Fire Risk Assessment – Mapping Wildland Fires
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Fire Risk Assessment – Mapping Wildland Fires

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Industry News
Fire Risk Assessment – Mapping Wildland Fires

By Susan Smith

Every summer, wildland fires sweep across sections of the U.S. and threaten human lives, property, livestock, watersheds and endangered species. The methods to fight these fires have evolved to meet the changing fire environment: fuels build up as a result of the lack of controlled burns and clearing of federal and state lands, coupled with the effects of climate change and what is known as the “wildland urban interface,” where more people move out to the edge of the forest.

click to enlarge [ Click to Enlarge ]
Sanborn of Colorado Springs, Colorado is a company well situated to address these concerns. With technology centers across the United States and abroad, the company offers a full spectrum of photogrammetric mapping and GIS services. In an interview with Jim Schriever, VP of solutions for Sanborn, GISWeekly discussed Sanborn’s fire risk assessment model and how it is put together.

Background information

Jim Schriever
: How we started doing fire risk assessment was with Camp LeJeune in North Carolina. Military bases do tend to create a number of fires, so Camp LeJeune was very interested in having some fire modeling capabilities to not only understand where there was risk, but even with real time fire behavior analysis, if a fire did start, how would they contain a fire.

Then a few years later, we did a fire risk assessment for the state of Florida. We did some base data sets, fuels data sets as well as topography. We develop these weather influence zones, so there’s a meteorological component to it. We put all those core data sets together and then we basically develop a risk model that looks the susceptibility of specific areas to fire. We can get things like communities at risk. After our Florida success, we did this for the 13 southern states. We’ve completed that project and are actually in the maintenance stage of that program, and are going to be updating the entire region.

Part of what was driving us was that all the fire money tends to go to the west. The south wanted to bring attention to the fact that they have a problem too. The states banded together to demonstrate what the fire problem is in the south, and hopefully get some of those dollars and create awareness of what the problems are.

Most recently we’ve signed a contract with the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) to develop a fire risk assessment for 17 western states. Part of that contract includes some of the Pacific island territories such as Guam, the Marshalls, the Mariana Islands, and Samoa.

Ultimately, we’ll have about over 30 states that are licensed to our fire risk assessment software product.

GISWeekly: How is the Stimulus money affecting fire risk assessment?

Jim Schriever: Right now there are a lot of stimulus dollars to actually modify the fuels and reduce the risk. Instead of just reporting on acres treated, which is what they’ve done in the past, we’re trying to look at ROI and having people really be able to quantify what they’ve done with regards to the social, environmental or economical impacts and effects they’ve been able to reduce. For instance, there is a dollar exposure in Santa Fe; if a fire comes to Santa Fe, what’s the dollar exposure for communities within Santa Fe? Based on a certain level of susceptibility, that dollar exposure may be $300 million. Let’s modify the fuels and rerun the program and maybe that exposure is reduced down to $150 million so you’ve had a net reduction and exposure of $150 million.

The Federal government has a program called LandFire which is a joint effort of the Department of the Interior and USDA that actually is mapping all the fuels across the U.S. Having that data available is a significant reduction in the cost, so it makes it a lot more accessible. We do map fuels but also leverage any publicly available datasets, and we actually do some of mapping for USGS and USDA so we do get involved in the LandFire program. One of the first things to develop are the core fuels data sets, next we develop a fire occurrence dataset, which takes into account where fires occurred in the past so many years. We try to go back as far as we can, so if we can get 20 years of data for all the different states, that’s good. Federal fire reporting is very good and well organized, at the state level it’s a hodgepodge. The locals want to go out put the fire out and go home and go to bed. They don’t really want to do a bunch of reporting.

