Texas GIS Community Meeting Recap - 1st Quarter, 2015

The first 2015 Texas GIS Community meeting was held on January 20th, 2015. Attendees from as far as the City of Tyler attended, along with 50 others from state and local government. Richard Wade, Director of TNRIS and State Geographic Information Officer greeted the group. Felicia Retiz, Deputy Geographic Information Officer gave an overview of the agenda and the meeting goals and expectations.

Project Updates

The 2014-2015 Texas Orthoimagery Program (TOP) – Gayla Mullins, TNRIS

Aerial orthoimagery composed in the layout and colors of the Texas flag

Ms. Mullins gave a detailed overview of the current status of the project and introduced the new dedicated TOP project page located on the TNRIS website. Four state agencies contributed funds to the 0.5-meter statewide orthoimagery. Several local entities and one federal agency are participating in 6-inch and 1-foot buy-up options that were offered by the imagery acquisition vendor, Surdex Corporation. Specific AOIs and participating entities can be found on the project website.

Gayla extended an invitation to anyone interested in assisting with the QA/QC of the imagery using the online quality assurance tool provided by Surdex.

Texas NAIP 2014 Availability – 2014 – Gayla Mullins, TNRIS

Gayla went on to announce the pending availability of the county compressed mosaic (CCM) imagery files from the 2014 National Agriculture Imagery Program statewide flyover. The CCM files will be available for download through the TNRIS Data Download page, by county, in March.

Alternatively, the NAIP 2014 imagery are available via a USDA-APFO WMS, information available here: https://www.usda.gov/area=home&subject=prog&topic=nai

TNRIS will receive the 2014 NAIP uncompressed Geotiff and compressed JPEG2000 DOQQs within the next six weeks.

Brazos County and the City of Palestine 6-inch Orthoimagery Project – Gayla Mullins, TNRIS

Brazos County is once again flying orthoimagery for their county. New to the project is the City of Palestine who will also receive 6-inch orthoimagery. Although this project is not associated with the 2014-2015 TOP project, Surdex was selected as the imagery provider as well. This is the third year that Brazos County has participated in obtaining imagery through the High Priority Imagery and Data Sets contract.

Central Texas Lidar – Joey Thomas, TNRIS

New lidar for central Texas is set to be released in the coming weeks. The coverage extends over Lampasas, Bandera, Uvalde, and all of Fort Bend County.

Agency Roll Call

Many representatives of government agencies and city governments from across the state were in attendance, and shared updates on key projects and initiatives their organizations are working on. We'd love to see you or your organization at the next meeting.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) – Kim Ludeke

The Vegetation Map of Texas is now public and can be downloaded by ecoregion. A new application is under construction – TEAM – the Texas Ecosystems

  • Analytical Mapper. Field biologists are working with ranchers across the state to ensure utility of the application and the integrity of the data.
  • TPWD is also working on the Karst Map of Texas.
  • Two positions are expected to open at TPWD in the coming weeks.

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) – Michael Chamberlain

  • A new map portal based on Proposition 1 was recently released and “public involvement begins today.” The viewer enables the user to search by area where Prop 1 funds are allocated that will assist in completing transportation projects around the state. Michael pointed out the importance of the proposition and encouraged input as a citizen of Texas.
  • TxDOT has collected all public roads in Texas as part of the Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) program. The collected roadway data, referred to as the Geospatial Roadway Inventory Database (GRID) is available online from TxDOT or TNRIS.

Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) – Miguel Pavon

  • Miguel is building a pilot map service for the TWDB Texas Water Survey group for internal use. The map service will contain socioeconomic and demographic data to assist in making grant funding decisions based on greatest need. The map service is internal to TWDB but can be demonstrated at the next meeting.

Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) – Andrew Mellon

  • TxMap is a fully functioning web map service available to internal TxDPS staff. The map service lacks users mainly because of the difficulty in showing the value to young troopers. TxDPS also maintains strategically placed camera sensors to monitor border activity. A suggestion to give a presentation on that project was brought up by R. Wade.
  • TxDPS is working on a critical information system portal using WebEOC. The portal is for TDEM support during emergency response and recovery.

Sam Houston State University – Jack Hill

Sam Houston University logo and Link to website

  • SHSU is pleased with the new TPWD vegetation map. The students at SHSU use the data for a multitude of analysis projects and are seeing astonishing results from the data. SHSU received a grant from United Way to assist with locating children in need.
  • SHSU has received millions in grant funding and plans to use ArcGIS products and services with research projects. Jack would like to test the use of the transaction based credit model currently used in ESRI billing practices. Jack will report back on findings.

Texas General Land Office – Sterling Harris

Texas General Land Office Logo and Link to website

  • GLO is using mobile applications in the field using a device called Bad Elf, a GPS unit that attaches to your mobile device, and the ArcGIS Collector application.

City of Georgetown – Ilyanna Kadich, Sasha Lockamy

City of Georgetown Logo and Link to website

  • Ilyanna suggested the need for an ArcGIS Online user group in the region to network and discuss any tips or issues in using the service. Sasha mentioned the city of Georgetown is looking into using ArcGIS Online for asset management and would like to talk to others who might be doing the same.


New Website for TNRIS – Richard Wade

  • TNRIS has redesigned the website with the intent to optimize mobile web viewing and to improve the visibility and access of geographic data holdings available through the web page. Richard invites all to give TNRIS any feedback and report any issues seen with the website.
  • Visit www.tnris.org

Google Imagery for Texas – Felicia Retiz

  • The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) and TNRIS have negotiated a contract with Google to give all public agencies in Texas access to Google Imagery through a Google-hosted web service. The imagery service is currently being loaded and all public agencies are invited to participate at no cost during the first year.
  • This first year is a pilot to determine the usability and efficiency of the service. DIR and TNRIS will set up a GIS Governance Council to help determine how costs for the service and imagery updates will be distributed among the users beginning in year 2 and beyond.
  • Updates will be provided via a project portal page currently under development.

Authoritative Data – Richard Wade

One of the functions of the GIO is to seek out “authoritative” data sources and make these data an official GIS layer for Texas. The goal is to use and share common geographic datasets being produced and maintained by those agencies that use it in their daily work functions.

For example, TCEQ maintains landfill data, TxDOT maintains Texas road data, and PUC maintains utility asset data. Authoritative datasets will be available to the public unless otherwise required to be held private.

Next Meeting – April 28, 2 PM – 4 PM

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