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‘GIS’ category

Every year, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies hosts the Purdue GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Day Conference. During it, Purdue students demonstrate how they have applied GIS in their individual areas of study and research. Nicole Kong, PULSIS associate professor and GIS specialist at Purdue, heads up the conference, along with a team of collaborators from across Purdue, all who are involved in GIS work in some way. This year, the Purdue GIS Day Conference is set for Thursday, Nov. 7 in Stewart Center. (More information about research and project submission deadlines is available at lib.purdue.edu/gis/gisday/gisday_2019_college_program.)

Nicole Kong, associate professor and GIS specialist, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Nicole Kong, associate professor and GIS specialist, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

In addition to planning the Purdue GIS Day Conference and her teaching duties, Kong serves as a principal investigator (PI) or co-PI for various GIS and data-science research projects at Purdue. Recently, she was awarded funding in Purdue’s Integrative Data Science Initiative (IDSI) for the project, “Integrating Geospatial Information Across Disciplines.” In addition, she is co-PI for two more GIS-related projects, both which were recently funded through U.S. government agencies. The projects include:

  • 2019 – 2020: “Leveraging Soil Explorer for Soils and Ecological Training.” USDA (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture), NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service), Soil Science Collaborative Research Proposals Notice of Funding Opportunity (NFO). PI: D. Schulze (agronomy) and co-PI J. Ackerson (agronomy): $52,295.49.
  • 2018 – 2019: “IndianaView Program Development and Operations for the State of Indiana.” AmericaView program, U.S. Geological Survey. Co-PI, with L. Biehl, (ITaP), J. Shan (civil engineering): $23,000.

Kong’s important work on the two government-funded research projects has implications for soil research, conservation efforts, and the training of soil scientists, as well as remotely sensed data collections that contribute to the AmericaView project. Data from this project can help inform national and international economic, environmental, social, health, and geopolitical decisions.

“The AmericaView Consortium is charged with helping each state overcome these difficulties and helps the university, secondary-education, and public sectors in each state identify, develop, and distribute the kinds of applications each state needs most. In light of our nation’s current focus on achieving a secure and stable digital infrastructure, never has this task been more relevant,” Kong explained.

Below, Kong provides more background about both projects and how the research in both contributes to soil mapping across the globe, as well as the mapping, monitoring, and management of natural and environmental resources.

Q. How did the “Leveraging Soil Explorer for Soils and Ecological Training” project come about and how will you and your team use the grant funds?

Kong: This project was developed based upon the success of our previous award of “Integrating Spatial Education Experience (Isee)” funded by NRCS. In the previous award, we successfully collaborated with several other states to develop soil property maps for education purposes.

In this project, we will further develop the soil maps for the conterminous U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories, as well as provide training materials about how to use the new maps to improve soil and ecology training. Part of the funds will be used for Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies to assist in creating and sharing the maps, as well as for GIS server improvement.

Q. Who else is involved with “Leveraging Soil Explorer for Soils and Ecological Training” project?
Kong: This project is led by Dr. Darrell Schulze in the agronomy department. Dr. Jason Ackerson and I are co-PIs on the project.

Q. How will the data you gather be used in the future?
Kong: Detailed soil surveys across U.S. have been conducted and well documented by the Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO). This database contains very rich information about soil properties, but often requires extensive knowledge in related fields to understand. On the other hand, maps are models of our world that allow us to make sense of a space that is too large and too complex for us to comprehend in any other way. Digital maps are inherently scalable and can show both the details and the overview seamlessly. Soil maps can help researchers to understand how soils and soil properties are distributed across landscapes at various scales. They can be critical resources for training scientists in the disciplines of soil science, ecology, agronomy, geology, and other natural sciences. The results of the maps will be delivered via SoilExplorer webpage, as well as the Soil Explorer apps for iOS and Android devices. Learning materials, workshops and webinars will also be delivered to the trainers.

Q. Any other information important to include about this project?
Kong: Managing, sharing, and leveraging geospatial information generated by Purdue researchers is an essential part of the GIS team’s mission. With the similar research methods, we have also collaborated in soil mapping projects in Kenya and Peru. Using spatial information as a way to teach soil properties has been a success in many classrooms through our studies.

