Texas GIS Forum October 23 – 27, 2017 | Austin, Texas

2017 Texas GIS Forum Agenda

Monday, October 23

8:00AM - 5:00PM

Tuesday, October 24

8:00AM- 5:00PM

Wednesday, October 25

7:30 - 8:30AM
Registration & Breakfast

Breakfast Sponsored by Fugro logo and link

8:30 - 9:30AM
Welcome & Introductions

With a Commentary on Leadership from
Craig Pedersen, former Executive Administrator of the Texas Water Development Board

9:30 - 10:45AM

Keynote Presentation
Bern Szukalski, Chief Technology Advocate and Product Strategist at Esri

Head shot of Keynote Bern SzukalskiBern Szukalski uniquely serves as a technical evangelist, technology advocate, and product strategist, working directly with Esri's global user community and product marketing and development teams. He's currently focused on making GIS more widely available and shareable via the Web.

9:00AM - 5:00PM

ESRI HOLL (FREE Hands-On Learning Labs)

Throughout the day on Wednesday, ESRI will host self-guided courses in the Balcones Room covering ESRI software and key GIS techniques.

Stay tuned for course offerings.

10:45 - 11:00AM
Break & Exhibits
11:00AM - 12:00PM

Special Presentation
History of GIS in Texas

View Photo Slideshow
12:00 - 1:15PM
Lunch & Exhibits

Lunch Sponsored by Merrick & Co logo

1:15 – 2:15PM

Platinum Sponsor Presentation
Esri Logo

2:15 - 2:30PM
Break & Exhibits
2:30 - 3:45PM

Guest Speaker
Todd Mostak, CEO of MapD

Head shot of Todd Mostak GPUs & Their Role in Geovisualization

As a research fellow at the Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT, Todd recognized the possibilities behind the mechanics of Xbox and PlayStation to transform traditional data analytics platforms. Replacing his CPU for a GPU, Todd was one of the first innovators to discover the untapped potential of GPUs to analyze, visualize and explore data in ways never done before. Now? He is reducing query times from hours to milliseconds for companies like Verizon, Amazon, Simulmedia and npm, enabling them to spend significantly less time crunching data and more time analyzing it to make key business decisions.

Guest Speaker
Joanna Sanchez, Educational Policy Researcher at Howard University

Head shot of Joanna SanchezJoanna was born and raised in the Texas Rio Grande Valley, and earned her undergraduate degree in Geosciences from Trinity University. Joanna’s work with her non-profit, Odisea, and the Gates Millennium Scholarship Association and Hispanic Scholarship Fund (she is a recipient of both), inspired her to go back to school. In 2017, she earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at UT-Austin where she conducted research projects incorporating the use of GIS and spatial analysis to explore research and policy questions. She gained policy experiences with Texas State Representative Mary González and as a policy fellow with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. She is currently a postdoctoral research associate in K-12 STEM Education at Howard University.

View Slides

3:45 - 4:00PM
Break & Exhibits
4:00 - 5:30PM

Guest Speaker
Sean Wohltman, Geospatial Scientist at Google

Head shot of Sean WohltmanSean is a Geospatial Scientist for Google’s Maps Customer Team. He has most recently been the technical lead for Google’s Enterprise Aerial Orthoimagery program and designed the workflows for provisioning and serving terabytes of imagery at scale on Google Cloud Platform. Since joining Google in 2008, he has worked to bring analytic capabilities to Google’s Geospatial platform and developed technologies to bring Google Earth and Maps to disconnected tactical and crisis-response environments. Prior to joining Google, Sean worked as a geospatial analyst in the Office of Counterterrorism and as a developer in the eGEOINT Management Office at NGA. He earned a bachelor's degree in geography from Virginia Tech in 2004, where he also earned his M.S. in geographic information science in 2005.

Guest Speaker
Kyle Walker, Urban Studies Director at Texas Christian University

Head shot of Kyle Walker

Kyle Walker is an associate professor of Geography and Director of the Center for Urban Studies at Texas Christian University. His research focuses on the demography of US cities and suburbs, internal migration trends in the United States, and tools for open data science. At TCU, Kyle teaches courses in urban studies, data analysis, and Geographic Information Systems. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Minnesota.

Thursday, October 26

7:30 - 8:30AM
Registration & Breakfast
8:30 - 9:00AM
Welcome & Introductions
9:00AM - 3:00PM

ESRI HOLL (FREE Hands-On Learning Labs)

Throughout the day on Thursday, ESRI will host self-guided courses in the Balcones Room covering ESRI software and key GIS techniques.

