2021 Full Program

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2021 Virtual Los Angeles Geospatial Summit Full Program

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Watch as many of these pre-recorded technical workshops as you like. The recordings will be available until the 2022 Geospatial Summit.

  • "The Emergence of AI Engineering and its Implications for Spatial Science": Sean O’Brien, Ph.D., Chief Technologist, Northrop Grumman

The ongoing explosion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities is viewed with excitement by technologists, scientists, and business people. As AI applications become more complex and are applied to more critical systems on a societal scale, some also view this technological tsunami with increasing trepidation and even alarm. There are growing signs AI is approaching a crisis of confidence, as fundamental questions are asked about the fairness, reliability, and governance of AI systems. This has all happened before. Prior technological revolutions have gone through similar crises, and the common outcome has been, among other things, the growth of new fields of engineering to more effectively guide application of the new technologies for the benefit of society.

For example, AI is today in a position similar to that of computer software in the 1960s, when a crisis of confidence in computer programming practices led to the emergence of the new discipline of software engineering. I will discuss how these prior revolutions hold clues to the future of AI not just as a tool but as an emerging field of engineering. A key aspect of AI engineering will be to enable non-software engineers to more directly participate in the development and use of AI systems. This has powerful implications for the application of AI to fields like geospatial science.

  • "Spatial Data Science: Transforming Our Planet": Orhun Aydin, Ph.D., Senior Researcher, Spatial Statistics, Esri, and Lecturer, USC Spatial Sciences Institute

Space and time are increasingly essential dimensions that cut across disciplines. From the allocating of health infrastructure during pandemics to driving precision agriculture under climate change, spatial and spatio-temporal data science offers rich solutions to vital, multidisciplinary problems. Spatial data science aims to summarize, represent and model data observed as a result of spatial and space-time phenomena. Fueled by ever-growing data sources and computing infrastructure, spatial data science paves the way for data-driven solutions to complex and multidisciplinary problems our society faces. This workshop introduces ArcGIS platform’s spatial data science capabilities along with open-source integration.

  • "Spatial Modeling for Wildlife Applications Using FLIR Imagery and ERDAS IMAGINE": Hexagon US Federal

Wildlife biologists are often tasked with providing population counts. This can be extremely tedious and labor intensive. Combining thermal imagery with spatial modeling provides a simple solution to this task. Learn how this alternative approach provides a quick answer, so you can focus on more important work.

This workshop will cover:

What type of imagery is optimal for counting populations;
How to interpret the imagery;
How to build a spatial model that can quickly provide population counts; and
How spatial models can be used by a multitude of people without any programming experience

  • "Using Artificial Intelligence, Spatial Modeling and Python to Break Down Big Data Barriers": Michael Ann Lane, Global Education and Inside Sales Manager, Hexagon Geospatial, and Bradley C. Skelton, Product Line Director for ERDAS IMAGINE and M.App X, Hexagon Geospatial

“In five years, there may be a million times more than the amount of geospatial data that we have today.” Robert Cardillo, sixth director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, said these words in his 2017 keynote address at the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation’s GEOINT Symposium. To keep up with the data deluge, we need the help of AI, machine learning, and deep learning to create repeatable, batchable processes to extract accurate, actionable information from imagery.

 In this workshop, learn how spatial modeling and AI can increase productivity and efficiency. See a complete demonstration of an image analyst’s typical workflow with this example:

 An analyst might receive 200 images a day and need to analyze them for a vehicle of interest. See how automated object detection in ERDAS IMAGINE’s Spatial Modeler will highlight which images need to be manually inspected and analyzed, then learn the process to train and execute the Object Detection model. See how Python scripts can be incorporated into IMAGINE’s Spatial Modeler to watch the input imagery folder and execute the model as each image becomes available. Python can also be used to send an email notification to alert the analyst once the model has found the vehicle of interest on an image. By integrating AI, spatial modeling, and Python, it’s possible to lessen the time from data production to operational use.

  • Collaborative Project to Tackle Improving Response Time on LA County Hiking Trails: Thao Ta, Augmented Insights Manager, Applied Intelligence Group, Accenture; Kenan Li, Ph.D., Research Scientist, USC Spatial Sciences Institute; Alicia Adiwidjaja and Adam Owens, Students, USC Spatial Sciences Institute

Accenture, USC, and LA County came together in the spring of 2020 to bring forth a 15-week geospatial pilot project to serve the LA County community by trying to address the question of “How can we improve emergency response time on LA County hiking trails?” This workshop will provide an overview of the infrastructure and architecture of the project that was implemented, some of the data cleansing challenges of intersections and access points, and considerations for creating an alpha-numerical system for maps.

