Washington University in St. Louis

GIS: Geographic Information Systems


WUSTL GIS Users Group May Meeting

Last meeting of the school year!

Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 4:00PM
Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110

Speaker: Kayla Flamm
GIS Specialist, Horticulture Division
Missouri Botanical Garden

Kayla Flamm will be presenting on how MoBOT uses GIS in its daily operations, including managing their living collections, assessing risk of potentially invasive species, irrigating commercial systems, and tracking land management.

Transportation leaving from Rudolph Hall, Room 183 at 3:20pm. Email Mollie Webb for arrangements.

WUSTL GIS Users Group April Meeting

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 4:00PM
Hillman Hall, Room 200
Danforth Campus

Speaker: Alison Drain
Product Manager
Boundless Spatial, Inc.

Open source GIS technology has developed dramatically over the last 15 years, and many companies are looking to transition to a hybrid or fully open GIS for their spatial analyses. Join the GIS User Group for a presentation on the different open source platforms offered by Boundless Spatial, Inc., including current market applications and a demonstration of QGIS, a free and open-source desktop GIS software package.

WUSTL GIS Users Group March Meeting

March 1, 2017 - 4:00PM
Millbrook Building, Conference Room 1
Danforth Campus

Speaker: Brad Averbeck, Information Services Manager
Facilities Planning & Management
Washington University in St. Louis

Facilities Planning and Management at Washington University in St. Louis has been using GIS for the past nine years. In that time we have gone from a simple Ortho-rectified photo of the campus to a full blown GIS environment that contains features like the campus basemap to trees, utilities, interior space and even survey data. Our current challenges involve working toward an online map, automating the exchange of data between GIS and Facilities applications and automating the production of maps.

WUSTL GIS Users Group February Meeting

February 1, 2017 - 4:00PM
Hillman Hall, Room 200
Danforth Campus

Speaker: Dr. Martin P. Mendez-Costabel, Geospatial Big Data Engineering and Strategy Lead, Monsanto Company

WUSTL GIS Users Group December Meeting

December 7, 2016 - 4:00PM
Rudolph Hall, Room 183
Danforth Campus

Speaker: Michael C. Bouchard, PhD Candidate in Earth and Planetary Sciences

Geographic Information Systems has revolutionized the collection, storage and analysis of data about our planet, but it also is imperative in the study of other planetary bodies. From morphological mapping to imagery analysis, GIS is the workhorse of the Mars Exploration Program. While at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory this summer I used ArcGIS to characterize hazards at potential landing sites for the next Mars rover. Come hear about the tools and applications as we applied to the exploration of another planet!

WUSTL GIS Day 2016 Events

Wednesday, November 16th

GIS Day Breakfast
Rudolph Hall 183
Come grab a coffee and talk all things GIS with users from around campus.
Let us know you are coming - GIS Day Breakfast Registration

GIS Day Georef-A-Thon
Rudolph 183
Bring your laptop and dig into the past with WashU's collection of historical maps. This is a drop in session and geo-referencing coaching will be provided!
Let us know you are coming - GIS Day Georef-A-Thon Registration

GIS Day Lightning Talks and Reception
Presentations - 2:00-3:45pm
Reception - 3:45-4:30pm
The Women's Building - Formal Lounge
GIS users from many disciplines will present short summaries of their work and experiences with GIS.
Let us know you are coming - GIS Day Lightning Talks Registration

Full list of speakers and presentation topics available here.

St. Louis County - GIS Day Events

November 16, 2016 - 1:00-3:30pm
Saint Louis County Department of Public Health
6121 North Hanley Rd., Room 1048
Berkeley, MO 63134

Check out their flyer for more information!

WUSTL GIS Users Group November Meeting

November 2, 2016 - 4:00PM
Medical Campus, Old Shriners Building, 4547 Clayton Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63110, Room 1123

Speaker: Rosa Schulz, Master of Public Health Candidate

Previous studies have demonstrated a relationship between alcohol availability and crime yet few have explored the impact of differential closing times for alcohol-licensed establishments. This presentation provides both a spatial and statistical analysis assessing the impact of extended-close licenses on crime near bars in the City of St. Louis, Missouri. Select data from this project were then visually represented using the interactive Tableau software.

