CES Represented at 2016 ESRI® User Conference
July 20, 2016
The Center for Environmental Studies (CES) was well represented at the 2016 ESRI® User Conference in San Diego, California. ESRI®, the world’s largest geospatial software company, holds an annual user conference with 16,000+ attendees and invites users to present maps, posters, and oral presentations to an international audience focused on geospatial technologies. ESRI® is the world’s leader in geographic information systems (GIS) software, and CES has been using the technology since 1993 to analyze spatial data. CES faculty members Mr. William Shuart, Ms. Jennifer Ciminelli, and graduate student Mr. Wyatt Carpenter, who is also employed by VCU’s Office of Sustainability, attended the conference.
Mr. William Shuart presented some of his research, “Evaluating Point Clouds - LiDAR and UAV's,” that was performed at the VCU Rice Rivers Center and used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's). UAV's can be used to collect aerial imagery that is useful in assessing the quality and health of wetland vegetation. CES and the VCU Rice Rivers Center will begin to implement the technology into their research and curriculum for students to provide them with a real world experience in near real-time data collection and processing. Mr. Shuart states, “Having access to industry leading UAV platforms is only part of the puzzle; understanding the data generated from them is where the answers lie. Being able to produce 4 cm aerial imagery that is of a known quality in a couple of hours is the key to mitigating impacts to the environment.”
Mr. Wyatt Carpenter's presentation “Worth it? Relating Landscape Composition & Residential Property Value” used GIS to focus on the potential financial benefit to real estate developers to preserve forested areas and wetlands in housing communities. Mr. Carpenter sums up the benefit of the conference to him personally this way: "One of my favorite parts of the conference was being in a huge group of people, all with different jobs, but connected by the common thread of GIS. Sharing that interest made it really easy to connect with other people and opened my eyes to the far-reaching applications of GIS."