Stay tuned for course offerings.

9:00 - 10:30AM

Session A (Big Tex)
Data Availability & Management

9:00 – 9:30AM
Geodetically Accurate GIS with Real-Time Map Services Linking to Surveying and Engineering Design CAD Using ETL Tools

Stacey Lyle, TAMU | Jerry Jaynes

9:30– 10:00AM
Digging Deeper: Detailed GIS Data Management for NG9-1-1

David Peck, West

View Slides

10:00 – 10:30AM
Database to Dot Com: Using Query Layers and ArcGIS Online to Maintain Up-to-Date Data

John Phillips, TxDOT

View Slides

Session B (Li'l TEX)
Application Design

9:00 – 9:30AM
Leveraging Geospatial Technology to Increase Local Government Transparency for the Sidewalk Program Projects

Daniel Haverlah & Coleen Gentiles, City of Austin

View Slides

9:30 – 10:00AM
Exploring Demographic and Socioeconomic Indicators for Texas with an Online Dashboard Application

Jeffrey Jordan, IDSER; Saloni Rajput, TDC

10:00– 10:30AM
Simple Steps to Create User Friendly Mobile Web Map Applications

Stephanie Long, Austin Community College

View Slides

10:30 - 11:00AM
Break & Exhibits

Coffee break Sponsored by Fugro logo and link

11:00AM– 12:00PM

Platinum Sponsor Presentation
AppGeo Logo

12:00 - 1:30PM
Lunch & Exhibits

Lunch Sponsored by Merrick & Co logo

1:30 - 3:00PM

Session A (Big Tex)
Open Source GIS

1:30 – 2:00PM
Improving Business Agility with Geo-Enabled Business Processes, Microservices & Containerization

Jeremy Bixby, John Branigan, Boundless

View Slides

2:00 – 2:30PM
Web GIS on a Shoestring

Brent Porter, UT-CSR

2:30 – 3:00PM
Geospatial Analysis in the cloud with Carto Builder

Rod Erickson, CARTO

Session B (Li'l TEX)
Project Start to Finish

1:30 – 2:00PM
Developing Near-Real-Time Flood Impact Mapping in Texas

David Arctur & Harry Evans, UT-CRWSR | Michael Ouimet, Texas Division of Emergency Management | David Maidment, UT Austin

View Slides

2:00 – 2:30PM
Let’s Walk! Using GIS to Help Fort Worth’s Safe Route to Schools Program

Chris Akin, Dunaway Associates

2:30 – 3:00PM
UT Libraries: Enabling open access to cross-disciplinary research through spatial discovery

Jessica Trelogan, UT Libraries
Break - Board Buses for Keynote and Social Event at the Oasis
4:30 - 5:30PM

Special Keynote
Saroo Brierley

Head shot of Keynote Saroo BrierleyLost as a child, Saroo tracked down his hometown in India using Google Earth and his memories. His story inspired the Oscar-nominated film, Lion.

Full Bio


Forum Social at the Oasis

30 years of the Texas GIS Forum will be celebrated with a spectacular social event at the Oasis on Lake Travis, the Sunset Capital of Texas. Thanks to our Platinum Sponsors, we will celebrate this milestone occasion with an inspirational keynote speaker, amazing entertainment, scrumptious food and drink, and a knock-your-socks off view.

Full Info on Social
Board buses to return to Commons Learning Center

Friday, October 27th

7:30 - 8:15AM
Registration & Breakfast
8:15 - 8:30AM
Welcome & Introductions
8:30 - 10:00AM

Town Hall: State of the State

GIO update presentation followed by an all-hands discussion on what's been done and where we are going?

10:00 - 10:15AM
10:15 - 11:30AM

Education and Professional Development Panel

Needs and expectations in workforce relating to education and professional development.

11:30AM - 12:00PM

Introduction to the Texas Mentorship Program


Closing Remarks

Platinum Sponsors

appgeo logo and link to website Esri logo and link to website Esri logo and link to website Boundless logo and link

Gold Sponsors

Aecom geospatial logo and link Lenovo geospatial logo and link Near map logo and link Plotter Pro Logo and link to website Surdex geospatial logo and link

Silver Sponsors

Carto logo and link Fugro logo and link GeoComm logo and link Hexagon logo and link Infogroup logo and link HP geospatial logo and link Sanborn logo and link to website SCAUG logo and link West Safety Services logo and link Geocortex logo and link


  • Blue Marble Geographics
  • RazorTek
  • TeachMeGIS
  • Tessellations Incorporated
  • Western Data Systems