WUSTL GIS Users Group October Meeting

October 5, 2016 - 4:00PM
ARC Presentation Room - Olin Library

Michael Baer, GIS Analyst Lead at St. Louis County, will discuss the evolution of using ArcGIS Online as a delivery platform for St. Louis County’s public data.

For more information, visit the St. Louis County Open Data Portal.

Data Library Structure Changes

August 19, 2016
Reorganization of gispublic directory

The data structure of the WUSTL data library at maps.wustl.edu\gispublic has changed.

A guide to the new and former locations of the datasets can be found at the root level of the gispublic directory ("GISPUBLIC_CrossList.xlsx").

If you have any map documents with existing links to gispublic, the data source must be repointed. For help on repointing data links to a new data source, please see this Esri Help Site.

Should you experience any issues with gispublic, please contact Mollie Webb or Bill Winston.

GIS Day 2015 Events

Wednesday, November 18th

Download the full schedule as a PDF.


GIS Day Social
9:00am, Olin Library - Ginkgo Reading Room

Please join us for a breakfast get together for International GIS Day. At this informal event we will kick-off GIS day with a little nosh while becoming familiar with each other, our research interests and use of GIS.

Let us know you’re coming! Register here.

10:00am, Olin Library - ARC Lab

QGIS is a free, community developed and open-source desktop geographic information system (GIS) application that can be installed on various operating systems. It provides data viewing, editing, and analysis capabilities.

Let us know you’re coming! Register here.

Spatial analysis and Visualization in R
11:00am, Olin Library - ARC Lab

R is a powerful tool for statistical analysis. Packages that allow for spatial analysis are also available in R, like rgdal and maptools. In this workshop you will be introduced to basic spatial analysis in R.

Let us know you’re coming! Register here.

Adding to OpenStreetMap
12:00pm, Olin Library - ARC Lab

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is built by a diverse community of mappers that contribute and maintain open data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more, all over the world. In this workshop you will learn about OSM and hands-on contribution to OSM.

Let us know you’re coming! Register here.

ArcGIS & Python
2:00pm, Olin Library - ARC Lab

ArcGIS is a powerful GIS software. Python is a versatile, user-friendly, programming language. In this workshop learn how to write Python scripts that will automate some common tasks in ArcGIS.

Let us know you’re coming! Register here.

Lightning Talks
3:30pm, Women's Building

Please join us for our second year of GIS Day Lightning Talks. Hear seven minute presentations on innovative research using GIS at WUSTL. Videos from last year's lightning talks are available on the WUSTL GIS User Group Youtube Channel.

Let us know you’re coming! Register here.


Sarah Stout
Clinical Research Coordinator

Preclinical Alzheimer's Disease - Mapping naturalistic driving

Individuals with Preclinical Alzheimer's Disease have the physical signs (biomarkers) of Alzheimer's in their brain but they do not have the recognizable symptoms of the disease. However, in recent testing in the Department of Neurology, we have found that individuals with these Alzheimer biomarkers make more errors on a standard driving test. However, due to the limitations of standardized driving exams, we are pilot testing a new technology that allows us to observe drivers in their own vehicles and in their own natural environments. We can plot and analyze their natural driving habits to better understand how those with the Alzheimer biomarkers differ from those whose brains do not show Preclinical Alzheimer's Disease.

Andrew Flachs

Spatial Modeling of Genetically Modified Seed Choices in Telangana, India. A work in progress by Andrew Flachs, Glenn Davis Stone, and Christopher Shaffer.

In this talk I will discuss the ways in which I am using GIS to model the spread of genetically modified cotton seeds in Telangana, India. My ethnographic fieldwork has shown that farmers do not conduct reliable trials of seeds in their fields and instead rely on social emulation, copying the choices of their neighbors to determine which seeds to plant. By plotting seed choices in a GIS, I can see the ways in which farmers follow their neighbors at the expense of following their own first-hand experience, leading to dramatic waves of popularity for particular seeds and periods of general uncertainty. The spatial patterns illustrate that there are no particular farmers that are driving these trends. Instead, we see shifting centers of social emulation in the field.

