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2018 Contestants:

Title Category Abstract Author
Tacoma Mall Subarea Plan Maps and 3D Visualizations Poster/Map Tacoma Mall Subarea Plan maps, 3D visualizations. The subarea plan intents to reflect community aspirations while planning for anticipated growth. Maps are showing existing neighborhood assets, planned improvements, transportation expansion, housing choices and water quality.  Ongoing community participation was an essential part of developing the subarea plan. 3D visualization was used in support of proposed zoning changes and maximum growth for jobs, population and housing.   Adriana Abramovich
ArcGIS Online and MS SharePoint - Benton County  Poster/Map Mapping with ArcGIS Online and Microsoft SharePoint. Anthony Von Moos
Flood Plain Map - Silverdale Washington Poster/Map Flooding is a problem that occurs all around the world. With the recent increase in damage from hurricanes, this has become more apparent. One of the main factors that has caused this level of destruction is increased urbanization in flood plains. Silverdale, Washington, is a smaller town in the center of the Kitsap peninsula, with a population of about 19,000 people. Ironically, this is a fairly large number compared to what the town was back in the 1950’s, when it was just a small logging town. The development of the Kitsap County Mall, which opened in 1985, ushered in the urbanization of the town of Silverdale. By bringing in several chain stores into the mall as well as multiple shopping areas outside of the mall, the town’s land use dramatically increased in such a short period of time. This study looks at urbanization, gaging how it progressed over time and how it changed the surrounding area in such a short time span. It’s important to examine this because it shows how rapid urbanization, which is happening all around the world, can affect the terrain of an area. Even though Silverdale is not exactly like every location around the world, it can be used as an example to see how urbanization affects areas including the positives and negatives from the event. Using GIS technology and Air photo interpretation, this project will determine if Silverdale is located in a flood plain and how badly a major flood could affect the town.    

Adam Mariner
Wastewater System Overview - Northshore Utility District  Poster/Map I am the GIS Specialist here at the Northshore Utility District. We are a water and sewer district that serves five major cities in Washington.  We partially serve the cities of Bothell, Lake Forest Park, Woodinville and Kirkland and completely serve the City of Kenmore. We would like to submit two posters.

The Pressure Zones, Source Connections and Interties map shows the interconnection of our water facilities. It represents the flow of our customer's water through our system with a focus on control valves, interties and source connections and how it connects to Seattle's water sources.  We've incorporated spreadsheets to depict the interconnection of our system.

The Wastewater Comprehensive Plan map shows a similar system but with an emphasis on slope.  We have taken aerial data from a 2015 partnership with neighboring cites fly-over and converted this to hillshade to show gravitational flow throughout the sewer basins system.  Here we focus on end of basin manholes and lift stations.

