for your work is really tough. I’m so proud that work from our GIS professionals was recognized in such a forum.”

Esri (Environmental Systems Research Institute) is an international GIS software company that invites it’s users to share examples of their mapping work at its annual user conference which typically draws 16,000+ GIS professionals from around the world.

The Esri Map Gallery display provides an exciting and vibrant display of the very best in current cartography practices. Approximately the size of two football fields, the exhibit allows users to showcase their talents and work to other conference attendees, and acts as a barometer for the current state of mapping globally.

Map gallery entries must be created with Esri software and submitted by someone who registers for and attends the Esri user conference. The creator(s) of the map must be present for at least one hour during the map gallery opening and evening reception to discuss their maps and answer questions.

This year PDS, under the NKYmapLAB initiative, submitted four map products to be reviewed and voted on by conference attendees and Esri staff. Under the “large format printed map” category, the PDS team of Louis Hill, GISP (Geospatial Data Analyst) Ryan Kent, GISP (Principal GIS Data Analyst) and Trisha Brush, GISP (Director of GIS Administration) received third place.

“This is a huge honor as there were many wonderful and worthy maps submitted,” said Brush. “Over the last year the focus of NKYmapLAB was to battle some of the challenges with big GIS data while addressing three important elements sharing, analysis, and visualization.”

According to Hill, “This recognition is a nice acknowledgement of what we are trying to accomplish: keeping the long-range planning goals of Direction 2030 at the forefront of public discussion and making the general public more aware of the capabilities that GIS can provide to our community.”

Kent added, “To be selected by your peers, who know what you go through to create these maps, is a sort of vindication that you are doing something right. We don’t create maps that just look pretty, they need to tell a story and get a message across. The Esri Map Gallery is the perfect venue to showcase that.”

The NKYmapLAB initiative features eight story maps accompanied with large posters. A story map is a media where mapping professionals can combine authoritative maps with narrative text, images, and multimedia content. All published NKYmapLAB maps are stored here for your review and use.