  • Survey-Accurate Data Collection on your iPad using Esri Collector: Tyler Gakstatter, GNSS/GIS Consultant

Participate in a virtual “live” demonstration of how GIS professionals can record “survey-grade” (horizontal and elevation), high-accuracy data on their iOS devices using Esri’s Collector software. The presentation will discuss configuring Esri's Collector and ArcGIS Online as well as an in-the-field demonstration with “live” iPad screen display showing an iPad running Collector achieving ~2cm accuracy. 

  • Building Strong: Geospatial Sciences Case Studies Demonstrating Rapid Response Solutions in Emergency Management: Mark F. Turgeon, GISP, Geographer/GIS Coordinator, Hydrology & GIS Section; Nathanial Eskridge, Geographer; and Erica Kemp Weitzman, P.E., Chief, Hydrology & GIS Section, Engineering Division Hydrology & Hydraulics Branch, United States Army Corps of Engineers

The world-wide catastrophic events of 2020 elevated the role of GIS in emergency management and threw a spotlight on the necessity and practicality of dynamic GIS-based maps. As a result of the emerging COVID-19 global pandemic in the spring of 2020 and again during the severe wildfire season in California in the summer of 2020, an unprecedented amount of people looked at a GIS dashboard nearly every day, whether it was on social media, a news article, or part of an official governmental report.

GIS professionals create maps to inform the general public swiftly and succinctly on ever-changing emergency scenarios, but map-makers and data scientists also use GIS technology to inform congressional leaders and federal agencies on how best to perform ongoing responses to support and protect the American public. The Los Angeles District of The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in the last year alone has worked with the United States senators from California, Arizona, and Utah; FEMA; the Department of Defense; and the local government agencies of cities where disaster strikes.

We will discuss how to take what you are learning as students in an academic setting and turn that knowledge into invaluable solutions to our nation’s emergency responses. This presentation will present three case-studies in emergency response by the USACE Los Angeles District. We will show how our geospatial analysts built upon simple tools to prepare solutions for our nation’s toughest challenges. You’ll see how the skills you are learning are being applied to tackle these challenges today and prepare for unknown emergencies in the future.

Summit Day (all times PT)

8:15 - 8:30 am: What's on Tap
Countdown to the kickoff of the 2021 Virtual Geospatial Summit with Susan H. Kamei and COL [R] Steven D. Fleming, Ph.D., of the USC Spatial Sciences Institute Geospatial Summit planning committee as they give tips for getting the most out of Summit program.

8:30 am: Virtual Knowledge Network opens
Browse the materials of the organizations participating in the Virtual Knowledge Network at your leisure. Get ready to talk with the representatives starting at 1:30 pm.

8:30 - 9:30 am: "Data and Dashboards: Using GIS to Communicate in Crises"
Whether you are a public health official needing to know the COVID-19 trends or a resident concerned that it's time to evacuate as a wildfire approaches, we have come to rely upon geointeractive dashboards to assess critical information and to make informed decisions. In this year of crises, what have geospatial professionals learned about GIS best practices in the presentation of geospatial data through dashboards?

Moderator: An-Min Wu, Ph.D., Lecturer, Spatial Sciences Institute, and Immediate Past President, California Geographic Information Association (CGIA)

Sarah Battersby, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Tableau
Este Geraghty, MD, GISP, Chief Medical Officer and Health Solutions Director, Esri
Steven J. Steinberg, Ph.D., Geographic Information Officer, County of Los Angeles
Erica D. Kemp Weitzman, P.E., Chief, Hydrology & GIS Section, Engineering Division, Hydrology & Hydraulics Branch Los Angeles District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

9:45 - 10:45 am: Virtual Student Poster Presentations
Talk with students from Cal State University Long Beach, Cal Poly Pomona, University of Redlands, University of California, Riverside, and the University of Southern California as they present their research posters. Prizes will be awarded for the most innovative use of technology, most compelling communication using maps, and most appropriate solution proposed.