Both of these maps have been developed to print on canvas as pull-down static maps for our Commissioners/Public meeting room.  They are designed to be 80"x 80" but are printed 36"x 36" for this presentation.
Teresa Tookey
Celebrating Women in STEM: An Interactive Experience Poster/Map Washington Women in GIS and Technology (WWGT) are proud to submit two side-by-side posters.  The first, titled "Celebrating Women in STEM: An Interactive Experience", will highlight females in STEM throughout time and across the world, with some components being interactive in a way you'll have to see to believe.  The companion poster, titled "Celebrate Women: Who Has Influenced You to Work in STEM?", will allow participants to help create the map by placing a color-coded sticker onto the poster based on what type of female has inspired or influenced them.  Categories include mom, teacher, co-worker, famous person, mentor, and more.  Washington Women in GIS and Technology
Using LiDAR to Identifying EL Niño Related Erosion Scarps in Coastal Washington and Oregon Poster/Map In this poster LIDAR data published by NOAA's Ocean Service for July 2014 and April 2016 are used to identify beaches that actually experienced scarping during the 2014-2016 El Niño. To accomplish this I developed several GIS based models to extract scarps from the LIDAR data and compared them with previously identified ‘at risk’ locations and conducted an accuracy assessment. The risk analysis and run-up model were rerun using site specific mid-beach slopes extracted from the 2016 LIDAR for each transect. In general I found that the model based on Regional parameters provided a good first order estimate of risk, but that it under predicted the total number of transects that were subject to erosion from El Niño. The under prediction was primarily due to: (1) the use of a mean mid-beach slope of 3% vs. the generally lower site specific slopes derived from the LIDAR data, (2) not including the +0.093 m tide anomaly in the horizontal run-up calculations, and (3) an improved estimate off the deepwater significant wave height of 2.07 vs. 1.97 m. The new analysis obtained run-ups that were 10 to 30 m higher on transects with mid-beach slopes < 3% and run-ups that were lower than originally predicted when mid-beach slopes were > 3%. Richard Daniels
Landscape recovery and use after the 1980 Mount St. Helens Eruption Poster/Map The purpose of this study is to review literature about and examine remotely sensed imagery from Mount Saint Helens to determine how the landscape changes, recovers, and is used after a volcanic eruption. This research aims to use the results as a model for future volcanic eruptions and other disasters similar in scale. This can aid in managing natural resources, predicting climate change, and addressing natural hazards following a natural disaster.  Specifically, I will look at the health of forest vegetation, logging practices in the region, the extent of snow and glaciers on the mountain, and the development of any urban areas that fall within my study area. Remote sensing will allow me to use the different bands of each image to inspect vegetation health, urban growth, areas of snow and ice, and land cover. I hypothesize that vegetation will be absent or damaged closest to the blast zone and increase proportionally with distance in a radial pattern. I predict that logging will cease within a certain safety zone and to allow vegetation to recover, that snow cover will decrease due to a change in albedo, and that urban development will continue to grow and be minimally impacted by the blast. Madison Smith
Glacial Landforms of the Puget Lowland Poster/Map Glacial Landforms of the Puget Lowland

The glaciers that shaped so much of North America and other continents left their own enduring marks on the state of Washington. During the last ice advance and retreat (in the latest Pleistocene), an extension of the Cordilleran ice sheet, called the Puget lobe, covered the Puget Sound region. The colored area of the map represents the approximate maximum extent of the Puget Lobe during this time period. During glacial maximum, the location of modern-day Seattle (near the center of the map) was beneath 3,000 feet of ice.

All of the land and waterways in this region were shaped, at least in part, by the glacial ice of the Puget lobe. Many large-scale glacial landforms are preserved in the landscape today. In this lidar-derived map, landforms such as drumlins, kettles, eskers, and glacial stream channels can be seen. Examples of these and other landscape features are enlarged and described in the corner of the map.

Most of Washington’s population lives in this region—the glacial geology influences many aspects of daily life, including transportation, water supply systems, agriculture, and building regulations.
Daniel Coe
Folds and Fossils of the Chuckanut Formation in Northwestern Washington Poster/Map Folds and Fossils of the Chuckanut Formation in Northwestern Washington

The lidar-derived map shows enhanced views of geologic folds in the Bellingham region of northwestern Washington. With illustrations and text, the poster also describes fossils commonly found in this region.

The steep hills and mountains in and near Bellingham, Washington contain tightly folded siltstones, sandstones, conglomerates, and coal beds of the Chuckanut Formation. The prominent patterns on the map are resistant beds of the formation.  These beds were tilted and folded into a series of mountain-scale, plunging anticlines and synclines due to regional tectonic forces. This deformation, along with faulting (less visible in the lidar) occurred sometime between ~45 and 25 million years ago.

Fossils found within the Chuckanut Formation record a large, dynamic, and complex ancient (~54 to 45 million year old) river floodplain that teemed with subtropical rain forest life. Abundant leaf fossils found in these rocks show that the climate during that time was warm and humid, resembling that of southeast Asia. Seeds, palm fronds, giant ferns, insects, reptiles (see crocodile footprint on the poster), shore birds, large swamp-dwelling mammals, amphibians, and shallow aquatic fossils have also been collected from these rocks.
Daniel Coe
High Resolution Land Cover Change Detection Poster/Map High Resolution Land Cover Change Detection

