Center for Partnerships in GIS
CPGIS Services

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

Legacy Data Migration

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.


web_gisMany 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

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.


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Contact Herff College of Engineering | 201 Engineering Administration Bldg |Memphis, TN 38152 | Phone: 901/678-2171 | Fax: 901/678-4180
Last Updated: 1/9/13