Conference Sessions

Tentative Sessions

Sessions may change before the conference. Details for sessions will be added as we receive them. Updated 09/08.

RS&GIS - Drone Program

Open Source Drone Deployment

RS&GIS is in the process of building a open source solution for deploying drones. This solution, which will utilize free, or nearly free, software for acquisition, processing and analysis, will allow communities to reduce drone-related costs considerably while still obtaining GIS-grade data for their programs.


Advanced Drone Collection and Processing

RS&GIS operates numerous drones for both research and outreach activities. Recently, we have deployed a cutting-edge system that includes both hyperspectral and LiDAR to assess crop health for MSU research activities. This presentation will demonstrate the process involved and discuss challenges and opportunities of this advanced system.

Midland County - (Almost) Everything AGO(L)

Credit Usage/User Roles

Learn how to see a quick snapshot of your credit usage with the Credits Dashboard; export an item report to see what items are using credits. Also see how you can create custom user roles and permissions for all your AGO users.

Community Maps Program

Hear about how you can submit your local data to Esri for incorporating into their vector basemaps and other products.

Open Data/Hub

Hear how Midland County is using a Hub Site to provide free data, and the workflows behind it.

State of MI - Friday Program

More details to come, but for now tentative topics include:

911 repository and MGF

1-Spatial update

Statewide hydrology project

MiSAIL update

MDOT projects

MSP Updates

Building a GIS, A Manager's Perspective

Midland County/Calhoun County. Details coming soon.

Northwestern Michigan College - Drone Updates

Tony Sauerby from NMC will discuss some of the new changes to PA107 for sUAS operators/pilots, including night flights, flying over people, and the certificate renewal test.

Tony will also touch on a few other topics, such as LAANC.

Midland County - Deep Learning

Midland County has been experimenting with Esri's Deep Learning tools to detect objects from aerial imagery. Hear from Midland on the process, examples of data outputs, and how the technology has worked (and not worked) in the County.

Merit Network

Hear from Merit as they discuss their Michigan Moonshot program, a survey sent to residents focused on capturing granular internet speed tests and user sentiment data for municipalities as part of their journey to expand fixed broadband infrastructure and close the digital divide. Merit uses a great deal of Esri, R-ArcGIS Bridge, Dashboards, etc. Merit will also talk about their journey as an organization to more fully embrace GIS.

USGS 3DEP & National Map

The USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) has a goal for acquiring a national lidar dataset (with IfSAR in Alaska) by 2023. In this presentation, you will be updated on the current status of the national 3DEP program, learn about the availability of lidar data in Michigan, and how to access this data through the National Map. Additionally, a broad overview of the National Map’s other geospatial support themes will be presented. As time allows, a newly available dashboard for USGS water data will also be presented.  

Environmental Health FetchGIS App

Bay County Health Department was awarded a Grant in the amount of $700,000 to replace failing septic systems.  The tool that allowed us to locate these failing systems and obtain grant approval is Fetch EH.  A powerful mapping and septic system management tool developed by Amalgam.  Utilizing a tool within Fetch EH we are able to locate septic systems with the highest risk of failure, visit these sites and offer help in the form of funding to replace systems in failure.  This presentation will focus on details of the grant and how GIS mapping software plays a key role to obtain the funding needed to replace failing septic systems.   

Bay County Non-Motorized Survey

In 2020, the Bay County Transportation Planning division was busy completing the update to the Bay City Area Transportation Study (BCATS) Non-Motorized Transportation Plan (NMTP).  In doing so, staff developed an Esri StoryMap with embedded Survey123 forms in an effort to not only collect public comments on the NMTP, but to allow for survey-takers to digitize new non-motorized features within the urbanized area.  BCATS staff will discuss what worked well for this survey and how it may help with future public engagement. 

Connected Nation Michigan

Hear from Connected Nation Michigan on broadband mapping and analysis across the state, as well as the community engagement work to address the challenges associated with a lack of internet services and technology adoption in each unique community to enhance economic development and local opportunities. There will be a review of current federal broadband data collections and new requirements, collaborations and public-private partnerships that make a difference, solutions for accurate and granular broadband mapping, and state success stories.  

SLBA Community Engagement

With parcels spanning from the Ohio border to the UP and Detroit to Muskegon, the State Land Bank Authority (SLBA) utilizes GIS to engage communities on past, present, and future land-use issues concerning tax-reverted, blighted, and contaminated properties. In this session, Brian Woodin will show how federal  Home Owners Loan Corporation maps from the 1930s and 40s correspond to current SLBA and county land bank inventories. Next, Jennifer Quinlivan will highlight Mecosta County’s Canadian Lakes community and how reimagining the landscape can help return over 700 parcels to productive use. Finally, Ryan McNeil will explore the utilization of SLBA and other state-owned land for solar energy generation projects as part of the State’s effort to switch state-owned facilities to 100% renewable energy by 2025.  

Free GIS Resources for Viewing MI's Lanscapes

From land-use modelling to tracing the path of a watershed’s raindrop, these free GIS resources don’t require a sign or special software.  Give your non-specialist stakeholders experience with the power of GIS!  

Airspace Link

Learn how your community can safely integrate drones to fuel human progress, advance social equity, the environment, and the economy. 


We will discuss how the FAA, Michigan and communities are providing digital data (GIS) and physical infrastructure to safely integrate drones into the national airspace and our communities at scale. Learn how to participate in current and upcoming projects, grants and tests in the state. 

Drone Projects

Midland County and EUPRPDC will give some examples and updates of drone projects and drone work done in Midland and the EUP.

Midland will discuss post-flood drone work, creating interactive veteran's memorials using drone imagery, social media videos, and beta testing the next version of Drone2Map.

EUPRPDC will discuss different video footage projects, a volume and aerial imagery project for a gravel pit, and video work for the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturing project at the Chippewa County EDC Industrial Park


GeoEvent in Elections

Calhoun County uses ArcGIS GeoEvent Server to live update election results throughout election night. Staff leveraged a combination of ArcGIS GeoEvent Server and ArcGIS Election Solutions to maintain polling location maps pre-election and representative maps post-election. Make sure to attend this session and see how GIS delivered up-to-date election information to citizens.