We need to know where did the fire occur, when did the fire occur and when was it contained, so we can begin to develop rate of spread, final fire size, etc. in one database. Another database we put together from subject matter compiled from subject matter experts on the Sanborn team. We have a meteorologist who can help us develop weather influence zones, so when a fire does occur the rate of spread, the final fire size, what the fuel conditions are going to be like, are all data we can compartmentalize. A fire in South Dakota is quite a bit different than a fire in California, obviously, so we break up the states into “influence zones.” We also develop “other risk input datasets” and those could be a variety of different factors like soils. The reason soils are important in the south is that they have muck or peat soils, which prevent firefighters from fighting the fires. In the west soils are important, because after fires, particularly in the Los Angeles region, slides follow. The soil and topography are some core datasets that are developed as part of it. And we have to do some calibration to these datasets.

Once we’ve got those core risk input datasets the next task we move into is the actual analysis and reporting to summarize all of that. Next we move into the wildfire risk model development and assessment component. For that we bring in all our fire occurrence data summarized which include weather influence zones, percentile historical weather observations coupled with fire occurrence data and historical fire locations, and add the fire behavior datasets which includes service fuels, canopy closure, topography, etc. and finally fire suppression effectiveness. Included are also rate of spread vs. final fire size as well as historical protection response. With those three core pieces we’re able to develop what we call “wildfire threat” which is the susceptibility of an area to burn. At this point, the burn may be a good thing. Just because it’s susceptible doesn’t mean it’s a real problem to burn.

We run it through our model and come up with a wildfire susceptibility index. Those come out in 30 meter pixel cells. Most of this stuff is based on Landsat data – 30 meter, although as we move into things like community wildfire protection plans, we do have a higher resolution dataset, but the concepts are still the same. For every cell we have a wildfire susceptibility index so then from there, we can move into the fire effects piece, to determine this area is susceptible.

In the fire effects you start looking at values impacted. We’ll develop quite a few different layers, and look at production forests for the western states, for example. If federal land burns, there’s an issue there, but if state lands or private lands burn, there’s more of an economic impact, and the insurance folks are concerned. Things to take into consideration include homes, the wildland urban interface, transportation and critical infrastructure, so protected species, critical watershed. We have a consensus with the customer on how to weight those different factor, and come up with different weightings to get the values impact rating which we combine with suppression difficulty ratings such as slope.

We then develop what we call “level of concern.” That is to us is the true wildfire risk. That’s how we come up with the final product, the level of concern, and then we’re able to consider communities, watersheds, threatened endangered species area and start to quantify the level of concern which is susceptibility as well as impact should something happen in that area. From there we’re start to be able to communicate our deliverable to the states. Then what the states do typically is go ahead and present that to the different communities and hopefully provide these datasets so communities can start to do something about it in the form of a community wildfire protection plan, for example.

When you look at fire at a high level, I think of it as mitigation, suppression and rehabilitation. We’re trying to get ahead of the curve so that if a fire does occur which we know it’s going to, and they’re actually pretty predictable, that we’re able to get ahead of it and modify the fuels so we can minimize the impacts. We don’t get involved in suppression side of things. We don’t get too involved in the rehabilitation part where you go in and reforest an area and look at burn damage severity, we’ve done some of that, but our focus is on the prevention side of things.

GISWeekly: Do you yet use any crowd-sourcing or user-generated data?

Jim Schriever: Not in real time. We put real time datasets in and see if a fire has occurred in a specific area. Our datasets are going to help you understand whether we’ve got a big problem or not. In fact, in Myrtle Beach, we did our southern risk assessment that was a very high level of concern in that area. The path of that fire was almost right on top of our area of concern and it was pretty remarkable just how closely we mapped to it.

We’ve talked to ESRI and others on the whole COP concept and basically bringing our data sets in with real time weather data sets and real time fire data that comes out of GEOMAC site. That is future growth path we’re moving toward, but not right now.

We’re kicking off a comprehensive assessment for all those 17 western states because California has the most fire issues. They’ve developed quite a few of these statewide risk assessments with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDFF)). We’ve developed quite a few risk assessments down there, and we did have all that area noted as a high risk.

GISWeekly: Do you see fire risk assessment as changing the way our agencies implement fire fighting?

