• Auto-Generating Maps Using Open-Source GIS and Python

      Lukinbeal, Chris; McPherson, Mercedes (The University of Arizona., 2017-12-19)
      Fund for the Arts is one of the oldest arts fund in the country. Since its formation in 1949, the organization has raised over 200 million for the community, which includes Kentucky and Southern Indiana. This Master’s project will focus on one of the organization’s programs entitled 5x5. The goal of 5x5 is to expose elementary school students to five art experiences before they finish the fifth grade. Several years’ worth of data has been compiled, including school names, performance names, performance type, number of students served, and total cost, among others. Using a combination of these parameters, maps will be auto-generated using CSV templates. The auto-generated maps will show a variety of data, including the amount of art funding per zip code, per program type, per grade, per art group, per school, and per student. The maps will serve as visual evidence of the program’s progress and will be shared with Fund for the Arts Board of Directors and CEO, internal staff, as well as other community stakeholders such as community liaisons, participating schools, current and potential donors and the Louisville Metro Council. Fund for the Arts is a nonprofit that does not have access to ESRI products. This Master’s project combines cartography and scripting to create a functioning deliverable using open-source GIS software that enables the organization to auto-generate maps at will and forego the need to request maps from the local university once a year.
    • Building a Web Application and Land Navigation Course to Help Develop Military Relevant Informal GIS Education

      Lukinbeal, Chris; Ruff, Alexander (The University of Arizona., 2017-12)
      Throughout history, military officers have relied on maps to provide spatial information and make informed battlefield and other problem-solving decisions. Today’s officers can put even more spatial information at a soldier’s fingertips if they are made aware of the power of geographic information systems and software. This paper makes the argument that an informal education and introduction to the uses of geographic information systems (GIS) during their participation in reserve officer training corps (ROTC) can help provide future officers with a basic understanding on how GIS can impact their ability to solve military relevant problems with these technologies and can aid in their decision making. This project created a web application using python and based on military mapping manuals and defense tools that allow a user to create a model of how quickly the user could be able to move over a given terrain. This web application was given to military officers in ROTC training at the University of Arizona prior to participation in a land navigation exercise to help them plan and prepare their path through the event. Students using the app prior to the exercise were able to see how the information provided by GIS can help them make decisions and times were compared between those that used the tool and those that did not. This tool, and the subsequent exercise provided increased awareness in military applications of GIS for those future military officers and helps inspire them to pursue more information on the technology.
    • A Spatial Analysis of Community Development in Arizona from Seed Grants

      Christopherson, Gary; Herndon, Carly (The University of Arizona., 2017-12)
      Agricultural crop diversity in the Southwest has diminished significantly over the past hundred years. A local nonprofit in Tucson by the name of Native Seeds/SEARCH (NS/S) aims to conserve Southwestern crop diversity for the sake of keeping indigenous culture alive, improving food security, and to nourish a changing world. One way NS/S works towards these goals is to freely distribute seeds through their Community Seed Grant (CSG) program. The CSG program supports educational, food security, and community development projects in the Greater Southwest region. These seed donations are meant to serve underprivileged groups, including but not limited to Native American and Hispanic individuals as well as areas with high poverty rates. These populations are among some of the most food insecure in the region. This study analyzes the successfulness of the CSG program by measuring if intended audiences are being awarded CSGs. Summary statistics suggests that CSGs are in areas with higher than average Hispanic and Native American individuals as well as individuals living below the poverty line. A logistic regression was also done to spot correlations between target areas and where the seeds were sent. This analysis suggests that seed grants favor areas with higher percentages of Hispanic and Black or African American individuals as well as areas with higher poverty rates. This study will help NS/S perform more targeted marketing and assistance about the program as well as show potential and current funders the outcomes of the CSG program.
    • Geospatial Web-Mapping and Application Development for the Southeast Arizona Sustainable Recreation Strategy

