A selection of papers written by graduate students to fulfill the requirements
of their degree study are posted below. These analytical papers result from
either an internship experience with a sponsor or a research project and are
submitted, in journal form, to the department's publication "Papers in Resource
Analysis" as a capstone to their education.
Click on the student's name to see the abstract of the paper. Papers are listed
alphabetically by last name. To view the actual paper you will need Adobe Acrobat
Reader. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer you can download
a free copy at the Adobe website.
Data was digitally developed to determine
sanitary sewer locations, elevations, flow directions and parcels’ impervious
areas during the summer of 2002 for the City of Rochester, Minnesota.
The purpose of this project was to use these data and to develop and
model a GIS template for the City of Rochester. This model was developed
to model sewage flow in the event of future sanitary pipe emergencies.
This model analyzes sanitary sewer pipe blockages to determine potentially
impacted parcel(s) by the blockage. A second model was developed to facilitate
planning in regards to storm water management. Storm water runoff was
analyzed on a per parcel basis to predict rainfall runoff based on percentages
of impervious surfaces. DOQQ photography was used to capture the impervious
areas in parcels by onscreen digitizing. ArcMap 8.2 was used to analyze
The increasing spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) across Southern Wisconsin has given rise to grave concerns about the spread of the disease, despite the best efforts put forth by the state and federal government and other agencies. With current technological advancements and the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the spread of CWD can closely be monitored. This project focuses on the spread of CWD in deer management units (DMUs) within the current CWD management zone (CWD-MZ) from the years 2005 to 2009 in south central Wisconsin. The current CWD management zone is located in the south central quadrant of the state of Wisconsin. A brief history of CWD, its diagnosis, public health concerns, risk of transmission to humans (Epidemiologic Studies), and transmission to other animals are discussed. There are many aspects of the disease for which information is very limited. The ultimate goal is to keep collecting information on endemic areas in the state, and to spatially and numerically analyzing test results. Results derived from such analyses may then be used for better decision making.
Minnesota has always been welcoming for immigrants and it has hosted many immigrants over the years. However, in the last three decades, new waves of immigrants from Asia and Africa have made Minnesota their homes and most are refugees who fled from their native countries for reasons such as civil unrest and fear of persecution if they remain or go back. These new immigrants came to Minnesota for the same reason as immigrants came in the 20th century or before, looking for freedom, affordable housing, jobs, social services, and other resources. Almost all immigrants need some types of services and resources to help them adapt to their new country. With the surge of immigrants and their need for social services and assistance, service providers face challenges to deliver these services. To predict future waves of immigrants, to estimate current immigrant populations, and to identify where immigrants reside can help plan and prepare services from both governmental and non-governmental organizations. GIS tools along with tabular and spatial analyses were used to produce maps and tables. These were created to better understand where immigrants are living in the Seven County Metro area.
Through the use of improved business processes and the support of GIS tools, companies can increase revenue, decrease time to make better decisions and use GIS technologies to replace underperforming processes. In the trucking industry, technology has been used for many purposes including communication, mapping, planning, and reporting. This project compares the effectiveness of new logistics technologies to old techniques that typically used more man hours to complete similar tasks. The process and resulting recommendations are supported by companies that saw a 30% increase in the number of trucks managed compared to the number workers assigned to manage them, decreases in key areas that caused companies to lose revenue and provided improvement in asset utilization. The results of each case study varied, but in each case, significant improvements were made in how the customer processed data or eliminated hours of data entry. The study and recommendations provided ways to analyze business needs, set achievable goals, and ways to improve an organization.
A Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to estimate the amount of available forest residue biomass from timber harvests within the State of Wisconsin, USA and within a 50 mile radius of power plants that burn biomass for energy production. Publically available land cover, soil, and elevation data were used to ascertain the available forested areas for biomass harvest. Approximately 5.8 million oven dry tons of forest residue biomass are considered available statewide, the majority located in the northern part of the state. While further consideration should be done on a site by site basis, Wisconsin’s forests hold the potential to aid in electric utility production.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has been monitoring great blue heron colonies on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, a 260-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from Wabasha, Minnesota downstream to near Clinton, Iowa. Since the 1990s, the Service has utilized a standardized methodology consisting of digitizing nests on aerial photography. While this task has traditionally been completed by a Service biologist, it may be carried out by a more novice GIS analyst in the future. As a means to validate the Service’s data collection model, novice GIS users with no prior nest detection skills digitized great blue heron nests at nine colonies from 2010. Nest location data from the novice was then compared to the experienced Service dataset. Accuracy was measured by comparing the total number of nests and the total number of the same nests both the novice and expert (Service) identified. Precision was measured by the nest distance error, the distance between the novice and expert points associated with the same nest. There were no statistical differences in the total number of nests per colony between the novice and expert. However, the number of the same nests identified by both the novice and expert compared to the expert was statistically different. Errors of omission (nests identified by the expert, but not the novice) and commission (nests identified by the novice, but not the expert) were most common in the southern three colonies, and may have been related to greater leaf out conditions. Nest distance error was significantly different amongst colonies, but within a reasonable distance given the typical size of a great blue heron nest. This study worked under the assumption that the expert data accurately reflects real-world conditions. However, this is not necessarily true as there is an element of human error in censusing a colony. The Service’s monitoring method could be improved by utilizing two people, such as a novice and expert, digitizing nests independently followed by a collaboration whereby errors of omission and commission are discussed and eliminated between the users. This two person method would strengthen the monitoring approach by eliminating the assumption that the expert data accurately reflects real-world conditions, and instead, foster a more collaborative approach to account for differences in photo interpretation, experience, and nest detectability.
Agricultural producers have been using subsurface artificial drainage since the late 1800’s. This allows areas that would have otherwise been deemed unproductive for agriculture to grow substantial yields. Data and records on drainage tile location are not consistent. In recent years, researchers have turned to aerial photography to map functioning drainage tiles. Knowing the location of drainage can allow more accurate hydrology studies. This research explores photo interpretation and compares it to remote sensing and decision tree analysis techniques to delineate subsurface agricultural drainage tiles in the Eagle Creek Watershed in Iowa, USA.
This study explored the application of a geographic information system (GIS) to a land use and land cover (LULC) change detection analysis. Primary concern was given to changes in agricultural and developed land resulting from urban growth, although several land use categories were taken into consideration. Dane County, Wisconsin was the location for the study and the LULC raster data layers spanned three time periods including the 1970’s, 1992, and 2001. Objectives included the identification of areas of rapid urban growth and how this directly impacted the availability of agricultural land, and the production of extrapolated values illustrating possible agriculturally impacted areas due to future urban growth.
Improving the methods for determining which areas should be prioritized for conservation efforts may be accomplished by using indicators such as biodiversity. The data provided by the United States Geological Survey‟s Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) has made calculating changes in biodiversity over a specified time frame possible. By using bird survey data available for the state of Minnesota, analysis was performed to determine the levels of biodiversity in each area of the state during various time periods. Along with spatial analysis, statistical analysis was performed on the data by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Results of the analysis indicated there was a significant (P < 0.05) correlation between the proportion of natural land cover and the amount of avian diversity. Future studies may be able to develop predictive models using this and other correlatives. By predicting richness levels, priority may be placed on specific areas within the state for conservation efforts.
The gray wolf is an animal that is often misunderstood. Due to negative stereotypes of gray wolves, they were hunted to the brink of extinction in the contiguous United States of America. Presently, numerous states (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming) are implementing reintroduction and management plans to rebuild the wolf population. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were used to identify potential areas for wolf expansion based on habitat requirements in the state of Pennsylvania. This study used information from research compiled on existing wolf packs in the contiguous United States, along with management and reintroduction plans to locate suitable land for gray wolves located in the state of Pennsylvania. The approach was to use numerous data layers to determine if any land could support wolf existence and where these ranges would be located. Key layers used to locate wolf pack ranges in this study included: road density, human density, and land cover. The suitable locations were then examined to determine: water availability, prey density, and total range size. Once these locations had been identified, an approximation of potential pack size was then determined based on range size. The results of this study show there are multiple ranges which could potentially be used for gray wolf habitation in Pennsylvania.
This study examines historical landcover change and growth rate of the bog surrounding Long Lake in Aitkin County, located in Northern Minnesota. Bogs create a unique environment for plants and wildlife alike, which is why it is important to monitor their growth and to keep peatlands intact. This study uses five aerial images covering the period 1939 to 2010. Each image was digitized around areas of open water, bog, and mature bog. The Vector-based Landscape Analysis Tool Extension (V-LATE) was used to examine change over the 71 year time period. V-LATE analyses included area, edge, core area, and diversity. A prediction analysis was also performed to forecast future bog growth. Results showed a large decrease in mature bog in 1982 then an increase for the remainder of the study. An overall bog growth of 9.86 m2 or 0.0024 acres occurred between 1939 and 2010.
Gray wolves are often difficult for biologists, forest planners, and wildlife managers to study and predict movements and habits. The controversy over wolves in the Midwest is growing with the delisting of the gray wolf from the Threatened and Endangered Species List. Growing populations of wolves have increased sightings and contact between humans and wolves. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a tool that can be utilized by planners and managers to identify wolf habitats and possible areas of human – wolf conflict. This study uses GIS to take information from written literature on wolf habitat and preferences of wolf locations and ranges in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan and compare these to a model of wolf range suitability developed in this study.
The model developed by this study utilizes four raster layers (landuse/land cover, road density, population density, and deer population density) classified to create suitability ranges. The model created indicates the presence of abundant suitable habitat in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Shakopee Public Utilities (SPU) has been a publicly owned electric and water utility in Minnesota USA since 1902. Its electric service territory includes most of the City of Shakopee and some surrounding townships and a small portion of the City of Prior Lake. The City of Shakopee contains a main downtown district as well as residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural zones. SPU is a separate entity from the City of Shakopee with a commission appointed by the Shakopee City Council. As an electric utility, SPU does not generate its own power and purchases all of its electric power demands from outside sources. SPU has been receiving inquiries from developers of power generating wind turbines since energy independence and the worries of global warming have become more prevalent. This study is a macro comprehensive spatial analysis to determine the best placement of wind turbines in SPU’s electric territory by analyzing geographic data layers.
Public interest in food distribution systems as well as an increasing amount of food imports to the United States has resulted in a need for methods of quantifying the transportation of food imports in terms of distance travelled, energy use, and environmental impact. Geographic information systems (GIS) provide a powerful tool to organize and analyze spatial data. This study used a geographic information system to analyze monthly imports of apples, oranges, and bananas in 2008. Shipping routes were mapped, and statistics including average distance travelled, total energy use, and total greenhouse gas emissions were calculated. Bananas were imported in a much larger quantity than apples and bananas, but the average source distance, energy/ton, and emissions/ton measures were lower for bananas than for imported apples and oranges.
Two economic analysis techniques, the Location Quotient and Shift Share Analysis, were used to quantify employment strengths and weaknesses within the Minneapolis-St. Paul seven county metropolitan region. Employment data between the years 2002 and 2011 were gathered from the United States Census Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) database of the United States Census Bureau. A Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to process, analyze, and display the data. The resulting tables, charts and maps can serve as a useful tool for regional planners, economic developers and/or general policy makers.
The Upper Mississippi River (UMR) is one of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems in the entire world. The UMR is considered a “multi-use” resource, meaning it is vital for wildlife, transportation, commerce, public utilities, and recreation. Prioritizing and balancing these uses can be a difficult challenge. A critical component to understanding and communicating knowledge about the UMR lies in defining aquatic habitat types. Backwater habitat areas, in particular, serve as one of the most valuable habitat types because they directly impact river flora and fauna and are crucial to maintaining river water quality. Currently, backwater aquatic habitat is identified and classified solely by visual photo-interpretation and historic geomorphology. As it becomes increasingly important to be able to protect and study backwater areas, and distinguish them from the flowing portions of the river, the need has arisen to more precisely locate these areas based on scientific data. Long-Term Resource Monitoring Program (LTRMP) data components from Pool 8 near Lacrosse, WI, are used to define backwater aquatic habitat areas based upon water chemistry. The main components of the LTRMP data chosen for analysis include: water current velocity, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and chlorophyll a. In this study, backwater habitat locations are defined by creating acceptable criteria for each component and interpolating a surface based on the criteria. Newly defined extents for backwater habitat are then compared to current backwater habitat extents. This new approach to identifying and classifying these backwater habitat areas serves as an important decision-marking tool for river managers involved in a variety of projects such as habitat restoration and water quality standards testing.
North American prairies are in steep decline. Much of this decline stems from conversion to agriculture and the invasion of exotic species. The goal of this study was to provide an interpolated layer of prairie vegetation and conduct a native prairie restoration potential analysis. The J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota USA was the focus of this analysis, but the analysis can be modified to provide results in other regions for other organizations. An IDW interpolation was used to derive a vegetation dominance surface from the sampling sites point data. The SSURGO soils layer was reclassified as either suitable or non-suitable for native prairie growth based on soil texture and drainage. Lidar elevation data were reclassified into suitable and non-suitable slope surfaces for native prairie growth. The reclassified soil and slope layers were then combined with the vegetation dominance layer using Esri’s Raster Calculator. Based on soil and vegetation criteria, areas of high potential for native prairie restoration were located mainly in the southern portion of the refuge. The slope analysis revealed issues when compared to field observations. Overall, results provide a visualization of native prairie restoration potential and would be useful for management decision-making.
This paper outlines the exploration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) being used by land surveying managers. Using ArcGIS 9.0 (ArcView), ArcCatalog, Autodesk Land Desktop and other mapping software, a survey identification application was created for Sunde Land Surveying, LLC. in Bloomington, MN. The goals of this project were to create a server based application that would give Sunde Land Surveying managers the ability to view and query information about past surveys, and secondly, to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency that is gained from having such an application.
Land use planning has become an increasingly complex and dynamic profession that depends on the working relations from all facets of society. Comprehensive planning provides an opportunity to state and develop these beliefs into general goals and policies for a coMMunity over a prescribed amount of time. Maintaining and continually updating these plans is an ongoing process in defining goals and aspirations with varying problem solving methodologies. Sorting through the varying agendas and ideas often falls on decision makers in a bureaucracy, who have to base their thoughts on their best judgement. These conclusions can be greatly enhanced using visual representations of the prescribed subject matter. Winona County’s Planning CoMMission has chosen to implement Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a basic tool that will assist them in updating the Current Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Using GIS provides an avenue to actively view data in a spatial context that will enhance their cognitive reasoning processes and make more sense than archaic textual facts and numbers. The pilot project was to include all steps from accessibility and cost of data to analysis and output of useful data that will be used in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan update process.
Land degradation and subsequent soil erosion and sedimentation play a significant role in impairing water resources within subwatersheds, watersheds and basins. Using conventional methods to assess soil erosion risk is expensive and time consuming. Geographic Information Systems (GIS), coupled with the use of an empirical model to assess risk, can identify and assess soil erosion potential and estimate the value of soil loss. The objectives of this project are to: 1) assess soil erosion risk within a Zumbro River subwatershed in southeastern Minnesota using GIS and the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE), 2) comparatively analyze the use and scaling effect of STATSGO and SSURGO soil databases with RUSLE and 3) assess the sensitivity and scaling effect of estimated soil loss to model variables. Soil, land use, digital elevation, flow accumulation and climatic data are used to generate RUSLE variables. This empirical soil erosion model estimates soil loss values by tons/acre/year and assesses the spatial distribution of soil erosion risk within the entire subwatershed. By comparing soil loss estimates, spatial distribution and variable sensitivity from the RUSLE model using STATSGO soil data and SSURGO soil data, it is possible to compare the responses of both soil databases. Nonparametric regression shows the level of relatedness between STATSGO and SSURGO RUSLE model outputs at the subwatershed scale. Correlation coefficients (R2) of 0.914, 0.928, and 0.922 for 10, 30, and 50 meter resolutions respectively highlight the significance of the relationship. At high to very high levels of estimated soil erosion loss the relatedness between STATSGO and SSURGO-based RUSLE model outputs lessened. Of the LS, K, and C model variables investigated, the C variable (cover management) exhibited a greater level of relatedness to RUSLE model outputs than the other variables at 10, 30 and 50 meter resolutions but not enough to be significant.
The eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis) was nearly eliminated during the mid 1900’s by habitat
destruction, competition, and other human-related disturbances. However, the past few decades
have seen an unprecedented resurgence in bluebird numbers thanks in a large part to the
placement of bluebird nest boxes by concerned citizens. A study was conducted using
geographic information system (GIS) technology to determine the optimal nest box locations for
bluebirds in Minnesota by analyzing nest site selection in relation to the distance between nest
boxes and elements of the landscape such as roads, buildings, water, trees, and other boxes.
Thirty-five years worth of data of roughly 80 nest boxes from an existing study near Pierz, MN
were provided by bluebird researchers Dave and Carol Fiedler of Buffalo, MN. Field work
included marking the locations of the boxes with a global positioning system (GPS) as well as
describing the landscape characteristics surrounding the box. Distances were measured using
ortho-rectified aerial photographs with much of the display and analysis done using Arcview 3.2
and ArcGIS. Each of the bluebird competitors was analyzed separately and then combined to
develop buffer distances for ideal bluebird box placement.
Spatial distributions and densities of traffic collisions were defined through utilization of
a Geographic Information System. Traffic collision data for La Crosse, Wisconsin were
acquired from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Database and spreadsheet
programs were used to edit and standardize the traffic collision data to index with 1995
Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) system files.
Structured Query Language, an integrated functionality of the Geographic Information
System, was used as the primary tool to initiate both spatial and statistical analyses.
Traffic collision densities and trends, with respect to various road conditions, intersection
control, driver circumstances, etc. were displayed as visual computer images. Statistical
analyses, charts, and graphs were used to supplement the study.
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt combining hand held Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers and hiking. This recreational activity has grown in popularity since publicly launched in 2000. Affordable recreational-grade GPS units, as well as cellular phones equipped with GPS, have increased the number of people geocaching worldwide. Popularity has brought with it an increase in environmental impacts caused by geocaching. This study details steps taken to assess environmental impacts caused by geocaching in twenty-one Minnesota state parks. Further, the study defines methodologies used to determine areas and causes of high impact, including procedures to create a geocache placement suitability assessment map, and a model identifying vulnerable areas that could be utilized by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources or other interested parties for future geocache policy planning.
Agricultural drain tile systems are a significant influence on the condition of wetlands and waterways. The influence of these systems is often difficult to determine since installation records are incomplete or were never kept. Using a modified decision class tree and raster analysis in ArcGIS, a model for predicting the location of land drained by subsurface systems was evaluated. The three-county study site in the agricultural region of central Minnesota provided an area of known drain tile systems so that the model predictions could be compared to locations of existing systems and drained land. The model criteria incorporated publically available data including agricultural land use data identified by the National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), soil characteristics obtained through the Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO), and slope characteristics developed from the National Elevation Dataset (NED). Results indicate that with the best combination of criteria the model predictions correspond nearly 80% with the actual drain tile data. The potential to incorporate the influence of drain tile areas into land-use based assessments of wetland and waterway health is an important outcome of being able to identify land drained by artificial subsurface drainage features.
An analysis of the Rochester areas was conducted in order to understand which
community wells were the most vulnerable to contamination from petroleum sources.
Analysis involved the development of five modules: Leaksite Proximity to Community
Wells, Groundwater Flow Direction, Pollution Sensitivity of Leaksite Locations,
Community Well Characteristics, and Leaksite Conditions. Each of these modules were
scored on independent criteria and were then multiplied times each other to obtain the
final results. In addition to obtaining a community well vulnerability reading, other
information was gained from the study by using different modules in different
combinations. Combining the first three modules provide a predictive way to look at
areas of the community that are likely to remain problematic and might be considered for
special zoning. A quick assessment of the possible impact of a new leak, spill, or point
source can be obtained by looking at their locations on a grid of the values obtained by
combining the first four modules. Combining the first three modules and the fifth can
serve to guide new well placement, pumping rates for new wells and well testing. Areas
identified with the highest probability of risk for petroleum contamination were found in
the central to southern parts of the city. These areas stretch along South Broadway
(Highway 63) and about two miles west and one mile east of the intersection of
Broadway and Highway 14. Areas to the north and west presented the least amount of
Solid waste disposal is becoming a major global problem. Due to increasing human activity, solid waste is creating serious damage to the ecosystem and human health. Damage is caused by illegal dumping of urban waste in unacceptable locations. For this reason, local municipal and central governments are moving forward to construct engineered solid waste landfills in suitable areas. A geographic information system (GIS) is a tool that can be utilized by engineers and city planners to identify the best possible sites for disposal. This study leverages GIS and multi-criteria analysis to develop a suitability model based on previous studies of solid waste disposal site selection. Data was collected, and locations in the capital region of Andhra Pradesh, India were prioritized based on the suitability model developed in this study. The model developed by this study utilized raster layers (land use classification, distance to roads and railways, slope, and constraint layers) categorized to conduct suitability analysis. Suitable locations were then converted to polygons in order to evaluate their size and land use type. Due to the high population of India, available land is limited. This study utilized various techniques to identify sparsely available land suitable for solid waste disposal.
An analysis of the Whitewater River Watershed in Southeastern Minnesota was performed to
determine suitable locations for riparian habitat buffers. A model was created to determine
subwatersheds most suitable for potential riparian habitat buffer sites. Three factors were used in
determining the subwatershed ranking system for the potential buffer sites. The three factors
used in creating the model were proximity of row crops to streams and rivers, subwatershed
slope, and proximity of feedlots to rivers and streams of the Whitewater River Watershed. Much
of the analysis for this project was done to determine a subwatershed ranking system that ranks
the need for riparian buffers on a subwatershed level. Landuse/Landcover data was obtained
from GAP Analysis data obtained from the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Gap
Analysis data were obtained from Landsat images classified at 30-meter resolution. The
subwatersheds that ranked highest in the need for riparian habitat buffers were primarily located
in the heavily used agricultural areas located near the headwaters of the watershed. Intensive
agriculture practices were the major factor in the riparian buffer model determining that the
highest potential for riparian buffers is near the headwaters of the watershed.
Urban parks and open space have always been a valuable asset to human communities.
They are multi-faceted in the kind of value that they have provided to local communities.
For this reason, parks and open space have been given much attention during the
planning processes in the urban environment. Urban parks have not only provided
recreation benefits to communities, but have provided much economic wealth to local
communities. Community residents have noted the benefits of urban parks. In many
urban environments, residential property values have increased near parks as a direct
The City of Rochester, Minnesota has been acknowledged as having a very strong
urban park system. The city’s several ravines, rivers and woodland areas have provided
natural corridors for the development of its park system. A strong economy in Rochester
has resulted in continuous urban growth. Along with the city’s growth, the downtown
and residential areas are now becoming more urbanized.
Rochester has also been noted for its stable property and housing prices. City
property is in demand, and will continue to be in great demand for years to come. As
Rochester expands, its parks system needs to be considered during the urban planning
processes to protect the high sense of residential value that Rochester is known for today.
This study takes a look at the values that Rochester’s urban parks are given by the local
communities, and more specifically, the correlation between the urban parks and
residential property value. A Geographic Information System (GIS) was implemented to
show direct patterns and correlations between the city park system and residential
This project takes an in-depth look at the environmental variables of freshwater lakes and how these variables affect the land value of lakeshore property. A GIS-based spatial and statistical analysis applied to lakeshore data from Crow Wing and Cass county Minnesota, provided the information necessary to establish general correlations applicable to Midwestern lakeshore property. The sample set includes: the Whitefish Chain, Pelican Lake, and Gull Lake. The environmental variables of these lakes can be divided into two groups; those that pertain to lakeshore parcels and those that pertain to the lakes. The parcel variables include: square footage, deeded acres, perimeter length, lakeshore frontage, accessible acres of water, and 2009 county-estimated land value. The variables of the lakes include: acreage, length of shoreline, littoral acreage, number of public accesses, water clarity, maximum depth, and median depth. The relationship between the environmental variables and the land value of lakeshore property is illustrated through correlations, multiple regression, and a Hedonic Value Analysis.
High-speed internet access is a becoming a greater necessity for people to participate in today’s economy. However, even though broadband networks have been greatly expanded, there are still areas that do not have access. This study examines the extent to which Winona County, Minnesota is connected to the internet via broadband connection and the opportunities for expanding broadband penetration. The Network Analyst extension in ESRI’s ArcGIS allowed for extensive analysis of which central switching offices (COs) would be the best candidates to upgrade to provide broadband service via the New Location-Allocation, also known as, “maximal coverage location problem.”
This research analyzes several variables to determine relationships between police calls and residential properties within the City of Prior Lake. Examinations were undertaken to ascertain the correlation between neighborhood market values, percentage of owner occupied residences, and housing types. GIS based spatial and statistical analyses were applied to 2009 City of Prior Lake police calls for service. The data were analyzed by subdividing the City into neighborhoods and housing types. Neighborhoods and housing types were then compared.
Honduras experiences reduction in forest resources at the rate of more than 800 km2 per year. This is largely caused by changes in the land use, firewood, forest fires and irrational logging (GOH, 2001). The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report some of causes of fires in Mesoamerican countries are social inequity, devaluated natural resources, inadequate policies and lack of forest resource management by communities (FAO, 2007). Forest fires are an important part of forest life cycles and are an essential tool for many Honduran producers for land preparation and pest control. Fire is used by small producers and big agricultural industrials alike, and especially in the sugar cane industry. Even though fire is a useful and natural way of forest management, it may have adverse consequences in the environment. The economy and nearby communities can also be harmed if misused. Every year Honduras loses forest resources; forest fires are one of the main reasons for this loss. This study presents the use of GIS and remote sensing to identify forest fire risk zones in the Yeguare region and offers insight on outcomes from areas within fire risk zones.
