2020 Full Program

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2020 Los Angeles Geospatial Summit Full Program

Friday, February 28, 2020
USC Hotel, 3540 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90007




8:00 – 8:30 am: Galleria Lobby, Second Floor

Pre-Registration Check-in | On-site Registration | Continental Breakfast


8:30 – 9:30 am: Center Ballroom 

Welcome Remarks:

Jennifer M. Bernstein, Ph.D., Lecturer, USC Spatial Sciences Institute

Keynote Address: “GIS For Science”:

Dawn Wright, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Esri


Discussion Panel and Audience Q&A: “Striving for a Sustainable World With GIS and More”:

Many advocates and researchers in the domain of sustainability science view GIS as useful, but not as any sort of magic bullet or even sure solution to progress on environmental sustainability. Indeed, as with any information and communication technology, the value of GIS rests with the user and user community. How can GIS deepen public understanding, stakeholder cooperation, and ultimately public policy in support of sustainable development from local to global scales? Panel members will contribute their deep and wide-ranging expertise on using GIS as a way to foster civic engagement in addressing “wicked problems” such as climate change, water scarcity, and the biodiversity crisis.

Robert O. Vos, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Teaching) of Spatial Sciences and Director of Graduate Studies, USC Spatial Sciences Institute

Sarah Battersby, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Tableau

Travis Longcore, Ph.D., GISP, Associate Adjunct Professor, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

Dawn Wright, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Esri


9:30 – 10:15 am: Center Ballroom

Student Lightning Talk Session I:

Students from participating Southern California GIS academic programs present 5-minute “lightning talks,” followed with discussion and Q&A with industry professionals and the audience.


Suzanne P. Wechsler, Ph.D., Professor, California State University, Long Beach 

Student Presenters:

1. Erik Huisman; Charles Convery (USC): “Using Game Engines and GIS to Visualize Fossils and Stratigraphy of the La Brea Tar Pits”

2. Neysha Pacheo (CSU-LB): “Space Time Mining of Seismic Events in California"

3. Seher Randhawa; Andrew Leung (USC): “Resilient LA: Leveraging Geospatial Applications to Build Neighborhood Resilience”


10:15 – 10:30 am: Center Ballroom

Spotlight: “Interoperable & Intelligent GIS for an Interconnected Planet: Enabling Vast Data & Machine Learning on Multidisciplinary Problems”:

Orhun Aydin, Ph.D.Researcher and Product Engineer, Spatial Statistics Team, Esri, and Lecturer, USC Spatial Sciences Institute

Space and time are essential components for a wide spectrum of problems ranging from designing resilient cities to understanding natural systems of our planet. Integrating vast amounts and types of space-time data is a necessity for solving complex problems we face today. This places GIS and spatial problem solving at the heart of modern analysis.

Extensible and interoperable GIS aims to connect powerful analysis with diverse data. Interoperable GIS paves the path for multidisciplinary spatial problem solving to transform big spatial data into deep understanding with modern spatial machine learning. Esri is an example of one such platform, where interoperability and extensibility are essential for sophisticated spatial problem solving to understand “the where” and the “the when” to make decisions about “the how.” This talk will focus on components of an interoperable GIS to solve challenging problems we face today and ways in which modern spatial machine learning methods are enabled on such data through GIS.


10:30 – 11:30 am: Victory Room

Poster Presentations:

1. Jacob Alonso (USC): “Geospatial Approaches to School Socioeconomic Integration”

2. Emmanuel Carrera (USC): “Superblocks in Los Angeles”

3. Charmaine Dalisay (USC): “Story Mapping Solar Development in Southeastern California: A Field-Based Learning Experience Combining Quantitative And Qualitative Methodologies”

4. Amelia Danholm-Pearce (USC): “Assessing the Biological Success of Marine Protected Areas Along Central California’s Coastline”

5. Sue Dexter (USC): “Zero-emission Drayage Trucks at the Los Angeles & Long Beach Ports: A Charging Station Location Problem”

6. Peter Elliott (USC): “Graffiti, Crime, and Broken Windows: A Geospatial Exploration”

7. Sara Evanoff (USC): “An exploration and assessment of bias within fossil prediction models using geographic information systems and geostatistical tools”

8. Abigail Fitzgibbon (UCLA): “Availability of Clean Transportation across California Census Tracts”

9. Nick Foster (USC): “Catalina Seawall Photogrammetry: Temporal Algal Composition Observation”

10. Eli Ibanga; Elin Hennigsson; Victor Anguiano (USC): “Forward support: cloud-based mosaic imagery for emergency operations”

11. Ryohei Iwaki (SOKA): “Geographical Analysis of Urawa during the Japanese High Economic Growth Period”

12. Daniel Leibowitz (UCLA): “Bicycle Infrastructure in Caltrans District 11”

13. Cameron Levine (USC): “Characterizing long term and seasonal vegetation change in Los Angeles County using NDVI and tree cover”

14. Juan Machado (USC): “The Effect of Flood Hazard Zone Designation on Home Values”

15. John Mason Smith (USC): “Multi-Criteria Site Selection for Innovative Wind Turbine in Urban Environment”

16. Jennifer Horowitz (USC): “Paradise Lost: Spatiotemporal Analysis of Declassified CIA Satellite Imagery to Understand the Extent of Ecological and Human Destruction in the Southern Iraqi Marshland”