Jim Schriever: The Forest Service is starting to look at just letting areas burn, if there is not a huge level of concern. Part of problem is that we’ve been putting out these fires for a long time, and they just don’t have resources to try to put them out. They are spending approximately $900 million on fuel reductions and still the primary method of measuring effectiveness is number of acres treated. In the end, it may not matter, if I’m treating acres somewhere where there is no concern. We need to know where the areas of concern are and mitigate fuels in those areas.

Top News of the Week

NAVTEQ has acquired Acuity Mobile. NAVTEQ has worked with Acuity Mobile for several years, leveraging Acuity's mobile location-based advertising delivery platform to differentiate NAVTEQ's interactive advertising capabilities. The acquisition is a natural extension of the successful relationship between the two companies.

HP introduced the world’s thinnest full-performance notebook PC(1) as well as a slim, stylish consumer notebook that delivers an optimal balance of mobility, performance and affordability. The thin and light notebook market represents a significant growth opportunity over the next several years, according to IDC. Over the next five years, this category is forecast to grow three times faster than the overall notebook market in the United States, which is a trend that is expected to spread worldwide.(2) The new HP ProBook 5310m and HP Pavilion dm3 expand the market for the category, an area HP pioneered earlier this year with the introduction of the affordable HP Pavilion dv2.

Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances

The French Service de l'Information Aeronautique (SIA), headquartered in the Bordeaux-Merignac Airport in the town of Merignac, France, has awarded a contract for an aeronautical information management (AIM) system based on ESRI's geographic information system (GIS) software. The contract was awarded to ESRI France, and French aeronautical technology companies Thales and CGx AERO in SYS (CGx), an ESRI business partner. The new system, Nouvel Outil de Production de l'Information Aeronautique (NOPIA), will provide an integrated solution to manage aeronautical data and create charts, including the national Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) detailing regulations and procedures for aircraft in France.

PCI Geomatics
announced it has appointed SuperMap Software Co., Ltd. as a reseller of its Professional Software Development Kit (ProSDK) and developer products (ProPacks), for the People’s Republic of China.

ESRI (UK) announced that WPC Software has joined their Partners and Alliances Programme as an authorized ESRI (UK) Business Associate.

Through the partnership, WPC will be able to utilize a range of ESRI technology to help geospatially enable solutions for existing and future customers, embedding mapping into some of the key applications WPC offer in the police market. This will include Inn Keeper, which is already used by 23 UK Forces to administer alcohol licensing requests, and Shogun for managing firearms licenses.

RAMTeCH Software Solutions
announced the acquisition of the business and assets from Tier 3, Inc., automated conflation products and services provider. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Over the recent times, the North American market has seen many clients trying to update and maintain their Geospatial data to have more accurate information available to their engineers, field crew, planners, and decision makers. Tier 3’s gConflate and gMaintenance solutions have been the proven, market dominant, products helping clients achieve these goals.


As the Station fire continues to burn in Southern California and insured losses continue to mount, First American Spatial Solutions, a member of The First American Corporation, released its estimated value of residential real estate exposed in the fire area.

First American Spatial Solutions used property information coupled with its ParcelPoint database to estimate that residential real estate valued at more than $235 million has been exposed within the perimeter of the Station Fire. Utilizing property information and valuation data from First American CoreLogic, it is estimated that the current loss of residential structures is valued at more than $40 million.

The Columbus Chamber has recently relaunched an upgraded GIS on its economic development site,, an online tool for both current member businesses and businesses that are looking to relocate to the Columbus region.

Pitney Bowes Business Insight (PBBI)
, a global provider of location and communication intelligence software, data and services, announces the details of its agenda at this year’s Call Centre & Customer Management Expo ’09 at the NEC, Birmingham, 22-23 September 2009.

Under its compelling mantra of Locate, Connect & Communicate, Pitney Bowes Business Insight will host a series of complementary solution sessions over both days, showcasing its Customer Communication Management (CCM) solutions which empower contact centers to build lasting, beneficial relationships with their customers.

and Microsoft are running an event to demonstrate how their technologies together help remove the boundaries to businesses’ return on investment (ROI).