This paper illustrates how Geographic Information Systems can be used to expand a pet food product into new market areas. A correlation analysis of pet feed in tons sold against demographic variables helped to identify a customer profile. Determining pet feed potential and estimated gross revenue was then estimated and analyzed spatially. The customer profile was then compared to areas higher in gross revenue to determine areas for Land O'Lakes Purina Feed, LLC to conduct further research to determine if these locations would be suitable for market expansion.
Emerging technologies allow antiquated emergency response coverage areas to be updated and improved upon. In Midland County the existing emergency response system has been in place for over ten years. Spatial technologies provide the means for analyzing current systems with anticipation of discovering areas of improvement. The current response coverages are not developed based on shortest distance to a location. Response coverages are developed according to township boundaries and in some cases multiple townships are one coverage area. Emergency response times are a measurable quantity; it is these times with which responding units work on improvement continuously. Through the use of geonetworking, response times are analyzed and modeled to develop an efficient and logical coverage for responding units based on spatial location.
The prehistory of New Mexico, USA is often represented by three specific phases in cultural development: Pueblo I (700 – 900 AD), Pueblo II (900 – 1100 AD), and Pueblo III (1100 – 1300 AD). During the Pueblo III occupation a specific cultural group known as the “Gallina” began to define both the archaeological and cultural record with construction of towers, an architectural feature unique to this sub-set of people. Coupled with the enigmatic tower feature, the focus of this study is to explore the spatial component of archaeology using a relatively small population of fifteen Pueblo III Gallina tower sites in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. Spatial analysis and geodatabase design/creation were used to demonstrate the capabilities of GIS as a comprehensive tool to aid in the analysis of archaeological data. As a result, a topographic model was created through the use of elevation, slope, and aspect rasters. The sites evaluated showcase the versatility of GIS in the study of archaeology, one that should be regarded as a powerful tool in all stages of archaeological evaluation and understanding.
Flooding is the most common geohazard in the United States. A flood can impact a small area, an entire community, or large metropolitan region, whether located in a floodplain or not. Not all floods are alike. Some develop slowly, over a period of days. Others occur quickly with little warning and are referred to as flash floods. La Crosse County, located in western Wisconsin, recently experienced two devastating flash floods that warranted federal disaster declarations. The damages reached millions of dollars and have motivated the community to find ways to eliminate or reduce future incidents. For this reason, a Geographic Information System (GIS) analytical model was developed to evaluate the characteristics of infrastructure damages incurred during the 2007 and 2008 flash floods to determine if any spatial similarities exist which may be an indicator of predicting areas in which future flash flood events may occur. The model used soil types, land use, slope and stream data. Each criterion was ranked as best (least likely to experience flash flooding), moderate, or worst (most likely to experience flash flooding), respectively. The objective was to define areas with the highest risk factors (most likely to flood) and assess how closely these locations are to the actual damage sites reported during the flood events of 2007 and 2008. The results of the study reflect all damage claims, except for one each year, were not located in the areas ranked as most likely to experience flash flooding based on the model..
Damaging natural disasters cause major disruptions to critical infrastructure, telecommunications, transportation, emergency services, and businesses. Many companies have disaster plans, but do they know how to prepare for one? This project details steps for using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to determine natural disaster risk areas where tele-work could be used as a mitigation strategy for a company’s continuity plan. This project develops a scenario for an anonymous company located in San Diego County California and maps natural disaster risk areas to learn disaster potential on business logistics. A backup site and tele-workers were identified to determine their ability to keep the company operational during and after a natural disaster. The results of this study show which areas in the county are at higher risk of experiencing a natural disaster. Businesses can use information such as this to determine if they need to consider a secondary work site and to identify which employees could work from home.
Southern California experiences moderate to devastating wildfires every year which continue to incur tremendous economic and emotional costs to homeowners and communities. Wildfires are largely caused by southern California’s hot and dry weather conditions and human activities near forested areas. Even though fire is an important part of a forest’s life cycle, and a natural method of forest management, it may have adverse consequences on the environment. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the factors that drive southern California’s fire risk and minimize the losses caused by wildfires. This study uses a Geographic Information System (GIS) to identify the wildland fire risk zones in the southern part of California and compare the predicted fire risk zones to historical fire data. In addition to the fire risk model, this study involved statistical analyses: two-sample t-test and chi-square analysis of contingency tables. The two-sample t-test compared the mean slope of the areas with fires to the mean slope of the areas without fires, which concluded that the mean slope with fires was statistically greater than the mean slope without fires. The chi-square analysis of contingency tables examined the consistency of the proportion of fires in each risk zone in the last ten years. The results show the proportion of fires in each risk zone was not consistent during that time period.
Impacts of Vegetation on Overhead Electrical Distribution Lines (Paper unavailable online)
Connexus Energy, founded in 1937, is one of the largest local cooperatives in the Midwestern States of the United States (USA). The company serves over 130,000 members across seven counties in central Minnesota, covering an area just over 966 square miles. Its service territory includes cities and rural communities. Specifically, the company provides services to a plethora and variety of homes and businesses including single-family dwellings, apartment complexes, small start-up companies, large corporations and farmsteads. One of the company's main objectives is to provide reliable electricity to its members in a safe manner. There are many different factors and risks that can impact the reliability of power. These include wildlife, weather, planned power outages, equipment failure, and vegetation. This study focuses on the influences of vegetation on power outages from a geospatial and quantitative perspective; more specifically, identifying the impact circuits have in experiencing a higher tendency of vegetation related power outages. Research shows the longer vegetation near a circuit goes untrimmed, the greater the likelihood of vegetation related power outages.
A break-even analysis was conducted on a proposed residential subdivision development for a 79-acre farmstead on the southern fringe of La Crosse, Wisconsin USA. Potential profitability of the development was ascertained by this project. Both the current market for residential building sites and past sales of lots within existing subdivisions within the city were analyzed to help determine pricing for lots within this new proposed subdivision. Past and present real estate data were gathered from Multiple Listing Service data and La Crosse area periodicals. Map data was acquired from the La Crosse city planner’s office and a private engineering firm. Investment costs or outflows were land acquisition costs, development costs, marketing costs, and various indirect costs. These costs were provided by La Crosse area contractors and real estate companies. Project revenue was attained strictly through the sale of individual building sites. An analysis of the projected cash flow over an eight year project timeframe was conducted to provide the investor with the needed management information for decision-making.
The Girl Scouts Northern Pine Council wanted to know how the number of girls enrolled
as Scouts varied over time. They were also interested in relating zip codes to Service
Units. Using ArcView and Bureau of Census data, this paper looks at one method to
determine and map changes in the number of girls in Scouting and how zip code
boundaries relate to Service Unit boundaries.
Prescription maps are available commercially and widely used in center pivot irrigation systems for the purpose of applying variable rates of water in specified zones of a field. The objective of this study was to determine if the prescription map used for a center pivot irrigation system delivered adequate water content in a corn field in Belgrade, MN USA. To understand field variability in this study, apparent Electrical Conductivity (ECa), Topographic Wetness Index (TWI), and Available Water Storage (AWS) were used to guide sampling strategies for the purpose of measuring soil moisture with a neutron moisture meter (NMM). The prescription map was found to be valid in 7 out of 11 locations tested, or 63%, using high yield as a successful outcome.
This research focused on using geographic information systems (GIS) as well as statistical analysis to explore causational factors of Ebola outbreaks in western Africa. The study area represented the continent of Africa, with statistical analysis being conducted for the countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. Demographic data for the countries of Nigeria, Liberia, and Guinea was used to assess demographic factors in the study. An Ebola outbreak was recently declared over by the World Health Organization (WHO). The end date for the database used in the statistical tests was November 25, 2015. Using data from Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, statistical tests were performed to determine differences in the number of cases and deaths. Data included cumulative total number of cases and deaths for each report date (approximately one report per week), for each country starting on March 1, 2014 as well as the final overall total number of cases and deaths per country as of November 25, 2015. Using this data, an ANOVA test was performed on both weekly death counts and case counts to determine if a difference existed between the countries. Statistical analysis, spatial GIS analysis, and a review of literature revealed human-to-human contact, poverty, and medical practices are believed to be contributing factors in the spread of the Ebola virus.
This case study analyzed GIS (geographic information systems) implementation strategies for a fictional city attempting to understand the short term and long term costs and benefits of installing a GIS system to manage land information records. As local government assistance and tax revenue fall, local governments need to have a clear understanding of how funds are allocated and the return GIS investments can provide in order to create the maximum benefit for taxpayers. The purpose of this research was to use financial and management analysis tools to better understand GIS system implementation with the aim of creating a framework that organizations considering GIS implementation could utilize during the project planning phase. Using industry data and project estimates, the costs and benefits, return on investment, net present value, and cost of outsourcing the project for this GIS implementation project were calculated. The results showed a GIS project of this nature had a high up-front cost; the viability of the project from a financial perspective lay in the amount of revenue that could be generated from the sale of GIS data as this revenue represents an immediate return to offset implementation costs.
Site suitability modeling in Archaeology is useful for determining the environmental parameters for site placement, thereby exceeding chance or random factors. If one is able to predict which factors dictate a site’s placement, then the salient question is “Why did Prehistoric people choose a certain location? Which terrestrial qualities were considered most useful for placing a circle of stones necessary for holding a tipi in place?” After surveying the 32MZSWC site, located in McKenzie County, North Dakota, certain patterns began to emerge. Many stone circle sites were placed on valley floors close to water, gently sloping open terraces, and bluff tops. Mapping the distribution of environmental factors is a key to understanding the distribution of human activity patterns in the Prehistoric time period. These terrestrial variables can be quantified in a model that helps support a more robust determination of a site’s possible location thereby maximizing efficiency of resources in the surveying process.
This research examines processes of locating new Minnesota Family Investment Program
facilities in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The goal was to site facilities where the greatest need
exists based on an analysis of demographic and geographic characteristics. Locations of the
facilities were determined by identifying areas with the closest proximity to areas of high
demand and near major roadways. Demographic variables examined included: a) ethnicities
with the highest total recorded cases in the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP),
b) ethnicities with the highest number of total cases in the MFIP program for 59 months or
more, c) and ethnicities with the highest number of children in the MFIP program. Potential
locations for new facilities were determined by applying the following constraints. Each
facility must be location in an area: a) within an area of high concentration of demand, b)
within a location of a current school or library, c) within ½ mile of a major roadway. Point
density maps were produced through use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to show
Erosion on the landscape usually happens in small increments and over thousands of years. With the advent of the agricultural and industrial revolutions many areas within the United States have witnessed increased top soil erosion. Much of this erosion has originated on agricultural lands, usually being attributed to the lack of adequate ground cover and not taking advantage of “best management practices.” These “best management practices” include: terracing, conservation dams and/or grass flow ways. The objective of this project was to utilize a high resolution digital elevation model developed using LiDAR (Light detection and ranging) paired with the SPI model of erosion prediction to test the model’s applicability to an entire watershed as a way to quickly identify areas at risk of gully erosion.
In 2010, a single male wolverine (Gulo gulo) traveled from the Greater Yellowstone Area of Wyoming into Colorado, marking the first known wolverine in Colorado since they were extirpated in 1919. The return of this wolverine to part of its historic range has prompted several wildlife advocates to lobby for a reintroduction of wolverines into the state of Colorado. To understand the viability of a reintroduction of this rare animal, an analysis of potential habitat was conducted through several steps. First, a habitat suitability model was developed based on previous wolverine habitat models from throughout North America. Next, a habitat fragmentation Python script ("Landscape Fragmentation Tool v. 2.0") was utilized to understand the fragmentation dynamics of the predicted habitat. Finally, a wildlife corridor model was created to develop a least cost raster and finally, to propose possible routes between core habitat areas. The results of this study do not predict the likelihood of success of a reintroduction, as this determination would require several additional studies and analyses; rather, this study is meant to be one tool to help aid wildlife managers in making informed decisions regarding the potential success of wolverine reintroduction in Colorado. The results of this study indicate a large amount of potential wolverine habitat with limited fragmentation. However, major roads and development may inhibit wolverine dispersal among the major patches of habitat in Colorado.
The impacts of land use on water resources are quantifiable through the development of public geographic data and the use of geographic information systems (GIS). This study examines the ways in which fecal indicator organisms, specifically enterococcus, pollute surface waters. The production of animal wastes in agriculture poses a threat to the condition of local water resources through the contamination of runoff waters. Using publicly available geospatial data, an analysis was performed to describe the impact that cattle densities may have on watersheds throughout the conterminous United States (CONUS).
Habitat use and selection was determined for radio-marked mallard broods on Pool 7 of
the Upper Mississippi River for 1993 and 1994. Data were collected on a daily basis
using standard telemetry techniques. Habitat use was determined using methods that
consider telemetry error in estimating brood locations. Compositional analysis was used
to determine habitat selection at two levels. The first level of analysis (second-order
selection) compared the area composition of habitat used in the home range to the area of
habitats available throughout the study area. The second level of analysis (third-order
selection) evaluated the telemetry locations as habitat used and compared them to the
area of habitats available in the home range. At both levels of analysis for 1993 and
1994, it was determined that use among habitats differed than what would be expected if
use occurred at random. Emergent and rooted floating aquatic vegetation ranked high in
the third-order selection analysis among available habitat types for 1993 and 1994.
Submersed aquatic vegetation and open water ranked high among available habitat types
in the second-order selection analysis for 1993 and 1994. There was a small detectable
difference in selection between 1993 and 1994 in the third-order selection analysis.
In addition to analyzing habitat selection by mallard broods, several important
issues concerning habitat use and selection studies are addressed. Included in this paper
are discussions on the effects of triangulation error, misclassification error, definition of
availability, home range estimators, and habitat use analysis methods. Results are
affected by each of these issues, so each needs to be considered when planning and
conducting any habitat use and selection study.
Using spatial statistics, hot spot analysis and overlay analysis property crime
data for Winona, Minnesota was analyzed for spring 1996 and spring 1998. The intent was
to examine the influence businesses with an On-Sale liquor license, also known as a bar or
tavern, had on property crime. The results show an influence on property crime, however
property crime may be a greater externality of university students than of bar patrons.
This research focuses on using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to identify crime hot spots using kernel density estimation (KDE) pertaining to residential burglary. Global statistical tests were applied prior to utilizing the KDE method to ensure valid, accurate results and limit the influence of factors that may cause misinterpretation or error. Considerations for parameter input into the KDE analysis were explored to enhance consistency with statistical tests and output accuracy. Additionally, KDE outputs were tested for predictive ability and compared with the prediction accuracy index (PAI). This process can provide a foundation for predictive analysis to be utilized by law enforcement agencies to develop crime prevention strategies.
Tornadoes have caused human and property damage in Minnesota. Geographic Information System (GIS) can be an important tool for understanding and analyzing the intensity of tornadoes. Using tornado data from 1970 to 2010, this study explored if tornado intensity has changed in Minnesota and if change in tornado intensity was related to population characteristics. Linear regression was used to analyze relationships and the Esri ArcGIS Hot Spot Analysis (Getis-Ord Gi*) tool was utilized to analyze and locate hot spots of change. To understand if there was a relationship between land cover and tornado intensity, the counties of Minnesota were classified as Forested, Agricultural or Twin Cities Metropolitan.
A picture may be worth a thousand words but a map tells a story. It speaks to the viewer by exposing its many relationships. Its testimony is unquestioned making it a powerfully persuasive tool. This report will discuss how this tool will be used by a real estate company to improve its services, woo prospective clientele, and ultimately contribute to the company’s bottom line. A Geographic Information System (GIS) captures, analyzes, and displays data in a visual, spatial context. In essence, the product of a GIS is a map. Use of GIS technology is particularly fitting to the application of real estate practice considering that property is geospatial in nature, its associated attributes are plentiful, and the relevance of location is key. This paper describes how a large map was produced using GIS technology. The map depicts over 1,000 properties displaying the property owner’s last name, assessor’s parcel number, acreage, Williamson Act status, and it indicates which properties have been sold by Shane P. Donlon, Incorporated. The paper describes how GIS can use prior sales data to illustrate current market trends and create customized maps for market perception. The results will aid investors so that they may be well informed while contemplating expensive decisions.
Determining the animal disposal site capacity of a county is extremely important, especially in the event of a catastrophic emergency. Emergency events can include natural disasters, disease outbreaks, or human induced disasters. This analysis investigates the ability to dispose of large animal carcasses such as cattle, hogs, or sheep by burial in Minnesota counties and compares the respective county livestock populations. An interpretation of county soil surveys was utilized to delineate potential animal disposal sites coupled with the livestock population data by county. GIS was used to control, manipulate, and interpret a significant amount of data for a statewide analysis. This analysis develops a framework for the mitigation, planning, and the siting of animal disposal sites in the event of catastrophic mortality of livestock in Minnesota counties.
Eau Claire, WI and Rochester, MN are two cities approximately 94-96 miles apart. Through the use of GIS analysis a new interstate corridor was examined by exploring how a system may connect two growing communities and thereby benefiting local health and business economies. GIS Analysis was performed through the use of Digital Elevation Models (DEM's), land usage rasters, and protected land areas within the study area (Eau Claire, WI to Rochester, MN). Data were analyzed through raster analysis with potential corridor sites being located within a route in relation to cities with a population less than 10,000, slope less than or equal to 24º, and protected land areas. The outcome displays a "possibility" of potential sites for an interstate corridor and a pragmatic reality some cities and protected areas may be affected in both a positive and negative manner.
Non-metallic mining has become a mandatory issue to be addressed by all counties,
townships, and cities in Wisconsin. The initiation of this program began in the year 2000
and was designed to concentrate on pollution that was originating from non-metallic
mining sites. The goal of the mandate was to set a series of guidelines, developed by the
Regulatory Authority (Buffalo County), to which quarry operators must adhere.
Guidelines are prepared to “reclaim” mined areas to return the land to a similar condition
as prior to mining (Anonymous. A Guide to Developing Reclamation Plans for
Nonmetallic Mining Sites in Wisconsin). As part of mining program requirements,
Buffalo County is developing a series of resource modeling efforts in hopes of protecting
natural resources. Such resource modeling involves stream protection (mines
contributing point sources of sedimentation), identifying homes at risk of blasting
repercussions (well collapse), slope analyses (runoff), traffic analyses (safety), and
groundwater/geologic analyses. Furthermore, administrative methodologies are an
important tool in governing the newly established program. Continual efforts are made at
the county level to analyze proper program administration. Serving as a ‘pilot program,’
the non-metallic mining program offers Buffalo County the opportunity to develop an
administrative GIS research/resource model that can be used for other programs and/or
projects that will benefit from a comprehensive GIS – administrative approach to
conserving natural resources and managing programs effectively.
Influenced by reoccurring findings in the literature suggesting a negative relationship between tree canopy and crime rates, Esri ArcGIS spatial statistic tools were used to execute a series of regression analyses examining that relationship in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Crime rates, by neighborhood, were modeled for with ordinary least squares and geographically weighted regression tools using tree canopy coverage and a number of other demographic data as independent variables. A spatially adjusted geography weighted regression (GWR) model indicated a statistically significant negative correlation existed in 64 of the 85 Minneapolis neighborhood observed in the study (r2 = .82). These findings support the conclusions of previous literature that the relationship between tree canopy and crime is
Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) is one of the most important commercial tree species in northeastern Minnesota. The Lake County Forestry department is interested in assessing the quality of aspen stands on tax forfeit land. Knowing the quality of aspen is important for forest management decisions. Using handheld computers, data from 2,231 plots was collected in stands labeled as aspen in the forest inventory. Five categories of data from this inventory were interpolated into rasters using ArcGIS 9.x Spatial Analyst Extension. Inverse Distance Weight (IDW), Spline, and Natural Neighbor with multiple combinations of parameters were all used to derive interpolations. Each of these interpolated rasters was statistically compared with each other to find the most appropriate method of interpolation. The IDW method using a power of 3 and a 140 m fixed radius was the most accurate. The interpolated rasters for each data category were then reclassed based on an index scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most desirable trait for aspen. The reclassed rasters were then added together to find the overall quality index. Based on the results from this study, aspen quality increases with distance from Lake Superior. No values greater than 23 out of 25 and no values less than 5 were generated. GIS can successfully be used to analyze quaking aspen quality. Lake County Forestry department now has an important tool to help decision-making processes.
Surveying of clientele frequenting the Red Lobster restaurant in La Crosse, Wisconsin, was performed to identify key customer characteristics to aid in the determination of future restaurant placement. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyses and investigation of existing Red Lobster markets’ physical and demographic attributes, coupled with clientele surveys and demographic census data, led to the production of very specific and highly accurate maps. These maps portray areas containing characteristics matching various analysis criteria leading to a potentially successful future Red Lobster location.
Native grasses, in particular switchgrass, are a new alternative to corn for biofuel. Native grasses offer better wildlife habitat, require lower fertilizer input, have a higher carbon sequestration and offer better erosion control than cornfields. The Koda Energy plant located in Shakopee, Minnesota, is the first biomass facility in Minnesota that uses only cellulosic fuel. Only recently has the technology become available to extract cellulose from plant materials on a large scale. Corn and sugar cane are processed by fermentation. The Koda plant operated by the Rahr Malting Company is a joint venture with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux. The Mdewakanton are interested in finding a local source of native grasses to feed their plant. This analysis seeks to locate land within a fifty-mile radius of the plant that will protect water resources, enhance wildlife and offer the best conditions to grow native grasses. A suitability model was constructed with ESRI ArcGIS with weights given to the input layers. Two alternative output layers were created and scaled from best to worst conditions to grow native grasses. The acreage for the best categories was then quantified by county. SAS and CART statistical software were used to validate the model.
Sustainable development is progress that maintains or enhances economic opportunity
and community well-being while protecting and restoring the natural environment upon
which people and economies depend. Sustainable development meets the needs of the
present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Sustainable development is gaining acceptance and being applied by localities and states
in the United States and throughout the world. The Legislative Commission on
Minnesota Resources (LCMR) funded the creation of a sustainable development plan for
Minnesota’s lakes. The Sustainable Development for Minnesota Lakes Project attempts
to answer the question of what should lakes and their watersheds look like in the next two
generations. The Sustainable Development project created an outline plan so that major
local and public developments can be planned and prioritized and can be reproduced for
other lakes and their surrounding watersheds.
This study investigates the frequency and intensity of tornados in Minnesota USA from 1997 to 2012. Tornado data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website were analyzed using ArcGIS 10.2.2 and Microsoft Excel. Grid geometry was used rather than county or ZIP code to remove bias associated with areas of an irregular size and shape. Findings show the northeast corner of Minnesota has few tornados compared to the rest of the state. The southern half of Minnesota had more intense tornados, and had tornados earlier and later in the season than the northern half of the state.
In the fall of 2007, GeoSpatial Services (GSS) accepted a contract from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) to develop a 9.2 ArcGIS Server application. This application was to be a web mapping site that would support Soils Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO) soils data interaction and allow for querying of a subset of the SSURGO dataset for the State of Minnesota. In order to make management of the site possible, a number of applications and scripts were created. This paper describes the functionalities and tools designed and built in the project.
There are many facets of human vulnerability related to natural hazards. This study focuses on socioeconomic vulnerabilities in Florida’s southern counties. Using census data, Broward county, Miami-Dade county, and Monroe county were analyzed. Many socioeconomic factors can be used to determine vulnerability; the following were studied and analyzed based on their prominent themes in emergency planning literature: (a) age (b) disability (c) poverty level (d) women, and (e) language. Each variable was mapped and compiled in a ranked system to depict areas of high vulnerability. Knowing which areas are more vulnerable contributes to mitigation stages of emergency management.
The ability of remote sensing applications to accurately differentiate priority vegetation types was evaluated on a 664-hectare habitat management unit on Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, located in Marshall County in northwest Minnesota. The Refuge is a diverse complex of wetland and upland habitats, largely inaccessible by foot. Its relative inaccessibility, coupled with the known occurrence of various non-native and invasive plant species, presents a critical need for inventory and monitoring of Refuge flora. Aggressive species such as narrow-leaved cattail (Typha angustifolia), common reed (Phragmites australis), and willow (Salix spp.), all prevalent on the Refuge, are of special management interest. The ability to determine change in percent cover of priority vegetation types over time is important in evaluating the success or failure of habitat management practices and the Refuge‟s progress in meeting habitat objectives. This study was designed to measure the capabilities of Definiens eCognition and ERDASTM software in delineating and classifying these vegetation types across both upland and wetland Refuge habitats.
An increase in thyroid cancer incidence rates in the past decade has recently brought this disease to public attention. Unfortunately, much about the nature of this disease is unknown. This project used thyroid cancer incidence data from the National Cancer Institute and compared it with a risk factor analysis, completed using the Spatial Analyst extension in ESRI’s ArcMap software. In addition, this risk factor analysis shows how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be an important tool in the analysis of this disease. The risk factor analysis used in this comparison identified at-risk populations based on the commonly recognized risk factors of radiation, gender, age and race. A statistical analysis of these two datasets found that there was no significant linear correlation between a risk factor analysis and incidence rate. However, it was able to provide some important information that was useful in future analyses. When the incidence rates and risk factor analysis data were spatially compared, the West and Midwest were found to have the largest difference. These results suggest that future analysis should be focused in these areas to find which risk factors play a smaller or larger role in incidence rates. Eventually, this information could help researchers identify factors that seem to have the largest affect on thyroid cancer to help people most at-risk for getting this disease by allowing them to obtain the information, treatment, and hopefully the proactive prevention methods they need.
