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GIS Forum attendees explore technologies to improve emergency response, combat oak wilt, and more Posted on November 08, 2023


Courtney Roe – Civil CAD Designer, Pape-Dawson Engineers

Every year at the forum, I get to meet new people, and I think that that's the highlight for me. I think we all have a lot to learn from each other.

Richard Wade – Deputy Executive Administrator, Texas Geographic Information Office

TxGIO, is the Texas Geographic Information Office, formerly known as TNRIS, we put the event together, but it isn’t our event. It’s the state’s event. It’s the state GIS community’s event. This is our 34th year of actually producing this event, and it has turned into something that just had maybe 100 people attend with just a few little tables out there to a full-fledged event that people from all over the country are choosing to come to. We have people here from Australia this year. We have people here from California, people here from Alaska. People have a finite set of events they can come to, and they choose to spend it here with us here in Texas. So that makes me really, really proud that we’ve had 430 people attend this year. We filled out all our sponsorship events, all our workshops are filled up. And we've had almost 50 sets of presentations. That's the most I think we've ever had.

Jacqueline Hrncir – Geoanalytics Coordinator, City of Austin

There's a lot of discussion lately around—conversations I've been in—about emergency response and getting more accurate aerial imagery or collection imagery of the damage that happened. And so, I think that that's something that is really evolving quickly. So, that's something that I'm really kind of interested in, and I've been talking to people about is, like, what are they using, what are they finding, and the vendors, what are they offering, and how are they deriving that data? We get to think about the future and how to make life easier for us as well as the citizens.

Courtney Roe – Civil CAD Designer, Pape-Dawson Engineers

So the buzzword for this year, I think, is “digital twin.” I think we really want to see 3D working well and seamlessly. A digital twin is exactly a 3D copy of exactly what you're looking at in real life. So, if we were looking at the J.J. Pickle Center as we walk up from outside, it would be a 3D replica of what you're seeing. What goes beyond that, and what I think is really great for our industry, is going indoors as well, so we can peel off the roof and we can see inside, and then that's excellent for our 911 responders to be able to get to the location in a matter of seconds to figure out exactly where you are compared to trying to pull out a blueprint, for example, of a building.

Constantine Papadakis – Oak Wilt Mapper, Spechtral

I wanted to meet people in the community. It’s a great event. I wanted to meet some of the agency folks and just meet people like me, you know, and chat up to see what's going on out there and learn a few things. I'm an entrepreneur. I use imagery and remote sensing to study urban forestry and oak wilt, specifically--the oak wilt fungal disease. And this opens up a dialog about imagery and remote sensing, which I love. I'm working with arborists and forestry companies, and there's some interest with municipal governments as well, or you know that maybe they don't have a huge urban forestry budget. They want to, they still want to find the oak wilt, so they can use me to find it for them.

Richard Wade – Deputy Executive Administrator, Texas Geographic Information Office

The whole thing is about the Texas GIS community. The community interacts with our private sector partners, our public sector partners. And to see them actually engaging in that kind of activity without having to try to force it or having them come up with their own solutions. Just simply by being here is really what's exciting is to see just the buzz that gets generated. I feel like at the end of this that we're all friends when we leave.

This article is posted in Technology .