Texas GIS Community Meeting 2020 1st Quarter - Notes and Slides

The 1st quarter GIS Community meeting took place on January 14, 2020 at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters in Austin, TX. Roughly 40+ attendees were present, and the guest speaker was Dan Rodriguez from RazorTek. Mr. Rodriguez presented on imagery products available from Planet.

View the presentation slides and roll call notes below.

Project Update Highlights

  • State Plane Coordinate System 2022 – TNRIS is working with TxDOT and other agencies to determine how to divide up the state into Low Distortion Projection(LDP) zones and how to structure the LDP naming convention. So far, the state zones have been paired down to 40-45 zones. The current count of 5 zones will remain for the new SPCS 2022. The working group will submit a proposal to the National Geodetic Survey by March, 31, 2020.
  • Census 2020 – TNRIS is one of several agencies tasked to assist with getting the word out about the importance of the upcoming decennial census survey. We encourage the community to spread the word.
  • 2019 Geospatial Maturity Assessment – the National States Geographic Information Council conducted an assessment of state-level geographic information data and programs. While Texas received an overall grade of B, the lack of statewide governmental unit boundaries received a grade of D. We will continue to improve in all areas mentioned in the survey. Learn more about the assessment here: https://www.nsgic.org/geospatial-maturity-assessment
  • Historical Imagery Archive – Indexes for all available historical imagery are no available from the TNRIS DataHub. Customers can order by frame # located on each photo index. Dallas 1920 is the oldest complete collection in the archives. Map services will be created in the future for ease of use.
  • Strategic Mapping (StratMap) Funding Plan – Gayla Mullins presented on the current plans to spend the new StratMap budget of $3.5 million and asked the group if there are priority needs we don’t know about. The General Land Office (GLO) asked about the possibility of working on the Permanent School Fund layer, a subset of the Original Texas Land Survey (OTLS) boundaries. The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) maintains a version of the OTLS layer, however, updates are limited by available resources. Additional layers mentioned:
    • Networked Roadway – TxDOT is currently working on a network roadway for the state.
    • 9 mile Coastal Imagery Capture – Several state agencies such as General Land Office, Commission on State Emergency Communications, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality are interested in collecting imagery 9 miles from the coastline to capture oil rigs. We are seeking additional funding partners in order to move forward.
    • Special Purpose Districts/Governmental Boundaries – Several in the state have requested a GIS layer composed of taxing jurisdictions, special purpose districts, and other related governmental boundaries across the state.
  • Rebid of the StratMap GIS Contracts – The current pool of 15 contractors is set to expire this year. The request for offers period is now open through February 3rd, 2020 by 2:00 p.m. See RFO posting: http://www.txsmartbuy.com/sp/DIR-CPO-TMP-444
  • Texas Imagery Service – Texas is seeking a new statewide imagery service provider. The request for offers is currently under review and expected to be released in the next 30 days. Specifications include 6-inch resolution, a 3 year refresh or better, and no disruption to the current subscribed service links.
  • NAIP 2018 – Imagery is now available via map service accessible from the DataHub. CCM’s were not delivered and will likely not be processed due to lack of interest from customers. No news on a 2020 NAIP capture. We are waiting to hear back from the Aerial Photography Field Office.
  • 2020 Capital Area/McLennan Co. Project – Data acquisition is underway for this regional orthoimagery project.
  • Statewide Lidar Coverage Update – Joey Thomas discussed current Winter projects. The focus is on recapture of aging and rapidly changing areas around the state. For additional information, visit https://tnris.org/stratmap/elevation-lidar/
  • Classification of Federal Lidar Points clouds - TNRIS is pursing efforts to classify USGS lidar point clouds to match StratMap classification schemes. New classifications for federal point clouds will be low/med/high vegetations, buildings, and culverts.
  • High Quality Bathymetry for Rivers and Basins & Ele-Hydro Pilot projects - TNRIS/TWDB is interested in pursuing a pilot project to obtain high quality bathymetry data in efforts to create a seamless inland elevation model. An Ele-hydro pilot project is also anticipated to create a highly accurate surface water dataset from high quality lidar data surface models. For more information or if interested in participating please contact Joey Thomas at Joey.Thomas@twdb.texas.gov
  • Address Points and Land Parcels – Ilyanna Kadich gave a high-level update on the state’s progress. See the program websites for updates https://tnris.org/stratmap/land-parcels/ and https://tnris.org/stratmap/address-points/

Roll Call notes

TCEQ logo and link to website Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Megan Brown

Working on keeping the TCEQ Water Rights Tracker application current and improving functionality. TCEQ is excited to add parcel data for ownership information. A web viewer is now available thanks to the work done by a 3rd contractor. The viewer continues to evolve.