Anna Abramova (Cal State University Long Beach)
“Estimating Spatial Distribution of Heavy Metals in the Terrestrial Ecosystem Surrounding Two Coal Mining Canters on Svalbard Archipelago”

Cameron Audras (USC)
“Investigating Industrial-scale Solar Energy in Southeastern California Using Mixed Methodologies”

Eden Tatum Boric, Angelina Carballo, Ian Marolt (Cal State University Long Beach)
“Olympia Oyster Restoration Monitoring via sUAS”

Ronnie Escobar, Alondra Garcia, Oscar Olmos, Teresa Victoria (Cal State University Long Beach)
“Accessibility to Homeless Assistance Housing in the City of Los Angeles: A Spatial Analysis of Proposition HHH Support and Implementation”

Jackson FitzGerald, Lilly Nie, Sarah Ta
“Using Geodesign to Model the Health Impacts of New Urban Design Interventions”

Jacob Hill, Marcella Rodriguez, William Ha, Ethan Rucker, George Ashebo
“Using GIS and automation to aid in site suitability analysis for prospective speed humps in the City of Los Angeles”

Meng Hu (USC)
“Exploration of Women Labor Force Participation in California”

Jingyi Huang (University of Redlands)
“Trace the source of ocean plastic”

Preeti Juturu (University of California, Riverside)
“Assessing Emergency Healthcare Accessibility in the Salton Sea Region of Imperial County, California”

Cameron Levine (USC)
“Detecting Fallow Fields in Europe Using Remote Sensing and Maximum Entropy Modeling”

Yanlin Li (University of Redlands)
“3D Visualization of Deep-Sea Coral and Sponge with Multibeam Bathymetry”

Michelle Livings (USC)
“Disrupted Society, Decreased Traffic Collisions: Spatiotemporal Change-Point Analysis of Traffic Collisions in Los Angeles During COVID-19”

Bryna Mills (USC)
“Spatiotemporal Analysis of Snow Crab in the Eastern Bering Sea”

Andrew Novak (Cal Poly Pomona)
“A Community Approach To Puddingstone Watershed Restoration: Cal Poly Pomona Senior Project 2020”

Alexander Paz, Jason Granados, John Cortenbach, Jonathan Fisher, Jordan LoBue, Nathan Saltz
“Fire Hazard Analysis of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy: OBIA for Acacia Identification and Fuzzy Overlay Modeling”

Seher Randhawa, Erik Huisman, Rachel Ablondi, Jackson Fitzgerald
“Urban Trees Initiative”

Guillermo Rafael, Ordenes Vallejos, Andres Solis Molina (Cal State University Long Beach)
“Urban Forest Mapping Utilizing UAV Multispectral Remotely Sensed Imagery at California State University Long Beach

Trina Schutte
“Information Sharing for Situational Awareness Using Dashboards and Open Source Data: Web Application Development for Los Angeles Port Police”

Salena Tach and Ali Kazmi (Cal State University Long Beach)
“OwnitLB an Interactive Map Utilizing Open Source Tools”

Kate Vavra-Musser (USC)
“Source Contribution to Soil Lead Contamination - the Role of Common Urban Residential Lead Sources and Major Industrial Sources in a Complex Urban Residential Environment”

Kristin Wong (USC)
“The La Brea Tar Pits: An Ice Age Storymap”

10:45 - 11:45 am: Student Lightning Talks
Three students from participating Southern California GIS academic programs have been selected to present prerecorded 5-minute lightning talks. Following their presentations, join us for a live discussion of their research with a panel of industry professionals.

Emily Serman, Kate Vavra-Musser, Rachel Wilke, Jennifer Ailshire (USC)
“Heat Index Burden for Older Populations in the Contiguous United States - The Case for an Age-Specific Analysis”

Henry Duran (University of Redlands)
“Water Contaminant Explorer”

Andrew G. Siwabessy, Christine M. Rodrigue, John N. Adrian, James M. Dohm, and Robert C. Anderson (CSULB)
“Geologic map of Terra Cimmeria, Mars”


Joseph J. Kerski, Ph.D., GISP, Education Manager, Esri
Ronda Schrenk, Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation
Barry Tilton, Technology Evangelist, Maxar Technologies

11:45 am - 12 pm: "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. TheSpatial 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.

