Kansas Association of Mappers

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  • 17 Jul 2017 8:14 AM | Erika Stanley (Administrator)

    This class will provide a basic introduction to the popular QGIS Open Source GIS software.  In this hands on workshop, we will look at adding in and styling data from popular formats including rasters, shapefiles, geodatabases, and CSV files.  You’ll learn how to install plugins to perform various GIS processes similar to those found in ArcMap such as generating LiDAR contours, geocoding, clipping, merging, etc.  Included will be adding in basemaps and printing maps to PDFs.  Finally, we will look at other sources of tutorials available to further your QGIS education.  If you have a laptop, please plan to bring it to the classroom pre-installed with QGIS; otherwise we may be able to provide one for your use.

    This class will be held on Tuesday, August 8 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm in the 2nd floor training room at 141 S Gordy St, El Dorado, KS 67042.  Registration is $30 for members, and $70 for non-members.  Snacks will be provided.  Class will be limited to 15 participants.

    Register now!


  • 02 Jun 2017 9:11 AM | Erika Stanley (Administrator)

    Make the most of your imagery, LiDAR, and other raster data acquisitions. Raster data can be a bit mysterious, but it doesn’t have to be. With ArcGIS and a little know-how, you can leverage publicly available datasets and get more value out of your data purchases. In this hands-on workshop, you will learn how to:

    • Adjust your imagery to highlight features or peer into shadows
    • Use geoprocessing tools to get insights into terrain, distance, costs, and more
    • Use raster math to go beyond the out-of-the-box tools
    • Manage your settings to ensure valid analysis results

    The class will be held on Wednesday, June 28th, 9:00 AM  to 3:00 PM at the Riley County Shops facility, 6215 Tuttle Creek Blvd, Manhattan, KS 66503. Cost is $30 for KAM members, $70 for non-members. Snacks will be provided, lunch is on your own.

    Register now!

  • 10 Apr 2017 8:48 AM | Erika Stanley (Administrator)

    This class will be held on May 16, 2017 in Topeka and will cover deed and legal basics, GIS editing, COGO, other advanced editing tools and some simple tool/script model building. Geared toward beginner and intermediate experienced mapping professionals. The cost of the workshop is $30 for KAM members and $70 for nonmembers. Registration is now open.


  • 15 Mar 2017 9:19 AM | Kristen Jordan-Koenig (Administrator)

    By Jay Guarneri: City of Manhattan

    Raster data is an essential part of any GIS. From imagery to digital elevation models, rasters give context to our vector data, provide terrain measurements, and generally fill the void between lines. However, many practitioners never do much with rasters beyond displaying them as a background with the default symbology or performing a few basic terrain analyses. Learning how to work extensively with raster data can help you to leverage publicly available datasets and to get more value out of your imagery and LiDAR acquisitions.

    Perhaps the easiest place to get started is to play around with imagery symbology. Adjusting the contrast stretch and gamma stretch can selectively highlight different features or make it easier to peer into shadows. It can even be beneficial to turn off the individual color channels to see things, literally, in a different light. To take your image symbology and interpretation to the next level, try out ArcMap’s Image Analysis window. This often-overlooked tool hosts a number of controls to quickly adjust the appearance of an image. The Image Analysis window also includes access to a variety of filters and raster functions for dynamic analysis and more sophisticated displays. Take the time to play around with how your imagery is displayed. You’d be surprised how much more you can get out of your imagery. Many of these tweaks will also improve the display of other raster data.

    Some points of advice:

    • Only change one parameter at a time, and in small increments

    • If things start to look weird, you may have gone too far. Look for adjustments that are far away from the defaults. Sometimes it’s easier to start over.

    • Play around! You’re not going to break anything, and who knows what you’ll find.

    If you are interested in learning more about advanced image symbology or ways to get more out of your other raster datasets, I will be teaching a KAM-sponsored class on the subject in May. There is interest in hosting it in western Kansas, so if anyone knows of a suitable location, be sure to contact me at guarneri@cityofmhk.com. Otherwise, it will probably be hosted in Manhattan.