Francis Baum

How to Build a geoTARDIS !

This talk describes a workflow for using the 2D mapping tool ArcMap and the 3D mapping tool ArcScene to build a 4D interactive paper map that portrays the geological formation layers underground, plus more!

Ben Cooper
Center Manager at Public Health Data & Training Center, Institute for Public Health

Novel approaches to obesity surveillance using population level data

In 2014 the St. Louis City Department of Health (STLDOH) launched an obesity surveillance program. However, they had little population level data. A partnership with the Public Health Data & Training Center within the Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri was formed.

Christine Marx
Senior Public Health Research Coordinator

Spatial Energetics: Exploring relationships between the built environment and health behaviors

This presentation will describe recent GIS-related work in the Transdisciplinary Research in Energetics and Cancer, or TREC, Center at WUSTL and our research partners. It will demonstrate how GIS measures were used in a group of related research projects seeking to deepen the understanding of social, environmental, and policy influences on obesity and related health behaviors in both the residential and worksite settings. The presentation will also describe the benefits and challenges of conducting GIS-related research with a multi-institution, transdisciplinary team.

Natalie Yates
Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture

Spectral Terrain Analysis

GIS tools have made it possible to use publicly-accessible multispectral data such as that gathered through the Landsat, ASTER and MODIS projects. In this presentation I will talk about work in progress on mapping landscape change and ecological health.

Guillermo Martín-Sáiz

Mapping Muslim Proselytizing in Urban Spaces

In this presentation I address how creating maps is central in both the development of ethnographic methodologies and in the formuation of a theoretical argument in anthropological research. Specifically, here I describe how tracking Muslim preaching routes across Barcelona, Spain, leads to capture the dynamism and mobility of emerging Islamic proselytizing that trascens the boundaries of fixed, stable architectural spaces (such as mosques and community centers).

Chris Hamilton

Neighborhood context and violent crime in St. Louis

This in-progress research uses Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) to examine spatially varying relationships among neighborhood factors and violent crime rates in the city of St. Louis.

WUSTL GIS Users' Group

Wednesday, September 2nd
DUC 232

GIS User Group Meet & Greet - 1st Fall Meeting

Come, eat drink and be merry with the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) User group!

Get to know us or come back for another great year. This community gets together every month for speakers, discussions and work shopping problems, etc.

All levels of experience and interest welcome!!!

History Colloquium - Benjamin MacDonald Schmidt, Northeastern University

Creating Data: Visualizing the Population, 1870-1930

Wednesday, February 25th
3:30 - 5pm
Room 18, Busch Hall

Starting in 1870, the US Census bureau created detailed statistical atlases that popularized concepts like the center of population and the frontier, and that remain landmarks of data visualization in the current day.

Without them, for example, we would not have Frederick Jackson Turner's essay on the frontier in American history. But the representations of the aggregate population carried an agenda that reflected both state and political motives.

Only through enormous contortions was it possible to declare that the frontier had closed in 1890. By visualizing the data the census collected anew, and juxtaposing it with the published and archived sources created at the census, this talk will investigate just how state agents realized their own agendas in the charts and maps they made, and how historians and the public received them.

In so doing, it will argue that the digital humanities offer better methods than historians have previously had to engage critically with data as a primary source.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of History and Digital Humanities.

More information here.

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Summit

April 30 - May 2
Washington DC

Volunteer mappers, educators, community builders, humanitarians, geographers, and programmers will gather for a 3 day multi-track event to learn, discuss and share ideas about the humanitarian and economic development uses of OpenStreetMap.

More information here.

WUSTL GIS Users' Group

Monday, February 23rd
Room 183, Rudolph Hall

Come and join with other GIS Users from the Washington University community to see a 3D virtual world in the CAVE.