Q. What is the purpose of the “IndianaView Program Development and Operations for the State of Indiana” project and who is involved?
Kong: The purpose of IndianaView is to promote sharing and use of public domain remotely sensed image data for education, research, and outreach across universities, colleges, K-12 educators, and state and local governments in Indiana. It is part of the larger grant, AmericaView, funded by the U.S. Geological Survey. This project is a collaboration among Mr. Larry Biehl (ITaP), Dr. Jie Shan (civil engineering), and me.

Q. What are you hoping to accomplish with the project? How will the data you gather be used in the future?
Kong: Within this project, we will continue to develop the IndianaView Consortium, which currently includes 15 institutions. We will select and support undergraduate and graduate student scholarships, as well as mini-grant opportunities for the consortiums members for research, education, or outreach. In addition, we have also planned activities for K-12 outreach, presenting at local or regional conferences, and teaching in undergraduate and graduate classrooms. (More information is available at www.indianaview.org.)

Q. What is AmericaView and why is it important?
Kong: AmericaView is a nationwide partnership of remote sensing scientists who support the use of Landsat and other public domain remotely sensed data through applied research, K-12, and higher education. The need for AmericaView has been building for more than 30 years. Since the early 1970s, the federal government and private sector have spent billions of dollars on satellite-based earth observing systems and have worked with the research community to identify, develop, and distribute real-world applications for mapping, monitoring, and managing natural and environmental resources. Unfortunately, while the potential uses of the technology have been widely recognized, development and distribution of real-world applications have persistently been tough issues for both the federal government and the academic research community. The AmericaView Consortium is charged with helping each state overcome these difficulties and helps the university, secondary-education, and public sectors in each state identify, develop, and distribute the kinds of applications each state needs most.

More information about GIS resources via the Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies is available at www.lib.purdue.edu/gis.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Nicolas Picard’s presentation is the keynote address for Purdue Libraries’ GIS Day Conference 2018 and is part of the Ideas Festival, the centerpiece of Purdue’s Giant Leaps Sesquicentennial Campaign. Learn more about the GIS Day Conference 2018 at www.lib.purdue.edu/gis/gisday/gisday_2018_college_program.

Wildlife experts estimate the Earth loses 18.7 million acres of forests per year — the equivalent of 27 soccer fields every minute — through rampant deforestation. Tropical forestry expert and researcher Nicolas Picard, an official with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), believes the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can lead to a more sustainable future by improving forest management through the mapping, analysis, and oversight of global forest environments.

Dr. Picard’s keynote address will start at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, in Stewart Center 206 and is open free to the public.

The GIS Day Conference 2018 is co-sponsored by the Purdue College of Agriculture and the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, the Graduate School at Purdue University, Purdue Honors College, Purdue’s Krannert School of Management, Purdue Polytechnic Institute, and the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine.

About the Keynote Speaker

Picard is currently Ingénieur for the French Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood and Forest, and in charge of the Secretariat of the Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions-Silva Mediterranea within the Forestry Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).


Purdue GIS Day Conference 2018 Call for ProposalsGeographic Information Systems, or GIS, are technologies that enable researchers and investigators to examine and discover “why something happens where” it does. According to Matt Ball, a writer at Esri (the company that develops the ArcGIS mapping and spatial analytics software), GIS technologies give researchers the tools to take a “data-driven, problem-solving approach” in research projects.

“These technologies unlock geographic information from the prior static 2D map,” he notes on the Esri blog. “This way of looking at our world strengthens the understanding of how people, animals, the environment, and the built environment interact.”

On Thursday Nov. 1, Purdue University Libraries will host the annual GIS Day Conference at Purdue University, a daylong gathering that offers undergraduate and graduate students a forum in which to present their GIS-related research projects and ideas. Students are invited to submit presentation proposal abstracts in any one (or multiple) event categories listed below.