The free one day event at Microsoft’s headquarters in Reading on Tuesday 20 October 2009 will highlight the ease of integration between ESRI’s ArcGIS 9.3.1 and Microsoft technology, the latest trends in GIS and the business case for using an enterprise-wide GIS. Registration for the event is online through ESRI Microsoft 09

During a natural disaster such as a wildfire, a threat to homeland security, or an emergency such as a chemical spill, agencies rely on a common operational picture (COP) to monitor, respond to, and manage the situation. A COP creates broad situational awareness by combining important geographic information system (GIS) basemap data, such as imagery, critical infrastructure, and hazards, with changing, up-to-the-minute information from cameras, sensors, and other communication devices.

ESRI will host a seminar on September 24, 2009, to demonstrate how a COP can be created using ESRI's ArcGIS software. Creating a Common Operational Picture with ArcGIS will air at this website at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. (Pacific daylight time).


Aero-Metric, Inc.
announced that Bob Richards, Jr. has joined the firm as the National Director of Program Management.

Mr. Richards brings a wealth of expertise and professional project management insight to Aero-Metric. His domestic and international experience in program and asset management on surveying, photogrammetric, and GIS related projects, and the ability to solve complex business problems were elements that attracted Aero-Metric to bring him on board.

GeoNorth, LLC, a custom Information Technology solutions provider headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska, is pleased to announce the hiring of Kelly Singh for the position of GIS Programmer/Analyst. Kelly comes to GeoNorth with a Certificate in GIS from Penn State World Campus, a M.S. in Teaching from Pace University, and a Sc.B. in GeoChemistry from Brown University.

GeoNorth, LLC
is pleased to announce that Andy Clary has accepted the position of Sr. Programmer/Analyst with the firm. Along with a BA in Management Information Systems from Cedarville University in Ohio, Andy comes to GeoNorth with an extensive background, and a wealth of high-level programming and analytical experience.

New Products

Softelec has released a new version of its VPHybridCAD and VPmap Series software for editing and conversion of scanned technical and geographical documents. All products now support all AutoCAD platforms from 2004 to 2010. However, users will have a free choice of stand-alone Windows or AutoCAD-based operation during installation.

gViewTek announced the availability of Web 3D GIS framework with a "mini-Google Earth" web control and 2D map. The framework provides a powerful customized 3D terrain web control/plugin, which is able to integrate with 2D map through OpenLayers, MapFish, and ExtJS. The customized 3D terrain web control/plugin makes it possible to load user own DEM data along with specific resolution, image texture, and objects. Like a "mini-Google Earth", it provides properties and methods to realize 3D features, supports Javascript script to set the properties and call the methods. Along with 2D map API OpenLayers, MapFish, and user interface API ExtJS, the framework provides a powerful 3D and 2D GIS solution.

The source code of the 3D web control and project demonstrations are available. They allow users and developers to easily revise the code and extend features in their own 3D GIS projects. See the details at the website

Dotted Eyes is launching Contractor Portal, a web application for local government organizations that simplifies the distribution of Ordnance Survey and other spatial datasets to their contractors.

Local authorities carry a significant workload when distributing datasets including preparation and completion of paperwork, selection and processing of datasets, timely distribution of the completed data cut-outs and compliance with strict contractual terms.

The new GRS-1 handheld RTK GNSS receiver now supports Pocket 3D software. Pocket 3D Version 9.0 is a Windows Mobile 6.1 release intended only for use with the GRS-1 and is designed to be used as part of a GPS network solution.

The GRS-1 RTK rover features:
-- The smallest, lightest RTK rover available;
-- 1 cm RTK accuracy;
-- Dual frequency GPS + GLONASS receiver;
-- Integrated cell phone (GSM, CDMA);
-- Bright, colorful touch screen display; and
-- Windows Mobile 6.1

Envista Corporation
introduced Envista 2009 Release 2 of their web-based software for infrastructure project coordination. The map-based system facilitates the planning process for construction and maintenance work in and under roadways. This new version unveils breakthrough features generated from customer feedback, including Permit View, Event Coordination, Collaboration Ready Maps, Custom Spatial Query, and Multipoint Map Sketching. The Envista coordination solution optimizes project timing and detects project conflicts among towns, cities, utilities and highway agencies. The efficiencies gained through better coordination result in fewer street cuts in newly paved streets and less disruption for commuters and neighborhoods during the construction season.