Traditionally, land-use mapping and change detection has been done through manual photo interpretation for local projects, or from satellite data for regional projects (typically Landsat data at a pixel resolution of 30m, such as NOAA’s Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP)). The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has used 1m pixel resolution National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery to perform High Resolution Change Detection (HRCD) for the entire Puget Sound basin, for four time periods: 2006 – 2009, 2009 – 2011, 2011 – 2013, 2013 – 2015, and 2015 – 2017. HRCD quantifies canopy loss and new impervious and semi-pervious surface and provides information as to the likely cause of change (e.g. forestry, development or redevelopment, stream migration, other natural disturbance) for events as small as 1/20th of an acre. The high accuracy, fine scale, and broad scope of this data set provides a unique opportunity to address land use and land cover questions.
Jeanne A. Miller
Washington's Statewide Trails Database Project  Poster/Map Washington's Statewide Trails Database Project - 2017 Update
In 2014-2015, the first Washington Statewide Trails Database was created through a joint effort between the Washington Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Recreation and Conservation Office. The goal was to compile trails across jurisdictions into a comprehensive, statewide spatial database. The 2016 State Legislature provided additional funding from the Nonhighway and Off-road Vehicle Activities Account to continue work on the database.
Washington State Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) 
How 3D Geospatial Technology Can Help Utility Companies Save Trees. Poster/Map How 3D Geospatial Technology Can Help Utility Companies Save Trees.

For a power utility, powerlines and trees present a complicated dynamic when planning for system upgrades. Federal fines for high voltage power outages caused by vegetation can be substantial and precautionary tree removal measures can upset the customers utilities seek to serve.

When Puget Sound Energy sought to upgrade 18-miles of transmission lines to meet increasing demand, it looked to The Watershed Company to use geospatial technology to model potential tree impacts. Using a combination of survey and field data, arboricultural inventory, and terrain modeling, the geospatial model allowed for a tree-by-tree case assessment to gauge potential tree impacts across multiple design scenarios, providing upfront information to save trees and plan for tree replacement.
Amber Mikluscak
An Examination of a Leaky Environmental Cap Using LiDAR, Aerial Photography, and Pressure Transducer Data. Poster/Map An Examination of a Leaky Environmental Cap Using LiDAR, Aerial Photography, and Pressure Transducer Data.

Stanley H. Sasser, Robert Healy
Port of Tacoma

Objectives: Describe where and how an environmental cap is allowing water to infiltrate into the subsurface by using GIS and water level data.
Background: This Port of Tacoma property is the site of a former log yard which used ASARCO smelter slag as ballast to stabilize the unimproved surface.  Subsequent investigations showed that smelter slag can leach metals (arsenic, copper, lead, and zinc) into groundwater.  Under Department of Ecology supervision, an environmental cap was installed at the site (1989) to protect groundwater by preventing surface water infiltration and associated mobilization of metals.  As part of the site investigation, groundwater quality under and adjacent to the environmental cap was periodically monitored to evaluate the cap’s integrity.

Methods: A detailed surface model of the cap was made in ArcMap 10.4 using 2010 Pierce county LiDAR data.  To measure water levels, pressure transducers were installed in monitoring wells both on and off the environmental cap.  Finally, oblique aerial imagery was taken after a rain event and ArcMap supervised image classification tools were used to produce an estimate of the amount of water ponding on the cap.

Results:  Preferential infiltration paths are illustrated by the surface model and confirmed by the standing water seen in the oblique imagery.  Water level data illustrate areas of the cap which are underlain by a perched water table which is being recharged through the cap.  Arsenic levels are elevated within this perched aquifer.

Conclusions:  The environmental cap is allowing ≈ 6-29% of precipitation, depending on location, to infiltrate into the subsurface.  This water is recharging the perched aquifer allowing arsenic to leach from the slag.
Implications:  Common tools with appropriate data collection and analysis can provide inexpensive and effective methods to assist in quantifying areas where an environmental cap is leaking, allowing informed decision-making towards affecting repairs.