Canopy Gaps in an Upper Mississippi River floodplain plot were measured as part of a
songbird nest-site selectivity study. Two methods of measuring floodplain forest canopy
gaps were compared. One method used a ground crew to sweep the plot and record
spatial and botanical information of canopy gaps > 10 meters in diameter. The second
method used 1:15,000 scale color infrared stereoscopic aerial photographs, a high
resolution scanned image and a Geographic Information System (GIS) to interpret canopy
gaps > 10 meters. Botanical characteristics of the gap’s interior were not collected with
the second method.
A nearest feature distance analysis was performed on both the ground sweep and air
photo data sets. One hundred random points were selected from within the plot and the
distances from the random points to the nearest gap feature were calculated. A paired
two tailed t-test of nearest feature distance showed a significant difference between data
sets (P < 0.001). When a nearest feature analysis was performed from songbird nest sites
to the nearest gap feature a paired two tailed t-test showed no significant difference
between the air photo derived and ground sweep methods (0.05 < P < 0.10).
The air photo/GIS method performed a more complete survey of the canopy gaps then
the ground sweep. The air photo/GIS method omitted fewer gaps in its survey then did
the ground sweep. The ground sweep method and the air photo/GIS method had
comparable rates of commission error. The air photo/GIS method recorded more accurate
and detailed spatial data of the canopy gaps then the ground sweep.
This project seeks to discover a relationship between breast and prostate cancer incidence and
organochlorine/dioxin exposure among Wisconsin residents of areas within the prevailing winds
of an incinerator emissions plume. The French Island waste incinerator/biomass electrical
generating facility in La Crosse, Wisconsin began burning both waste wood and refuse-derived
fuels prior to 1990, its first full year doubling as a municipal waste incinerator. The plant's owner,
Xcel Energy, was fined in 2002 by the Wisconsin Attorney General for excessive dioxin emissions
on a number of occasions between 1995 and 2000. In a related matter, finalized in October, 2003,
the USEPA found the facility in violation of the Clean Air Act for emissions of particulates, sulfur
dioxide, and hydrogen chloride. The plant, located in a region of Wisconsin popularly known as
“God’s Country,” has since improved its pollution control capabilities.
The outcome of interest is spatial incidence of breast and prostate cancers among residents
of the areas in the state of Wisconsin potentially impacted by the released contaminants. The
study documents incidence through state cancer registry data. Exposure is modeled through a
seasonal air dispersion flow for winter and for summer prevailing winds, and includes the
geography of another potential source of organochlorine/dioxin contaminants, agricultural
pesticides. Assumptions in the model, in light of the limited availability of accurate measures of
dose and duration of exposure, limit the ability to assess cause. In addition, inferences from the
study may also be limited by the probability of multiple factors of etiology, and by long latency of
the cancers. Nevertheless, the model and analysis may prove useful for future studies.
While the study used low cost, crude incidence rates, it found elevated rates of breast
cancer under the null hypothesis in an area centered near La Crosse County at the end of the 10-
year study period. Even though heredity, age, or latency may explain the elevated incidence,
further study with finer-resolution data may be required in light of the dioxin/organochlorine
exposure in the area. Prostate cancer rates do not appear to be spatially related to the emissions.
Yet, the possible presence of hexachlorobenzene in the emissions could be an additive exposure
factor for farmers using organochlorine pesticides in the region. Recent studies link prostate cancer
to organochlorine pesticides and to hexachlorobenzene, also an organochlorine compound.
The moose is Minnesota’s largest wild animal. In December 2012 moose were proposed as a species of special concern under Minnesota law due to their population decline (Baker, 2012). Time series analysis of the northeast Minnesota moose population estimates conducted by Lenarz (2012) found a significant decline between 2005 and 2012. Moose habitat lacks highly specific requirements, depending mostly on food availability, elevation, and climate factors. Moose have been found to live in different locations depending on the season of the year, leading researchers to question what impact long-term climate change could have on moose survival (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2011). In this paper, seasonal moose habitats in Minnesota were identified using the following data: elevation, aspect, land use, tree canopy, lake and river distribution, snow depth, wetland location, and floodway location. Separate winter/spring and summer/fall habitats for moose were delineated to accommodate seasonal factors, feeding, and thermal cover requirements. Moose harvest locations were then compared to the habitat suitability results.
Spruce bark beetles (Dendroctonus rufipennis) have caused widespread damage in Alaska, more specifically in the Copper River Basin of southeast Alaska. The most damage occurred between 1990 and 2000. These beetles have caused up to 275,000 hectares of spruce mortality in the Copper River Basin. Climate change seems to be exacerbating the outbreaks by creating warmer, drier conditions. A geographic information system (GIS) was used to identify areas of spruce forests that were most susceptible to spruce bark beetle attack during the late 1990s and the late 2000s. The Copper River Basin was selected as the study area because it had such a large area infested by spruce bark beetles. Five factors were used in the susceptibility model to identify areas at risk. Climate data was also used to determine temperature and precipitation ranges that corresponded with beetle attack. Of the 335,505 hectares of spruce trees in the study area, 67,791 hectares and 28,166 hectares were most susceptible in the 1990s and the 2000s, respectively. According to the climate analysis, average summer temperatures that seemed to be most preferred ranged from 9.9°C to 14.2°C, while precipitation ranged from 38 mm to 308 mm.
One of the biggest problems in the farming industry is erosion on farmland from water and the transport of sediment into watersheds. This study compared the level of soil erosion by water on farmland of eight-digit hydrologic units between the years of 1992-1997, and whether or not the presence of acreage enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) affected soil loss levels within the study area. The Conservation Reserve Program is a program provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, to install conservation practices and assist private landowners with sustaining their land. A geographic information system (GIS) analysis using CRP and NRCS data, along with county, elevation and agricultural data, was conducted to determine factors contributing to differences in soil erosion levels for the state of Iowa from 1992-1997. For further analysis, two sections of various counties were chosen: one encompassed by an eight-digit hydrologic unit that showed a high level of erosion, and secondly, by a unit with a low erosion level.
The demography of any region is constantly changing due to births, deaths, migration of people, etc. Winona County, Minnesota is no exception and is experiencing changes in the characteristics of its population. These include total population change, population density, race, ancestry, age structure, dependency ratio, sex composition, education and human resources, housing units, labor force, occupation, journey time to work, income and poverty. There was an increase in the population in Winona County from 1990 to 2000. There was also an increase in the population density of approximately three people per square mile. The majority of the population are of European ancestry and are White Caucasian. In terms of age, there was an increase in the number of people of employable age. The dependency ratio of the population declined and the population also attained higher education levels. The number of women is slightly greater than men. This paper illustrates some of the basic techniques used to describe and analyze census data using geographic information system (GIS) analysis techniques.
Like many urbanized lakes within the Twin Cities metro (MN) area, the shoreline of Long Lake has been highly developed for residential use. The removal of natural shoreline vegetation during residential development has allowed surface runoff to enter the lake without being filtered. Shoreline restoration efforts on Long Lake have been proposed, and a field inventory assessment of the shoreline was based on three factors: land cover, slope, and soil erodibility. An assessment was completed and incorporated into a model to identify areas in most need of restoration. These three factors were ranked and added together to determine which areas had low, medium, or high potential for the ability to effectively filter chemicals and sediment from runoff before it entered the lake. The areas classified as high were defined as areas with little or no potential to filter runoff, and were considered ideal for future restoration projects. This paper illustrates how a Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to develop a model to locate high priority areas using the same three factors listed above using Environmental Systems Research Institute’s (ESRI) ArcGIS software suite. The goal in developing this model was to determine its accuracy and efficiency such that the protocol could be used for future models to save field data collection time and money. A raster layer created from the GIS model compared favorably to the raster created from the field data derived model. However, when the land cover and slope factors used in the GIS model were compared separately, there were not enough samples from each dataset to create an accurate comparison. The GIS model saved time and resources, but additional data may be needed for a more precise model.
The popularity of recreational diving is increasing rapidly and one of the main contributors to this popularity is the exploration of shipwrecks. The simple thought of getting in the water and going into a sunken ship seems deceptively easy, but what many divers do not understand is that there are many hidden hazards involved with shipwreck diving. The use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can help inform divers of the hazard levels associated with shipwrecks in Lake Superior. This study uses geographic data supporting a web-based hazard assessment application. The resulting web application created in this case study provides users the ability to view hazard levels associated with recreational diving in Lake Superior shipwrecks. Using methodology content following Sauro (2011), a user experience survey was conducted on the web application. Survey results provided insight into end user needs and preferences which will be used for future application enhancements.
Park locations are an important part of any community. Parks contribute to the lives of individual residents in multiple ways. The distribution of parks promotes overall public health providing space for physical activity as well as social interaction. Park locations and park density vary across a city and the access to park areas is both hindered and aided by the man-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity. Census demographic data provide information on social, economic, and housing characteristics. Understanding where parks are located in the different parts of an urban area in relation to demographic data can be used to determine if a correlation exists between demographics and park space. In this study, a GIS analysis was undertaken in order to help understand spatial patterns contributing to a correlation between park space and people.
Identification of problematic areas of vandalism were analyzed within the city of Winona, Minnesota for 2001 and 2006. The intent of this study was to explore spatial and temporal analysis methods to study how the crime of vandalism has changed over the past several years. In addition, problematic areas of vandalism were identified within the city and various analysis methods were implemented to determine why vandalism may be occurring within certain geographical locations. From these analysis operations, police and other community members can make more informed decisions to help prevent the economic and social strain that vandalism causes within the city of Winona, Minnesota.
Historically wetlands have been converted to agricultural production because of their
native fertility and ability to hold moisture. Diverse opinions are increasingly expressed
with regards to wetland policy, whether it is protection, development, or resource
extraction. Also of interest is the reclamation of agricultural converted wetlands to meet
wetland mitigation needs. An example of such an area is the Lower Zumbro River
watershed. Originally the Zumbro River delta was connected to the Zumbro River and
used by the Mississippi River for flood conveyance. In 1974, the Zumbro River stretch
below Kellogg, Minnesota was straightened and levees were constructed. The historical
floodplain was changed and floodwater was forced eastward into the Mississippi River.
These areas to the north and south of the levees are largely used today for agricultural
In this study Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis was used to assess
the potential for restoration through reconnection of floodwater to the Zumbro River
floodplain. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) concludes that
the levees shunt the flow of the Zumbro River into the Mississippi River and eliminate
natural flooding phenomenon. It is understood that while reconnection of floodwater to
the floodplain would benefit the river environment it would also reduce the agricultural
productivity of the land. The most suitable areas based on spatial relationships would be
identified should the decision be made to proceed with restoration efforts in the Zumbro
River floodplain. This study uses the Spatial Analyst extension of Arcview 3.0a GIS and
attempts to examine these issues and outline general alternative strategies for wetland
To complete the study, spatial coverages were assembled (location of levees, land
classification, and proximity to existing Management Areas), and floodplain suitability
modeling was performed. A suitability model was created to determine if these data
could be used to identify and prioritize opportunities for floodplain restoration. After
devising a classification scheme, suitability values were assigned, and sub-sections of the
study areas were defined. In the last step, these suitability findings were compared with
agricultural and wetland landuse/land cover areas. The resulting coverage revealed the
regions to the south and southeast as best suited for land conservation programs or as
potential sites for wetland mitigation.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Geological Survey
are developing a factsheet for each of the community water supplies (CWS) in Illinois
serving as a source of public water supply. This work was required under the 1996
amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The SDWA required that states
complete source water assessments of public water supplies to determine their
susceptibility to contamination. These factsheets are currently in their initial stages of
development. My work during my internship was to help create a factsheet for the
Decatur CWS in order to understand the watershed and its source water. I also chose to
extend this analysis to focus on potential point sources of contamination and their
relationship to the public water supply intakes. Potential point sources of contamination
are contaminants that can be traced to specific points of discharge from wastewater
treatment plants and factories or from combined sewers. The Decatur watershed has
experienced problems with water quality due to a variety of reasons, including high
nitrogen levels. Studies have been performed concentrating on nonpoint sources of
pollution since a main cause of high nitrogen levels in the water comes from fertilizer
use. Nonpoint sources are contaminants that come from many different sources, including
fertilizers and pesticides from agricultural and residential lands, nutrients from livestock
and pet waste, and from septic systems that drain through soil. There were no studies
done on the potential point sources of contamination in the Decatur watershed. Therefore,
my goals were to first evaluate this watershed as a whole through the work of the
factsheet and then to concentrate on the potential point sources of contamination by
analyzing components of travel time from these sources to the public water supply
In recent years, winter bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) populations along the upper
Mississippi River have been slowly growing. Ensuring the survival and continued growth of bald
eagle populations requires a better understanding of their ecological requirements and behavior.
An important element of the bald eagles' life history is suitable areas for winter night roosting.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' (MN DNR) Nongame Wildlife Program has
been studying the known bald eagle winter night roost sites in the upper Mississippi River valley
since 1988. An understanding of why bald eagles favor some sites for winter night roosting may
allow for better management of the needs of bald eagles, natural communities, and human
The purpose of this study was primarily to characterize and quantify selected aspects of
known bald eagle winter night roost sites, and secondarily to use the results of the analysis as
criteria for predicting potential future roost habitat. Five sites with known winter eagle use were
studied. Forestry information for each site was collected. Roost sites were modeled in a
Geographic Information System (GIS) to permit analysis of several spatial characteristics.
Results of analyses were used as parameters in a model to predict additional areas suitable for
eagle use.The roost sites typically had mature forest cover. Roost slopes ranged from flat to 55
degrees. Aspects, where significantly present, were northeast and east. Distance from the roost to
2 ice-free water was at most 2250 meters. Distance from the roost to the nearest road was at a
minimum 120 meters. Known roost sites fell within areas predicted in the model to be potential
The home ranges and habitat selection of Blanding’s turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) were examined at an area known as the Weaver Dunes, located in Wabasha County, Minnesota as part of an ecological survey of the species. 38 individual Blanding’s turtles (23 females, 12 males, 3 juveniles) were radio monitored from April 15th, 1999 to April 1st, 2000 in an effort to better understand particular characteristics of the species’ spatial behavior at this specific locale. Of these 38 radio marked turtles, home range and habitat selection analyses were performed on 24 individuals (16 females, 8 males) with the most complete telemetry records in ArcView GIS. Home ranges were calculated using the Minimum Convex Polygon (MCP), Bivariate Normal Density Kernel (BNK), and Poly-Buff (PB) methods. Home range sizes did not vary significantly between sexes, regardless of method, but were significantly different between separate study-site subsections. There was also a significant difference between the home ranges calculated with the Poly-Buff versus those calculated with the other two home range methods. The Neu habitat selection model was used to statistically analyze preference/avoidance of particular land cover types for the entire radio sampled population, males, females, and inhabitants of 2 of the 3 study-site subsections, resulting in turtles selecting for Emergent, Submergent, Woody Terrestrial, and Submergent-Rooted Floating Aquatic habitats.
This study examined factors influencing the school readiness of incoming kindergarteners. Exposure to a preschool education has been theorized to help children attain the abilities necessary for success in the early learning years. This analysis attempts to measure which variables associated with the 608 school districts in Ohio contribute to school readiness. This includes how the number and types of preschools available in Ohio school districts are affected by three main factors: land use/tax revenue sources, economic conditions, and family characteristics such as education level and mobility. In Ohio, all incoming kindergartners must complete a literacy readiness assessment abbreviated KRAL (Kindergartner Readiness Assessment for Literacy Skills). This measures mastery of elements identified to be essential to reading. The study found a higher count of preschools seemed to correspond with districts with lower literacy readiness scores and where people have less education. Preschool enrollment data by school district is only available for approximately 25% of the school districts, but when analyzed, it became apparent enrollment in preschool does have a positive effect on kindergarten readiness. Predominantly, key factors influencing kindergarten readiness are the student population within a district is not highly mobile and where higher education is prevalent amongst the adult (parent) population. Median income, percentage of funding from local sources (associated with wealthier areas) and the overall quality of the school are not as statistically significant. There was a correlation between parents with education beyond high school and school readiness.
The most important aspect for fire departments and emergency services is response. Demand for emergency services in the Winona area continues to grow and for emergency responders to continue to effectively respond to emergencies new resources are required. The analysis of emergency response times has been used for years in developing statistical data for the fire services. GIS analysis of that statistical data provides the ability to create service areas, calculate closest facilities, examine attributes and visualize the data. The findings of this work illustrate travel times, service areas and the most effective routing for these services by using a street network and various network analysis methods. The comparative analysis of yearly data illustrates how effective emergency services are responding, areas of concern, and the potential improvements gained by using GIS in the response process.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) Aggregate Resource Mapping Program (ARMP) was created in 1984 by the MN Legislature Statute 84.94 to protect construction aggregate resources by identifying and classifying potential sand and gravel deposits or crushed stone resources in Minnesota counties. Since 1984, the mapping of 23 counties‟ aggregate resource potential has been completed, four projects are near completion or in-progress, and there are 8 counties requesting mapping. As Minnesota‟s population continues to grow there is a significant need to accelerate the mapping of construction aggregate resources to assist in their protection. To address the need, a pilot project was set up to develop a geographic information systems (GIS)-based model that identifies the locations of significant and nonsignificant sand and gravel resources based upon ARMP aggregate mapping classifications. The model developed was tested in Carlton County, Minnesota and the Fond du Lac Reservation. The model applied four 10-meter cell grids derived from the following sources, in order of importance: Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS) Surficial Geology (scale 1:100,000), Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) database (1:20,000); MGS maintained County Well Index (CWI) stratigraphy database; and identified sand and gravel pits and prospects. The second objective of the project was to determine the validity of the model‟s results by completing a raster comparison analysis with the sand and gravel resource potential from the MNDNR‟s ARMP map publication, “Aggregate Resources of Carlton County and Fond du Lac Reservation.” A comparative 10-meter raster analysis was chosen and displayed the final modeled cells equaling 93 percent of the published ARMP map source cells. More specifically, the final model equaled 94 percent of the nonsignificant potential ARMP cells, and 66 percent of the significant potential cells. It is important to note that ARMP‟s significant potential map units only equaled 4.5 percent of the total study area while nonsignificant potential equaled 95.5 percent. The GIS model proved to be an effective tool at modeling sand and gravel resource potential. It is best utilized by ARMP geologists as an interpretive tool to map counties more efficiently.
The number of vineyards and wineries in Minnesota has increased dramatically in the past decade and the industry will continue to grow according to recent research. Grape growers entering the commercial grape industry in Minnesota need to locate suitable areas for new vineyards. This study identified three major regions in Minnesota with suitable areas based on a set of environmental criteria. Proximity to existing wineries has economic ramifications on wineries and may determine how a winery prices its wines. In addition to the environmental suitability analysis, an analysis was conducted to determine if the average price of a bottle of wine is clustered within Minnesota. This information can aid those beginning to grow commercial grapes in the developing grape industry in Minnesota.
This study investigates and compares the current networks of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulance transport stations within the states of Washington and West Virginia USA. Findings highlight different populations within Washington and West Virginia who are at-risk of cardiac arrest and live outside the reach of timely ambulance response. Service areas around EMS stations were created using ArcGIS 10.3 and these areas were compared with data from the 2010 US Census. Demographic and socio-economic data were utilized to identify at-risk populations and suggestions are made for mitigating problems. Findings show West Virginia has a much larger percentage of its population at risk of poor EMS response than Washington. In West Virginia, the greatest risk is for rural populations while Washington has a noticeable problem in response to urban populations.
In the last decade, issues of critical infrastructure protection have received much attention from researchers worldwide. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) coupled with Building Information Modeling (BIM) makes it possible to create a 3D GIS data model that is intended to provide facility managers with improved modeling techniques to better manage the protection of infrastructure and assets, reducing risks and improving decision making. Building facilities are a part of society’s daily life; whether it is a fire station or a community health center, the assessment and protection of infrastructure is critical to the wellbeing of the whole building management system. This case study focused on integrating Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) by investigating the value GIS brings when integrating the two software programs.
In the last decade, issues of critical infrastructure protection have received much attention from researchers worldwide. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) coupled with Building Information Modeling (BIM) makes it possible to create a 3D GIS data model that is intended to provide facility managers with improved modeling techniques to better manage the protection of infrastructure and assets, reducing risks and improving decision making. Building facilities are a part of society’s daily life; whether it is a fire station or a community health center, the assessment and protection of infrastructure is critical to the wellbeing of the whole building management system. This case study focused on integrating Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) by investigating the value GIS brings when integrating the two software programs.
Under the direction of the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC),
Duluth, Minnesota a study was conducted to help identify parcels near the Duluth International
Airport that would be prime for immediate development. The study involved
the collection and analysis of data utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The
analysis of the data is to be used as a guide for development strategies for parcels near
the Duluth International Airport. It is expected that the results of this analysis can be
used as a tool in guiding the development of the Northern Development Area, which
would be of great economic benefit for the Duluth International Airport, City of Duluth,
City of Hermantown and the State of Minnesota. This analysis can also be of great
benefit to perspective developers in their site selection process and could be easily
modified to meet any specific objectives they may have.
This project outlines procedures and resources used on the construction of polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) susceptibility model. The PAH susceptibility is due to PAH
loading from impervious surface features in the watershed. The susceptibility model
determines areas in the watershed which contribute to PAH loading. These hotspots
represent areas that should be closely monitored, as they have the greatest potential to
detrimentally impact the aquatic life in the No-Name Creek Watershed. The model also
looks to find potential PAH sinks or other abnormalities within the watershed boundaries
This paper analyzes the use of GIS as a tool to enhance decision-making regarding
development in the LaBarque Creek Watershed, and the process by which important natural
resource information can be made available to county planners who seek to identify critical
areas for protection as development occurs. GIS was used to assemble and organize readily
available data and to create secondary data needed for analysis and planning. Geospatial
analysis was conducted using a ten-meter digital elevation model, soils, parcels, and
community characteristics. Analysis enabled identification of critical habitats, erosion
hazards, and biological connectivity. The results of this analysis permit Jefferson County
Planning Department to identify key habitats and important landforms that will assist them in
making decisions about development proposals. Furthermore, the LaBarque Creek
Watershed Partnership can identify landowners to be targeted for education on habitat
preservation or restoration. LaBarque Creek Watershed study results and GIS data will
provide future land management and development decisions that impact the watershed. In
addition, this GIS application can be used as a template for other watershed planning efforts
throughout Jefferson County.
Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin is a Level II trauma center with 325 beds and over 1.25 million inpatient and outpatient admissions each year. Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center has an outreach of over 25 clinics throughout Minnesota, Iowa, and the Wisconsin tri-state area. Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center has been attempting to integrate GIS Server technology into its outreach service since 2008. The end goal for Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center is to allow for graphically pleasing displays with easy to find data. It is hoped that this service can help individual departments throughout the hospital make decisions as to where new outreach sites should be located, as well as assess the amount of business current sites are bringing in for Gunderson Lutheran.
The Upper Mississippi River contains a major commercial navigation channel maintained by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and the 261 mile long Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. National policy requires partnering agencies to complete an environmental assessment for beaches in each Pool. This analysis concentrates on beaches in Pool 7 of the Upper Mississippi River to analyze if there are significant differences in beach acreage when data collection methods differ. Comparisons were made with GPS data from different years, digitized aerial imagery data from different years, and finally by comparing the methodologies of data collection for each year. Descriptive statistics indicated differences in beach acreages; the Mann-Whitney Rank Sum test was employed to test for statistically significant differences. Results of the analysis indicate no significant differences occurred in beach acreage over time, or with different data collection methods.
Analysis was conducted for forest change over time within the Lower Minnesota
Watershed. Areas at high risk for erosion and 1977 forested areas were then compared.
Finally, these areas were associated with respect to soil type. Analyses were performed
in EPPL7 using EPIC data layers. Results showed an 80% reduction in forest cover
within the watershed from 1977 to 1993. In 1977, forested areas were concentrated in
the eastern portion of the watershed. In 1993, they were concentrated in the western
portion of the watershed. Ninety six percent of areas at high risk for erosion were within
one mile of 1977 forested areas. Loam and Sandy Loam made up the greatest proportion
of soil type in both 1977 forested areas and areas at high risk for erosion. Although land
cover/use data used to create the model of areas at high risk for erosion was from 1969,
some broad conclusions are possible. The extensive loss of forest, in the eastern portion
of the watershed, will make this area more susceptible to erosion in the future. Loam and
Sandy Loam soils are contributing factors to erosion. The high percentage of Loam and
Sandy Loam soil types in this area will also contribute to the future risk of erosion.
This project focuses on how agricultural land cover has changed over time in comparison to developed and turf/grass land cover areas. This was done for two areas, the State of Connecticut and the area of Hartford County, Connecticut. This project defines specific areas in which agricultural land cover have changed to another type of land cover between the years 1985 and 2006. Changes to developed and turf/grass areas were determined as well, in order to show the amount of changed agricultural areas that became developed areas or turf/grass areas. In addition to spatial analysis methods, several statistical analysis methods were performed on the data. Statistical analysis methods were implemented in order to show the relationships that existed among the developed land cover data and the turf/grass land cover data with respect to the agricultural data.
Population data is collected by the government and released in census spatial zones as aggregate counts. The key problem in using this valuable dataset is the need to reassign the data to other geographical areas when the geographical zonal systems are incompatible. Areal interpolation is used to dis-aggregate census data into areas or zones that are compatible and can be analyzed. In this project, two population distribution models are compared using areal interpolation. The two distribution models evaluated consist of simple areal weighting and a dasymetric-based approach. Simple areal weighting is used with 2000 census data in various zip code areas. The dasymetric approach uses the Hennepin County, MN parcels to redistribute the same 2000 census data. The analysis is conducted using a five mile radius around a new hospital site in Hennepin County, MN. The proposed output of this study concludes that dasymetric areal interpolation of population is more representative of actual density than simple areal weighting.