Poster presentations of WUSTL GIS Projects on Open Scholarship

Visit Open Scholarship to explore poster presentations from GIS projects in the School of Social Work! Each semester Dr. Aaron Hipp and Aaron Addison each teach a class in applying GIS to social work and public health problems. These posters walk viewers through the researchers' questions, analyses and visualizations.

The Open Scholarship repository is a service of Washington University Libraries to provide free access to the scholarly output of the university.

Click here to see the GIS Posters.

If you have questions about learning GIS at WUSTL please email gis@wustl.edu.

WUSTL GIS Users' Group

Monday, January 26th
4pm - 6pm
Arc Lab, Olin Library

Introduction to Leaflet with GIS Programmer Aster Xiang

Come and join with other GIS Users from the Washington University community to learn how your colleagues are applying GIS technology in their work.

Brown School GIS Final Projects Presentation

Thursday, December 11th
12pm - 2pm
Brown Hall, Brown Lounge
Goldfarb Hall, Rooms 132 & 135

Please join the students of the Foundations of GIS for the Applied Social Sciences as they present their final project posters. We welcome you to come and go as you please and enjoy the refreshments.

GIS Day Lightning Talks

Wednesday, November 19th
1pm - 4:30pm
Umrath Lounge

Join us for exciting & innovative 7 minute presentations from faculty and graduate students in Archaeology, Architecture, Biology, History, Education, Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, Earth & Planetary Sciences, Romance Languages & Literature, Social Work, International Areas Studies, Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities etc.. There will be two twenty minute lectures as well. We welcome you to come and go as you please and enjoy the refreshments.

This event is brought to you by Data & GIS Services in Washington University Libraries as a part of International GIS Day.

See here for details.

WUSTL GIS Users' Meet & Greet

Friday, August 29th: GIS User Group - Come and meet fellow GIS users and enthusiasts! We will be hosting a meeting in DUC, Room 248 from 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm to learn how other disciplines use GIS, and to discuss current work, ideas and collaborations. Light refreshments will be served. Email wustlgis@gmail.com with any questions.

If you have not already taken the survey please visit it here. The info from this survey will be discussed at our meet and greet so we can build upon last year's success.

Lecture: Carl Steinitz

October 21, 2014
Steinberg Auditorium
6pm Reception
6:30pm Lecture

Renowned in his field, Dr. Carl Steinitz is a pioneer of GIS application in landscape architecture. His professional work spans nearly fifty years with the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he holds the title of Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Landscape Architecture and Planning Emeritus. He began his affiliation with the Harvard Graduate School of Design as a research associate in the Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis in 1966. He has been Professor of Landscape Architecture and Planning at the Graduate School of Design since 1973. Dr. Steinitz has focused his research and teaching on landscape change, methods of landscape analysis, visual quality, and landscape planning and design. His research seeks to examine and improve the methods and decision making used by planners and designers for analysis and feature arrangement across large land areas; for example, in predicting the impact of urban and rural change on biodiversity in regions located between metropolitan environments.

Having published extensively throughout his distinguished career, Professor Steinitz is principal author of "Alternative Futures for Changing Landscapes", Island Press, 2003, and author of "A Framework for Geodesign", Esri Press, 2012.

Professor Steinitz currently delivers lectures and workshops across the globe, including more than 140 universities. Among his accomplishments, he was awarded an honorary professorship in 1987 by the Beijing Forestry University; was named Visiting Professor at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London in 2007; was awarded the Eleanor R. Stuckeman Chair of Design and Visiting Professor of Practice at the Pennsylvania State University in 2011. In 1984, he received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) for his "extraordinary contribution to environmental design education" and for his "pioneering exploration in the use of computer technology in landscape planning, especially in the areas of resource management and visual impact assessment." In 1996 he received the annual "Outstanding Practitioner Award" from the International Society of Landscape Ecology (USA). In 2002, he was honored as one of Harvard University's outstanding teachers.

Dr. Steinitz received his Bachelors of Architecture at Cornell University, with post-graduate work at the School of Architecture, London and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received both his Masters and PhD in Architecture.