12 - 1 pm: Lunch and Learn
Listen while you lunch or chat in between bites with industry leaders in these "how to" sessions:

  • When it Just Works: Accuracy and Adaptability with Luciad with Trent Tinker, Luciad Director, Hexagon US Federal: Connect, visualize, analyze and act on dynamic 2D and 3D geospatial content in your browser using LuciadRIA.
  • The Spatial Business Initiatives and the Programs of University of Redlands with Steven Moore, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Spatial Studies and Director of Sponsored Programs, University of Redlands
  • How 4 Constellation GPS (GNSS) is changing the high accuracy mapping and GIS RTK landscape in California and beyond with Isaiah Mack, Eclipse Mapping and GIS: With the proliferation of new 4 constellation RTK base stations in California and beyond , high-accuracy, centimeter-level mapping and surveying is now accessible and feasible for more users, in more locations, and far more consistently than ever before. With a focus on Southern California, this presentation will detail the latest in GNSS and RTK developments as well as the hardware and software required. A live demonstration using Esri Collector for high-accuracy mapping in Los Angeles will also be included. Learn how to access and utilize free local RTK base stations in California for real-time centimeter level accuracy.
  • An Introduction to ArcGIS Mission with Darron Pustam, Product Manager, Esri; Jamon Johnson, Product Manager, Esri; and COL [R] Steven D. Fleming, Ph.D., Professor of the Practice of Spatial Sciences Institute and the USC Institute for Creative Technologies
  • Fostering Equity in the GIS Profession with Susan H. Kamei, Managing Director, USC Spatial Sciences Institute; Greg Babinski, GISP, GIS Marketing & Business Development Manager, King County IT Regional Services and American Geographical Society Ethical GEO Fellow, and Christine MacKrell, Education and Professional Development Coordinator, U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation: As GIS organizations and companies adopt pro-equity and anti-racism statements, how can they achieve those objectives to have a truly equitable work environment? In this roundtable, GIS professionals share their experiences in fostering pro-equity policies and practices.
  • Leverage AI to Combat Human Trafficking, with Manish Dasaur, North America Lead, Analytics & Artificial Intelligence, and Monark Vyas, Managing Director, Applied Intelligence, Accenture: Learn how Accenture partnered with global emancipation network to leverage data and machine learning to combat human trafficking through an automated, proactive risk classifier – Artemis.
  • Graduate Student Research X Maxar, with Jennifer Horowitz, Global Field Operations Division, Strategic Growth Team, Maxar: Learn about Maxar's imagery offerings and potential research topics in line with current strategic and R&D initiatives for current graduate students.

1:15 - 1:30 pm: Contributing to the Smart Land Information System of the Southern California Association of Governments: Partnership with Students
Tom Vo, Senior Regional Planner, Planning Strategy Department, Southern California Association of Governments and Jung Seo, Regional Planner Specialist, Modeling and Forecasting Department, Southern California Association of Governments

In a partnership with the USC Spatial Sciences Institute, student interns have contributed on regionally significant projects related to SCAG’s Smart Land Information System. USC students Charmaine Dalisay, Will Forker, and Ashley Wang showcase the applications they developed for the SCAG Data/Map Book, the Regional Land Use Database and the Building Characteristics Database.

1:30 - 3 pm: Virtual Knowledge Network
Talk or chat in Zoom rooms with representatives of these companies and organizations:

Burns & McDonnell
California Geographic Information Association (CGIA)
California State University, Long Beach
Eclipse Mapping and GIS
Gamma Theta Upsilon
Hexagon Geospatial and Hexagon US Federal
Near Space Labs
Northrop Grumman
Spatial Sciences Institute
United States Army Corps of Engineers
United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF)
University of Redlands
Women in GIS

3:15 - 4 pm: “Customizing Your Applications: Making the Data Work For You”
Join us as we close out the Summit day with a live discussion with Barry Tilton, Technology Evangelist for Strategic Growth, Maxar Technologies, and Jeffrey Tessein, Ph.D., Senior Principal AI Systems Engineer, Northrop Grumman, moderated by Michael Ann Lane, Global Education and Inside Sales Manager, Hexagon Geospatial, examining the trend of users in various industries of taking proprietary software and customizing their visualizations to achieve their use case goals, including the ability to engage in predictive analytics. 

4 - 4:15 pm: Closing Remarks
John P. Wilson, Ph.D., Director and Professor, USC Spatial Sciences Institute