This study analyzes a series of crimes committed by sexual offenders and a series committed by non-sexual offenders. Subjects chosen for the study were seven sexual offenders (Test Group) and twelve offenders with non-sexual crimes (Control Group). Test data were selected from the Minnesota Predatory Offender Registry. Control group data were randomly selected from data provided with the crime analysis software used in this study (CrimeStat III). Historical offense data from all offenders were analyzed using the Journey-to-Crime (JTC) function of CrimeStat III to predict the most likely location of residence based upon the location of offenses. The distance predicted was compared with the actual location of the residence of each offender. Data collected for each group was compared both visually and statistically to determine if there was a significant difference between the two groups.
This research focused on whether or not demographic characteristics influence repeat violent offenses. Discussions occurred regarding the potential of the correlation between demographic values in census block groups of the City of Madison, Wisconsin and repeat violent offenses from January 2000 to November 2007. Statistical analysis, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and repeat violent offender profiles were created using demographic values from census block groups. In the process of creating these profiles, the use of a bivariate correlation matrix helped compare common themes with offense data and to find correlations between demographics and repeat violent offenses. Examination of the demographics showed statistically significant relationships between repeat violent offenses and 33 census demographic variables. Seven demographic variables were determined to be statistically significant.
Geotagging is a common practice used with photos, videos, and social media. Its use with text is less common, although some research has been performed with web pages, primarily news sources. It has also had limited use in online libraries and bibliographies. This project details the development of a tool for applying geotagging as annotations to electronic book (eBook) documents. The tool provides an easy way to highlight geographical references in an eBook text, map to visualize the geographical references in Google Maps, and save the geotag metadata as a special type of annotation in an eBook document. The tool uses annotations to generate Keyhole Markup Language (KML) files; which are shareable via Google My Places, email, or transfer to other sites such as social media. The geotag annotations provide a user with a toolset to explore geography, imagery and literature associated with geographical references included in eBooks in a seamless and user-friendly manner.
Hennepin County is the most populous county in Minnesota with over 1.1 million inhabitants, which is one-fifth of the state's population. Hennepin County contains a large portion of the seven-county metropolitan area. The metropolitan or Twin Cities metro area accounts for 60 percent of Minnesota's population and is the sixteenth largest metropolitan area in the United States. The size and population of Hennepin County makes it vulnerable to a number of emergency situations. This study details the steps and methodologies needed to develop an efficient Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database, a risk suitability assessment map, and a model identifying vulnerable areas that could be utilized by Hennepin County in the event of a disaster.
Analyses of physical boating capacity and beach use within pool 6 of the Upper
Mississippi River were conducted to determine if the pool is being used beyond its
capacity. Data from the Minnesota – Wisconsin Boundary Area Commission aerial
surveys were obtained for several years between 1989 and 1997. Based on the counts of
moving and beached craft it was possible to determine the number and types of craft
utilizing the pool. The available recreation area in this study was limited to the main
channel and main channel border of pool 6, and those areas were divided into three zones
of use defined by the Boundary Area Commission which correspond to the natural
composition of the pool. A range of acreage needed for each craft type studied was
determined and the acreage being utilized was discovered. In addition to the boating
capacity, a study of the number of groups that could comfortably recreate on beaches
within the pool was also calculated based on a low-density and high-density standard.
The number of boats per group was also found using a range of 1- 3 boats per group.
These numbers could then be compared with the actual number of beached craft recorded
in the aerial surveys previously mentioned. It was expected that results of both analyses
would determine pool 6 use to be beyond its capacity. However, according to the models
developed for this study, it was determined that pool 6 is not being overused in regards to
recreational boating and beach use. When looking at the findings from both beach and
boating analysis, it should be noted that there are several other factors that should be
explored in further study, but were not considered due to study limitations. Still, the
model developed was the most appropriate and flexible given the available data and
purpose of this study.
Spatial and statistical analyses were performed on data submitted by government-run animal care agencies (ACAs) from three southeast Minnesota municipalities for the purpose of using a Geographic Information System (GIS) to determine the distance traveled by lost dogs from lost location to found location. Data submitted included descriptions of each dog and the location where the dog was lost and was found. An individual or ACA that finds a dog expends time and money attempting to reunite the dog with its owner. Likewise, a dog's owner expends time and money attempting to find his or her dog. Determining the distance traveled by lost dogs has the potential to help owners refine their search efforts for their lost dogs, as well as to assist ACAs in locating owners of found dogs impounded. Knowledge of the distance traveled by lost dogs also will be useful for developing proactive strategies for reuniting dogs and owners. The proactive reunification strategy discussed in this research is a GIS application which ACAs could use to identify households with licensed dogs nearby the location where a dog is found. A GIS application would help reunite dog and owner regardless of whether a dog was found wearing a collar with an attached license tag. Using a GIS application to proactively reunite dogs and owners could reduce monetary and nonmonetary costs incurred by dogs, owners, finders and ACAs.
Funding allocated to local government departments is often limited. As a result, data
collected from required studies are extremely important and making efficient use of them
even more important. Olmsted County’s Solid Waste Division has chosen to develop a
geologic data management system in hopes of better understanding subsurface conditions
at the Kalmar Landfill. A pilot project has been initiated to organize and extrapolate data
in the southern third of the landfill. This pilot project consists of two primary objectives:
1) develop a database management system for the existing and future boring logs, and 2)
extrapolate the lithology data using geostatistics and interpolation methods to generate
probable subsurface geologic conditions. If successful, the new tools will provide a time
saving alternative to manual geologic interpolation and queries when additional data are
collected. In addition, the intent is to provide a consistent naming convention for
geologic descriptions, determine possible required studies that should be performed, and
establish a user friendly interface for filing, retrieving, and analyzing geologic data. The
initial step involved developing a database management system capable of handling
existing driller’s logs and additional geotechnical test results. Using this database allows
for easier querying, filing, and transferring of data to modeling software. A Geographic
Information System (GIS) was selected as a tool to model the subsurface, and several
interpolation methods used in GIS were tested to determine an appropriate method.
Results of the pilot project will lead to the development of a complete geologic database
management system and enable multi-faceted evaluation of geologic conditions at the
This paper documents the importance of GIS enabled air dispersion modeling for use in Emergency Management operations and outlines the steps taken to design and build a GIS enabled air dispersion modeling tool for ESRI’s ArcGIS software. The tool contains report generating functionality that has the ability to analyze the area affected by the plume and create a summary report on the people and resources that are in harms way. The paper also provides a sample case study on the analysis of an accidental chemical release scenario.
Minnesota is not the first state that comes to mind when considering solar availability. When compared to the latitude of the leader in solar production, Germany, the concept of Minnesota solar does not sound as unachievable. Currently, residents of Minnesota do not have a state or city specific interactive rooftop solar resource mapping service available to the public. This project acts as the initial step to providing this service. The use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) delivers a different perspective on the renewable energy front. Communities, states or nations can begin to make a difference in energy production by becoming aware of what rooftop solar energy can provide. This project is intended for application to the City of Plymouth, Minnesota to estimate the solar potential of rooftops for photovoltaic (PV) systems.
From 2005-2010, the city of Shakopee Minnesota saw a drastic increase in the number of foreclosures. Foreclosures were and continue to be a major concern for homeowners and lenders. This research reviews data in order to determine if a certain age group was more likely to face a foreclosure. Data was collected from the Scott County, Minnesota GIS department and 2010 Census Bureau data. Data from Scott County included property value, date of foreclosure, and address. Location of foreclosures were also taken into consideration to explore if certain portions of the city were more susceptible to foreclosures than others.
Amari Studios is a small yet very successful company. Currently the company gains customers through word of mouth advertising, website promotion, and limited radio advertising. This has worked well for Amari Studios and has allowed it to establish itself in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota USA market. However, management believes it is ready to increase business by enlarging its client base. Before Amari Studios begins searching for new customers, it must define its customer profile and then geographically locate those consumer groups. A customer profile defines the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of a business’s target customer segment (Sliwinski, 2002). For a business to grow, a business needs to know what type of customer it serves and where to find more of them. This project analyzed the city’s census data to locate census blocks containing high percentages of potential customers best-fitting Amari Studios customer profile. These criteria were integrated into a GIS model. Once identified, a subset of 100 of the best “ideal” census block addresses along with another 100 addresses from another census block not selected as “ideal” were used in a direct mailing marketing campaign to determine the level of customer interest and validate the GIS model.
It is hypothesized that patients will seek care at a tertiary care center for an elective procedure requiring highly specialized care. Furthermore, patients with an emergent condition not requiring highly specialized care will seek care at the nearest hospital. This analysis suggests that there is a correlation between urgency and severity of condition and distance traveled for hospital inpatient services. A geographic information system was utilized to obtain a distance analysis based on zip code point files and straight-line distance. The sample group was 3326 patients. This sample included 2043 Mayo Clinic patients and 1283 Mercy Medical Center patients.
The Upper Kickapoo River Archaeological District contains over 500 archaeological sites. Spatial statistics and site selection factors were explored for 405 open archaeological sites. Nearest Neighbor Index and Ripley’s K-Function analyses show that the sites have a clustering pattern. Hot spot analyses reveal concentrations near a few stream confluences. Topographic variables of the site locations show a preference for lower elevations and low slopes. Furthermore, comparisons of cultural affiliated sites indicate the Paleo-Indian sites were farther from water resources when compared to Archaic and Woodland affiliated sites.
In the United States, Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems have become a popular transportation
alternative. Minnesota built its first light rail system in 2004 with the Hiawatha Line and
additional projects are underway in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. While light rail
systems are attractive to commuters, they are expensive to construct and careful planning is
ongoing to ensure their effectiveness. Analysis of ridership trends for LRT systems aid
planners in optimizing the service area while operating within budgetary constraints. Two
commonly accepted influences on transit use are: walking distance for access to transit, and
population density within access areas. Using data from a survey of transit users in the
Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, these two commonly accepted factors were analyzed
to determine their significance in predicting ridership for the Hiawatha LRT. The analysis
was carried out using ESRI GIS software and SPSS, a statistical analysis program.
Based on Missouri River biologists’ research, this study incorporates the use of telemetry, bathymetry, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to identify potential pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) habitat in the Fort Randall segment of the Missouri River, USA. This habitat suitability assessment employed the use of historic and current images, bathymetry data, and data gathered from research compiled on sturgeon habitat locations during spawning periods in the Lower Missouri River. Comparisons were made between the two segments by using bathymetric data in the Fort Randall segment, historical imagery and data provided from telemetric studies downstream of the Gavins Point segment. These comparisons were used to illustrate habitat suitability within the Fort Randall segment of the Missouri River.
Off-highway vehicle (OHV) use has been growing dramatically as a form of recreation. With continuing increases in OHV recreation, it is critical that informed decisions be made when establishing new OHV trail alignments. In order to determine an optimal OHV trail alignment, both ecological and user preference criteria need to be taken into consideration to minimize environmental degradation and maximize user satisfaction. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and a least-cost path suitability model, three separate trail alignments were established in a given study area. A comparative analysis was performed on trail alignment areas to determine most sustainable trails based on input criteria. After careful examination, findings determined it is important to perform multiple analyses to take into consideration various data criteria when utilizing a least-cost path model to establish a new trail that will ensure ecological costs are minimized and user satisfaction is maximized. Moving forward, this study has the potential to assist future trail designers and park managers to make informed decisions when developing new OHV trail alignments.
The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is home to over 50% of the migratory waterfowl in the North America because of the abundance of temporary and permanent wetlands available for nesting and feeding, but increases in commodity prices and agricultural drainage practices have led to a trend of wetland drainage. The Northern Shoveler is a migratory dabbling duck species that utilizes wetland habitats and cultivated croplands in the PPR for nesting and feeding. Richland County, North Dakota and Roberts County, South Dakota were chosen as the study areas for this research as they both have an abundance of wetlands as well as croplands. This study utilized GIS data to analyze Northern Shoveler wetland habitats in association with hydrologic soil groups (HSG). Habitats with a presence of certain hydrologic soil groups may be at risk of artificial drainage installations due to their proximity to cultivated croplands and soil lacking in natural drainage which may become wet or inundated. Findings show a majority of Northern Shoveler wetland habitats were within or adjacent to cultivated croplands. The results also revealed soil hydrologic groups with high runoff potential and low water transmission rates account for most of the soil within the wetland and cropland habitats.
To increase the understanding of lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvensens) in the upper
Mississippi River a radio telemetry study was conducted in Pools 4 through 10.
Currently lake sturgeon are listed as a species of concern. GIS analysis of available data
was performed to determine the spatial relationships that exist between lake sturgeon and
their habitat. Aquatic type, wing dam, revetted dam, and closing dam data were available
for Pools 5A and 8. Pool 8 bathymetry data also existed, however interpolation of Pool
5A bathymetric data was necessary to create a bathmetry coverage for that pool.
The Pool 8 bathymetry is considerably older (1989-93) than the collected lake
sturgeon data used in this suitability modeling study. However, statistical analysis of
coverage and field data demonstrated that Pool 8 coverage data were still useful for the
purposes of analyses.
After the spatial coverages were assembled (location to structure, aquatic type,
and depth), habitat suitability modeling was performed to determine if these data could be
used to model species habitat. After determining percent available and percent used for
each coverage, percent used was divided by percent available. Suitability values were
then assigned according to a ranking of these values. GIS and statistical analysis were
then used to determine habitat suitability for lake sturgeon in portions of Pools 5A and 8.
Stepwise linear regressions were performed on coverage data in Pools 5A and 8, and
these analyses ranked the habitat factors used in the suitability model in order of
For the determination of spatial relationships between fish and aquatic structures
(closing, revetted, and wing dams), UNIX ARC/INFO was used. Various fish species
such as bass and walleye exhibit the tendency to be located near aquatic structures, but
average distances to these aquatic structures suggests that lake sturgeon do not share that
tendency in the Polander Lake area of Pool 5A.
Finally, distances analyses to areas of highly suitable habitat were performed.
Many lake sturgeon were located in areas of highly suitability. Those not located within
highly suitable areas were in close spatial proximity to these areas.
GIS can be used in conjunction with ArcObjects to determine the maximum potential spill volume for points along a pipeline. A customized ArcObjects program was created which allows a user to enter a pipeline route and a series of points or valves along the route, a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) to provide the elevation, an interval at which to determine spill volumes and either a static diameter or a defined field for diameter between valves. This tool provided a shapefile output that encapsulates the potential volume of oil spill at each interval along with graphs for each segment of pipeline and corresponding volumes at each interval point with the segment. Using this tool, one can determine potential sites of sensitivity along a path and build a precursor to spill analysis modeling and high consequence area analysis.
As the center of this case study research, Hennepin County, Minnesota currently utilizes two forms of land records management, Torrens registration, and abstract land title. With a population of nearly 1.2 million and over 400,000 parcels, efficient and accurate management of these records is extremely important. Most land records data for the county are already being managed with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Torrens land record information, however, by in large is not managed with GIS. Therefore, Torrens data are not easily accessible, and they cannot be cross-referenced with other land record information without significant effort. This research catalogs current Torrens record management practices in Hennepin County to realize best practices, suggesting areas better managed by using GIS, and designing processes for transitioning those areas to GIS.
The validity of all geographic analysis is directly related to the accuracy of all geographic datasets representing real-world phenomena involved within a given study. Spatial data of customers or test subjects are often obtained through address geocoding. GIS users run the risk of producing unsatisfactory geocoding match rates due to discrepancies in the source data, reference data, or both datasets. Research conducted in this project examined the improvements in geocoding match rates when combining two updated multiple road centerline datasets. A Geographic Information System (GIS) geocoded records from source address datasets representing multiple test areas with two competing spatial reference datasets of road centerlines. Comparative statistics between the two reference datasets were created for analysis. Investigations of the geocoded output datasets revealed a projected improvement in match rates when combining the two road centerline datasets into a hybrid reference dataset.
Creating a model of an existing, complex architectural structure like a theater can be a time consuming and difficult undertaking. Issues such as line of sight, accuracy, and time constraints can pose problems when creating such a model and, in turn, when plans for renovations are made from that model. These issues can be overcome and alleviated with the use of High Definition Survey (HDS) scanning, also referred to as 3D laser scanning. Martinez Corporation, a photogrammetry company, was chosen by Miller Dunwiddie Architecture to create a model of the interior of the abandoned Shubert Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Miller Dunwiddie was looking for the fastest and most accurate way to obtain a model of the existing conditions within the theater so that they would be able to take measurements and derive a plan for the renovation process. It was decided that 3D laser scanning would be the most efficient and most accurate method to produce a model of the interior. Miller Dunwiddie wanted the model tied to a real world coordinate system so that it could be referenced to existing CAD files of the surrounding area. This model will be used in the creation of renovation plans and in public presentations about the future Shubert Theater.
Groundwater plays an important role in the environment as it contributes to irrigation, streams and rivers, and wetland habitats affecting many species of plants and animals. Groundwater provides over half the drinking water for the nation; it is important to protect such an important resource. Groundwater contamination, though almost impossible to stop in some areas, can be minimized by delineating vulnerable areas. The use of modeling with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) contributes significantly to the delineation of vulnerable areas. The DRASTIC model, introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), studied several key hydrogeologic characteristics that affect groundwater infiltration. DRASTIC is an acronym standing for Depth to water, net Recharge, Aquifer media, Soil media, Topography, Impact of the vadose zone, and hydraulic Conductivity. Well test results have shown that areas of Houston County, Minnesota may be contaminated and that further research is needed. Data was collected, processed, and presented in GIS to spatially represent the DRASTIC parameters. Models were produced to show the susceptibility to contamination of groundwater in Houston County. Maps indicate areas of high risk to be further researched to resolve issues of groundwater contamination.
The Red Wing Locality represents the largest known concentration of ancient Native American cultural sites in Minnesota, including mounds and villages from the Oneota, Woodland, Silvernale, and Pre-Contact archeological eras. This research focuses on the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to create a predictive model to identify parcels with potential previously undocumented village and mound archeology sites for the City of Red Wing. Project methodologies are organized into the following major themes: (a) value of research (b) required data and availability: known sites, DEM (Digital Elevation Model) raster, LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), historic vegetation, geomorphology, surface hydrology, and (c) predictive modeling methodology and deliverables. The research hypothesis posits known cultural resources are not random, and sites strongly correlate with environmental variables to create probabilistic models to predict undiscovered site locations. Utilizing a weighted model index in GIS to select land parcels that may contain undiscovered cultural resources would assist in identifying areas of cultural sensitivity to support Phase 1 archeological resource assessments in advance of potential land development.
The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is a civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force. With a
membership of approximately 64,000 citizens, it maintains a large fleet of single-engine
aircraft. A primary mission of the CAP is search and rescue. This study shows that GIS
can be used in a variety of ways to enhance CAP search and rescue missions. Results
demonstrate increased accuracy in coordinate location and reduced expenditure of time.
These directly translate into improvements in efficient utilization of resources and safety
Florence Township is situated 90 miles south of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan
area and is bordered on the east by the Mississippi River. Its steep topography and
vegetative cover are typical of the southeast Minnesota bluffland landscape. Its desirable
location and scenic appeal have led to increasing rates of housing development, higher
traffic levels and changing demographics.
Florence Township developed a comprehensive plan in 2003 using natural
resource based planning principals. Using ESRI ArcView and Spatial Analyst, suitability
analyses were performed based on the goals of the plan. Locations most suitable for
continued agricultural use, natural resource protection and development were determined.
Most agricultural lands were found to be well suited to continued production if Best
Management Practices are implemented to protect resources. Corridors of sensitive
natural resource features were found on and adjacent to the bluff slopes and streams.
Areas of less sensitivity were found along the MN Highway 61 and near the existing
communities of Lake City and Frontenac.
The development of new land use tools for long term protection of agricultural
and natural resource areas will be necessary if Florence Township is to meet its goals.
Targeting appropriately designed housing development to less sensitive areas close to
existing infrastructure would further enhance the economic, cultural and recreational
resources of Florence Township.
Bioenergy has become an economically viable venture both on a subsistence level and on a vast commercial scale, allowing farmers, industries, and villages to attain energy independence. In Kenya, the government has formulated, published, and is now implementing a policy for wind, small hydro energy plants, and biofuels and biomass resource generated energy (MOE, 2008). This research project used siting analysis models to explore potential bioethanol processing plant locations that derive bioenergy from first-generation renewable energy sources from food crops in a province located in western Kenya. The potential economic viability of bioethanol production from crops in Nyanza province in western Kenya was assessed by identifying potential biofuel collection locations to explore future spatial distributions of biofuel sites along major road networks, major cities, and proximity of maize production areas and markets. The spatial distribution of economically viable biomass production was determined using a GIS-based sustainability management and site suitability model. The suitability model evaluated regions in Nyanza province with high maize productivity where potential bioethanol processing plants can be developed to improve economic sustainability of bioenergy.
Climate change is a topic of growing concern, and certain areas of high biodiversity and agricultural production, such as the Driftless Area, require special attention. This analysis serves two purposes: 1) it provides an initial database and processing framework for using Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) data with the Rclimdex toolset, and 2) it provides an example of data display and analysis for indices developed by the Rclimdex toolset through examination of the growing season length index. Overall, this analysis serves as a stepping stone to future climate-related analyses using GHCN data and statistical indexing tools.
John F. Stevens Canyon is located in the southern boundary of Glacier National Park, Montana, United States of America. Snow avalanches are very common in the Stevens Canyon often threatening and injuring people and property. This research uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to study impacts of snow avalanches on vegetation in the avalanche paths of John F. Stevens Canyon. The study incorporates historic avalanche data from the years 1986 through 2005 in avalanche paths Shed 7, Shed 8, and Shed 9 in the Stevens Canyon. Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper satellite imagery was utilized to examine vegetation changes over the period. By employing Tasseled Cap Transformation greenness method, vegetation amounts were obtained. Vegetation was classified using a Supervised classification method and subjected to Maximum Likelihood Classification to acquire total vegetation acreage per year. Finally, the impact of snow avalanches on vegetation was analyzed by comparing vegetation existence before, after, and the year of avalanche occurrence. Since snow avalanches have a strong influence with climatic conditions, a statistical correlation test was exercised on the Snow Water Equivalent (SWE), precipitation, and vegetation information of the avalanche year. Results demonstrate a decrease in vegetation in places with frequent avalanches and minimal correlation between climatic data and vegetation.
Analysis of potential market areas within the seven county Twin Cities metropolitan area
was performed for Hydro Restoration Incorporated. The analysis consisted of two
phases. The initial phase identified current customer demographic attributes. The second
phase of the analysis used current customer demographic information to identify areas
with similar demographic attributes within the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The areas
identified by the second phase of the analysis will be used to make informed marketing
In past decades, the precedent for businesses looking for new retail sites has been to choose locations based on intuition or personal experience. However, in today's struggling economy and crowded market place, many businesses are looking for more analytical methods. This research provides a geographic method for prioritizing potential new retail locations. By using demographic data and Geographic Information Science (GIS), the time salespeople spend pursuing unsuitable store location will be reduced. This research focuses on the Chicago, Illinois seven county metro area, but these same methods could be applied across the United States, perhaps across the world.
The traditional archeological data recovery method utilizes 1-meter units and screens all matrix through ¼ inch mesh. Modern excavation techniques have begun to incorporate available GIS and survey technology to increase the amount of area surveyed while maintaining more precise provenience information in an effort to interpret community-wide spatial patterns. Typical clustering assessments rely heavily on visual interpretation of point data. However, the level of precision inherent to these datasets enables the quantification and delineation of nonrandom artifact distribution clusters through more statistical means. Flaking debris data from five piece-plotted archeological excavations was compiled to establish sampling accuracy as it pertains to this non-traditional excavation method. Flaking debris from archeological site 13DB497 was selected for in-depth analysis. Statistical procedures were employed to demonstrate both the clustered nature of the distribution as well as to delineate 5 primary clusters. Further interpretations were then conducted to illustrate a potentially significant cultural variation between the 5 clusters and the remaining portion of the excavation.
Great River Bluffs State Park of Minnesota contains many bluff prairies, or goat prairies.
These prairies are threatened by encroaching invasive species and provide an ideal habitat for
the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus). Management practices have been implemented in
the park to preserve these natural communities. Aerial photography from nine years between
1936 and 1996 was used to determine bluff prairie boundaries for each year. The boundary
sizes (in acres) were compared and combined with a database of management practices to
perform analyses using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The decrease in the size of
the bluff prairies was to be expected with the passage of time. With the implementation of
management practices, an increase was seen in the size of bluff prairies on a percentage basis
between 1979 and 1996. Although the original bluff prairie sizes were not reached by 1996,
areas of bluff prairies were reclaimed, increasing the threatened natural community and
habitat for threatened species like the timber rattlesnake.
Watershed health has been an important topic among the general public and patrons involved
in watershed planning and stabilization. Some watersheds in Minnesota have noticeably
decreased levels of clarity and aquatic life and this suggests deterioration of the water’s
health. Freshwater native mussels have been studied for years in Minnesota and these studies
show a direct connectivity between mussel and watershed health. The Minnesota Department
of Natural Resources (MN DNR) started a Statewide Mussel Program to study these species
and monitor their populations. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used to organize
and analyze spatial data from the mussel program to locate new monitoring sites for
Minnesota. This study used two models to rank survey sites to determine the most desirable
new monitoring locations. Analyzing data from these monitoring sites can help maintain
mussel populations and thus assist in improving watershed health. The Minnesota Statewide
Mussel Program currently has 16 monitoring sites, located in four major basins: the Red
River of the North Basin, the St. Croix River Basin, the Lower Mississippi River Basin, and
the Minnesota River Basin. Before the selection models were created, three pilot monitoring
sites were chosen in 2008 and five in 2009. In 2012, eight more sites were chosen using these
models. No information on specific mussel species is presented in this paper, only sampling
strategy development information.