      Little, Jessica (The University of Arizona., 2016-12-14)
      Within the last decade, the United States Forest Service (USFS) has initiated a nation-wide project of Sustainable Recreation as a response to the decreasing amount of resources available to maintain the current recreation infrastructure, including trails, campgrounds, etc. These unmaintained trails and facilities pose a potential safety threat to users and the landscape in which they reside. This smaller pilot project, as part of the Southeast Arizona Sustainable Recreation Strategy, is the second pilot project in the Southwest Region of the USFS aimed at growing the Sustainable Recreation initiative. The main goal of this project is to create the framework for an inter-agency web application of recreation opportunities in Southeast Arizona, with an aim to increase communication between land management agencies, and to increase public participation and conservation of public lands. To achieve this, recreation data were gathered from multiple participating agencies and merged into a new schema in order to provide useful attribute information. This schema was then uploaded to ArcGIS Online and saved as a web map for internal, agency use. In addition, a public-facing web application and corresponding Story Map were also created. The result better portrays the Sustainable Recreation initiative and provides a one-stop-shop of useful recreation information and links for users who wish to become more involved. This project provides the groundwork for which more data from additional agencies and areas can be added and the participation of both land management agencies and the general public can grow.
    • Modeling the Hillside Development Overlay Zone

      Psillas, Jennifer; Avis, Jack; Jackson, Chloe (The University of Arizona., 2016-12)
      Sustainable urban growth can be achieved in part by increasing density through infill development. Done right, infill development encourages already developed areas to become more diverse and livable, while limiting urban sprawl and all the public health, environmental, and infrastructure problems that accompany it. In Pima County’s 2015 update to the Comprehensive Plan, infill development is identified as a goal for land use policy. This study utilizes a Python script to build a model of the Hillside Development Overlay Zone (HDZ) to aid in removing zoning barriers to this goal. This a) improves the permitting process; b) encourages purchase of parcels outside of hillside areas and; c) encourages innovative design on hillside areas. The visualization is available on Pima County’s MapGuide website, allowing developers to make informed decisions about purchasing, permitting, and designing on HDZ parcels. In addition, this study uses a Kernel Density analysis to suggest areas where HDZ can be removed, without losing protection for mountainous areas. These suggestions are submitted to Pima County Development Services.
    • Traces of Existence: Evidence of Prehistoric Populations in the Cibola National Forest of New Mexico

      Lukinbeal, Christopher, PhD, GISP; Gregory, Teresa L. (The University of Arizona., 2016-12)
      Is there more we can learn about the movement of prehistoric Puebloan people during the A.D. 900–1400 time period? In those moments of time when small groups of people dispersed across the landscape and formed aggregated communities. Some of the answers lie in the generally understudied landscape of the federally protected Cibola National Forest in west-central New Mexico. This area is on the eastern periphery of a well-documented Zuni region, and preliminary archaeological site data revealed the potential to further that knowledge. During a 10-day pedestrian survey, 42 archaeological sites containing a variety of traditional Zuni and local Lion Mountain pottery types were recorded. The presence of these Puebloan peoples was confirmed through analysis of the ceramics using the accepted Stanley South Mean Ceramic Dating techniques. Patterns of site locations dating from the Pueblo II to Pueblo IV time period were evaluated using ESRI ArcGIS mapping software. Specific data analysis including nearest neighbor, euclidean distance, and least cost analysis were used to relate the archaeological sites to each other and to the Pueblo communities in the southwest. This recently discovered settlement area near Lion Mountain revealed remnants of past Zuni populations and is further evidence of the expansion of these prehistoric peoples. The pottery shreds discovered at those sites, along with the architecture and specific kiva types, links the distinctive aggregated Zuni and Lion Mountain Communities together and allows for further investigations to explore settlement organization, exchange networks, and a facet of other archaeological questions.
    • Canopy Change Assessment and Water Resources Utilization in the Civano Community, Arizona

