The Center for Partnerships in GIS works closely with local, state and federal agencies
to provide GIS services through migrating legacy data into GIS, developing web-based
GIS mapping and applications, and using mobile GIS to collect field data. By using
an arsenal of some of the most advanced functions of GIS, CPGIS has the capacity to
research the appropriateness and utility of GIS functions in real world situations
confronting agencies requesting assistance. These functions include versioning (ArcSDE
with Oracle 11g on Solaris 10); web mapping (ArcGIS Server on Microsoft .NET using
Silverlight); serving aerials and geo-rectified images (ArcGIS Server and map image
caching); mobile GIS (ArcMobile, ArcPad and ArcMap); and custom process scripting
(Python, VBA, C-sharp, others).
CPGIS is extremely proud of its University of Memphis student workforce. These bright
young men and women represent numerous disciplines including civil, mechanical and
electrical engineering, geography, city and regional planning, nursing, geology, computer
science, business, and others. The students are trained in the advanced functionality
of GIS, and when proficient, they apply their newly acquired skills developing and
producing a variety of projects. Some of the more experienced students mentor other
students and assist project managers on project deployment. Having learned valuable
GIS skills and being engaged in real-world projects, our graduates are marketable
both as technicians and problem-solvers.
Learn More About Legacy Data Migration
Learn More About Web GIS
Learn More About Mobile GIS
Many municipalities, agencies and other entities are looking to migrate their disparate
datasets into a centralized database. Such data may include man-made infrastructure,
health epidemiology records, key performance indicators for enhancing quality of life,
traffic routes and tracking of goods and services, and more. GIS provides the platform
for culling together these data silos using the spatial component inherent to most
data as the common denominator.
Much of CPGIS’ research concentrates on migrating legacy data into GIS. For example,
CPGIS is converting thousands of miles of underground infrastructure as drawn on engineering
drawings that span over a century of development into a centralized GIS system. By
including selected attributions with the detailed information about the infrastructure,
CPGIS is making the data assessable for queries and analysis as required by the partnering
government agency. CPGIS is capable of utilizing numerous data sources including orthorectified
aerials, Pictometry, Google Street view, geo-rectified scanned images, hyperlinked
geo-located scanned images, composite geo-locators, and GPS. Aside from Pictometry
and Google Street view, the other data sources are prepared in-house.
Many people are familiar with the mapping applications with Google and Bing. Through
these applications an address, company name or road intersection can be entered into
the search tool and one or more locations will be pinpointed on a map with roads or
aerials as the underlying image.
Web-based GIS mapping mimics this simplified concept of mapping locations yet incorporates
the power behind GIS to query features and conduct spatial analysis on individual
layers and, even more powerful, across layers. For the non-GIS professional, GIS web-mapping
offers an easy to use yet powerful tool for making informed decisions.
There are numerous nuances for developing interactive GIS maps on the web, but the
three most common means are Silverlight, Flex, and the ESRI® out-of-the-box solution.
CPGIS is developing interactive mapping solutions for local governments and Homeland
Security using Silverlight on the Microsoft .NET framework. As an example, CPGIS is
in partnership with the Shelby County Office of Early Childhood and Youth and the
University of Memphis’ Center for Multimedia Arts. One of the outcomes of this partnership
will be a web-based GIS mapping solution that will enable Shelby County commissioners
to use GIS web tools to add or remove relevant layers (demographics, crime, school
data, child care programs, etc.), obtain statistics or information about specific
features in those layers, and quantify KPI’s (key performance indicators) that will
help them to assess how proposed policies may impact children’s well-being and rights.
Mobile GIS extends GIS capabilities from within office into the field. In past times,
paper maps were taken to the field. These maps were augmented when features were drawn
or modified, and information about the features was recorded and updated on the maps.
This information was then taken back to the office for incorporation into GIS. This
method was prone to errors and the GIS regularly lagged behind actual field conditions.
With a mobile system linked to the office GIS system either in real-time or through
disconnected editing, errors were reduced (visual validation, standard attribution
entry, etc.), accuracy increased (many mobile units come GPS capable) and workflow
efficiencies improved (no more duplication of effort due to transcribing).
CPGIS has developed a number of mobile solutions to map and update features in the
field. Although CPGIS developed, tested and used the ArcPad and ArcMobile solutions
from ESRI, students presently field map by using ArcMap with a direct connection to
the centralized, versioned RDBMS at the University of Memphis. Custom scripting has
been developed in Visual Basic and recently migrated to .NET that allows for quick,
standard entry of attribute values with the flexibility in data entry that is a must
when performing field mapping. Outside of a cellular network disconnected editing
is required for field mapping.