James W. Sewall Company announced the launch of ASGPipeline Generation 3.0, the newest version of Sewall’s industry-standard pipeline alignment generation software. Generation 3.0, to be commercially released in late 2009, introduces ASGPipeline Designer, an innovative graphical interface for fast, intuitive pipeline sheet layout and definition.

Tracker Software Corporation
has completed development on its latest add-on module – MapViewer II. Used in conjunction with the Asset Management Core, MapViewer brings the ability to map all appropriate PubWorks data with one click. Already in use in Boulder County, Colorado, Miami Township, Ohio and Schaumburg, IL, public works professionals are mapping service requests, work orders, sign management for retro-reflectivity compliance and the activity and cost associated with each.

NAVTEQ is showcasing a new connected navigation experience at IAA 09: called NAVTEQ Connect. Bringing together key industry collaborators, NAVTEQ Connect highlights some of the most advanced navigation capabilities on the market and it underlines NAVTEQ's unique strength in enabling a broad range of navigation applications with an open and flexible range of products, services and solutions.

Around the Web

Intelligence Analyst Charged With Hacking Top Secret, Anti-Terror Program
, by Kevin Poulson, September 14, 2009, Wired

NGA Awards $214.2M to GeoEye for Commercial Satellite Imagery Defense Industry Daily, Sept. 18, 2009

The Latest Buzz On... Digital Cartography, Wall Street Journal



Conference on Spatial Information Theory: COSIT'09
Date: September 21 - 25, 2009
Place: Port de l'Aber Wrac'h
Landéda , 29870 France

The aim of COSIT is to bring together researchers from different disciplines for an intensive scientific exchange. This aim is facilitated by the presentation and discussion of a restricted number of papers and posters -- the most innovative and significant recent contributions -- rather than papers covering all advances in the field.

2009 Central Florida GIS Workshop
Date: September 21 - 22, 2009
Place: Hilton, Altamonte Springs

Workshop Program includes 2 days of great training opportunities not only through technical presentations from ESRI and the GIS industry, but also from users in the GIS community who have lived and learned. Mr John Calkins, Corporate Technical Evangelist, ESRI will be our Keynote Speaker at the Workshop

2009 ESRI Health GIS Conference
Date: September 21 - 23, 2009
Place: Hilton Nashville Downtown
Nashville, TN USA

Join us for the 2009 ESRI Health GIS Conference and learn how health and human services organizations worldwide are improving our health with GIS.

Date: September 22 - 24, 2009
Place: Karlsruhe, Germany

INTERGEO is the world’s largest event and communication platform for geodesy, geoinformation and land management. The trade fair and conference cover all the key trends that crop up along the entire value-added chain – from geo-based information surveys and data processing to integrated applications.

PLM Road Map™ 2009
Date: September 22 - 23, 2009
Place: 44045 Five Mile Road
Plymouth, Detroit, MI 48170 USA

PLM Road Map™ 2009 is a strategic conference focused on the critical trade-offs shaping product development. Attendees at PLM Road Map™ 2009 will have their current thinking on product development challenged in a series of highly charged presentations. At PLM Road Map™ 2009 you will find out first hand which issues are currently confronting end users.

ESRI Regional User Conference
Date: September 22 - 23, 2009
Place: 2200, rue Mansfield
Montréal, QC, H3A 3R8 Canada

ESRI Canada is pleased to invite you to join other GIS professionals for this exclusive opportunity to learn about the latest advances in GIS technology and hear first hand how others in your community are using a geographic approach in their work.

AGI GeoCommunity '09
Date: September 22 - 24, 2009
Place: Holiday Inn, Stratford Upon Avon
Bridgefoot, United Kingdom

The AGI conference is the biggest independent GI conference right at the heart of the UK event GI calendar and delivered by the nation's dedicated GI membership association. Now well established as a centrally located residential conference, AGI GeoCommunity has become extremely popular. AGI GeoCommunity is ideally structured for a great diversity of activities; plenaries, keynotes, conference papers, workshops, debates, networking, social activities and much more.