Location selection for a new supermarket is an interesting and challenging task that has a significant role in determining the success of a business. This project uses GIS technology to analyze potential locations for a new Asian supermarket in the Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota USA. Methods utilized in this project combined the Huff model with GIS to find the best location for supermarkets, and show the sales potential of the best locations.
This project aimed to prioritize wetland restoration areas within the Bevens and Carver Creek Watersheds by applying a multi-variable analysis using a Geographic Information System (GIS). Three versions of the model were developed depending on the restoration’s main objective: increase water quality, reduce flooding, or improve ecosystems by creating wetland continuity. First, constraints were applied to limit the study area to only land suitable for holding water. Secondly, a multi-criteria analysis was conducted with variables that indicate suitability for wetlands. Finally, to evaluate the strength of the model, a sensitivity analysis model was developed which studied the changes in the spatial distribution and size of the suitability classes when small changes were applied to the variables. GIS generated maps provide a visual representation of the model results and they contribute to improving the decision making process when prioritizing wetland restoration projects in Carver County.
This research study examined factors related to dredging and evaluated the dredge production formula constant using dredge river sand from the Upper Mississippi River. Data collection and related procedures were used in conjunction with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) dredging operations in the Upper Mississippi River to maintain the ‘Nine Foot Channel Navigation Project.’ A preliminary interpretation of dredge data using the Dredge Quality Management Program was analyzed using the HYPACK mapping software suite. Through use of HYPACK, bathymetric surveys were organized to calculate and determine a dredging constant value (c) for the Chippewa Delta (Wisconsin-Minnesota, U.S.) dredge study location. Dredge constants differ from location to location, and year to year in the same location, due to changing sediment transportation amounts in river systems. Findings from the study help to reduce the risk for exploring sites, improve planning, and develop a system for accurate dredge constants and production formulas.
Great River Bluffs State Park of Minnesota contains many bluff prairies, or goat prairies.
These prairies are threatened by encroaching invasive species and provide an ideal habitat for
the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus). Management practices have been implemented in
the park to preserve these natural communities. Aerial photography from nine years between
1936 and 1996 was used to determine bluff prairie boundaries for each year. The boundary
sizes (in acres) were compared and combined with a database of management practices to
perform analyses using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The decrease in the size of
the bluff prairies was to be expected with the passage of time. With the implementation of
management practices, an increase was seen in the size of bluff prairies on a percentage basis
between 1979 and 1996. Although the original bluff prairie sizes were not reached by 1996,
areas of bluff prairies were reclaimed, increasing the threatened natural community and
habitat for threatened species like the timber rattlesnake.
This study examined the extent and characterization of riparian areas for select locations in Colfax County, New Mexico. Historical imagery from the 1930s and 1940s was compared to remotely sensed imagery captured more recently in 2014 to evaluate wetland riparian change over time. Image analysis of riparian land cover in two areas of interest (AOI) located along select waterways of the Cimarron River Watershed included the digitization of features in a geographic information system (GIS) as well as classification using a tool developed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for the western United States. The extent and composition of each riparian feature was reviewed for accuracy in delineation and attribute classification. A change over time analysis was then completed for each AOI through the use of summary statistics and statistical testing. Results showed an overall decrease in the acreage of riparian zones in the areas studied. In addition it was found that changes in the composition of vegetation included a decrease in some native species as well as an increase in invasive species.
In the absence of a single composite measure to assess, rank, and test disability and functional needs in the context of disaster, this study undertook an interdisciplinary approach to develop a composite index based on C-MIST theory. An examination into how well the C-MIST index represents the multidimensional nature of disability and functional needs was conducted, as well as illustrating any gaps in the underlying dimensionalities of current social vulnerability indices. First, an index was constructed in accordance with the C-MIST theory for sixty-seven counties in the State of Florida, using an additive aggregation model. Second, the underlying data structure and measure validity were examined at the sub-component level of the C-MIST index, using Cronbach’s coefficient alpha (C-alpha) and using exploratory factor analysis to determine the dimensionality of the sub-components. Third, the results were spatially compared with a calculated functional needs prevalence rate. Results were also compared at the index sub-component level and against another index, SoVI, in order to explore possible relationships and trends. Results indicated the C-MIST Index appeared initially to be unidimensional and a consistent and valid instrument for assessing functional needs in Florida with a high C-alpha of 0.997. However, when reviewing factor analysis and results from the functional needs prevalence rate comparison, dimensionality of underlying data structure requires further research and testing at both sub-component and individual indicator levels..
As Geographic Information Systems (GIS) expand, tools for spatial analysis and raster processing are in high demand. Open source solutions for GIS can provide users with low-cost, generic, and interoperable alternatives to proprietary software. Map algebra is uniquely situated to benefit from open source implementations. This study compares map algebra tools of the proprietary ESRI ArcPy library and the open source Rasterio library. The analysis assesses performance of both libraries in terms of time and memory usage. Based on these performance metrics, Rasterio should be considered a suitable alternative to ArcPy for some GIS workloads.
This paper illustrates how a Geographic Information System (GIS) is used to visualize the spatial
distribution of Starbuck’s Coffee locations in Chicagoland. The location of Starbuck’s Coffee
was compared to the data available by census tract from the US Census Bureau. In particular,
the income by census tract and location were considered. By visualizing and analyzing the
spatial locations it is possible to determine areas that are underserved and determine areas that
seem to have a predominant demographic that Starbucks Corporation prefers.
Land cover/ land use maps provide valuable information to a variety of users. Accuracy
assessments determine how useful these maps are to the user. A thematic accuracy assessment
was designed and implemented for the vector-based 2001 land cover/ land use dataset for Pool 8
of the Upper Mississippi River. The dataset was created from 1:15,000-scale Color InfraRed
(CIR) aerial photography flown in late summer 2001. A stratified random sampling design was
implemented based on the dominant land cover classes. Coordinates were generated for sample
points using a random point generator for each stratum or land cover class. Fieldwork on the
river was completed between September 2001 and March 2002. The total number of sample
points used for analysis was 514. The overall accuracy was calculated to be 83.8%. Producer
and user accuracies varied according to the class and are reported with 90% confidence limits.
The dataset was collapsed into a more generalized classification based on hydrology, and the
overall accuracy was calculated to be 88.5%; and producer and user accuracies are reported with
90% confidence limits. Key issues with accuracy assessment are discussed, including assessor
limitations and variability in photo-interpretation. Recommendations for future assessments are
made based upon the results of this study.
The number of displaced people in the world is increasing at an alarming rate. Whether it is civil war, flooding, earthquakes or racial genocide, any number of world events could strip people of their homeland, forcing them to search for shelter and assistance. Overburdened by the growing numbers, humanitarian agencies are looking towards GIS and other technology to assist in relief efforts for refugees and internally displaced populations. Although location based tools such as GIS have been implemented in varying capacities, can they be fully utilized for the registration, design, maintenance, and mapping of refugee camps? The focus of this research paper involves the creation of GIS based applications customized to reduce the technical constraints encountered by camp personnel as well as incorporate components specifically developed for humanitarian aid operations. The applications contain numerous tools to facilitate data collection, camp registration and addressing, demographic analysis, camp infrastructure design validation, and the publication of easily distributable camp maps.
A GIS map of the Winona Campus of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (SMU) campus did not exist before this effort. The purpose of this project was to create a model that would depict the many features of the campus. This project began in 2000 and a campus GIS was created using ArcView 3.2 software. This GIS included: buildings, forest, trees, streams, athletic fields, bike trails, gas lines, fire hydrants, highways, roads, sidewalks, parking lots, and handicap parking. A GIS application could be displayed interactively at the information kiosk found at the entrance of SMU campus. If done, this would allow visitors to view the campus and to travel and find campus locations easily. A GIS could also be used by the SMU Maintenance Department for building projects and campus expansion.
After this GIS was created, a network analysis was performed to find the best route from the campus to restaurants and motels in Winona. Finally, an analysis involved the creation of a model to represent the land on campus that is either occupied or unusable, such as the bluffs, versus land that is available for future development.
The Lowertown neighborhood in Saint Paul, Minnesota has been in transition for the last several decades. For a long time the neighborhood lay forgotten to rest of the city. Lowertown has seen resurgence in popularity. While Lowertown has become popular in recent years, the process of resurrecting the area has been in the works for quite some time. The main purpose of this paper was to obtain and analyze data describing the Lowertown neighborhood and to identify changes. Research examines descriptive data from the 1990, 2000, and 2010 censuses to reach an understanding how the study area has changed. The research also examines the role that artists may have played in changing the demographics of the neighborhood.
Renewed interest in America‟s cities and investment in transit has lead to the development of new transit oriented developments (TODs) and Smart Growth developments being built all across the country (Belzer and Gerald, 2002). Identifying and assembling large tracts of land that satisfy all the conditions for successful transit oriented development can be difficult (Boarnet and Compin, 1999). Advocates claim that communities benefit from TODs that provide compact development, decrease automobile dependency, add retail opportunities, and improve quality of life (Tumlin and Millard-ball, 2003). It has also been shown that making the connection between land use and transit choices such as building light rail transit (LRT) can be used as a tool to revitalize neighborhoods, end cycles of poverty and lower crime rates (Havens, 2010). Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are a powerful tool that can be used to organize, sort, and analyze spatial data. GIS can be used to create models that reflect an area‟s propensity to sustain TODs and other higher density Smart Growth developments. GIS and Model Builder were used in this study to create models to identify areas within the City of Minneapolis most suitable for development of Smart Growth and TODs, and establish a set of criteria for ranking suitability: Land Use, Community Features, and Transit.
This study examined land use change on cropland, focusing on the increase in center pivot irrigation systems in Custer County, Nebraska USA from 2003 to 2010. Center pivot Irrigation systems permit farmers to irrigate crops with a significant reduction of the labor required by traditional methods such as flood irrigation. In past decades, center pivot use has increased dramatically throughout the United States. Custer County depends heavily on the Ogallala Aquifer as its water source for irrigation. Over the years, the Ogallala Aquifer has been depleting faster than it recharges (Peters, 2012). Technology has vastly improved irrigation systems to become more efficient with water use, although due to the rapid installation and growth of systems, water use is still a growing issue. This study uses aerial photo-interpreted (digitized) land cover imagery from 2003 and 2010 to detect center pivot systems and identify areas of increased center pivot growth at the county and township level. Hotspot analyses were also conducted to statistically identify areas having high or low concentrations of center pivot irrigation growth.
Government agencies have been tasked to prepare for a wide range of events when it comes to emergency preparation, planning, and response. Disaster planning, at its core, tends to deal with preparing a response to critical and complicated events with unknown situational variables, and unpredictable temporal and spatial constraints. A situation itself can come in the form of natural or manmade disasters that are intended and targeted events or accidental occurrences. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be an important tool for the purposes of mitigating damages incurred during disaster events by providing tools and data to be used in a response planning. But how can GIS be used to plan for the complexities and unknowns of a given situation? As GIS becomes ubiquitous in planning and managing events and responses to situations, how can GIS be implemented in a way that leverages the technology to its fullest potential. The intent of this study is to explore opportunities and challenges that are presented at local governmental levels for preparing a plan to deal with responses to an event using GIS as a tool for planning situational response mechanisms.
Many areas across the United States have experienced rising crime rates over the last few decades. The identification of variables related to crime could allow policymakers to develop improved approaches to combating crime. Using multiple regression analysis, relationships between socioeconomic status/demographic variables and crime variables were investigated for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in a spatial context using census tracts as the geographic unit of analysis. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), choropleth maps were created in order to provide visual representations of the statistically related variables. Hotspot analyses were conducted to identify areas having high or low concentrations of values for crime and demographic variables.
The changes in channel areas induced by impoundment of Navigation Pool 5 of the Upper Mississippi River are widely recognized. This study seeks to describe and quantify channel activity, determining effects on the pool following impoundment. Three study periods are introduced in which changes in channel areas are described. Lateral channel migration proved to be a minimal factor in the study. Migrations rates varied between 1.06 and 1.89 m/year and may not be accurate for the first period of study. In the period from 1890 to 1975, water areas increased by 269% throughout the pool. Such a tremendous increase can largely be attributed to dam closure. This period was followed by a time of noticeable channel abandonment. Backwater areas in the upper pool began filling in with sediment. The final period, 1989 to 2000, indicated a trend toward channel stabilization. Rates of channel creation were nearly equal to those of channel abandonment..
Snowmobiling contributes a generous amount of revenue for the state of Wisconsin’s tourism in the winter months. The trail system is managed by snowmobile clubs in every county. Currently all operations are performed without complete standardization between the counties and there is no digital data available in regards to the trail system, trail sign locations, bridges, or culverts. This study sheds light on the reality of moving trail maintenance operations to a digital format using ArcGIS Online. An online mapping application was created for the state and its counties to use as a place to track and regulate maintenance operations. The application was tested by a former Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs president and former Groomer King. After testing, a survey was issued to rate the performance of the application. Snowmobile fund income information was analyzed against the cost of an ArcGIS Online subscription and its benefits. All things considered, a subscription would be an affordable solution to moving trail maintenance operations to a digital platform.
This paper outlines the exploration of internet based mapping software for municipal
government use. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other mapping
software, a land parcel management application was created for the City of Winona. The
project’s goals were to first implement an intranet based parcel viewing and querying
system that would allow city employees to obtain information about city parcel data.
Second, to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of internet GIS access to city
officials as a means to make city data available to the public.
Preparation of Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement 34 (GASB 34) financial reports was completed for the City of Rochester, MN – Public Works Division (RPW) utilizing geographic information system (GIS) technology. The following infrastructure networks were analyzed: bridges, sanitary sewers, sidewalks, bike paths, storm ponds, storm sewers, streets, and traffic signals. RPW estimated the financial value of each asset at the time of installation. Having this financial value provided the baseline information needed for City of Rochester, MN – Finance Department (RF) to depreciate the value of each asset, a requirement of GASB 34. After all GASB 34 information was populated in the infrastructure networks, summary reports were generated and submitted to RF.
Everyday, millions of people worldwide call a friend, check email, send text messages, watch TV, download music, and surf the web over a wireless network. Regardless of cell phone carrier, each network is often subject to ridicule by end users due to poor coverage and lack of connectivity. Telephia, an independent market research firm for the wireless industry, seeks ways to improve network performance using Mobile Test. The Mobile Test division of Telephia creates drive routes, drives the route to measure network performance, and sends data back to the Telephia office team which then generates a report for the client. This paper demonstrates a mapping tool that was created and documented within the Mobile Test department to monitor a drive’s progression from start to finish in order to eliminate errors and omissions in data collection. Examples used for this paper are taken from the September 2005 Denver drive route. This mapping tool helps formulate more efficient drive routes, applies quality control in the field, and facilitates faster drive time analysis.
The proliferation of web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) technology over the last decade has led to increased utility of web GIS in all levels of public administration. A potential benefit of this technology is improved data accessibility and decision making for policy makers and stakeholders. City and county administrations in Winona, Minnesota have utilized this technology since 2004, mostly for providing parcel-related data as a free-for-all service. However, online GIS platforms had not kept pace with corresponding changes in Esri’s ArcGIS web server technology. Consequently this project was initiated in mid-2012 with the customization and configuration of new Silverlight-based GIS web applications to replace systems that would have been functionally obsolete with the transition from ArcGIS Server versions 9.3 to 10.1. The primary goal of this study was to assess the effectiveness of the new applications for both internal and external customers for both the city and the county. Data were collected by means of an electronic survey. A subsequent analysis of the feedback showed a disparity in expertise and appreciation of geospatial technology and its potential benefits between the two groups. There was also some muted interest in mobile compatible applications as well as a general consensus from the respondents on performance bottlenecks of the current systems.
This study analyzes the economic benefits of a levee constructed for the purposes of flood damage reduction in Mankato, Minnesota. The study also analyzes social benefits of the levee by assessing the demographic changes after the creation of the levee. Four analyses were developed to analyze the economic and social benefits of the levee. The first analysis was developed to evaluate property value. A second analysis was developed to evaluate tax revenue. A third analysis was developed to evaluate economic benefits of the levee. A fourth analysis was developed to assess population change after the creation of the levee. The calculation of property value focused on all land and buildings in flood zones while the calculation of tax revenue focused on buildings in the flood zones that were built after the levee project started. The overall results show the levee plays a significant role in protecting the economic well being of the city of Mankato. Results also show despite decreases in population in the flood zones, the overall population of the city of Mankato has increased significantly after the construction of the levee system.
Data obtained from water samples collected from some 1,700 wells in Olmsted County were used to estimate the total mass of nitrate-nitrogen and chloride stored in the primary aquifer and to analyze the spatial distributions of these anions and their correlation with hydrogeologic factors and known land use classes. The student included separate analysis for each of the three water-bearing stratigraphic units making up the primary aquifer; these are the St. Peter sandstone (OSTP), the Prairie du Chien Group (OPDC) and the Jordan sandstone (CJDN). The hydrogeologic factors examined include aquifer position within the stratigraphic column, the presence or absence of Decorah-Platteville-Glenwood confining unit, the thickness of overlying surficial deposits, and the aquifer thickness. Cropland was the only land use examined on a subwatershed basis; cropland acreage is serving as a surrogate variable for nitrogen fertilizer use. All of these factors were analyzed using spatial and statistical methods.
Currently emphasis on accurate and timely collection of fisheries data generates a need for
investigation into advanced techniques in bathymetry, including recent refinements in
Geographical Information Science (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). The study area
for this project was the east basin of Lake Winona, a small Mississippi River floodplain lake in
Winona, Minnesota USA. Lake Winona was the site of recent dredging operations aimed at
decreasing littoral zone areas to reduce plant growth and stunted fish populations. To assess
potential effectiveness of dredging operations, bathymetric data were collected with a Garmin
depthfinder and GPS unit, and interpolation techniques to produce lake morphometric
characteristics (splining, kriging, and inverse distance weighting) were compared within ESRI’s
ArcMap 9.0. All interpolation methods produced similar outputs for cross validation statistical
comparisons, although kriging produced the best predictive output of actual bathymetric
contouring for Lake Winona. Calculation of morphometric characteristics from derived
bathymetric information showed significant changes in Lake Winona compared to historic
accounts. Lake dredging was successful in reducing littoral zone areas by 30 percent and
increasing lake volume by 28 percent, while increasing the mean depth by 60 percent (from 2.6
feet to 4.3 feet). Habitat for stunted fish populations was substantially reduced. Today,
information from this project is being used to assess the feasibility of further bathymetric studies
and to refine management approaches to improve the Lake Winona fishery.
Northeastern Iowa has seen dramatic landscape changes in the last 160 years. What was
once a pristine forest and prairie landscape embedded in karst topography is now encased
in intensified agriculture and urbanization. The result of our rush to convert these
naturally sustained habitats of northeastern Iowa’s Yellow River Watershed into a “better
life” and recent attempts to maximize profits with concentrations of land holdings and
production methods is a degraded state of the environment, as reflected in water quality
reports. A rapid procedural method for conservation measures using geographic
information systems was developed by this research and tested on the Williams Creek
Subwatershed. The results describe a subwatershed procedural methodology while
indicating 179.2 acres of impervious cover and 5.4 acres of potential erodable slopes
contained within a buffered Postville headwater stream. The procedures developed for
this project can be modified and applied elsewhere to help target land conservation
measures such as riparian buffers, erosion and sediment controls, as well as land
treatments and other stewardship activities.
The purpose of this project was to determine if potential bald eagle nest habitat can be identified using GIS analysis. A second objective was to observe differences among nesting habit of bald eagles in five different study areas. Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) were on the verge of extinction before being placed on the endangered species list in 1975. Eagles were impacted by habitat destruction, hunting, lead poisoning, and DDT/DDE. Nest sites and habitat are crucial in order to maintain a healthy population of bald eagles. A hindrance to this is human disturbance, thus human disturbances continue to need to be monitored. Data were collected by examining eagle nest habitat, territories, geospatial relationships, and human disturbances. A 100 meter (m) buffer was applied to known and random nest locations in an effort to correct error from GPS data collection. Results found 38% of nests were located within 1000 m of a railroad or major roadway. In addition, trees > 25 m in height occupied 5% of the total area. Tree cover ranging from 30-70% occupied 51% of the total area. Selected tree species accounted for 27% of the total area.
This research focuses on the geographic profiling of a serial murderer for the purpose of assisting law enforcement in the apprehension of future serial murderers. Serial murderers have distinctive characteristics and hunting styles which distinguishes them from other offenders. This case study focuses on the study of the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway. Ridgway eluded law enforcement capture for nearly twenty years. He was eventually captured through DNA linked from several crime victims. This research examines spatial description of incident data using the following functions: (1) Mean Center; (2) Center of Minimum Distance; and (3) Standard Deviational Ellipse. Also, this research examines incident data using spatial modeling – the Journey to Crime (JTC) estimate/probability map. It is hoped this analysis will help law enforcement to narrow search areas for future offenders. Geographic profiling results can impact an investigation by suspect prioritization, patrol saturation, neighborhood canvasses, police information systems data contained within police database, and DNA searches.
The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, a district of the Humboldt-Toiyabe
National Forest, is an area that experiences wildland fires. Changes in management
practices have caused a post wildland fire revegetation project to be evaluated for
effectiveness. Information from the project area was collected, the area was mapped and
transects were surveyed to determine field conditions. Compiled information was
compared and combined for analysis. Burn area compiled maps, aerial photography, elk
and wild horse and burro populations, vegetation comparisons are presented with the aid
of using Geographic Information Systems, to give land managers a concise report to help
formulate decisions. An assessment of management practices, past and current, are
presented to give land managers a scope for decision making. It appears that if current
conditions continue, the revegetation project success will be compromised.
Improvements in interagency communication and cooperation are needed for successful
implementation of this and future projects.
Winona, Minnesota was founded by a Mississippi river Steamboat captain in 1851. Winona is lodged between rolling limestone bluffs and the Mississippi river, once making it a focal point for lumber producers in the 1850’s. During this period Winona enjoyed that status of being the largest city in Minnesota. Winona is still thriving, but in different ways, it is now home to three institutions of higher education, technology driven businesses, and various industries. This study will demonstrate how a Geographic Information System (GIS) can be used to identify problematic intersections that exist within the city of Winona. This study will be comprised of three years (1999-2001) of traffic accident data. In addition this study will involve identifying key factors in the environment that may contribute to these occurrences.
Shakopee, Minnesota has undergone a significant transformation since 2000 due to rapid population growth and increased population density. Due to this rapid change there are several challenges for the city to overcome. Some of these challenges include providing services for their community and adapting to an increase in demographic diversity. Another significant factor affecting the city of Shakopee is the number of tourist attractions located within the city limits. These attractions include Valleyfair Amusement Park and Canterbury Park. This project analyzes how the tourist attractions have impacted crime trends in this rapidly expanding Twin Cities suburb in the years of 2002 and 2007. In addition, it will detail the number and the character of these crimes specifically related to these two business ventures giving the Shakopee Police Department a useful tool in preparing for and averting crime in the future. Overall, GIS proved to be an important vehicle to analyze the crime trends from the years 2002 and 2007. The study provides a general insight of when and where crime has taken place in the past, which ideally will give an insight for future crime. With the population of Shakopee and the popularity of the local attractions both rising at a consistent rate, the determination and prevention of future crime is a necessary step the local government and businesses must take in order to provide a safe atmosphere for residents and visiting patrons.
This paper examines the implementation of geographic information systems (GIS) in the targeting of a market and the sighting of office locations. Here, the locations of current clients were compared to the office they used; client density maps were made for each office to help determine location client densities; and multiple buffer analysis was done in support of the density map. Lastly travel distance was calculated. With these factors it was shown that office location couldn’t be based on current clients. Target market areas were then defined to show areas where offices would have the most effect. This was accomplished through the use of a weighted model based on total number of returns, market percentage, age of filer, number of schedule C filed and competition. Increased numbers of clients would be expected from these target areas of the model. The placement of offices in these target areas would most likely increase the effectiveness of the office.
The populations of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) throughout North America have drastically declined over the past century. Forest management practices are being implemented to preserve the species and protect against numerous damaging agents. However, white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), a lethal fungal disease, has hampered most expectations of successful restoration. By mapping hazard levels of the disease, silvicultural decisions can be made to alleviate the destructive nature of the disease. This study used geographic information systems to analyze the environmental conditions that correlate to various disease incidence levels. Statistical electivity analyses were performed on topographies, climate summaries, water sources, and soil data. Higher blister rust incidences are linked to specific environmental factors of lower average temperatures, higher moisture conditions, steeper slopes, high elevations, northerly aspects, and well-drained soil types. A high resolution blister rust hazard map was produced from these findings covering St. Louis County, Minnesota, USA for the use of localized forest management practices.
A Judicial Council policy implemented January 1, 2009 changed the way Winona County, Minnesota USA District Court responds to underage alcohol consumption offenses. Since that time it is believed the criminal justice system is responding to more serious offenses, more repeated offenses, and in different locations than before the policy. Data were gathered for underage consumption offenses occurring in the two years preceding and two years after the policy change (2007-2010) and analyzed statistically as well as using ArcMap’s kernel density tool. Results indicate that offenders were not charged with more offenses following the policy change; actually being charged with fewer, with the majority of offenders being charged with no further alcohol offenses. Location of offenses did shift, with offenses becoming more concentrated in a smaller area than earlier. Most strikingly, though average alcohol concentration levels remained constant between the two periods, a greater proportion of adult underage consumption offenses were high severity offenses following the policy implementation. The criminal justice system has seen changes in recidivism, location, and severity since the Judicial Council policy was implemented—all of which would benefit from further research into the factors contributing to those trends.