17. Emily Randig; Devon Fox (CPP): “Alamo River Hydraulic Modeling: Sediment and Contaminant Transport Analysis”

18. Tridev Raut (Redlands): “Disparities in Purposeful Internet Use in U.S. States: Spatiotemporal Patterns and Socioeconomic Influences”

19. Oliver Sandoval (UCLA): “Sewer Codition Modeling Using GIS”

20. Moses Thiong (Redlands): “Spatial Representation of NOAA's Remote Operated Vehicles Dive Tracks”

21. Angelica Vasquez; Charlene Ko (USC): “Integrating both architectural studies and geodesign knowledge to better address solutions to combat homelessness in the City of Los Angeles”

11:30 am –  12:30 pm:

Buffet Lunch (Galleria) | Knowledge Network Tables (Champion Room)

2020 Confirmed Exhibitors:

California Geographic Information Association
California State University, Long Beach
Eclipse Mapping and GIS
Gamma Theta Upsilon, USC Nu Theta Chapter
Northrop Grumman Corporation
The Aerospace Corporation
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Redlands
USC Spatial Sciences Institute
Women in GIS


12:30 – 1:30 pm: Center Ballroom

Short Bursts: Use case examples from the geospatial industry

1. “Achieving Centimeter-level Accuracy On Smart Devices”:

Isaiah Mack, Eclipse Mapping and GIS

Take advantage of the “bring your own device” trend in using GNSS technology. Learn from three user cases using the Esri Collector app and high-accuracy GNSS.

2. “Achieving Efficiencies of Scale with GIS”:

Joanne Waggaman, Senior Manager, Accenture Applied Intelligence Group

How companies are using geographical information systems (GIS) to streamline their operations.

3. “The Spatial Business Initiative”:

Thomas Horan, Ph.D., H. Jess and Donna Senecal Endowed Dean’s Chair and Dean, School of Business, University of Redlands

The global use of geographic information systems (GIS) and location analytics is expected to double by 2023, becoming a $10 billion industry ( A key driver in this growth is the use of location intelligence by the private sector. With 80 percent of business data containing geographic information, location analytics delivers insights into markets, customers, services, logistics, supply chains, and asset and risk management. The Spatial Business Initiative is a unique alliance between the University of Redlands School of Business and Esri, the global leader in mapping software, that aims to maximize the understanding and effectiveness of GIS in business through education, publishing, research, and advising.


1:30 – 2:00 pm: Center Ballroom

Student Lightning Talk Session II

Students from participating Southern California GIS academic programs present 5-minute “lightning talks,” followed with discussion and Q&A with industry professionals and the audience.


Steven Moore, Ph.D., Director, Center for Spatial Studies, University of Redlands

Student Presenters:

1. Grace Ng (Redlands) “GIS-Driven Translations of Film Narratives: A Space-Time Cube of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk”

2. Chris Sanders (USC) “Beyond Visual Line of Sight Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Operations: Site Suitability for Landing Zone Locations”


2:00 – 2:15 pm: Break


2:15 – 3:15 pm: Center Ballroom

Emerging Trends in Remote Sensing with Smallsats and UAVs: 

A combination of technological trends is creating what the American Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Society calls “The Golden Age of Earth Observation.” Cheaper launch costs, sensor miniaturization and commercial downlink stations are providing more sensor data from SmallSats and UAVs, cheaper processing power and artificial intelligence is enabling faster analysis of the data streams and the emergence of operational products showing near-real time imagery and AI-detected items of interest is transitioning this data into decisions.

If this Golden Age comes to be, how will GIScience, and its value to society be revolutionized? What areas, from the economy to national security, will receive the most benefit? How does the decentralization of his information, from governmental agencies to private organizations, impact this benefit?

This panel will address these questions, discussing trends remote sensing, potential pitfalls in the coming years, and what society can hope to gain.

Andrew J. Marx, Ph.D., Associate Professor of the Practice, USC Spatial Sciences Institute and the Institute for Creative Technologies

Michael Ann Lane, Global Education and Inside Sales Manager, Hexagon Geospatial

Jim Stokes, Vice President, Analytics & AI/ML Products, Maxar Technologies

Steven Ward, Ph.D., GISP, Senior Director of Geospatial and Weather Sciences, The Climate Corporation

Sean O’Brien, Ph.D., Chief Technologist for Intelligence, Analytics, and Autonomous Solutions, Northrop Grumman Corporation


3:15 – 4:15 pm: Center Ballroom

Opportunities With Geospatial Start-Ups:

What is the current state of geospatial start-up business mode? Does “geography matter” in the geospatial start-up ecosystem? What are the professional skill sets and interests needed to capitalize on career opportunities with geospatial start-ups?

Jason Knowles, Ph.D., CEO and Founder, GeoAcuity; Director of Geospatial Science and Technology, USC Institute for Creative Technologies; and Adjunct Associate Professor of the Practice, USC Spatial Sciences Institute

Andre Doumitt, Director – Innovation Development, The Aerospace Corporation

Todd Simon, Founder, Geospatial Alpha

Melanie Stricklan, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Slingshot Aerospace


4:15 pm: Center Ballroom

Closing Remarks:

John P. Wilson, Ph.D., Director and Professor, USC Spatial Sciences Institute