ESRI Regional User Conference
Date: September 28 - 29, 2009
Place: TBD
Vancouver, BC, Canada

ESRI Canada is pleased to invite you to join other GIS professionals for this exclusive opportunity to learn about the latest advances in GIS technology and hear first hand how others in your community are using a geographic approach in their work.

GIS Defence Asia Pacific '09
Date: September 28 - 30, 2009
Place: Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

GIS Defence Asia-Pacific will bring Asia’s Ministries of Defence and other governmental organisations together with international counterparts to focus on the increasing use of geospatial information in defence.

URISA's 47th Annual Conference & Exposition
Date: September 29 - October 2, 2009
Place: Anaheim Marriott

Today's GIS Professional has to accomplish more with fewer resources and less support. In this day and age of reduced budgets and numerous choices of conferences to attend,

ESRI Regional User Conference
Date: September 30 - October 1, 2009
Place: Penticton Trade and Convention Centre
273 Power Street , Penticton, BC, V2A 7K9 Canada

ESRI Canada is pleased to invite you to join other GIS professionals for this exclusive opportunity to learn about the latest advances in GIS technology and hear first hand how others in your community are using a geographic approach in their work.

2009 NSGIC Annual Conference
Date: October 4 - 8, 2009
Place: Renaissance Cleveland Hotel
24 Public Square, Cleveland, OH USA

The National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) is an organization committed to efficient and effective government through the prudent adoption of geospatial information technologies (GIT)

Location Intelligence 2009
Date: October 5 - 7, 2009
Place: Westin Westminster

The premier event focused on how businesses deploy and capitalize on geospatial information. At the intersection of location technology and business intelligence, the Location Intelligence Conference will offer application-based presentations from industries including retail, banking, insurance, real estate, transportation, energy, telecommunications and more.

ESRI Regional User Conference
Date: October 6 - 7, 2009
Place: Toronto Congress Centre
650 Dixon Road, Toronto, Ontario, M9W 1J1 Canada

ESRI Canada is pleased to invite you to join other GIS professionals for this exclusive opportunity to learn about the latest advances in GIS technology and hear first hand how others in your community are using a geographic approach in their work.

GIS in the Humanities and Social Sciences 2009
Date: October 7 - 9, 2009
Place: Academia Sinica
Taipei, Taiwan

It is our pleasure to announce the inaugural GIS in the Humanities and Social Sciences 2009 International Conference, to be held at Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan from 7 to 9 October 2009. This significant international Geographical Information Science event aims to bring together an eclectic mix of humanists and social scientists who have used GIS in their work. With a view to the development of GIS as an effective tool and approach for disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, scholars considering using GIS and doctoral students are welcomed as well.

2009 ESRI Latin American User Conference
Date: October 7 - 9, 2009
Place: Cosmos 100 Hotel
Bogotá , Colombia

Join ESRI for the LAUC, where GIS users in Latin America will have the opportunity to connect and collaborate, broaden their professional horizons, and explore GIS solutions for real-world problems. The 2009 LAUC will offer informative technical workshops that will help attendees better leverage their current GIS investments, and a number of user presentations on topics ranging from natural resources to utilities. Explore technology advances and new products in the GIS Solutions EXPO, where visitors will find exhibitors showcasing their hardware, software, solutions, and services. Be part of this exciting event.

Webinar - Oil and Gas Production
Date: October 8, 2009
Place: USA

This Webinar will explore the various applications for Intermap's precise 3D elevation data in the oil and gas industry. The elevation data and radar imagery can assist geologists in extracting local structure information that can be imported into analysis software, assisting in geological interpretation, well log analysis, production

When: Thursday, October 8, 8:00 a.m. PST; 9:00 a.m. MST; 10:00 a.m. CST; 11:00 a.m. EST; 15:00 GMT

16th Annual South Florida GIS Expo
Date: October 8 - 9, 2009
Place: Palm Beach County Convention Center
650 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach, FL USA

The South Florida GIS Expo is helping to bridge that gap by providing an environment for networking with other GIS professionals and learning how they are doing more with less.

