- Author: Shane Feirer
Have you ever wished you had your own geoportal like ArcGIS Online within your own ArcGIS Online Organization, now you can with Esri Arcgis Hub. ArcGIS Hub and the Sites it can create will allow you to do just that. Now within UCANR we can create sub sites within our organization account. We have the ability to create sub sites for other groups in UCANR like Integrated Pest Management (IPM), 4H, Master Gardeners, to name but a few. I look forward to rolling out these Sites to other groups and team within UCANR.
- Author: Shane Feirer
Day 1 at the User Conference was dominated by the Plenary talks of ESRI Owner Jack Dangermond and others. The morning plenary by Mr. Dangermond and other ESRI Staff is where they highlight the newest technology that we now have access to from ESRI. In the past I have heard of the User Conference as the “Show” and it continues to live up to that name. This year they highlighted the new machine learning and AI tools that have been integrated into ArcGIS and the new capabilities of ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Portal, and ArcGIS Pro. Over the coming days I hope to highlight these technologies and more in greater detail.
IGIS is thrilled to welcome Jacob Flanagan to our team. Jacob will be with IGIS through the end of June 2018 as a Drone Technician and Data Analyst.
Jacob comes to IGIS with a broad background in UAV technology, GIS, computer science, and remote sensing. Prior to joining IGIS, Jacob worked with GreenValley Int'l, where he spent several years designing and developing application software for LiDAR data, spatial databases, technical documentation, and user support.
This is not the first time we've had the fortune to work with Jacob. Those of you who have attended some of our drone workshops may remember his demos of an 'octocopter' drone, large enough to carry a heavy LiDAR sensor. He was also a presenter and flight instructor at the 2017 DroneCamp, and has been involved in drone mapping missions at the Hopland REC.
Jacob joins the rest of the IGIS team as our latest FAA certified UAS pilot, and will be involved in a number of research and extension projects. Please say hi to him if you run into him in the ANR building, our next DroneCamp in San Diego, or somewhere in a field looking up at the sky with a drone controller.
Last week at the Hasting Natural Reserve in Monterey County, IGIS joined forces with The Wildlife Society Western Section for a workshop on drone mapping for wildlife biologists. Over three days, 25 participants learned about drone technology, the science behind mapping with drones, regulations at both the federal and state levels, flight operations, data processing and analysis, and 360 drone photography. The workshop was hugely successful.
The workshop once again proved the value of collaboration. The Hastings Natural History Reservation, a UC Berkeley field station under the UC Natural Reserve System, was a superb location for the workshop, and Resident Director Vince Voegeli took good care of us. IGIS team members Sean Hogan, Andy Lyons and Jacob Flanagan, provided the core of the technical material building upon earlier workshops include last year's DroneCamp. Steve Goldman, UAS Coordinator for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) spoke about the use of drones in CDFW including their recently finalized regulatory policies and procedures. Steve Earsom from the US Fish and Wildlife Service recorded a similar presentation for participants. Professor Emeritus David Bird from McGill University educated and entertained the audience with several presentations about UAVs in wildlife research over his long and distinguished career. All of this was put together by TWS Western Section Workshop Coordinator and master planner, Ivan Parr.
We are looking forward to more drone mapping workshops and love the collaborative model that combines institutions, technical backgrounds, and applications. Our next multi-day drone workshop will be another offering of DroneCamp coming this summer. Stay tuned for an announcement in the near future.
It's amazing how quickly 2017 flew by. The dominant theme of current events this year seemed to be that of change, and not always for the better. But as the news cycle spins faster and faster, we in IGIS continued to focus on the long wave of progress, building bridges between ANR's research and extension mission and the super-exciting developments in geospatial technologies and data. Our year was extremely busy. A few of the big highlights are below.
Strategic Planning. We started out 2017 winding up an internal strategic planning process we began in 2016. After numerous discussions, reflections, and iterations, the result was a draft Strategic Plan for our program based around five core goals.
- Provide GIS training and support services across the ANR continuum and program implementation cycle
- Expand ANR's capacity for drone research and applications
- Strengthen collaborations within ANR, UC, and beyond
- Be a bridge for ANR to access cutting-edge geospatial data, tools, science, and research
- Sustain and develop ANR's flux tower network
Our Strategic Planning will continue in 2018 so we can incorporate the key recommendations from our Five-Year Program Review.
Five-Year Program Review. 2017 marked our Program's fifth anniversary (talk about time flying!), hence it was time for our Five-Year Review. This was a welcome opportunity as a lot has changed since IGIS was established in 2012, and we needed to assess what we've achieved and where we need to focus moving forward. The Review started with a presentation by Maggi Kelly to Program Council in January 2017, and concluded eleven months later in December 2017 with a presentation by Committee Chair Michael Cahn on the Review's key findings and recommendations. In between were numerous information requests from the Review Committee, an extremely interesting Ripple Effect Mapping stakeholder exercise in June, and a lot of behind the scenes work by the Review Committee including meetings, surveys, phone interviews, and writing. We are enormously grateful to all the members of the Review Committee, Michael Cahn for chairing the process, Jennifer Caron-Sale for coordinating everything, and all of the stakeholders who provided input through surveys, meetings, and interviews. We are looking forward to hearing the final recommendations by Program Council and Vice President Humiston early next year, and have already started to implement many of the draft recommendations. We want to use this information to make IGIS more effective and useful in the future.
Workshops. Our workshop calendar filled up quickly. Aside from DroneCamp, we held 7 workshops on drones, 4 workshops on GIS and mobile data collection, 2 remote sensing workshops, and one workshop on spatial analysis with R. These were held all over the state in collaboration with more hosts than ever before, including RECs, UCCE offices, 3 UC campuses, and for the first time ever a private aerial imaging company. In-person workshops are a lot of effort, but we enjoy doing them and many spin-off projects have come out workshop conversations. Our workshops are complemented by an increasing number of resources on our website, including Tech Notes on important workflows and a growing number of videos on our YouTube channel. In 2018 look for a new training needs assessment that will help us continue to meet the professional development needs of the Division.
Looking ahead to 2018. In 2018, we are looking forward to incorporating the recommendations from our Program Review and completing our Strategic Plan. A big theme for 2018 will be finding more and better ways to connect with and stay in touch with all parts of ANR, and expand the reach of our small staff. We already have a number of new projects in the pipeline that will keep everyone busy, in addition to the usual portfolio of ongoing GIS support, workshops and drone services. Our research work will continue tackling some of the big technical bottlenecks in working with drone data, including data management, image processing, and extracting more juice from the high resolution 3D data. We're all going to the Statewide Conference in April and will be taking part in several sessions - see you in Ontario!
Happy New Year everyone from us at IGIS and ANR.