  • 15 Mar 2017 9:14 AM | Kristen Jordan-Koenig (Administrator)

    By Linda Sibert, KM: Kansas Department of Agriculture

    Planning for 32nd annual KAM conference is well underway with lots of educational and networking opportunities. The conference will be held in Lawrence, Kansas, at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 200 McDonald Drive, on October 17th – 20th. Starting with the pre-conference classes, we have a tentative agreement with Ken Wilkerson to teach an Introduction to ArcGIS Pro. Other pre-conference classes will be NG911 certification and Raster Analysis.

    Keynote speakers this year will be Anne Wilson and Brian Obermeyer sharing their work on the Flint Hills Map project for use in schools throughout the region. Check the website for more information coming soon about their topic.

    Here is a list of just some of the educational sessions that will be available; Microsoft Office integrations with ArcMap, active shooter scenario, project management (agile), ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, web mapping not ArcGIS Online, non ESRI mapping options (QGIS, AutoCAD, etc), DASC update, 2020 Census, drone usage, project show off, tornado response in Dickinson County before and after, title research, JavaScript development, and ArcGIS Pro addin development. If you would like to present on these or any other topic at the conference please visit the website and fill out the paper submissions form.

    On Wednesday evening we will of course have our vendor’s night reception but with a fun twist, check the website often for updates. Thursday early evening will include a tour of the Bowersock Mill and Power Company. Then, dinner and drinks will be on your own in downtown Lawrence.

    The map gallery competition will be brought back with prizes for 1st place overall and runner ups for hard copy map and digital presentation. Submissions will be open soon. When submitting a digital presentation, please also fill out a paper submission to be included in the project show off session.

  • 15 Mar 2017 9:13 AM | Kristen Jordan-Koenig (Administrator)

    By Kyle Gonterwitz, PE, GISP: Kansas Department of Transportation

    KDOT is using some federal funds and tasked Professional Engineering Consultants, PA and Michael Dennis, RLS, PE of Geodetic Analysis, LLC to develop an integrated system of Low Distortion Projections (LDPs) for the state of Kansas.

    What is a low distortion projection? Well, as a KAM member you are probably familiar with the Kansas North and South zones of the State Plane Coordinate System of 1983 (SPCS 83). Currently, when KDOT designs a road or a bridge, we survey in Kansas SPCS 83 coordinates, then coordinates are adjusted (“scaled”) to minimize the difference between projected (grid) distances and the actual distances on the ground. That difference is referred to as linear distortion, which must be accounted for in design and construction. LDP coordinate systems are rigorously defined to provide measurement distances close to true ground values by minimizing linear distortion.

    Figure 1: Linear distortion in State Plane Coordinate System of 1983

    What does this mean to the Kansas Mapper? You should get excited! If you are maintaining parcels, you can use the Kansas LDP coordinate system to reduce measurement error and rotation issues from plat records and surveys to GIS, and more accurately calculate the acreage of a parcel based on the spatial/shape representation. One of the main advantages of datasets defined in an LDP system is that they can be directly added to GIS without the need to rotate, translate, or scale – they are automatically correctly georeferenced.

    As a Kansas Mapper, you know how to choose the most appropriate coordinate system to accurately display information. With these LDP coordinate systems, you will have new and improved options to consider. Look for more information soon about the LDP coordinate systems on the DASC initiatives site: http://www.kansasgis.org/initiatives/.

  • 13 Mar 2017 11:52 AM | Erika Stanley (Administrator)
    The KACS annual conference will be held May 5, 2017 in Emporia Kansas. This year's annual meeting is worth 6 PHDs. To register please fill out the registration form and return it no later than Friday, April 28th. Registration is limited to 40 people. For more information please contact Michael Kelly at mkelly@douglascountyks.org or by calling 785-832-5297. 