      Psillas, Jennifer; Danloe, John; Pan, Yajuan (The University of Arizona., 2016-12)
      The Civano community of Tucson, Arizona, is built for sustainability. Trees and plants are precious resources in the community and balancing human needs and natural resources. The design of rainwater harvesting systems and the usage of reclaimed water inside the community effectively irrigate plants and save drinking water. This project estimates canopy changes over time and explores the effect of water resources on plant growth for developed areas and natural areas, respectively. This project generates land cover classifications for 2007, 2010, and 2015 using supervised classification method and measures canopy cover change over time. Based on City of Tucson Water “harvesting rainwater guide to water-efficient landscaping”, this project discusses if water supply meets plant water demand in the developed areas of the community. Additionally, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data for developed area and natural area over ten years are compared and provide a correlation analysis with water sources. The results show that canopy cover across the entire community decreased from 2007 to 2010, then increased from 2010 to 2015. Water supply in the developed areas is sufficient for plant water demand. In natural areas plant growth changes dramatically as a result of precipitation fluctuation. In addition, it’s proved that 2011 National Land Cover Database (NLCD) tree canopy underestimates canopy cover in the Civano community. The final products not only provide the fundamental canopy cover data for other studies, also serve as a reference of water efficient landscaping within a community.
    • Identifying Opportunities for Community Solar: A Study of Maricopa and Pinal Counties

      Francis, Karol (The University of Arizona., 2016)
      Photovoltaic (PV) solar electricity generation has the potential to reduce the demand for more traditional fossil and nuclear power generation. Community PV solar installations allow energy users to share the electricity generated by these plants. Optimal siting of community solar installations will allow for maximum electricity generation while avoiding environmental conflicts, as well as, minimizing construction costs. This study identifies opportunities for community solar plants in Maricopa and Pinal Counties, Arizona, of ¼-acre in size. Input parameters fall into economic, physical, and environmental categories. Each of the input parameters were classified from 1 (not suitable) to 9 (highly suitable). Next, the classified rasters in each category were weighed according to importance, and Esri’s Weighted Sum tool was used to generate a combined raster for the category. The three resulting environmental, economic, and physical characteristic rasters were weighed again, and the Weighted Sum tool was used to generate a raster of community solar suitability scores. Next, a mask of locations inappropriate for community-scale solar development was created, including lakes, rivers, streams, and residential rooftops, which are too small to accommodate ¼-acre community solar installations. The masked areas were removed from the suitability raster, and the suitability raster was reclassified using standard deviations to generate a preference map with values ranging from 1 (low preference) to 3 (high preference). The model output reveals 68 percent of the study area is of medium or high preference for community solar installations. Maricopa and Pinal counties provide many opportunities for community solar installations.
    • Using Classification and Regression Tree and Valley Bottom Modeling Techniques to Identify Riparian Vegetation in Pinal County, Arizona

      van Leeuwen, Willem J.D.; Hickson, Benjamin (The University of Arizona., 2015-01-01)
      The ecological value and functionality of riparian systems along ephemeral, intermittent, and perennial streams in the Southwest is well established. In Pinal County, Arizona the existing datasets available to environmental managers and governing bodies drastically underestimate the extent and presence of riparian zones. This study addresses the issue through the use of remote sensing land cover classification techniques. Landsat 8 data, topographic data, and high-resolution color infrared (CIR) imagery, and several derived vegetation indices are used to construct a classification and regression tree (CART) model. Using training data, the CART model is used for the identification and delineation of basic land cover classes across the County. Woody annual and perennial species are identified and associated to riparian zones using a valley bottom model (VBM) developed by the United States Department of Agriculture. The CART model (kappa value of 0.76) found that 929 square-miles of annual vegetation and 651 square-miles of perennial vegetation are present across Pinal County. Annual and perennial vegetation classifications are assessed for density using a 0.33 acre moving window. The density values for both classes are then used in conjunction to differentiate upland, xeroriparian, mesoriparian, and hydropriarian vegetation zones. Vegetation zones are clipped to regions where the VBM identifies valley bottom probability to be 62 percent or greater. The results generated provide a sufficiently comprehensive dataset that gives County managers and environmental professionals improved insight into the presence and distribution of important riparian habitats.
    • Using Suitability and Proximity Analysis to Discover Houston's Accessibility via Roadways and Public Transportation