WUSTL GIS User Group's next Meeting

Wednesday, December 18: GIS User Group - Come and meet fellow GIS users and enthusiasts! We will be hosting a meeting in Goldfarb 135 from 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm to learn how other disciplines use GIS, and to discuss current work, ideas and collaborations. Light refreshments will be served. Email a.plasencia@wustl.edu or wustlGIS@gmail.com with any questions.

Geography Awareness Week @ Washington University in St. Louis

November 18 - 22, 2013

Monday, November 18th
Kick off Geography Awareness Week
with a talk on Remote Sensing from
Greg Brunner, Imagery Scientist at ESRI
Olin Library, Level 1, Room 142

All Week
Geocaching on Campus - explore campus and use geospatial clues to find caches containing vouchers you can exchange for prizes. Find out more about the contest and get Challenge clues at http://libguides.wustl.edu/GIS_Challenge

Wednesday, November 20th
Symposium on Future Directions in GIS with special guest speaker Dr. Chris Bone, Professor at the University of Oregon, who will speak on his research on geographic data modeling, agent based modeling and his innovative approach to integrate GIS in his teaching. Bone will join Aaron Addison (Director of Data and GIS Services at WUSTL), Bill Winston (GIS Analyst at WUSTL) and special guest Brett Lord Castillo (GIS Programmer at St. Louis County Office of Emergency Management) in a panel discussion on how web GIS is or will impact researchers' practices and what tools exist or are on the horizon.
Location: McMillan Cafe

Wednesday, November 20th
WUSTL GIS User Group's Inaugural Meeting
The WUSTL GIS User Group will serve all students and faculty wishing to share interesting projects, get feedback, problem solve and recruit others to work with them. Pizza and beverages provided.
Location: Olin Library, Level 1, Room 142

Thursday, November 21th
1-2 pm
A workshop on GIS in the STEM disciplines
Instructor: Shannon White is coordinator of the Missouri Geographic Alliance and State 4-H Science Youth Development Specialist at the University of Missouri. Shannon has extensive classroom experience teaching GIS concepts to all ages and will present some hands-on examples illustrating the strong connection between GIS and the STEM disciplines.
Location: GIS Teaching Lab: Rudolph Hall room 308
Friday, November 22nd
Closing event
Come and meet with the Data and GIS Services team at WUSTL Libraries. Bring your geocaching vouchers and collect fabulous prizes!
Location: Olin Library, Level 1, 142

Deadlines Approaching for ESRI Summer Internship Programs

Students: don't let these opportunities pass you by!

ESRI's Internship Program gives you a chance to work alongside Esri staff throughout the company.

  • Full-time, paid positions (up to 12 weeks)
  • Approximately 80 interns, primarily in Redlands but also in a few regional offices
  • Check your major to see where you would fit best
  • Apply now! The deadline is March 15, but positions are filled as qualified candidates are identified
  • Have questions? We have answers

Are you proud to call yourself a geogeek? Students selected for our Student Assistantship Program spend a full week at the Esri International User Conference in beautiful San Diego. In exchange for helping out during the conference, students attend sessions and network with others who share their passion for GIS. The application deadline is March 29. Students must be available to work Saturday, July 6, through Friday, July 12.

Read about Amelia's experience as a student assistant at last year's conference.

Meet Former Interns

Who can tell the story of what it's like to be an Esri intern better than those who have had the experience? Read profiles of some of last summer's interns for insight on projects they worked on and why they think working at Esri is cool.

Connect with Us

There are still plenty of opportunities to meet our staff at campus events across the US this spring. Check our interactive map for the schedule. Other ways to stay connected:

Chat with Esri staff live during #EsriJobChat on Twitter. Ask our recruiters about summer programs or careers for new grads, and get helpful career advice. Chats are typically held the third Thursday of the month at 4 p.m. (Pacific Time); follow @EsriCareers for specifics.

Seniors: Ready for a New Campus?

Graduating this semester? Congrats! Make the transition from your college campus to the Esri campus, where you'll find a number of opportunities for new grads throughout the company. Learn where you might fit at Esri and then search current openings.

Check out our Life at Esri video.