  • 09 Mar 2017 9:19 AM | Kristen Jordan-Koenig (Administrator)

    Kansas County Appraisers Association will be offering a 4-day long American Cadastre course (see description below) presented by Rick Norejko from TEAM Consulting, in Garden City, KS on Aug. 28-31, 2017. The cost of the course is $375. You can register on the KCAA website http://www.kscaa.net/

    This course would be suitable for other county officials and private appraisers so if you could help us out and distribute the information to others it would be appreciated!

  • 30 Sep 2016 4:10 PM | Elias Martinson

    The KSLS High Plains Chapter is hosting the 59th Annual Meeting and Conference at the United Wireless Conference Center in Dodge City, October 20-22. For more information take a look at this brochure put together for the event. If you are interested in registering for the whole conference, or you just want to attend the Ownership of Navigable River Lands Between Meander Lines and/or the Permanent Surveys and Clerks Plat & Mayors Plat seminars (see the flyers below), you can do so online at the KSLS website.


  • 21 Sep 2016 5:27 PM | Elias Martinson

    Earlier in September, I gave a presentation to my stepson’s seventh grade geography class. I included a map that compares counts of children under 18 in 2000 versus 2010 and another swiper map for the State of Kansas 1991 imagery versus 2015. Putting these maps together, I realized that none of these kids were alive in 1991 or even 2000. Usually for time comparison maps, people remember seeing the changes in landscape personally, and the maps act as almost a nostalgia tool. Not this crowd. We might as well have watched a demonstration on how blacksmiths built wagon wheels, especially since the 1991 imagery is in black and white. They still thought it was interesting, but to them, it’s ancient history.

    The kids saw how their school was a corn field in 1991, and I started thinking about the 4th dimension of GIS- time. Mappers and GIS professionals capture and record geography in a specific moment knowing that the geography used to be different and will eventually change. Sometimes we indicate the time period the data is relevant (cough, cough, metadata…), and sometimes not. Some data changes quickly, hence the need for semi-frequent aerial imagery and NG911 data updates, and other data doesn’t change that much over time like LiDAR.

    As a human, the 4th dimension of time becomes a limiting factor since in any given moment, I can only be in one location. Sometimes I wish I could truly harness the power of Tobler’s first law of geography and only be invested in things near me rather than things more distant, but phones and email really mess that up. Regardless, I am most impacted by what is near me in a given moment whether positive, neutral or negative. Most of the time, I can choose what my location is and choose to surround myself with things that are positive and beneficial.

    KAM recognizes that you also can choose your location, particularly between October 5 and October 7, 2016, and our Program Committee is working hard to provide a fast-moving, educational annual conference. Both the KAM Executive Board and the Program Committee read and listen to your feedback about the conference, and we’re intentionally making changes to accommodate suggestions.

    For a detailed schedule, please visit the Conference Schedule on our website which includes specific breakout sessions. Generally though, Wednesday morning begins bright and early with a free NG911 GIS Data Maintainer Certification Class, and the afternoon continues with pre-conference short courses. We’ve sped up the KAM business meeting on Thursday morning to get right to our Keynote featuring KGS Interim Director Rex Buchanan. Breakout sessions will start immediately after lunch and continue until the wrap-up luncheon on Friday. We haven’t forgotten about networking, and Thursday evening will include the New Member and Past President Reception, the Exhibitor Reception and a complimentary shuttle to Aggieville.

    We hope you decide to spend some time and join us at the KAM annual conference, and we’d encourage you to register as soon as possible. We’d also encourage you to nominate a deserving someone for a KAM award. The awards are listed here, and you can nominate someone here. We also encourage you to share your latest map or mapping project by participating in the annual Map Gallery or Submitting an Abstract for a conference presentation. If you or your company would like to be a Sponsor or Exhibitor, we have more information available.

    We look forward to seeing you and hearing about what you’ve been doing lately.

    And if you’d like to check out the State of Kansas 1991 vs. 2015 imagery swiper map that I shared with the seventh graders, here you go:http://goo.gl/i8F0LR


    PS: Esri had a good article lately about single or plural cartography labels- https://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2016/08/29/legend-item-labels-singular-or-plural/

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