Bird species are decreasing at alarming rates causing organizations, including the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, to conduct long-term monitoring studies. In particular, grassland birds have decreased dramatically in the past few decades. Using data from the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, tests of species richness and diversity were performed to examine how avian species of concern, especially grassland predominant species, use grasslands of varying size during different times of the year. Data were obtained from point counts conducted between 1994 and 2003 and compared against grasslands found near each site. Significant relationships (P < 0.05) were seen between species richness of all birds as grassland area increased during spring and fall. When using only grassland birds, there was a significant relationship (P < 0.05) during spring and fall between species richness per count and grassland area. There was also a significant increase (P < 0.05) in species richness per count of grassland birds during spring and fall as the perimeter-to-area ratios of the grasslands increased. These results provide a basis for future studies of potential habitat changes within the refuge by biologists.
Water quality impairment from non-point source (NPS) pollution is a serious concern for the Zumbro River Watershed in southeastern Minnesota where several lakes, rivers, and streams are listed as ‘impaired waters’ by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Agricultural operations are potentially major sources of NPS pollution including soil erosion and the off-site transport of agrochemicals to hydrologic drainage networks. To control NPS pollution and improve water quality, best management practices (BMPs) can be implemented such as buffer strips, grassed waterways, and reduced tillage. However, targeting the most beneficial location can be expensive and time consuming using conventional means. Precision conservation represents a new strategic approach to natural resource management using cutting-edge spatial technologies including geographic information systems (GIS), remote-sensing, and global positioning systems (GPS). The objective of this project was to evaluate the potential for adopting precision conservation methods and digital terrain analysis with high-resolution LiDAR elevation data to accurately identify critical areas in agricultural landscapes where conservation practices would be most effective, both financially and environmentally. Targeting critical areas was facilitated by signatures created from the Stream Power Index (SPI), a terrain attribute that measures the erosive power of flowing water and identifies places of accumulated overland flow.
The use of geographic information systems (GIS) in predicting and estimating soil erosion and deposition loads has become more accurate as technology has advanced. The increased technological capabilities have further enabled researchers to expand and specialize modeling efforts to fit specific scenarios and/or model certain types of erosion processes. The expansion of technology has also extended into the various data sources that are commonly used in erosion modeling. One of the most important data parameters of erosion modeling is the digital elevation model (DEM) or digital terrain model (DTM). DEM data quality is measured by the cell size, with larger cell sizes indicating lower data quality and smaller cell sizes indicating higher data quality. Within the past several decades, the quality of DEMs has increased from 100’s of meters in cell size to sub-meter quality. The purpose for this research project is to provide an analysis of soil erosion estimates using LIDAR (2-meter resolution) elevation data compared to 30-meter resolution elevation data in the Trout Brook sub-watershed. The primary objective for this project will be investigated using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) model, a transport capacity limited model, which predicts the spatial distribution of soil erosion and deposition rates for a steady state overland flow.
Floods are among the most common natural disasters in the world with increasing occurrences due to increases in precipitation and urbanization. Several factors cause floods making floods, especially flash floods difficult to predict. Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) were used to determine areas of depression throughout Wayzata, Minnesota USA. Areas with the largest depressions were found in locations where lakes and wetlands were mapped in the U.S. National Wetland Inventory (NWI) lakes and rivers layer. Color and infrared aerial photography, LiDAR, soil data, NWI, lakes and rivers data were used to identify areas at risk. Comparisons between 2008 and 2015 color and infrared aerial photographs were used to determine changes in vegetation. ArcGIS Hydrology tools were used in conjunction with elevation and soil data to determine areas at risk of erosion. Areas at risk of soil erosion were found near areas with little or no vegetation, impermeable surfaces, and on the boundaries of wetlands. Urban flood management programs need to include areas of depressions, vegetation, and impermeable surfaces when developing a plan.
Radon is a concern for many home owners and real estate developers in North America due to its cancer causing characteristics. Radon can move freely in soil through mediums such as water or gas and can escape from the earth into the air. Whiteside, Carroll, Lee, and Olge Counties in Illinois are known to have high radon levels. This study explores correlation between physical factors such as geology, soil permeability, elevation, and slope and the radon levels within the study area. Due to data sensitivity, radon measurements were only available summarized by zip code. A suitability map was made to predict radon concentration and tested by the use of regression analysis to evaluate the predictive nature of the physical factors. The resulting multiple regression model predicted 16% of radon concentrations, with geology being the best predictor of all the variables. Although not accounting for a large percentage of radon variability, geology proved to have a significant relationship. Elevation, soil permeability, and slope were weak predictors of radon concentration.
The Vermillion River Watershed is an important natural and economic resource for Dakota County, Minnesota due to its scenic beauty, water quality, and recreational opportunities. As the county continues to develop, the watershed is also undergoing rapid urbanization as a result of land use changes. Land use changes result from complex interactions of many factors including policy, management, economics, culture, human behavior, and the environment (Pedlowski, et al, 1993). Understanding land use change is critical since these anthropogenic processes can have broad impacts on the environment. This project illustrates how combining a geographic information system (GIS) and artificial neural networks (ANNs) can aid the understanding of land use change and the effects of watershed urbanization on stream flow characteristics. Historic land use maps and other spatial data layers (drivers) along with ANNs and stream gauge records to assess stream flow changes. During the period of 1990 – 2000, urban land use increased from 9% to 13% within the vermillion watershed. Assuming all driving factors remain the same, the urban land use will be 26% by year 2010. Between the period of 2000 and 2006, median and minimum daily discharges, total volume runoff and flood magnitude in the Vermillion River north creek subwatershed increased moderately.
Techniques used to geographically visualize patterns of health have been around for a long time, but even today many modern medical institutions do not regularly utilize geographic analysis methods to learn patterns of health usage within their practices. Geography and health information can be combined to produce a valuable infrastructure for new types of research and knowledge discovery. The goal of this research was to create and utilize a geographic health information system (GHIS) to investigate spatial and social patterns of Emergency Department (ED) usage in the population of Olmsted County, Minnesota, USA residents. This was completed by (a) creating a GHIS that combined patient electronic medical record (EMR) data and publically available indicators of socioeconomic status and lifestyle attributes from national survey data sources, (b) using various spatial analysis techniques to investigate clustering of patients who utilize the ED on a frequent basis, and (c) using statistical analysis techniques to find social or demographic characteristics correlating with patients who are high ED utilizers. There were statistically significant geographic clusters of patients with high ED utilization along with statistically significant demographic factors, such as median income, that are highly correlated with ED utilization rates. Findings demonstrate using a combined set of geographic and EMR data, an infrastructure can be built to answer important questions and find patterns that may otherwise go unnoticed.
Advanced Identification (ADID) wetlands are a special breed of wetlands. They are the
ultimate offspring of the National Wetland Inventory (NWI), which was conducted, in the
early eighties. In the late eighties the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and
the U.S. Corps of Engineers (COE) designated certain wetlands in Lake County, IL. to
possess special biological and hydrological functions. The question which I investigated
was "are ADID wetlands in danger of losing these special designated functions?" The
analysis procedures that were performed were new to Lake County. They involved
utilizing land use and quarter section population data on a sub-watershed basis. This
means that natural boundaries were used to perform analysis on political or straight
boundaries. Later in the analysis phase this caused a problem but was soon remedied
through routine analytical procedures.
The results of this study are meant to act as an indicator of which ADID wetlands
might need to be analyzed more closely. Due to time restraints the analytical procedures
could only be conducted to a certain point. Results indicated that the original estimated
outcome was an undershoot. The final criteria consisted of a demand on land scale
compared to the total amount of ADID acres in each sub-watershed. The demand on land
scale is a function of three things: projected population for 2020, 1990 residential density,
and available land for development. The total amount of ADID wetlands in each basin is
a key factor when considering the above three functions. The less acres of ADID wetland
in a sub-watershed and a higher demand scale indicated that the ADID wetlands in that
sub-watershed would need to be studied in the near future. The ranking system also
contemplated the fact that with higher predicted development in a sub-watershed, an
increase in impervious surface would be proportional to increased runoff, polluted or not.
In recent years the decline of the European Honey bee has highlighted the important role bee pollinators have on our ecosystem. In the United States, a focus to conserve bee pollinators has begun. This study focuses on solitary bee populations in urban environments as a conservation effort. The location of perennial gardens and solitary bees was collected along Lake Street in Minneapolis, Minnesota using a handheld global positioning system (GPS) unit. The data was then transferred into ArcGIS software where two different regression models were calculated. The regression models provided insight into which factors play a more important role in solitary bee populations. Results of the regression models show plant variety plays an important role in solitary bee populations in urban environments.
A site-location analysis was conducted using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to locate where future Kowalski’s Markets could be located in the seven county Twin Cities metropolitan area. Kowalski’s Markets will here after be referred to as Kowalski’s. Kowalski’s provided their preferred demographic information from their two most successful store locations of which the potential market analysis was based on. A comparative analysis was completed between the final GIS analysis and the gravity model, where both site location analysis techniques were combined to provide results of the areas that have the highest market potential as well as site selection recommendations. There were four recommended site locations and four future potential areas to build new Kowalski’s stores and expand their market.
The demographic composition of urban block groups has been shown to change from census
to census. St. Paul, Minnesota, USA is no exception. This project utilizes U.S. Census
information and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to analyze demographic changes
within block groups in St. Paul. Data from the 2000 and 2010 censuses will be analyzed to
identify overall block group demographic characteristics. Age and race, the two variables that
are examined, have demonstrated changes over time and can help describe the demographic
make-up of a city.
Wastewater treatment is a very costly and very important part of a city’s day to day functions. Any instance in which a city is forced to replace a treatment plant or process more water than the plant has capacity for is extremely expensive. This study was conducted to analyze a current wastewater system to determine if it was functioning as efficiently as it should. This study also determined which specific structures in the wastewater system are problematic. This allowed for insight into a future rehabilitation plan to replace problematic structures before damage occurs that could cost a city and its citizens million of dollars.
The current economic climate has had devastating impacts across the spectrum of public institutions that receive federal funding. More and more federally funded programs are seeing dramatic cutbacks and are reducing their overall staff numbers. States that receive funds for public education have not been left untouched by this downturn in the economy. As money coming from the United States government is scaled back, the state education systems have to adjust and modify their own budgets accordingly in order to maintain balanced budgets. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has the ability to spatially analyze significant factors of importance to public education. These include funding as well as enrollment and budget gaps. With recent estimates of budget deficits in the billions of dollars, GIS can help provide a comprehensive examination of these factors and visually display this layered information in a clear and effective manner. This presentation can then, in turn, be used to identify trends and communicate a relevant and meaningful message.
The southern region of Iowa has long been an area that has provided viable habitat for bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus). In recent years the number of bobwhite have declined dramatically. This has resulted in an increasing pressure to address the decline in bobwhite populations in Iowa. This study uses geographic information systems to determine changes in land use for 72 randomly selected sections in the southern 1/3 of Iowa. This study gains an understanding of how changing agricultural practices have altered the landscape in Iowa’s quail range. Aerial photography from the 1940s, 1960s and 1980s were used for this study. FRAGSTATS was used to analyze summary data from each year after conversion to grids.
Every year local government places a value on all taxable property. These assessments are based on what is known as fair market value and provide a basis from which owner taxes are calculated from. One way to determine if accurate assessment is taking place is through the use of a ratio study based on assessed values of parcels and sale values of parcels. This particular project focused on sales of parcels in La Crosse, Wisconsin from January 2006 through April 2009, and used statistical modeling to determine if particular variables influenced the assessed/sale ratio of those parcels. GIS was incorporated into the project to select spatial locations of parcels meeting predetermined criteria and then mapping the results. Six physical geographic variables were examined along with 14 demographic variables to determine what, if any influence they had on the assessed/sale ratio. The GIS data was obtained from the City Planning Department in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The demographic data was obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau. Statistical analysis was conducted on the variables using correlation and linear regression models. The Student‟s t-test was also used to understand the variability and significance of the variables and their affect on the assessed/sale ratio.
Groundwater is vital to the Barrington Area as it is the only feasible source of drinking water. The Barrington Area Council of Governments (BACOG) is a regional planning agency with jurisdiction over an approximately seventy-three square mile area, with its center located approximately thirty-five miles northwest of Chicago. It consists of seven suburban municipalities, and two townships. Population growth and development, recent droughts, declining quality and quantity of deep aquifer water, and the lack of other sources of water have increased the need for a greater understanding of the shallow aquifer. Regional maps of shallow aquifers in Illinois exist at the state-wide level, but are not as detailed as local government officials and planners would like. Existing maps show general trends in bedrock geology and drift thickness, but very little variation for regional planning purposes at the county and municipal level. Detailed subsurface maps can be very expensive and time consuming to create as they might require the drilling of new boreholes to generate more precise subsurface information. Using public water well records provided by the Illinois State Geological Survey and GIS, a method of data standardization was developed in order to make raw water well data more usable for map-making procedures. Once the data was classified, maps and a 3D model were created based on statistical averages of hydrologic conditions at over 24,000 points in the BACOG study area. The products developed with this method bridge the gap between the generalized regional state maps, and the current unavailability of more detailed subsurface maps. This method is useful to local governments since it provides a closer look at groundwater resources, and in a reasonable and relatively inexpensive time-frame.
Beavers have gone from nonexistent in most of the Midwest to reappearing in some of their historical ranges. This new surge in beaver population now requires re-analysis by many wildlife and fishery management organizations. The scale of the impact, because of the larger beaver population, and more importantly their dams, have on watersheds has only been studied in the last thirty years. During the 1980’s the Wisconsin DNR (WIDNR) conducted a large scale study in the Pemebonwon River. This study is touted by many scientists and the results from the study are cited in many planning practices. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be used to further the study and its results. Updating the data collected into a database having spatial components will allow easier access to the data, incorporate new techniques in analysis, and allow visual results that the public can better understand. This study used the paper data from the Avery report and converted it into a database. The purpose of the database was to be queried and apply statistical tests. The second reason for including a GIS component was to allow the results from each point to be compared spatially, to see if additional understanding could be gained. The results involved looking at stream temperature, water conductivity, pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and all were examined.
Unmanned aerial survey imagery from non-metric cameras was analyzed for suitability, stability, and resolution within a geographic information system. A powered parachute aircraft was designed for the research and used to obtain imagery using two cameras. The research implemented three commercial photogrammetry applications to assess and isolate any application specific nuances that may affect the resulting datasets. Using Esri’s ArcMap, a comparative analysis of the resulting orthomosaics and digital terrain models was conducted. The findings of the research indicate that quality datasets obtained using the methods described are plausible and realistic. Expectations of spatial accuracy and terrain resolution were met.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) uses a model based on forest
data to determine numbers of wild turkey hunting permits to allocate per permit area. The
wild turkey hunting permits are used to help the wildlife managers meet their management
objectives. The model uses amounts of forestland in each permit area as a factor to calculate
hunter density. The information is useful for managing wild turkey populations and avoiding
overcrowding of hunters. For the spring 2000 hunting season, hunters applied to hunt in one
of forty separate permit areas. The MNDNR has identified forty-eight additional permit
areas that are assumed to contain suitable habitat for turkey populations. Potentially, these
areas could be developed into permit areas for future hunting seasons. In the past, forest
abundance was derived from forty-acre parcel landuse/landcover data developed in 1969.
This data was both outdated and very general. The goal of this project was to develop more
current and accurate data for wild turkey habitat. The MNDNR also wanted to differentiate
between the abundance of forest cover, huntable wild turkey habitat, and wild turkey habitat
for each permit area using more recent Geographic Information System (GIS) databases.
Forest cover was defined as all areas classified as deciduous forest. Wild turkey habitat was
defined as forest cover plus one hundred meters of the adjacent land surrounding the forest
cover. Huntable wild turkey habitat was defined as forest cover plus fifty meters of the
adjacent surrounding land, excluding all areas where hunting is not permitted. These areas
include state parks, scientific and natural areas, national wildlife refugees, Indian
reservations, and city limits. The method in this paper proves to be a relatively quick and
easy way to produce total huntable wild turkey habitat from existing landuse/landcover data.
A similar process could be applied to determine huntable habitat for other game species.
As cities continue to grow, in both population and area, so does the increased use of our
natural resources and open spaces. Olmsted County is aware of this issue and concerned
with development encroachment, exploitation of rare species and overuse of natural
areas. To address these issues, Olmsted County Park staff has proposed to establish
another county park in its system. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used to
determine site suitability for the proposed location as well as to demonstrate GIS benefits
for managing parkland.
The timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) is a threatened species in the state of Minnesota. In order to protect this species, it is important to know where they live. Geographic information systems (GIS) can be a useful tool in helping us understand the habitat of these animals. Negative encounters with humans may cause stress to timber rattlesnakes, potentially altering their behavior and habitat. While it is important to preserve the habitat of this species, it is also important to keep the public safe. The timber rattlesnake is a venomous snake and while a bite from this snake is not typically fatal, it is often severe enough to require hospitalization. This study attempts to determine the areas that are at greatest risk for rattlesnake encounters using Great River Bluffs State Park, Minnesota as a study area. To accomplish this, a habitat suitability map for timber rattlesnakes and a visitor use map showing where humans are most likely to be present were created and overlaid with one another. Areas were then given a risk rating based on habitat suitability and the likelihood of human presence to determine which areas possess the greatest risk of rattlesnake encounters.
An abnormally cold winter in 2013-2014 led to a record number of frozen water services in the city of Minnetonka. In March of 2014, a water main 8 feet beneath the surface froze. Using soil data from the Natural Resources Conservation Service Web Soil Survey and resources available to the city, a preventative maintenance plan was implemented comparing slope aspect and soil type to similar conditions found at the frozen water main. The aim of this project is to identify whether the criteria used in the preventative maintenance plan can be disproved with soil and slope data at reported frozen water service locations throughout the city. The chi-square goodness-of-fit test was employed to determine whether slope aspect and soil texture found at frozen water services are equally distributed. Additionally, soils were subdivided based on texture in the city and above water mains. Results show slope aspect to be equally distributed among frozen water services and identify soil textures at higher risk for freezing. These will be used to identify whether the city used soil and slope data adequately in an effort to prevent additional water mains from freezing.
Active volcanoes give significant threats to the populations that live in their proximity. The Three Sisters Volcanic region is one of 9 threatening volcanoes within the Cascades volcanic arc. Eruptions are probable which makes it essential to complete hazard, vulnerability, and risk assessments so that proper planning, education and mitigation procedures can be implemented prior to the threat occurring. GIS provides a tool for extending hazard and vulnerability mapping to assist in the analysis of risk. Creating a procedure using GIS as an aid helps in automating the very complicated and lengthy processes of establishing a risk assessment. Responses to volcanic events can be better handled with an understanding of how communities will be affected.
The purpose of this research was to develop a viable method of determining volumetric
flow in large rivers using equipment available to a field biologist or university program.
The study area was located on a side channel of the Upper Mississippi River near
Trempealeau, Wisconsin. Location, depth, and flow velocity data was gathered at
various points throughout the study area. This data were then downloaded into
Geographic Information System (GIS) software for analysis. Utilizing the tools built into
the software, interpolations of depth and velocity data were performed. These
interpolations were used to calculate the volumetric flow on a cell-by-cell basis. By
summing the volumetric flow through all cells, a total value was attained.
Vacant properties are often viewed as targets of unwanted attention from criminals. It is debated whether crime influences the location of these vacant properties, but it is also suggested that they are codependent. This study seeks to identify if a correlation exists between the variables vacant properties, crime, and the mean property values calculated per neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Data from the year 2015 is used in this analysis. ArcGIS analysis tools, such as Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Exploratory Regression, are used to evaluate correlations which might suggest a relationship between property values, crime incidents, and vacant properties per neighborhood. Spatial Autocorrelation and Pearson’s Correlation are also utilized to further analyze the variables. Other variables that might contribute to correlation are discussed, such as urban renewal efforts in the form of gentrification, greening of open space, and crime types. Past studies regarding the correlation of vacant houses, crime, and property values suggest a correlation. This study searched for a properly specified model to confirm correlation between the variables but did not identify any obvious or strong correlation between variables.
Selecting a profitable location is the most important endeavor a business owner can invest in. Site selection suitability modeling determines the future of a business in vital areas of growth, expansion, and revenue. Entrepreneurs opt to analyze demographics and socioeconomic development of candidate locations to determine whether a proposed location will be a good choice or not. Businesses are continuing to become proactive in site selection analysis to eliminate or reduce long term losses. Business owners are targeting locations where potential customers are located by identifying those who will likely frequent a new business location. This project details necessary steps for conducting site selection analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to determine potential areas where one could establish a Dunn Bros Coffee house franchise. This analysis uses GIS for potential customer segmentation to identify a new Dunn Bros Coffee location in the Twin Cities Metro area. The project hypothesis is that successful client market area identification and segmentation have a significant positive impact on business growth, expansion, and revenue.
This study focused on whether or not and to what extent certain demographic, spatial, and temporal characteristics influence crime within Rochester, Minnesota, USA. The research question proposed is: “To what extent do certain socio-economic and geospatial variables influence crime rates in Rochester, Minnesota? If significant correlations do exist, can the relationships be used to accurately predict future crimes? Finally, is offender location and offender density a better predictor of crime than the demographic makeup of the city?” Statistical software including SPSS, Excel, and ArcGIS Geostatistical Analyst were used to analyze relationships between crime rate and several independent variables. A geographic information system (GIS) was also used to spatially analyze data and help visualize patterns of crime locations. Correlation and regression results suggest that while socio-economic make up of block groups is a better predictor of crime than is top offender location, both methods produce relatively weak R2 values of .22 and .12 respectively. The model for socio-economic variables predicts 82 out of 90 block groups within a standard error of -1 and 1. The model for offender location varaible predicts 85 out of 90 block groups within a standard error of -1 and 1.
Most peated whiskey or beers on the global market are produced using malted grains smoked with Scottish peat from several sites across Scotland. Scant analysis has been performed comparing content and characteristics of North American peat to Scottish peat used in the production of Scotch whiskey. No known model exists to aid in the location and selection of North American peat deposits for use in smoking malted grains and the production of whiskey or other beverage products. Using GIS, this study established such a model. Comparisons of peat sample content and characteristics found in literature referencing peat found in North America, Europe, Scotland, and Japan yield consistencies and insights allowing the development of a model that applies to peat globally. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) data containing 35,142 geolocated sample characteristic records for 7,115 sample sites across Northern Minnesota were used in combination with USGS SSURGO and other public land ownership data to create an overlay analysis model that both locates peat and evaluates its potential suitability based on 20 unique factors extracted from these datasets. A scoring matrix was developed based on 17 criteria, which assigned a score to each sample record with the highest scores indicating the most suitable samples. The sample record locations and their scores were represented as geolocated points. These scored points were used to create a Kriging layer for the extent of the study area which predicted score values for all area between known points. The resulting interpolation layer was then combined with 3 additional layers controlling for 2 additional suitability criteria and 1 controlling for accessibility of the area. Only areas where all suitability criteria could be combined in overlay, and the area was accessible for harvest and testing, were considered in the final weighted score model. Of the total study area (44.8 million acres), only 3.67% (1.65 million acres) of the area scored high enough for testing consideration. Only 0.24% (109,246 acres) of the study area rated in the highest category of the overlay analysis scores. Due to the quality and public accessibility of the data available for the area, an exceptional degree of area reduction was achieved. The model identified areas ideal for further testing at a 30meter resolution, and identified suitable areas not previously known to the nonproprietary public.
Fragmentation analysis of the Whitewater watershed, in southeast Minnessota, revealed 4 structural measures of grass-shrub habitat that were significant predictors of sensitive species population densities. Models were developed using simple linear regression and further refined to incorporate spatial autocorrelation using a Moran’s test. Significant variables were divided into a five class ordinal model based on Jenks Optimization Method. Ordinal values were summed to determine an overall measure of subwatershed restoration potential. Results suggest that grass-shrub habitat should be restored in 0.6 ac patches equally dispersed about the landscape to optimize sensitive species densities.
Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) ArcGIS 9.x has limited image processing capabilities in the form of the Spatial Analyst Extension. Spatial Analyst contains a tool called the Maximum Likelihood (ML) classification tool, which can be used to derive a thematic map from an air photo or satellite image. Working with the multispectral image data (such as a Landsat MSS or TM+) or with multitemporal image data (such as data obtained at multiple times during a growing season) it is possible to derive thematic maps with their associated legends. However, RGB and color IR air photos having only three layers often contain too little information for ML pixel classification to have an acceptable level of accuracy. The accuracy of classification can be improved by using context information in the form of texture measures. Custom texture filters have been designed for that purpose.
This research examines potential storm water recharge, infiltration, and runoff throughout Hadley Valley Watershed in Rochester, Minnesota. The three most influential properties of infiltration include: Land Use – based on percent impervious surface, Hydrologic Soils – based on permeability and porosity, and Percent Slope – derived from elevation points. These primary factors are selected, classified, and ranked according to their influence on infiltration and runoff. A geographic information system organizes these data layers and clips features to the watershed boundary using ArcGIS 9.1. The vector features are converted to grid and develop a Potential Infiltration Model through a weighted overlay process. This infiltration model identifies and maps current locations and levels of storm water recharge in the watershed. A second model is developed to locate possible storm water best management practices. Locations in proximity to wetlands, sinkholes, other BMP structures, and environmentally sensitive areas are restricted; areas within drinking management supply areas (DWSMA), and some clay soils require testing prior to construction. The BMP Model reveals optimal locations where infiltration ponds and trenches, dry wells, rain gardens, and vegetated swales may be implemented to increase infiltration. A Runoff Model intersects land use and soils and a comparative analysis of the Potential Infiltration Model is completed. Further analysis including: peak runoff rate, time to concentration, and average runoff coefficient are calculated using the intersection of the primary layers. This type of water resource management provides a base hydrological system with benefits for all people, businesses, and ecosystems.