From the Esri Careers Blog

Here are some recent posts from the Esri Careers Blog students might find interesting.

My Life as a Summer Intern

Working on All Things GIS

Hitting the Internship Jackpot

Esri Experts Talk Web and Mobile Development

Get Started

Geography Awareness Week @ Washington University in St. Louis

November 12 - 16, 2012

Discover how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can help you organize, analyze, and present spatial information. The Washington University GIS Coordinator's Office is sponsoring these sessions to highlight resources available to the University community.

Map Your Data NOW! (Mon 12-1; Wed 9am-10; Fri 10am-11)
This hands-on session will teach you how to use Google Earth and ArcGIS Online to create informative maps. Participants will learn how to create printed and digital output.

Accessing GIS Data (Mon 3pm-4; Fri 2pm-3)
Learn how to obtain data from the University, Community, State and National Clearinghouses, and other online resources.

Starting from Scratch - Data Creation and Editing (Tues 10am-11; Fri 11am-12)
Learn how to create your own data and edit existing features.

Python & GIS (Tues 11am-12; Fri 1pm-2)
Would you like to use simple scripts to automate and streamline your geoprocessing? This session will introduce some of the ways you can incorporate Python into ArcGIS.

Field to Finish - LIDAR Data Collection and Processing Demonstration (Tues 1pm-3)
LIDAR datasets are becoming more commonplace and provide a very detailed data source for geospatial applications. Come see how terrestrial LIDAR data is collected and processed.

Research 101 (Wed 1:30pm-2:30)
This installment of Research 101 will present on conducting research using GIS.

GIS 101 (Wed 3pm-5)
An overview session of how GIS is being used by students and faculty on campus.

Tuesday (11/13) is Visualization Day! (10am - 4pm)
Visit the Fossett Lab for Virtual Exploration (aka the CAVE), LIDAR demonstrations, and more!

R - Rudolph Hall

Follow us on twitter @WUSTLGIS for updates
Questions? gis@wustl.edu

MAGIC (MidAmerica GIS Consortium) 2012 Conference Report

by Mark Smith 5/11/12

Recently I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 Mid-America GIS Consortium conference in Kansas City. The conference, held at the Westin Crown Center, ran over a five day period and included industry representatives from across the country, and GIS professionals from the nine member states (Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Oklahoma). At the conference, industry and government were heavily represented, with many workshops/breakout sessions featuring representatives from various government bodies discussing how they were currently utilizing GIS.

While are the conference I attended many different breakout sessions, including several on emergency response, census data, 911 and law enforcement, tax districts, and on open source GIS software. Of particular note were two different sessions. Curtis Copeland, GIS Coordinator for the City of Branson, MO, shared about his role in the response to the recent tornado disaster his community experienced. Immediately after the disaster he began work on the ground with his GIS unit mapping the tornado's path. In the emergency response command center afterwards, the maps he was able to create guided the search and rescue response, went out to the national media, and were used for public demonstrations with computer generated video flyover of the affected area. His practical suggestions from his personal experience responding without electricity, access to his servers, or even access to his own office were good reminders about proper planning and best practices. The second session of note was delivered by the U.S. Census Bureau, discussing their Tiger shapefile functionality, and more importantly demonstrating a pre-release of a new software tool (anticipated to be released sometime in June) that contains the complete 2010 U.S. Census dataset. The tool installs on Windows computers, unpacks the census data, and allows the user to specify what geographic region he/she would like to investigate and what attributes she/he is interested in. The program is able to export that data into 14 different formats, including into spreadsheets and shapefiles ready to be used in GIS software, among other formats. This is a significant step up from using Tiger shapefiles, which need to have attributes joined to them.

Overall, the conference was a good introduction for me to the larger GIS world, especially industry players and government sectors. I would be happy to answer any questions the readers may have about the conference, do not hesitate to contact me.

I would like to extend a hearty thank you to the Washington University GIS department for their support of my participation in the conference. Thank you for encouraging WashU students' connections to the wider GIS community!

Mark Smith is a graduate student from George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University.