2009 Electric & Gas User Group (EGUG) Conference
Date: October 11 - 14, 2009
Place: Hyatt Regency Atlanta
Atlanta, GA USA

The 2009 EGUG conference is the premier event for GIS users in the electric and gas community. This gathering is your opportunity to learn how GIS innovation is helping utilities worldwide address today’s trends and challenges. Explore best practices, discover new applications, access valuable user support, and find out how you can transform knowledge into results in your utility. No matter your type of business, position, or GIS experience, this event helps you connect with your colleagues and ESRI staff in an environment dedicated to your most pressing needs.

2009 NW GIS User Group Conference
Date: October 12 - 16, 2009
Place: Sunriver

The 2008-2009 economic downturn is unprecedented and has affected every market sector including the Geospatial/GIS industry. Through comprehensive training sessions, open forum discussions, and networking the 24th annual NW GIS User Conference will focus on how to use your existing GIS to increase public access, improve decision support, and support highly effective business processes in today's challenging and changing business world.

2009 ESRI European User Conference (EUC)
Date: October 14 - 16, 2009
Place: Vilnius Concert Hall and Reval Hotel Lietuva
Vilnius, Lithuania

Join ESRI for the EUC, which is dedicated to GIS users throughout Europe and being held in Vilnius, Lithuania, the European Capital of Culture 2009.

ESRI Regional User Conference
Date: October 15 - 16, 2009
Place: Radisson Hotel Winnipeg Downtown
288 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R3B 0B8 Canada

ESRI Canada is pleased to invite you to join other GIS professionals for this exclusive opportunity to learn about the latest advances in GIS technology and hear first hand how others in your community are using a geographic approach in their work.

Mapping Florida Communities: An Introduction to GIS & Community Analysis - One Day Workshops
Date: October 16 - 17, 2009
Place: Kovens Conf Ctr/Florida Intl Univ - 3000
NE 151st, St North Miami, FL USA

*One Day Workshops. Participants choose which one day to attend.
Audience: Beginners, anyone interested in mapping their community
Focus: This workshop is customized for each location.

This hands-on workshop focuses on teaching the fundamentals of using a Geographic Information System (GIS) for community analysis. Participants will learn to create thematic maps with Census data, Geocoding (Address mapping) and Spatial Queries. Other features of the workshop are learning to extract Census data and good map layout and design.

Date: October 18 - 21, 2009
Place: Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
San Antonio, TX USA

The GEOINT 2009 Symposium promises another agenda packed with important keynote speakers, insightful panel discussions and interesting breakout sessions. Building on the dialogue from the past five years, GEOINT 2009 will break new ground as it pulls threads throughout the week from its theme: “Build the Community. Accelerate Innovation. Advance the Tradecraft.”

ESRI Southwest User Group Conference 2009
Date: October 19 - 23, 2009
Place: Pueblo Convention Center
Pueblo, CO USA

One of the greatest assets to the SWUG community is the ability for GIS practitioners to come together and share their experiences and insight.  User presentations make SWUG the great conference that it is.  We would love to hear about your applications and projects.

ESRI Regional User Conference
Date: October 20 - 21, 2009
Place: Hampton Inn Ottawa & Conference Centre
200 Coventry Road, Ottawa , Ontario, K1K 4S3 Canada

ESRI Canada is pleased to invite you to join other GIS professionals for this exclusive opportunity to learn about the latest advances in GIS technology and hear first hand how others in your community are using a geographic approach in their work.

Date: October 20 - 23, 2009
Place: Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre
Sydney, NSW, Australia

The spatial industry is undergoing rapid innovations and the open source spatial community is one of the forces driving the change. The FOSS4G conference is more than a melting pot of great ideas it is a catalyst and opportunity to unite behind the many successful geospatial products, standards and protocols. The 2007 conference was held in Victoria, BC, Canada and was a huge success. The 2008 conference was held in Cape Town, South Africa and proved to be a fantastic event.