      Lagarde, Ethan (The University of Arizona., 2015)
      Houston is one of the fastest growing metropolis’ in the country. Driving this growth is the oil and gas industry and also the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest medical center. With such growth comes various problems. One of the leading problems according to its citizens in 2014 was traffic and the lack of access to public transportation. This project aims to help find solutions to this problem by locating areas that could help improve public transportation access and take a look at Houston’s accessibility via roadways. Using datasets from various Houston agencies such as the City of Houston and the Houston-Galveston Area Council, overlay analysis was used to help find prime areas that could be improved. Using ESRI ArcMap, models were completed in order to automate the analysis process. Tools such as raster conversion, Euclidean distance, zonal stats as table, and reclassify were used. In order to analyze Houston accessibility via the roadways, ArcGIS Online was used. Several Proximity analyses were run in order to view various types of dating dealing with the accessibility of Houston using roadways. The results show areas that do not currently have access to public transportation and areas that would be suitable locations for improvements based on different criteria. For roadway access, the results show average commute times, drive-time accessibility, and freeway access. This will allow for the accessibility of Houston to be shown whether it is by public transportation or by roadway.
    • An Introduction to Identifying Nonpoint Sources of Water Pollution Using a Modified Land Use Conflict Analysis Identification Strategy (LUCIS) Model, Non-point Source Identification Strategy: NPSIS

      Cziesch, Jarrett (The University of Arizona., 2015)
      This paper examines the Non-Point Source Identification Strategy (NPSIS); a modification of the Land Use Conflict Identification Strategy (LUCIS): NPSIS is a raster model useful for identifying non-point sources of water pollution from three known contributors (agriculture, domestic, and natural background). By using a standard operating procedure, developers are able to create standardized datasets useful for identifying non-point sources of water pollution throughout the contiguous United States. The NPSIS model process requires the use of three “non-point source water pollution” contributors. A contributor is termed as a Non-Point Category (NPC) that contains collective elements (i.e. nutrient applications for agricultural purposes and urban runoff from highly developed areas). Using a survey, water resource professionals familiar with chosen study areas rank each NPC element according to potential impact to water quality. Following the survey, raster datasets that represent each NPC and impact to water quality are created using a lowest to highest (“1-9”) ordinal rank system derived from survey results after which each dataset is normalized using a (“1-3”) ordinal rank. Finally, the normalized NPC datasets are combined into one final model useful for identifying each dominant NPC by rank and location within a specified USGS watershed. In conclusion, the modifications to the LUCIS method yields results beneficial for identifying non-point source loads of water pollution.
    • Identifying Housing Patterns in Pima County, Arizona Using the DEYA Affordability Index and Geospatial Analysis

      Nevarez Martinez, Deyanira (The University of Arizona., 2015)
      When the Fair Housing Act of 1968 was passed 47 years ago, the United States was in the midst of the civil rights movement and fair housing was identified as a pillar of equality. While, progress has been made, there is much work that needs to be done in order to achieve integration. As a country, the United States is a highly segregated country. It is important to understand the factors that contribute to this and it is important to understand the relationships that exists between them in order to attempt to solve the problem. While the legal barriers to integration have been lifted choices continue to be limited to families of color that lack the resources to live in desirable neighborhoods. The ultimate goal of this study is to examine the relationship between the impact of individual indicators and housing patterns in the greater Tucson/Pima county region. An affordability index, the DEYA index, was created to determine where affordability is at its highest. The index includes different weights for foreclosure, Pima County spending on affordable housing, the existence of Pima County general obligations bond affordable housing projects, land value and inclusion in the community land trust. Once this was determined a regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between affordability and individual factors that may be affecting integration. The indicators used were broken down into 3 categories: the categories were education, housing and neighborhoods and employment and economic health.
    • High Speed / Commuter Rail Suitability Analysis For Central And Southern Arizona