The deadline to submit abstract(s) is 11:59 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, at http://go.lib.purdue.edu/events/GIS2018. (Abstracts should be 250 words or less.) Purdue GIS Day Conference 2018 categories include:

  • Research Presentation
    15-minute presentation followed by question-and-answer (Q&A) session.
  • Round-Table Discussion
    One-hour discussion with live demo or project display.
  • Student Lightning Talks
    Five-minute talk to showcase your research that uses a GIF as a component in any way.
  • Student Poster Competition
    Present your work and interact with audience during your poster session. Enter the competition to win awards.
  • Purdue Libraries Esri Development Center Student of the Year Contest
    The EDC Student of the Year is an annual award open to all Purdue students, sponsored by Purdue Libraries Learning Council. The winner will be recognized as Student of the Year for outstanding achievements in development of innovative tools, applications, or techniques using ArcGIS platform. Each year the winner will be awarded with a plaque, cash prize (currently $500) and one Esri Developer Summit registration.

Last year, Purdue University was designated an Esri Development Center (EDC Program) by Esri. The Purdue GIS Day Conference 2018 will be held (Nov. 1) from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in Stewart Center, rooms 206 and 214.

For more information about the GIS Day Conference 2018, see www.lib.purdue.edu/gis/gisday.

Purdue Libraries to host the prominent EDC Program for GIS Research

Purdue University has recently been designated an Esri Development Center (EDC Program) by Esri, the developer of the ArcGIS mapping and spatial analytics software. According to Esri, the program provides special status and benefits “to a select few leading university departments that challenge their students to develop innovative applications based upon the ArcGIS platform.” The opportunity to participate in the EDC program will augment GIS (Geographic Information Systems) research and activities currently conducted at Purdue University.

As an EDC Program, faculty and students gain special access to Esri’s training and support application platform, which connects users from any field of academic research. As a member of the program, Purdue University students and faculty can benefit from exclusive professional development in data integration and geospatial analysis and training.

This fall, Purdue Libraries will sponsor the EDC GIS Development Contest, in which students participating in the EDC program will have the opportunity to compete for Purdue University’s EDC Student of the Year Award.

According to Assistant Professor and GIS Specialist at Purdue University Libraries Nicole Kong, the winner will have the chance to be internationally recognized at the annual Esri Developer Summit. All Purdue students are eligible to participate in the EDC Program and GIS contest, and the winner will be announced on Purdue Libraries’ annual GIS Day event, which is set for Thursday, Nov. 9 in Stewart Center, room 214.

“Purdue University was selected to participate in this prestigious program based on outstanding teaching and research in GIS. The EDC Program provides a centralized place to connect developers and GIS users across disciplines, which will promote many fruitful collaborations,” Kong noted.

More information about the EDC Student of the Year Award Contest will be forthcoming. For more information, contact Kong at (765) 496-9474 or via email at kongn@purdue.edu.

GIStitlePurdue University will host its 8th annual GIS Day College event on Thursday, Nov. 12 and Friday, Nov. 13.

GIS Day is a global celebration of geospatial research and geographic information systems (GIS) technology. Purdue University Libraries is working with the GIS Day planning committee, which includes faculty and staff from a variety of divisions across campus, to organize this multidisciplinary, campus-wide event.

GIS Day is a great opportunity to bring together the GIS community on campus, exchange research ideas, update recent development, and invite external speakers to address topics the community are commonly interested at Purdue.  This year’s GIS Day focus is “Launching the Geodata Portal at Purdue”.  Purdue University Libraries is working with ESRI, Purdue VACCINE Team, Purdue Facilities Information Services, Purdue Research Services and Support, Indiana GIO and Indiana Geographic Information Council for the GIS Day College event.

The college day program will be held on Thursday, Nov. 12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in STEW 218 (ABCD).  This program will include invited talks, presentations, student lightning talks, and a poster competition. These events are free and open to the public. Keynote speaker, Frank Garofalo, Interactive Manager, Esri and User Experience/Multitouch Expert will present “It’s all about the Journey… from Brainstorming to Canvas, from Map to App.”  In addition, the Purdue VACCINE Team will present, “Empowering Effective Decision Making Through Visual Analytics and GIS”.  Preston Smith, Director of Research Services and Support, Purdue University, will present, “Research Computing and Data for Geoscience.” Indiana Geographic Information Officer, Jim Sparks, and Executive Director of Indiana Geographic Information Council, Phil Worrall will give the presentations about statewide GIS resources available for higher education. In the GIS career module, the career lunch panel presentation brings opportunities for students to discuss about career development with potential employers and GIS professionals (RSVP is required).

