Wisconsin Geospatial News

New GIS User Group forming in Southwestern Wisconsin

A new GIS community of practice called the “Driftless Area GIS User Group” met for the first time in Viroqua on October 8th, 2021.  Moving forward, the group plans to meet 2-4 times per year in Viroqua, with the next meeting tentatively planned for late spring 2022 (details are TBD).  Many thanks to Doug Avoles, GIS Coordinator for Vernon County, for sharing the following summary of the October meeting.

A presentation was given by Doug Avoles on ArcGIS Online (AGO) based Flood Damage tracking applications that Vernon County has created.  One application is for inputting public assistance flood damage (damage to public infrastructure & facilities) and another is for individual assistance flood damage (damage reported to private residences & businesses).  The applications utilize hosted feature services maintained on Vernon County’s AGO site.  Duplicate databases are stored on the county’s network for transferring flood event damage info to the County’s enterprise GIS.  The database was set-up so that it provides all of the same information that would be collected using the WI Emergency Management (WEM) disaster damage reporting form in the Web EOC system.  Vernon County expects to be awarded a FEMA BRIC grant that will allow them to further develop several other related applications that will be used for both flood response during events, and for long term flood mitigation activities.

Mari Pietz from La Crosse County described how she is implementing a web URL call to launch a Survey 123 application from an internal county web map application for field collection of information related to permits in La Crosse County.  She also spoke briefly about their interns and map order system using Survey 123 apps.

Joe Fleischmann presented on Sauk County’s experience participating in the Esri Community Maps Program.  The county provided their 2020 aerial imagery to Esri; as a result, Sauk County’s aerial imagery comes up automatically as part of the standard Esri imagery base map.  Sauk County also provides many of their other GIS data sets to the Esri Community Maps program.  Joe went through some examples of how data can be uploaded/shared and displayed the resultant improvements to base map data.  One example was how they went about getting private roads that were displayed as public roads on the Esri base map removed from display.  Joe also presented a search and rescue emergency response app that Sauk County has developed for hiking trails and rock climbing areas in Devils Lake State Park, which is being used by their dispatch center.

The group also had a discussion on the Esri Parcel Fabric.  Several counties are working in the Parcel Fabric, but no one is currently using the newest ArcGIS Pro Fabric.  Vernon County is currently in the process of setting up an ArcGIS Pro Parcel Fabric.  The discussion involved a lot of talk about parcel mapping in general.  Vernon County brought up a reference to case law that they are using to guide how they treat road ROW parcels in their mapping and tax assessment roll.  The group recognized that the ArcGIS Pro Parcel Fabric would likely be a continuing topic at future user group meetings.

For more information on the Driftless Area GIS User Group or to join their e-mail list, contact Doug Avoles at (608) 637-5314.