      Deveney, Matthew R. (The University of Arizona., 2015)
      Current transportation methods within the Central Arizona region revolve primarily around automobiles. In order for the region to become more economically resilient and environmentally sustainable, alternative transportation methods must be considered. One such alternative that has shown great promise in other regions of the United States is rail transport. Rail transport, including commuter rail or high speed rail, has proven to not only be an effective alternative to automobile transport, but also as a more environmentally sustainable transportation option. The I-11 Super Corridor study, a part of the University of Arizona’s Sustainable City Project 2014, applied next generation urban planning design ideas to the planned Interstate 11 corridor, a major transportation artery that will connect Mexico and Canada. This study inspired this project’s focus on the concept of identifying suitable routes for new transportation infrastructure within the central and southern Arizona regions. Through the incorporation of commuter or high speed rail within central and southern Arizona, a more resilient regional economy and environment can be created. The previous I-11 Super Corridor study presented the incorporation of different regional factors, including population density and economic statistics, to determine suitable routes for future transportation corridors. This project integrates the utilization of specific local and regional data and advanced GIS analysis to determine suitable routes for new rail transport corridors within Maricopa, Pinal and Pima Counties.
    • A Comparison of Remote Sensing Indices and a Temporal Study of Cienegas at Cienega Creek from 1984 to 2011 using Multispectral Satellite Imagery

      Wilson, Natalie R. (The University of Arizona., 2014)
      Desert wetlands, in particular those slow moving bodies of water known as cienegas, are important sites for biodiversity in arid landscapes and serve as indicators of hydrological functioning on the landscape-level. One of the most extensive systems of cienegas, historical or extant, in southeastern Arizona lies along Cienega Creek, located southeast of Tucson, Arizona. Satellite imagery analysis is heavily utilized to determine landscape-level trends, but cienegas present a challenge to traditional analysis methods. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the classic measure of vegetation greenness, reacts counter-intuitively to open water and is affected by open ground, both common occurrences in cienega habitats. Additional remote sensing indices have been developed that balance sensitivity to these environmental elements. This research explores these remote sensing indices at Cienega Creek applying one topographic index to current elevation data and five spectral indices to Thematic Mapper imagery from 1984 to 2011. Temporal trends were identified for all spectral indices and all indices were compared for suitability in cienega habitats. Temporal trends were analyzed for spatial clustering and spatial trends identified. The Normalized Difference Infrared Index utilizing Landsat Thematic Mapper band 5 outperformed other indices at differentiating between cienega, riparian, and upland habitats and is more suitable than NDVI for analyzing cienega habitats in such circumstances.
    • Distribution of Oil and Gas Well Data Through a Web Based Map Application

      Richards, Kenneth T. (The University of Arizona., 2013)
      The Arizona Oil and Gas Commission in conjunction with the Arizona Geological Survey have collected a large amount of data for the oil and gas wells in the State of Arizona. The data covers over 1,000 wells that were drilled from the 1940s to present. This data includes copies of permits, location information, scanned copies of well logs and digitized versions of the well logs in .las file format. These files have been difficult to distribute efficiently because of an unfriendly web user interface. The purpose of this project is to give the Arizona Geological Survey a way to distribute the oil and gas well data through an effective web application. The web application will leverage existing web services at the Arizona Geological Survey. To create this map I used the Esri JavaScript API. In this application the users can select multiple wells by clicking and dragging over the well heads they want. This will then display the metadata in a grid along with hyperlinks to the available files for those wells. This data will be primarily used by companies involved with carbon sequestration or others seeking information for geological exploration.