The first concerted national effort to address soil erosion problems on private land began in
1933 with the establishment of the Soil Erosion Service. Coon Creek watershed in
southwestern Wisconsin, with its dendritic network of creeks and steep slopes, was chosen as
the site of the first national Demonstration Project. Clearing for farms began in the 1860s,
followed by a shift to dairy farming in the 1880s. Intensive cultivation and over-grazing of
slopes cut through the protective layer of sod, exposing the soil to the direct effects of rain
and wind. Since 1933, the implementation of conservation practices continues to show
significant results in the control of flooding, rill and gully erosion, and floodplain siltation.
The planning effort offered an integrated approach. Contour strips, terraces, fencing,
streambank stabilization, and tree planting were applied on an individual farm basis.
Research on changes in sediment loss rates has been well documented. This study focuses on
the reforestation of agricultural woodlots. Using a geographic information system (GIS), a
spatial analysis of landcover change can help to understand forest regeneration.
Understanding factors that influence urban organization has been valuable for many decades. Until the 21st century, the lack of specific data restricted analysis to broad and often conceptual methods. With the availability of demographic data from the American Community Survey (ACS), address locations and business types from Esri Community Analyst, and data derivation tools such as GIS, this study was able to narrow the scope and identify specific variables that serve as predictors of cultural amenities. Using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Exploratory Regression, a combination of cultural amenities were tested for significance against a candidate list of predicting demographic, zoning, and land cover values. Explaining 68% of the cultural amenities in South Minneapolis, the best predicting model includes total population, average household income, commercial parcels, percentage of black race, and percentage of bachelor’s degree holders. These findings support conclusions of previous literature that gentrified demographics can be found where there are more cultural amenities. This study goes further, however, to identify cultural amenities new to this type of study and their significant relationships to the demographics of the study area.
This research focused on using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to assess the ability of demographic variables to predict census block groups at risk for heroin use. The study area for the research is the city of La Crosse, Wisconsin. This area was chosen because of the recent dramatic increase in heroin use and deaths caused by heroin overdose, which has led to the creation of a heroin task force in La Crosse County. Demographic data associated with heroin users self-reported through the 2012 National Health Survey were reviewed and used to develop a predictive model of heroin use in La Crosse, WI. Location and demographics associated with actual heroin related arrests from 2014 were compared to the predictive model using statistical tests and visual representations. A Pearson correlation statistic was used to determine which demographic variables correlate with locations of heroin use based on collected demographic data from the 2012 National Health Survey. Five demographic categories were chosen based on previous literature on the subject: age, gender, employment status, education, and race. Step-wise regression was used to determine which demographic factors were the strongest predictors of heroin activity determined through arrests. Statistical analyses revealed age, gender, and employment status were the main contributing factors.
Physician shortages are a looming national problem. The current landscape of physicians
in Minnesota is one that varies by region and within counties. Minnesota has several
metropolitan areas that serve as bases for large provider concentrations and rural parts of
the state where provider coverage is scant. The state has enough physicians to adequately
serve the needs of its population; however, there is a problem of distribution. There is an
assumption that paraprofessionals make up for some of the physician shortages, but the
geographic extent is unknown.
This paper describes a wetland assessment methodology used for the Norwood Young America
watershed area in Carver County. The purpose of the assessment is to aid local government in
their efforts to organize, prioritize, and manage wetland resources in a comprehensive manner.
The assessment gathers initial information on the area’s wetlands, evaluates a limited number of
regionally and locally important wetland functions, and estimates the value of wetland functions.
As other more detailed data sets, assessment methods, or site work confirm or refute the
method’s outcome, changes will be made to the model to incorporate the new information. This
information will be used to enhance the region's environmental and economic sustainability by
identifying high functioning, high value wetland communities and developing strategies in the
county’s comprehensive landuse plan and water management plan to preserve and manage them.
in the development of Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Access Plans to assist with any potential disagreement that may result in different views of access to WMAs as well as to plan future access needs. A WMA access classification system was developed to help describe access on WMAs. A GIS model was developed to provide a means to develop a WMA access classification system through a path distance function. Path distance analysis is a very effective way to model distances a user could travel from parking areas on a WMA to any portion of a WMA that is not restricted by barriers. Several statistics were calculated across walking distance zones to describe the percent slope. Many recreation managers describe the degree of difficulty for traversing a path or area with classifications of percent slope. As with many types of GIS analyses, the accuracy of the data used is very important to the quality of the resulting analysis. Future data collection and acquisition for the use of maps and the WMA access classification system should be considered for providing a clear picture of access on WMAs.
This study involved the analysis of ten years of graduates from Fox Valley Lutheran High School in Appleton, Wisconsin. The study focus was to determine how the spatial distribution of the graduates was affected by the relocation of the school campus. The spatial and statistical analyses performed on the data revealed no significant differences between the graduates from the two sites that could be attributed to the relocation.
Analyses were conducted to determine various habitat preferences for secretive
marshbird species including the Virginia rail, sora, least and American bittern within the
Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge and the Trempealeau
National Wildlife Refuge . These birds are of special concern in the Refuge. The tape
callback survey method was used to observe marshbird presence and numbers at 39 sites
within the Refuge. The vegetative cover within study sites where relatively high numbers
of wading birds were observed was then compared to the land coverage at sites that
experienced below average waterbird observations. It was expected that sites that
experienced high numbers of bird observations would exhibit land cover that was
dominated by certain types of emergent vegetation, including Sparganium, Scirpus, and
Saggitaria. The results of this analysis showed that marshbirds do indeed utilize various
types of emergent vegetation for habitat. Presence of some other types of plant species
do not seem to discourage marshbird habitat selection, and in some cases seems to
enhance it. Some results indicate that there are specific emergent plant species, and other
types of plants, whose presence are favorable for secretive marshbird habitat selection.
Analyses were also conducted which shed some light on the variability and distribution
of the vegetation types within the study areas, as well as on the effects of some human
disturbances on waterbird habitat selection. Waterbirds do not seem to be terribly
sensitive to nearby railroads, but might be somewhat sensitive to nearby urban and
Standardization of high voltage electric transmission line siting methodologies, by using GIS spatial analysis tools, has great potential in helping predict and defend new optimal route corridors. A standard methodology that incorporates multiple weighted perspectives of influence can aid in the route approval by the governmental and regulating permitting entities and the support of the affected public. Users of transmission line siting methodologies must fully understand, implement, and remain unbiased in the tools used to ensure results remain consistent, reliable, and defendable. Great River Energy (GRE) had a need for a tool to help in the decision making process of siting their transmission lines. Too often in the past, a transmission line route was chosen using expert judgment, and then if needed, a case to defend it for the permitting process was built. By utilizing the Electric Power Research Institute-Georgia Transmission Corporation (EPRI-GTC) Overhead Electric Transmission Line Siting Methodology and applying needed changes based on corporate guidelines, regional factors, and work process, an adapted GRE transmission-siting model was developed by this study. GRE will have a valuable tool to utilize in new transmission line projects to help in the transmission line siting process for attaining regulatory and public approval. The steps, analysis, and results to build and run the methodology are included in this paper and utilized on a potential transmission project.
Thunderstorms are affected by many factors and there are ongoing efforts to
understand them. One of the factors that influences storm intensity is the boundary layer
or ground. If you make assumptions and simplifications, you can examine and relate the
effects of landforms to thunderstorm damage. The intent of this paper is to look at the
known geospatial historical data from the National Weather Service’s National Climatic
Data Center (NCDC) from 1950 through 2001. In this effort, these data were plotted,
contoured, and then compared to landforms too look for relationships. The results
showed relationship with tornado density and intensity to river valleys and hills, as
surface moisture plays an important role in storm processes. Hail reports show no
outstanding conclusions, and due to data acquition limitations, no hard conclusions can
be found with straight-line wind events.
As spatial data resources increase, metadata management becomes increasingly important. Many data resources hold dependent relationships with other data resources in a large infrastructure. Modern visualization techniques may be utilized to graphically display relationships between spatial data resources. This project explores the usability of three different graphical visualization methods for web-based applications. A survey containing the three visualization methods was administered to volunteers and measured the usability of each method based on volunteer response.
Historic and current wetlands were used to determine potential wetland areas within Rice
Lake State Park. The number of wetlands in the park, outside the park in the
subwatershed basin (basin), and in the entire basin was tested to determine if there was a
statistical difference in the wetland numbers between 1938 and 1998. It was determined
that wetland numbers within the park remained relatively constant between 1938 and
1998 while the wetland numbers outside the park in the basin differed over this time
period. It was also determined that there was no correlation between the change of
wetland area in the basin and the park. A paired-sample t test determined that wetland
areas in the entire basin were greater than that in the park.
Once potential wetlands were identified in the park, those areas not currently
considered wetlands were prioritized for restoration. The priority was determined by
evaluating the current conditions of the site, the estimated difficulty of the restoration,
and park management concerns affecting these areas.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service surveys submersed aquatic vegetation
annually to measure American wild celery (Vallisneria americana) population density
and frequency of occurrence, in Lake Onalaska, Navigation Pool 7 of the Upper
Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Since 1980, sampling continues to
be conducted in August during peak vegetation growth along fixed transects. There has
been significant change in density and frequency of occurrence since 1980. Statistically
significant correlations have been found between American wild celery density and water
depth. After a population decline in the late 1980’s American wild celery continues to
Throughout the Midwestern United States, white-tailed deer vehicle collisions (DVCs) continue to impact many people. The objective of this paper was to spatially and seasonally analyze DVC factors in an agricultural county. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources datasets, unsalvageable carcass and possession permits were used to analyze DVC‟s in Steele County, Minnesota from 1995 to 2006. ESRI ArcGIS along with Spatial Analyst and Linear Referencing extensions were used to spatially locate re-occurring DVC patterns. Deer seasonal patterns and agricultural seasons were two seasonal factors examined. Spatial analysis revealed Interstate 35 had higher DVC density levels throughout the county. The DVC density levels were especially higher near urban areas. Seasonal analysis found peak DVC occurrences happening during agricultural harvesting season and the deer breeding season.
Resource management is a crucial part of being able to adequately serve clients. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have become an important tool for managing those resources and assessing client needs. Specific to emergency medical services (EMS), this includes analysis of everything from geographic locations of calls to response times to the equipment used on calls. Resource management is critical when serving a large area and specific tools can make managing resources easier. GIS is such a tool that has the ability to make data more relevant and decision-making more efficient. The intent of this study is to perform a retroactive call analysis of calls from 2010 for five possible cardiac related call types (cardiac/ respiratory arrest, chest pain, heart problem, unconscious/fainting, and unknown/man down) for an ambulance service in the upper Midwest. Data were analyzed with visual representation of geocoded calls de-identified for confidentiality, symbolized by graduated colors by zip code and response time, as well as numerical statistical analysis. Through GIS data processing and statistical analysis, results show geographic location, frequency, distribution of and response to possible cardiac related events in 2010.
In the last ten years the city of Khartoum has experienced extremely rapid growth. This growth has created a high demand for a user-friendly infrastructure which allows people to find a specific location. This paper explores solutions GIS can provide to solve the missing address problem which exists in Khartoum, the largest city in Sudan. Additionally, the project establishes a framework for a uniform system which assigns numbers to dwellings, buildings, and businesses for the city of Khartoum to facilitate emergency services, deliveries, and to provide advantages of a uniform addressing system. A customized tool was created in ArcObjects to allow the user to find an exact address by calculating the XY of the desired location within the boundaries of Khartoum.
In preparation of another catastrophic flood, like the one experienced in 1997, Red River Basin stakeholders expressed the necessity for better methods for providing flood warnings. Traditional flood forecast hydrographs generated by the National Weather Service can be difficult for the general public to interpret and potential flood inundation extent can be very difficult to visualize. In 2005, the International Water Institute and the National Weather Institute retained Houston Engineering, Inc. to develop a custom flood forecasting display tool for near real-time flood inundation mapping for the Fargo, North Dakota-Moorhead, Minnesota Metropolitan Area. This tool was to consist of two major components: 1) a custom desktop GIS tool to be run by the NWS staff during flood evens to perform flood inundation mapping; and 2) an interactive Internet Map Server (IMS) application to display the map products to the public. This project focuses solely on the development of the custom desktop GIS tool for near real-time flood inundation mapping. The Flood Wave (FLDWAV) unsteady state hydraulic model, developed by the NWS, was used to provide water surface elevation forecasts. ArcObjects and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), within ESRI’s ArcGIS, were the programming languages used to create the tool. The custom tool provides the public with an easy to understand spatial visualization of potential flood inundation.
This case study explores web-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and how it contributes to the field of Project Management (PM), specifically an open-source GIS web solution. There are a number of different tools and techniques currently available to plan, design, and manage projects. In most cases, project managers must use a number of different software packages to complete a successful project. With the advent of application programming interfaces (API) and open-source software, proper cost effective tools can be at the disposal of project managers and staff. An open-source alternative exists on all levels of web GIS infrastructure. Project risk and waste can be limited with the ability to effectively plan and control projects, thereby increasing the probability of success. The website created in this case study provides users the ability to view the progress of a project - according to user needs. Its dashboard-style interface aids in visualizing and disseminating project information. A pilot-type PM GIS web application was created and evaluated using a User Experience Analysis survey. Survey results provided insight to end user needs and preferences, which will be utilized for future application development. By utilizing open-source resources, web GIS PM software is capable of rapid implementation with minimal input costs. With projects involving geography, a GIS is a natural tool to facilitate planning and monitoring throughout the life of the project.
This study examined baseline forest inventory data collected through the forest stand delineation process within the Nelson-Trevino Research and Natural Area (RNA) in Buffalo County located in western Wisconsin. The Nelson-Trevino RNA consists of a unique floodplain ecosystem along the Upper Mississippi River System. Little research and minimal management has been undertaken in the RNA and it recognized that some level of management and data collection is necessary to maintain and monitor the integrity of this unique ecosystem (USFWS, 2006). Completing baseline forest inventory and stand delineation are the first steps towards addressing threats and concerns for the long term health of the floodplain forests within the RNA (USFWS, 2006). This research delineated forest stands and provides information on key parameters relating to the primary dominant over-story. Parameters included the forest stands dominant over-story species, diameter at breast height (DBH) and tree height. The research delivers an accurate interpretation of the forest stands by summarizing, analyzing and organizing collected forest inventory field data.
Valley networks have been observed on Mars since the Viking orbiter took photos in 1976- 1980. They are interpreted as an erosional record of a warmer, wetter Mars then what currently exists. Scaling relationships have been used to evaluate terrestrial streams and can be used on Mars. Results from these relationships can provide insight into the mechanisms that formed the valley networks. These relationships, when compared to earth data are consistent with immature, precipitation fed valley networks. The range of values calculated may change based on quality of data used. The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) created a DEM of the entire planet of Mars at 128/pixel per degree or 460-meter resolution. In this study, this resolution (460-meter) is compared with the High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) derived DEM at 75 pixels/degree or 150-meter resolution. The results show a difference in the scaling exponents but within an acceptable range. However, when comparing data collected at the same location, measurements are show to be statistically different.
Analysis of non-native invasive species was completed for Ramsey County Parks and
Recreation (RCPR). The study included three phases. The initial phase examined eleven
different species that are troublesome species within the Ramsey County parks and open
spaces. For each species, a fact sheet was created describing where the species
originated, how it reproduces, where it is commonly found, criteria for levels of
infestation, and potential control methods. The second phase was to create a data
dictionary for the eleven species and three levels of severity associated with each. This
information was imported into a Trimble GPS unit. Using this data, GPS locations were
collected for each species. Levels of infestation were also noted at this time. Finally, this
information was integrated into maps and tables for managing these invasive plants.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were used to examine the nesting behaviors of
great blue herons (Ardea herodias) and great egrets (Ardea alba) in the Mertes Slough
area of Pool 6, Upper Mississippi River. Nest trees and nests were located by canoe and
locations recorded by use of global positioning system (GPS) technologies. Nesting trees
and nests were plotted on a 1989 land cover use dataset for Pool 6 and analyzed spatially
with Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI™) mapping software. Special
attention was given to the explorations of nesting patterns in relation to a recreational
canoe path that traverses through the rookery area. This study’s findings suggest that the
heronry is expanding over time and in the direction of the canoe path; however, herons
and egrets show preference for nesting sites in areas 20-30, and 30-40 meters from the
canoe path. Explanations are incomplete in explaining these nesting behaviors.
Parks have always been an important part of a community. Because of this, informed decisions need to be made on the establishment and management of parks. It is through understanding how a park and its community interact that these decisions can be made. In order to explore this relationship, this study evaluated the extent to which county and regional park amenities are related to the socio-economic demographics of a community. Through extensive examination, this study did not show park amenities to have a statistically significant impact on a community.
Cities often capture "gray infrastructure", features such as water mains, sewers, streets, and sidewalks in a GIS to evaluate, manage, and maintain them. However, urban forests or the "green infrastructure" of cities often do not receive similar valuation and management. Urban tree canopy (UTC) cover, a primary indicator used to compare and evaluate urban forests, provides several ecosystem services. CITYgreen® software by American Forests® provides a set of ArcGIS-based tools for mapping, measuring, and quantifying the benefits of UTC. Aerial photo-interpreted (digitized) landcover and UTC data are used within CITYgreen GIS models to reveal landcover composition and UTC derived benefits, including air pollution removal, reduced run-off and contaminant loading, and carbon sequestration and storage. For Winona, MN, aerial photography from 1994 and 2007 were used to characterize past and present UTC coverage and values. The areas and values are compared to understand recent changes. In addition, two scenarios provide insight to the future, one addresses the potential canopy loss due to the emerging threat to ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) by the emerald ash borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis), and another examines proposed street tree planting affect on UTC values. Landcover and UTC area and its associated values are calculated in a general manufacturing land use study area and in a larger city core area representing several zoning types. The city's present (2007) UTC coverage is further characterized by examining UTC by ownership and zoning classes. Development in specific commercial land use area in the eastern portion of the city between 1994 and 2007 caused a dramatic loss of UTC area and value, while a slight increase in UTC area and value was found in the wider city-core study area. Tree Canopy percentages vary by zoning type whereas UTC percentages by ownership types exhibit less variability. The city and private landowners contribute the vast majority of UTC area. These data can inform the public and assist city planners and urban foresters in understanding status and values of the past, present, recent changes, and future of the city's urban forest. Monetary values herein are estimates only with unknown confidence. The intent of these values is only for comparative purposes. All monetary values referenced are in 2011 dollars.
Mass transit systems are becoming ever more popular in metropolitan cities. The light rail
system is one of the more popular transit systems. The Twin Cities recently introduced
their first light rail corridor, the Hiawatha Line, with continued expansion anticipated in
the new future. Studies performed in other states with light rail systems show property
value increase in the surrounding areas of the light rail and its’ stations. This research
focuses on the Hiawatha Line and the communities it serves to analyze changes in
Southeastern Wisconsin is an area being affected by high capacity well pumps. Although several studies have been conducted in the surrounding area, none of the studies cover the area near Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Elkhorn has a growing population and development plans in place through 2030. This project was developed to examine known well water elevations surrounding Elkhorn and provide insight to changes in the water table. Well logs were used to establish water elevation points. Various descriptive statistics were used to interpret the data. A single factor, multi-sample analysis of variance and the Kruskal-Wallis tests were utilized to evaluate the data set. Using the universal kriging method, grids were created to predict the water table near Elkhorn between 1989 and 2008.
Many GIS departments in organizations throughout the world have developed customized tools using an Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) proprietary language named Avenue. Avenue is reaching the end of its life cycle, and will soon be unsupported. ESRI has moved on to new versions of its software, which is not backward compatible with Avenue. This project explores the various options available to GIS professionals in order to bring their customized tools up to date using the latest software.
This paper examines the demographic make-up of census block groups with relation to the number of voters who used election day registration (EDR) in the 2000 general election in Anoka County, Minnesota. A demographic profile of EDR voters was developed via statistical analysis and geographic information science (GIS) applications. In order to build the demographic profiles, census demographic data at the block group level in Anoka County was compiled and compared to the EDR turnout in each block group using stepwise multiple linear regression analysis. The results of the statistical analysis were used to build a GIS model based on the demographic groups that were found to have a statistically significant relationship to EDR turnout. In all, 65 census demographic categories were analyzed, and in the end, six were found to be statistically significant enough to be used in the model.
The characteristics and patterns of the Minnesota Family Investment Plan in Ramsey County
municipalities and planning districts from December 1999 to February 2000 were analyzed by
using statistical and geographical analysis methods. Population characteristics such as age,
education, race-ethnicity, and family size were examined. The goal of this project was to identify
MFIP patterns and give a holistic picture of MFIP. This will assist policy makers in
implementing and improving various social and environmental issues as well as implement
programs to conduct population transition from welfare to work in Ramsey County
municipalities and planning districts.
In 2003, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WiDNR) conducted 5 fisheries
surveys on the Kickapoo River between the Kickapoo River headwaters and Wilton,
Wisconsin. Habitat surveys were also conducted on 3 of the 5 survey stations. Fisheries
and habitat surveys were conducted as a part of the WiDNR baseline monitoring
program. The objectives of monitoring the Kickapoo River were: to classify the stream
according to aquatic life potential, help determine why this section of stream may not be
reaching biotic potential, determine if resource management activities could improve
stream conditions, document physical and biological trends, and quantify land and water
use factors impacting the stream (WiDNR, 2000).
Fisheries data from these stations were evaluated using the Coldwater Index of
Biotic Integrity (IBI) to Measure Environmental Quality and the IBI to Measure
Environmental Quality in Warmwater Streams of Wisconsin. Trout per kilometer and
biomass in kilograms per kilometer were also calculated based on actual fish caught per
one time sampling effort. Brown trout (Salmo trutta) population estimates were
calculated for data on station 3 using the Chapman-Petersen method. Relative weights
(Wr) were calculated for Brown trout in stations 1-4 based on standard weights (Ws)
developed by Miewski and Brown (1994). Relative weights were also calculated for
brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in station 5 based on Ws values from Hyatt and Hubert
(2001). Trout populations were evaluated and re-classification for part this section of the
Kickapoo River was recommended. Species composition lists were compiled for each
station and data were compared with past sampling efforts to evaluate fish community
changes over time that might indicate changes in water quality, temperature conditions,
and habitat changes.
Habitat stations were evaluated using the Index of Habitat Integrity (IHI) for
stations 1 and 3. Temperature data were collected 1997 through 2003 using a temperature
logger above Wilton by the State Bike Trail. Instream and ambient air temperature data
were compiled and compared. A Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) test was conducted in
station 1 and results were evaluated.
Distance from an origin to a destination has long been considered a major factor in determining degrees of accessibility. For this reason, distance to Head Start sites for families in need of their services was examined. Semcac, the Head Start grantee for seven counties in southeastern Minnesota, provided the addresses of Head Start applicants and participants from the past three years in Winona County. These addresses were geocoded for analysis. Distance to the nearest Head Start facility was determined using ESRI Network Analyst for the student origins. Distance for block group centroids and student origin means were determined using the near distance function in ESRI ArcToolbox. The summary statistics for these distance values were compared. A kernel density layer was created using the student origins point features and was used to determine the location of a hypothetical Head Start facility. The summary statistics describing distance were then compared for the two Head Start site and three site datasets to determine the validity of the hypothetical site location. Census data and the student origins were used to create a linear regression model that could predict variability in participant and applicant distribution. Block groups fitting this model were then examined.
West Nile Virus (WNV) is an infectious disease to which humans are susceptible after
being bitten by an infected mosquito. Birds, horses, and other mammals are also
susceptible and constitute reservoirs of the disease. The disease was first detected in New
York State in 1999. By 2002, the disease had spread across the United States to
California and Washington State. To date, thousands of people have been infected and
hundreds have died from the disease. The populations most at risk are individuals over 50
years of age. In the state of Minnesota, Hennepin County has reported the most cases of
WNV. Using a Geographic Information System (GIS), this study combines census data,
data on infected animals, and Hennepin County data, to create a model to determine
where the most susceptible populations live relative to the location of positive indicators
of WNV. This could facilitate educational outreach efforts by health agencies to target
those most susceptible as to how they can lower their risk of infection.
Understanding the condition of our nation’s water resources, identifying what causes problems, and determining how to solve these problems are essential but difficult undertakings. These undertakings can be simplified with the use of Geographic Information Systems as a decision support system.
While working for the Minerals Management Service (MMS) of the United States Department of the Interior, an assignment was handed down to determine the feasibility of creating a decision support system that would allow minimally trained government workers to not only locate/plot the location of an offshore oil facility, but to determine if an offshore facility is covered by Oil Spill Financial Responsibility (OSFR) regulations. If it was determined to be feasible to create such a tool after analysis, the next step was to create such a tool using Environmental Systems Research Institute’s (ESRI) ArcView software. Digital Raster Graphics (DRG’s) and a GIS were used as a decision support system tool to determine whether offshore oil facilities were required to have a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (COFR) in the United States Gulf of Mexico coastal waters.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used to analyze volcanic hazards and risks related to a potential eruption at Mount Rainier, Washington. This project focuses on the Enumclaw – Buckley communities. The possible affects of the hazards on these communities were analyzed by examining critical facilities, social, economic, and environmental factors in relation to potential hazards. Finally mitigation opportunities were assessed to target future problems in planning.