Implications:  Common tools with appropriate data collection and analysis can provide inexpensive and effective methods to assist in quantifying areas where an environmental cap is leaking, allowing informed decision-making towards affecting repairs.
Stanley H. Sasser
Bulk Importing Your Geotagged Selfies into GoogleEarth or ArcMap Script Turning Geotagging photos into photo points for Google Earth and ArcGIS Using Python
The script will take pictures from a user input folder and correctly locate the photo spatially on the map if the mobile phone had location services enabled when the photo was taken. The user is then asked if they want the output to be a Google Earth KMZ file for general viewing or if they want to save their file in a shapefile for use in GIS. For each photo, the script reads the location coordinates and adds the photo to the KMZ or shapefile. The user can input specific project names for organization purposes.
Christina Chelf
BaLLARD ALLIANCE'S SEAFOOD FEST AND PHINNEY NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION GARAGE SALE DAY Web Map or App We're proud of the community in which we live, work, and play. SpatialDev partners with local organizations to develop creative web and mobile applications for community events - such as the Ballard Alliance's Seafood Fest and Phinney Neighborhood Association's Garage Sale Day - and to highlight community gems such as the University of Washington's Arboretum. http://spatialdev.com/work/community.html SpatialDev
Rising Sea Levels Web Map Web Map or App Rising sea levels are a major concern for Olympia. How could we be affected by higher, more frequent floodwaters? This web map shows the extent of inundation of Olympia's downtown at modeled increments of water elevation. Kira Nelson
Public Road Approach Map - Benton County Web Map or App At Benton County we needed a way to maintain and organize our Road Approach permit data set. Therefore, as a solution we incorporated Collector app, a editable web app and a public web app. The speed and the data validation has increased dramatically using the ESRI Suite to maintain the dataset Cameron Cole
Whatcom County Fecal Coliform Monitoring Web Map Web Map or App “The Washington State Department of Agriculture: Dairy Nutrient Management Program and Whatcom Conservation District collaboratively manage a web application that publicly shares preliminary fecal coliform monitoring data. Data is submitted to a database manager and is combined and published routinely to a robust feature service in ArcGIS Online and presented in an online web app: http://arcg.is/1qvHDq. The map improves transparency of agency monitoring and increases engagement with local farmers, land managers and the public by providing easy access to water quality results. Access to preliminary data within days, presented visually, allows people to more easily link recent activities and conditions to water quality results. The app is built and maintained using ESRI’s ArcGIS Online WebApp Builder and Microsoft Access Database.”  Kyrre Flege
The Bare Earth — How lidar in Washington State exposes geology and natural hazards Web Map or App The Bare Earth — How lidar in Washington State exposes geology and natural hazards

Geologists in Washington State use lidar to map landslides and faults, to study volcanoes, glaciers and rivers, and to model tsunami inundation. This narrative features over 50 intriguing lidar images that help illustrate how geologists in Washington are using this fascinating technology to study the landscape.
Daniel Coe
Washington Geologic Information Portal Web Map or App Washington Geologic Information Portal: https://geologyportal.dnr.wa.gov/    The Washington Geologic Information Portal puts complex geologic and hazards information into the hands of everyone, including you. This application allows you to quickly compare and synthesize data of different types to help solve a variety of problems.  Washington Geological Survey

Poster and Application Contest

This year’s poster presentation showcase will provide the opportunity to share and exhibit your creative talents, inspire your peers and potentially earn some cash in the process! 


  • Best Cartographic Design
  • Best Analytic Presentation
  • Best Data Integration
  • Best Online Interactive (Web) Map
  • Best Student Map
  • Best Innovative Scripting or Geoprocessing Tool
  • Mobile App

Contest Details

Submissions may include:

  • Online interactive map / app  -  Computers will be set up during the conference for attendees to view the online map and app submissions. (Contestants will have the opportunity to informally present their interactive maps during lunch on Wed 5/23)
  • Maps and posters will be accepted for display in the main ballroom.  Mounting materials will be provided.
  • Mobile Apps will need directions and links submitted for viewers to access.  The map contest lead will compile these to share with attendees.
  • Scripts  -  Contestants will have the opportunity to informally present their scripts during lunch on Wed 5/23.

Fellow conference attendees will cast votes for their favorite entry for each category. The winners will receive Amazon gift card prizes.  Posters are not allowed to be removed prior to 1:00 PM on Thursday, May 24. Posters left behind will not  be returned. 

*Entrants do not have to attend the conference; however there is no guarantee their map or poster will be displayed in their absence.

Questions? Please send all questions to mapcontest@waurisa.org

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