Four workshops will be offered  on Nov. 12 and Nov. 13 including:

  • ArcGIS Online Workshop (for new users), HAMP 3144, 2:30 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. – presented by Larry Theller, ABE(Nov. 12)
  • Arc GIS Collector APP (Easily gather customized data with your phone or tablet), HAMP 3144, 3:30 p.m. to 4:20 p.m., presented by Larry Theller, ABE(Nov. 12)
  • Geocoding Workshop, LILY G428, 2:30 p.m. to 3:20 p.m., presented by Amanda O’Daniel, State of Indiana(Nov. 12)
  • GIS Project Design: Brainstorming & Ideation Workshop, GRISSOM 102, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., facilitated by Frank Garofalo, Esri Interactive Manager and Purdue alum(Nov. 13)

The complete schedule for GIS Day college program, as well as career lunch and workshop registration information is available at the following link:


2015 GIS Day events are sponsored by the Office of the Provost, College of Liberal Arts, College of Agriculture, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Science, Purdue Polytechnic Institute, the Graduate School and Purdue University Libraries.





GIS Day Celebration at Purdue University
By Nicole Kong

The 7th GIS Day celebration hosted by Purdue University Libraries was held on November 6th and 7th. It was a wonderful event to connect the GIS community on campus and beyond. During both days of celebration, the community got to know more GIS resources both on campus and across Indiana, connected students with GIS professionals, expanded GIS into more disciplines, and brought geospatial interests to high school students.

Working with Steven Smith at Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science, the High School GIS Day program, attracted 60 high school students to visit Purdue and learn spatial thinking skills. Age-appropriate activities were designed to bring the excitements to students. Students had the opportunities to interact with Tom Brenneman, GeoMentor from the most famous GIS software company – ESRI, about how GIS is applied in the real world application. Many thanks to the fabulous volunteer team from the libraries and GIS students on campus for their wonderful job in helping out the event! They have guided the high school student groups around Discovery Park for a service-learning project, which leads to a Discovery Park Visitor Tour Map available here: http://maps.lib.purdue.edu/gisday2014/.

On November 7th, over a hundred people from various departments across the university attended College GIS Day program. Guest speakers from Indiana State Government, Indiana Geographic Information Council, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Polis Center at IUPUI, Indiana State University, private sectors, and different departments at Purdue delivered informative and interesting presentations and interacted with students. In particular, the Indiana Geographic Information Officer, Jim Spark, shared state-wide GIS resources that could be used for higher education. The executive director of Polis Center at IUPUI and book author of Spatial Humanities, David Bodernhamer, talked about the expansion and potential of geospatial technologies in humanities. In addition, the Career Lunch talk invited nine panel presenters to interact with students about GIS career opportunities, where students got suggestions on how to prepare for their career from the employers point of view. All the talks on GIS Day will be available from Purdue e-pub shortly.

The success of GIS Day event is made by the great team work. Thank Dean Mullins at the libraries for bringing in sponsors across the campus, which made the event possible! Purdue GIS Day is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, College of Liberal Arts, College of Agriculture, College of Science, College of Education, College of Technology, the Graduate School and Purdue University Libraries. Thank the GIS Day planning committee, Larry Theller (ABE), Larry Biehl (ITAP), Steven Smith (EAPS), Ann Bessenbacher (DLRC), Nicholas Rauh (Classics), Jarrod Doucette (FNR), Jonathan Pettit (CRCS), Sara Weist (Political Science), Shannon Walker (Libraries), Becky Bunch (Libraries), Michael Fosmire (Libraries), for their time and continuous support! Thank many many others in the GIS community for every help they have offered! For more GIS resources at Purdue, please visit the website: https://www.lib.purdue.edu/gis, or contact geohelp@purdue.edu.