In March 2001, regulation of methadone maintenance treatment was transferred from the
Food and Drug Administration to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration. The purpose of this change was to increase treatment availability and
improve treatment quality for the nearly one million active and recovering heroin addicts
in this country. This paper provides an innovative approach to policy evaluation. Using
Geographic Information Systems (GIS), government officials can supplement basic
quantitative and qualitative evaluation approaches with a tool that helps communicate
research findings to stakeholders who are often external to the policy impact area. In
addition to determining whether goals have been accomplished, this project provides an
innovative model of GIS application to common social research activities.
Minneapolis is one of the most welcoming bicycle communities in the United States. A progressive city, Minneapolis is constantly on the lookout for new ways to improve its environmental standards. The city has incorporated a large variety of bike routes, bicycle boulevards, trails and paths both on and off road to provide residents with a safe and enjoyable ride throughout the metropolitan area. Little research has been done to discover where the majority of bicycling is taking place, what types of facilities bikers are using and why these facilities are either successful or unsuccessful. This study explores the reasons behind the Minneapolis large biking community by examining facility type, location, age of rider, and average income of rider.
Lidar is a tool that can be used to define gradients that are not visible on aerial photos and are more accurate then topologic maps. Although still not widely available, Lidar is an excellent tool to aid in remote sensing of natural resources. A Lidar based model was used here to determine the potential locations of forested (wooded) ephemeral wetlands within two regional parks in Anoka County, Minnesota USA. Ephemeral wetlands are typically small isolated depressions within woodlands. Often they are overlooked as wetlands because they do not contain water for much of the year. However, ephemeral wetlands are critically important habitat for frogs and salamanders and are regulated by the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act.
The new frontier for renewable energy is wind turbines on water bodies. Determining the best site location is vital in terms of productivity and cost-effectiveness. This research study analyzed geographic data available for water wind turbines utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to determine optimal sites for water wind turbine farms in Lake Michigan. Data included in the analysis were water depth, annual wind speed, distance to shoreline, shipping routes and proximity to urban population centers. The efficiency of water wind farms is most dependent upon three factors: water depth, wind speed and distance to shoreline for access to power grids. Water depth data was classified into three classes using equal intervals. A three point rating scale was developed to categorize wind speed. Distance to shoreline was determined using GIS. While water depth, wind speed and distance to shoreline were the principal factors considered for site location, various other elements needed to be taken into consideration as well. Two viable locations were identified as suitable locations for a water wind farm.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) was interested in determining if their current drainage basin classification for streams and rivers was the best option in identifying fish assemblage variation in Minnesota. In this study, the statewide database of 1200 stream and river sample sites were tested to verify if Omernik’s ecoregions, Ecological Classification System (ECS) sections, or the current drainage basins identified more fish assemblage variability. 248 reference sites were identified by intersections with specific drainage basins, ecoregions, or ECS sections and separated into five size classes based on the area of the watershed a sample site drains. Fish assemblages found at these sites were tested against each other using the Lance-Williams Dissimilarity measure, resulting in 94 dissimilarity matrices, based on the regional framework used for classification. From these matrices, variances of Lance-Williams scores were determined using one-way ANOVA. Only a moderate size class, classified by ECS sections, had fish assemblage variance that was not statistically significant (p = 0.425). All other frameworks displayed high amounts of variance in fish assemblages across all size classes (min p = 0.000, max p = 0.031). Similarity increased as size of the stream increased across all regional frameworks. Cluster analysis was run for each size class to isolate any groupings of sites based on regional framework. Based on the results of this study, variability in stream fish assemblages was independent of Omernik’s ecoregions, ECS sections, and drainage basins.
Winona County, Minnesota has experienced urban growth and in the last decade this has caused a rapid loss of farm and open space land. These changes in land use and land cover have occurred mostly, with the conversion of forest, crop land and wet area to low density urban use. The development has been mostly residential. As a result, altered land surface characteristics have developed. This project used GIS to assess land use land cover (LULC) changes between 1991 and 2001, and to use this knowledge for the purpose of determining the least cost path for electrical transmission line siting from Minneiska to LaCrescent in Winona County. Sitting an electrical transmission line is more difficult than siting other public infrastructure. Designing the shortest path involved several information layers, these being LULC, elevation/slope, roads, sewer, and utility lines. Each layer was reclassified, ratings applied and combined to create a suitability raster in order to model the final path. In an actual siting, GIS can also help to enhance public involvement, reduce opposition from stakeholders, and increase the probability of acceptance of a project.
How have land values and crime patterns changed near brownfields post reclamation? This paper used geographic information systems analysis tools and statistical analysis to measure the change in land values and crime occurrences over time. Land value and crime data from 2002 were compared to the same geographic areas in 2005 using paired t-test analyses. Both land value and crime statistics were analyzed on a micro-level and macro-level level for purpose of comparisons. The goal was to demonstrate whether or not brownfield sites have a measurable difference compared to control sites that did not receive brownfield reclamation investment. Steps were taken to select control and brownfield sites with similar qualities. Three different selection processes determined the control sites. Land value tests had control sites selected based upon attributes such as land use type, percent low-income residents, school district, and proximity to each other. Crime analysis tests had control sites selected based upon proximity alone. A bivariate correlation analysis was performed to determine if there was a relationship between dollars spent on cleanup and impact on total crime, property crime, and violent crime in 2005. Post brownfield reclamation shows two of three brown parcel groups near brownfields increased land values at the same rate as comparable control sites. The analysis of all former brownfields in Central Minneapolis revealed parcel land values within 1500 ft of brownfield sites showed a statistically significant decline in land value. However, post brownfield reclamation, the Central Minneapolis control neighborhoods showed significant increases in total value and property crime, but the neighborhoods with brownfield reclamation did not.
This study analyzed the relationship between dual party politics (Democrat and Republican) and USAID appropriated by the U.S. Federal Government from 1946 to 2008. Pearson‟s Correlation was the primary statistical relationship explored in this study. The dual party membership of both legislative branches (the House and Senate) and the Executive branch (President) were taken into account separately when compared to the amount of USAID given to each country or region. To give these results context, the strength of the relationship between dual party politics to USAID was compared to the relationship between Conflict Sites and USAID with the hypothesis that the relationship to Conflict Sites would be greater.
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) is a threatened plant harvested for its root, which when dried, can sell for $125-$500 per pound domestically and $1500-$2000 per pound internationally. Starting during the 2012 field season, resource management staff and law enforcement officials at the research study area (omitted for data privacy) began proactive efforts to help protect the plant and catch poachers within the study area’s boundary. To aid in the effort of locating potential ginseng growth sites, a habitat model was created consisting of different habitat variables most favorable for ginseng growth and analyzed using point data of known ginseng locations. Statistical analysis was used to examine the legitimacy and usefulness of the model in being an effective tool.
Percent land cover as well as land cover type were compared using automated coverages
of Lake Onalaska for the years 1975, 1989, and 1994. Lake Onalaska is a shallow (mean
depth = 1.3m), 2,800 ha impounded lake, which is a vital part of Navigation Pool 7 of the
Upper Mississippi River. Changes were observed using the modified thirteen-class land
cover/land use coverages by performing statistical summaries and overlay analyses.
Overall, between 1975 and 1994 within Lake Onalaska, there were declines of
481 hectares (11.5%) of submergent and rooted floating leaf vegetation types. Open
water habitat increased by 397.8 hectares (9.5%). Emergent vegetation increased 30.6
hectares (6.2%) from 1975-1989 and decreased 13.4 hectares (2.6%) between 1989 and
1994 for a total gain of 17.2 hectares (3.5%). Areas of Sagittaria (arrowhead) declined
by 14.0 hectares (4.1%) in the period between 1975 and 1989. There was an increase of
Sagittaria between 1989 and 1994 of 62.4 hectares (18.9%) with a net overall increase of
48.4 hectares (14.1%).
This paper presents two data access strategies that employ different data abstraction and serialization methods applied to a working geodatabase to facilitate development of a web mapping application. The goal of the study was to compare methods used to minimize the effects of object-relational impedance mismatch, a well-known set of issues that result from the integration of relational data and object-oriented programming languages. This study focused specifically on increasing support for schema evolution; a common object-relational impedance issue within GIS systems. The study was conducted using a real-life, transactional geodatabase used to maintain water quality data. The database and test applications were designed to meet real-life functional requirements. The first method employed the use of entity modeling techniques in the application mid-tier to map relational geospatial data from the relational database management system to an object-oriented model in order to facilitate data access, serialization and transport via a web service; the second procedure maintained application logic within the object-relational geodatabase system tables and employed a generic abstraction method for serialization within a web service. The resulting n-tier applications were tested by applying a unit test strategy based on real-life use case scenarios and the results were compared to assess the extensibility, maintainability and richness of the result. The application that leveraged the object-relational model of the geodatabase system was found to provide better support for schema changes to the geodatabase resulting in less maintenance, while the application constructed using entity modeling of relational data resulted in richer UI features but was not able to support schema changes to the geodatabase.
This research focuses on the use of Esri’s ArcFuels and Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory’s FlamMap to produce a wildfire exposure analysis on structures affected by the Charlotte Fire. Exposure analysis involves producing both conditional flame length and burn probability, which are combined to determine a structure’s wildfire risk. The individual datasets within the model were tested for accuracy and influence on structure loss. A one-tailed t-test was used to test if the means were greater for homes with or without loss for conditional flame length, burn probability, slope, and canopy datasets. A Chi-Square test was performed to test for significant differences within the aspect and surface fuel datasets. The results of these analyses were used to illustrate possible limitations within the wildfire model. The results of this study could be used to improve future exposure analyses, data processing, and mitigation planning by wildfire managers through an improved understanding of the limitations and benefits of the FlamMap wildfire models.
The future of our open spaces is uncertain. Development pressures on open space
resources continue as people migrate into the rural areas around cities. More people
mean more houses, mini malls, and the need for recreational opportunities. In addition,
environmentally insensitive development eliminates our prairies, wetlands, and vital
wildlife habitat from our communities. These things that represent our natural heritage
are being destroyed at an alarming rate.
Fortunately, in Olmsted County Minnesota, measures are being sought out to solve
the county’s growing concern over the loss of open spaces. Loss of open space in
Olmsted County is a loss of the county’s natural heritage and vital habitat. The concerns
over potential open space loss in the county have been expressed through public surveys
and the Olmsted County General Land Use Plan, which explores policies used to help
protect environmental corridors and natural ecosystems important to the county. These
concerns raise many questions. Where are these vital areas? How do we choose them?
Who chooses them? How do we get local citizens involved?
This pilot study addressed these open space concerns using a multiple criteria
ranking system determined by local governmental groups. The results from polling these
groups on a list of open space criteria were inserted into a geographical information
system for analysis. The maps made from the ranks were analyzed and a model
implemented. A single additive weighting model was applied using the ranked scores to
produce suitability maps for four types of open spaces.
The suitability maps show a promising representation of areas that could be used for
a variety of open spaces. The numbers behind the maps also show a direct correlation of
thought between the groups polled. Furthermore, the rankings serve as a guide for groups
to discuss and reach consensus on the small number of open space types for which they
had high levels of disagreement.
Within the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), there are concerns about the rate of dock development and the associated impact on lakes and fish habitats. This paper will discuss the elements of a project completed by the DNR that used a digitized GIS dock layer, which was compared to parcel data from a four-county study area (Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, and Hubbard counties) to estimate current and projected development on lakes within the study area. The results of this project showed a relatively large impact on shoreline and littoral zone, which could have policy implications for regulatory agencies like the DNR.
Bird count data for southeastern Minnesota were used to compare landscape metric values associated with the occurrence of species from two functional groups. Four forest interior dependent and four non-interior dependent species were assessed. Species included American redstart, Cerulean warbler, Least flycatcher, Woodthrush, Blue-winged warbler, Indigo bunting, Ruby-throated hummingbird, and Warbling vireo. Landscape metrics included: patch cohesion index, fractal dimension, aggregation index, total edge length, total core area, landscape context, distance to edge, distance to nearest road, distance to stream, and patch area. Landscape metrics were derived for a 3,090ha window (radius = 3,163 meters) around each census point to allow comparison with bird occurrence at a biologically relevant scale. Non-parametric Mann-Whitney comparisons were completed for each metric and pairwise species combination to test the hypothesis that interior specialists occur more frequently at sites in less fragmented, and more densely forested landscapes. Significant relationships between bird occurrence and some landscape metrics were supported by this study. Overall, patch cohesion index, aggregation index, and distance to road provided the most significant (α(1), p ≤ 0.05) distinctions between rates of occurrence for different species. The results of this study indicate that appropriate landscape metrics can provide biologically relevant information about habitat distribution and the corresponding likelihood of species occurrence. Precise relationships are more difficult to quantify, and further study is needed to illuminate the generalized theory of landscape ecology, proposed by Gardner et al. (1987).
This paper describes an approach to hydrogeologic mapping and integrates solutions to fundamental groundwater flow and transport equations that are incorporated within a geographic information system which function on spatial hydrogeologic data. The tools include a discrete form of Darcy's Law to generate flow direction and preserve conservation of mass, a particle tracking procedures to calculate advection along flow paths, and a porous puff dispersion functions to determine distribution of a solute in the porous medium. The model solution allows for calculation of advection and dispersion from a source point along the flow path. The functions are applied in a two-dimensional raster GIS environment. Output features include a flow field, advection path, and a 2-D grid of impacted area of the dispersed constituent. All calculations take place within the native GIS environment. The scope of the research project was to develop a risk assessment model directed towards pollution containment. GIS will be a pivotal technology in current and future analysis to evaluate the risk of drinking water contamination posed by hydraulic fracturing activities.
The value of studying the topography of an area from the comforts of an office is poignant. The digital elevation model (DEM) can provide the data needed for the analysis of a variety of applications, from ground water flow patterns to flight simulation. Bypassing the “boots on the ground” approach of old, DEMs allow the user to conduct initial research before committing resources to costly man-hours. A DEM can be derived from multiple sources each with advantages and disadvantages. This paper will look at the approach of selecting the most appropriate source data for the creation of a DEM for meeting the needs of Condor Valley LLC. Condor Valley LLC is a land developer based in the San Francisco area and it needed a solution for conducting preliminary studies on a 37 km2 area about 60 km south of Salta, Argentina. The basis of developing this remote area lies in turning Condor Valley into a successful and sustainable eco-tourism destination.
Costco Wholesale Corporation operates six warehouse locations in the seven-county metro area of the Twin Cities, identified as Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota USA. The main objective of this study was to collect data about the existing six Costco Wholesale Corporation (herein after referred to as Costco) warehouse locations and its customers. These data were used to perform analyses to determine suitable location(s) in the seven-county metro area for Costco for expansion. This was accomplished by undertaking analysis of the current store locales to see if a pattern emerged as to why current store locations were initially placed where they are. This paper looks at Costco as a company, their goals and products, and provides insight as to what constitutes a Costco customer. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were used to visually display store locations as well as to plan a tour of prospective areas to assess availability, land-use, and zoning to determine the best area in the seven-county metro area for Costco to locate their next warehouse store.
High Ridge Tree Farm is a 108 acre, privately owned and managed wooded property located outside of Lewiston, MN. Existing within what is known as the Driftless Area, High Ridge Tree Farm is susceptible to soil loss from gullies that form from run-off on surrounding agricultural land. The unique topography, steep sided ridges, springs and vast number of coldwater streams make the Midwest’s Driftless Area an ecologically distinct and interesting zone. Because of the large size (24,000 square miles) of the Driftless Area and the varying abilities and funding for numerous management agencies, very few of the watersheds and streams are functioning properly within the region. Historic clearing of the land for agricultural purposes led to upland soils accumulating in the lower valleys which created shallower, warmer streams with steep, high banks. High Ridge Tree Farm, located in the heart of the Driftless Area, represents the importance of private land management in controlling erosion and restoring watershed health. Comprehensive analysis of the gully head erosion rates in the sub-watershed encompassing the High Ridge Tree Farm will locate areas of high concern for soil loss and identify conservation measures appropriate for curbing erosion.
The following research was undertaken to provide information and data supporting an analysis of the impact Methamphetamine production and abuse is having on crime rates at county levels throughout the State of Minnesota. Thirty percent of methamphetamine abuse is currently produced in clandestine labs, which tripled in numbers from 2000 to 2003, and are generally discovered and seized in rural and semi-rural areas, more often than in urban areas. Providing GIS findings regarding historical Meth lab locations and patterns, this paper identifies potential “Hot Spots” and crime-troubled counties in hopes of mitigating negative effects of methamphetamine in the State. The Minnesota Methamphetamine Risk Model incorporates demographic census data (2000), changes in crime rates from 1999 to 2005, and selected high-risk crime areas to determine correlation between Methamphetamine and crime.
Wind power is an alternative to fossil fuels. It is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation and uses relatively little land. Recent studies indicate that Minnesota has plentiful wind energy potential including the possibility to use wind to generate 25 times the electricity Minnesota used in 2010 (American Wind Energy Association, 2012a). This study evaluates the potential wind energy resources in Minnesota by analyzing technical, environmental, and political criteria for developing local renewable wind energy resources. The approach assesses suitable locations for exploring wind turbines energy sources with the aid of a geographic information system. The study considers local wind conditions and other restrictions such as terrain, land use, environment, and human activities. The model identifies areas that have an excellent suitability for future wind turbine placement in Minnesota. When it compares to the approximate estimations based solely on analysis of wind speed, this rule-based model may provide a more accurate method to evaluate wind energy in Minnesota.
The rise in white-tailed deer populations has created the potential for increased deer-vehicle collisions (DVCs) throughout the country. The goal of this study was to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to identify spatial relationships of DVC events in Winona County, MN. Two public DVC datasets were acquired from state and local law enforcement for use in this study. One was from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) and the other from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT). Each dataset contained DVC events recorded from 1995-2006. Linear referencing techniques and kernel density patterns were utilized to determine which roadways had higher DVC events and which portions of roadways had the highest deer densities. Seasonal effects were examined to investigate potential correlations between the volume of reported DVCs and deer seasons. Spatial patterns specified high density DVC areas along the Highway 61/14 roadway. Seasonal analysis of the possession permit dataset revealed the highest DVC volume occurred during the breeding season, while the unclaimed/unsalvageable report (UUR) dataset recorded the highest DVC volume during the fawning season. The spatial structure of high deer densities and seasonal trends in DVCs can assist in the targeting of “hot spots” for future DVC mitigation efforts.
The South Branch of the Root River Watershed (SBRRW) is a part of the Root River Watershed, which drains into the Mississippi River. SBRRW houses the best trout streams in Southern Minnesota with more than 150,000 visitors per year enjoying the aesthetical landscape and natural beauty of the watershed and its tributaries. The total area of the watershed is about 72,980 hectares (180,337 acres). SBRRW land use is dominated by agricultural land, which occupies about 87% of the watershed. The goal of this research was to assess and quantify the sediment yields in SBRRW, and suggest some scenarios to reduce sediment and pollutant loadings. Furthermore, SBRRW has been on the Clean Water Act 303(d) list for impaired waters in the state for several years due to increasing rates of sediments, pollutants, and bacteria. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was utilized to predict the impact of land management practices on water, soils, land use, and management conditions over a long period of time. SWAT requires an enormous amount of input data such as topographical data, land use/land cover data, soils data, climate data, rainfall data, and land management practices. Additionally, three crop rotations were implemented: corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. SWAT simulated the watershed hydrology process and upper land process for 25 years (1980 – 2005). Predicted sediment yields for each rotation were then compared to the current condition results. The study found that when alfalfa rotation was utilized with either corn or soybean rotations, the sediment yield was less than 0.5 ton/ha, while the corn rotation sediment yield was over two ton/ha, and the soybean sediment yield was 0.8 ton/ha. The SWAT model also showed that the potential sites for sediment loading were in the middle section of the watershed, which contributes more than 80% of the total sediment yield.
Agriculture and livestock rearing have always been valuable assets to many rural communities across the United States. They provide a successful livelihood for farmers, as well as an essential resource for the general public. Agricultural and livestock impacts are especially noticeable in the Whitewater River Watershed, where use of river banks and instream habitats for cattle grazing and watering has caused severe degradation of trout populations of the Whitewater River and its tributaries.
This study evaluates livestock grazing impacts on trout populations in three stream sections with varying degrees of degradation within the Whitewater River system. A Geographic Information System (GIS) approach was implemented to assess grazing and bank land use impacts on trout populations within sections of Trout Run, the Middle Branch, and the South Branch of the Whitewater River system. Trout Run had very little degradation, the Middle Branch underwent drastic habitat improvements to improve the degraded habitat, and the South Branch section was severely degraded with no control measures in place. Each of the three sample sections were divided into three land cover/land use classifications, pasture/grazing land, forest, and miscellaneous. Analysis was made on each of the sample sections using Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and Digital Orthoquad Quarter Quadrangles (DOQQs) as overlays for the areas. Trout population data was obtained from 1996 through 1999 for 150-meter sections of the sample stream sites. The trout population was the highest within Trout Run. The Middle Branch had a population that has recovered and is near that of Trout Run. The South Branch site had the lowest trout population due to the severely degraded site. These results show that the presence and extensive use of pasture/grazing land adjacent to streams without the use of any control measures directly affects the trout population.
This study examined viewshed and landcover class preservation in nine Integral Vista locations or scenic overlooks within Big Bend National Park (BIBE). This study defined the most viewed areas of the park, essentially detailing which areas are of the utmost importance to protect and to maintain the unobstructed and scenic viewshed of BIBE. A viewshed is an area visible from a particular location or set of locations. Viewshed analysis determines visibility to and from a particular cell or set of cells in a digital elevation model (DEM) resulting in a viewshed layer. The analysis determined a total of 385,822 ha (953,386 acres) were viewable from the nine BIBE Integral Vista locations. The most prevalent viewable landcover class was identified as shrub/scrub, totaling 235,826 viewable ha (582,740 ac). These outputs can be used by park managers and visitors to determine management plans, observe change in landcover, or by park visitors for planning a visit to desired park areas.
A Geographic Information Systems (GIS) based real estate leasing application was used to isolate tenant opportunities at the Prairieview Shopping Center located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The study used data collected by the owner of the center, United Properties Investments (September 19, 2009). Data created and utilized in the analysis were part of a GIS-based application known as Re-lytics, which combines market survey, demographic, consumer expenditure, and supply and demand data to formulate marketing plans focused on optimizing occupancy and tenant synergies at grocer-anchored shopping centers. An index providing a relative context of retail concept value to the grocer-anchored center is the basis of the Re-lytics application. The Eden Prairie trade area analysis was the first study completed using these methods and highlights inefficiencies that were previously incorporated during the evolution of the Re-lytics application. The results identified a targeted list of Tenant Types that were absent or have little presence in the trade area based on a field survey of the competitive environment. A comparison of the datasets analyzed during the evolution of the application is discussed highlighting the importance of accurate base data.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates a 62 percent probability of a damaging earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area (USA) within the next 30 years (Field and Milner, 2007). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, 2008) estimates that a 7.5 to 8.3 Richter magnitude earthquake in an urban area could cause up to $60 billion in damage. The analysis of expected ground motion and the effect of earthquakes is critical for emergency responders, utilities, city planners, insurance companies, and many other agencies. This research application describes how GIS can aid in evaluating risks and support earthquake management by creating thematic maps. The results of modeled earthquake scenarios are utilized to understand the magnitude of losses and to help mitigate the effects of future earthquakes.
The Bear Creek is a sub-watershed of the Zumbro watershed east of Rochester, Minnesota USA. As the population of Rochester continues to grow, it becomes increasingly important to protect highly erodible land through the use of conservation programs. Multiple layers of geographic information system (GIS) data are required to identify potential erosion sites within the Bear Creek sub-watershed and GIS analysis can help find those that are the most susceptible to soil loss. In the Sub-watershed, many are located on farmlands, and farmers are not always convinced to establish conservation practices and especially those practices that lack financial incentives. The goal of this project was to calculate an estimate of the cost of placing highly erodible lands within the Bear Creek sub-watershed under conservation practices. The creation of 120 foot buffer zones around potential area is proposed to identify areas with the highest risk. This analysis will assist in estimating budgets for Bear Creek sub-watershed conservation in the future. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, or RUSLE, was used to find the erodible areas by multiplying a group of grid data factors together. Various GIS analysis tools were used to assist in calculating the acreage of high risk areas. The result using RUSLE shows an area of 28.95 acres within the sub-watershed was identified as high risk for soil erosion. When including the buffer zones, the total area increased to 130.53 acres. The total cost of conservation for the area including the buffer zone was estimated to be $12,139.48 at a cost of $93 per acre.
GIS was used to analyze potential markets within the seven counties that make up the Twin Cities metropolitan area. A raster-based, weighted model along with demographic data were used to find the most ideal location(s) for marketing to potential and current customers, while simultaneously isolating the most optimal location to focus first marketing efforts. It was determined that high-earning families with children offer the most potential for expanding, or attracting customers to a multitude of banking products that include savings bonds, retirement accounts, college savings funds, regular savings accounts and certificates of deposit. This model can be adjusted and used in the future to find secondary locations for additional marketing efforts.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been used within the economic development and planning communities for over 20 years to improve the efficiency of planners and economic development organizations (EDOs). One possible use is to provide leaders in government and the private sector a static picture of the economic structure for use in future infrastructure and investment planning to support current industry. It is also used as part of decision-support systems. The economic structure of the 7 Rivers Region will be analyzed by identifying centers of economic activity, as well as the specializations at the census tract level by implementing specialization indexes and location quotients.