Texas A&M logo and link to website Texas A&M University Natural Resources Institute, Matt Crawford

Just released new report on Texas land trends, use over time, market value, fragmentation and loss of farm size. Learn more at: Texaslandtrends.org


Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Jeremy Rogers

Working with IT department to get an instance of Server and Portal. The plan is to move all ArcGIS Online apps to Portal. Workflows and customer friendly apps are also moving to ArcGIS Pro. Challenges are Python conversions to C#. We had to teach ourselves how to program in C# and thus have documentation on the process for sharing. Basic code and tools available on TxDOT GitHub.


Texas Parks and Wildlife Logo Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), Jeremy Nobles

Reassessing ArcGIS Online platform similar to TxDOT. My Texas Hunt Harvest application is new mobile app created for logging hunt harvest and for private landowners reporting. Ran a quick report on the number of Texas Public Hunt apps that have been downloaded and right now we are at 8,500 downloads since hunting season opened.


Texas Water Development Board, Taylor Christian

Working with TNRIS on new flood program. Also working on a water data hub for Texas. If anyone has public water data, Taylor would like to discuss the possibility of hosting in the new hub.


City of Austin logo and link to website City of Austin, Marna McClain

Migrating to ArcGIS Pro with the assistance of Esri. Creating a change management plan for the migration. The city has about 1,500 desktop installs and 2,500 ArcGIS Online users. 87 servers are used to support the GIS users and infrastructure. Once the lesson learned and processes are documented, we can share with anyone embarking on a similar migration. Also, if there are any pointers from the crowd, we would appreciate hearing your story.


TDEM logo and link to website Texas Division of Emergency Management, Mike Ouimet

In the process of rebuilding our technology staff. For the time being, we continue to be supported by the Texas Department of Public Safety until end of the year and are currently in the process of hiring additional support staff. Also moving from a “response” section to a true technology services section. In about 5 years, we expect to have a new state operations center near the airport.


SARA Logo and Link to website San Antonio River Authority, Phillip Brown

We are on our second year of Portal with ½ of our users on ArcGIS Pro. Now rebuilding our data infrastructure and working to support users with data hub for Pro users. Also standing up enterprise geodatabase with 18 TB of data. Also working with Gayla and Joey on the data infrastructure through StratMap.


Texas General Land Office Logo and Link to website TX General Land Office, Zack Stern

Several things going with the Harvey grant money. Building a statewide disaster data center. Also working on a project for public and elected officials to view where funds are being allocated. Worked with UT-Center for Space Research to develop a composite disaster index for the purposes of ranking severity of affected areas.

Current Projects

Flood Information System/Water Dashboard – Richard Wade, TWDB/TNRIS

Flood planning initiative was bestowed on the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). Adding all flood-related data to an information system that will serve citizens. Will eventually turn into an All-Hazards system for emergency management, responders, and the general public. Several state and federal agencies (GLO, TWDB, USGS, FEMA, TDEM, USACE, Harris County Flood District, North Central Texas Council of Government…) recently participated in a meeting with Iowa Flood Information System stakeholders and made the Iowa local news.

Guest presentation

Planet – Daniel Rodriguez, RazorTek

RazorTek is a veteran StratMap contractor and a reseller for Planet imagery products. Planet’s goal is to “make earth searchable the same way Google makes the internet searchable.” Planet’s bread-box sized satellite sensors capture 1.3 million images covering 250 million km2 every day. See slides for additional information.

Next Meeting: April 30, 2020

The 2nd quarter GIS community meeting will be held in conjunction with the 2020 TxDOT Survey and GIS Conference at the Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark.

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