2019 Fall Fling

Please join CUGOS, the UW Taskar Center for Accessible Technology and local OpenStreetMap community for an exciting one-day meeting on Pedestrian/Bike/Transit Access, Open Source Geospatial tools, data, and Social Justice in and beyond the Puget Sound region.

The event promises to be the largest Fling in CUGOS history, and will provide unprecedented opportunities for open geospatial software and open data collaboration. The Fall Fling is designed for anyone with an interest in maps, open source software, or open data.

This conference is a great opportunity to:

We welcome all students, professionals, map lovers, coders, and anyone with a passion for learning about spatial information.

When? Sunday October 6th, 2019, 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Where? Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA. Bill & Melinda Gates Center for CS & Engineering(CSE2)
How? Register here!

Sponsors Volunteer Location Code of Conduct
8:00 AM

Doors Open, Steve & Heather Singh Gallery, 4th Floor Foyer,

8:30 AM

Welcome, Zillow Commons, 4th Floor Auditorium,

Welcome to the 2019 Fall Fling.

8:40 AM

🗣 Talk

Geo Exploration Simplified with Elastic Maps, Zillow Commons, Slides
Nick Peihl, Elastic
Nick Peihl is a Senior Software Engineer working on geospatial data and visualizations for Elastic. Prior to joining Elastic, Nick created problems and then developed geospatial solutions for public sector agencies.

"Where" is a critical question for many users of the Elastic Stack. Whether you're protecting your network from attackers, investigating slow application response times in specific locations, or simply hailing a ride home, geo data — and search — play an important role. Discover how Elastic builds on and contributes to open source geospatial software and open data.

9:00 AM

🗣 Talk

Challenges of building a traffic simulation on open GIS data, Zillow Commons, Slides
Dustin Carlino, Project A/B Street
I'm an independent software engineer building A/B Street, a traffic simulation game aiming to empower Seattlites with the ability to explore how small changes to road infrastructure could improve their commute. I've previously wrangled OpenStreetMap data at university for an autonomous vehicles simulator.

This talk will discuss how open data from OpenStreetMap, King County GIS, and Puget Sound Regional Council can be used to build a highly detailed model of Seattle for simulating cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and transit. We'll cover challenges such as how map boundaries affect parking for multi-modal trips, inferring traffic signal policies, interpreting turn and lane restrictions from OpenStreetMap, and handling complex intersections.

9:20 AM

🗣 Talk

Programs for geomorphic analysis, Zillow Commons, Slides
Dan Miller, NetMap Portal
I think of myself as a geomorphologist (I do have a PhD in geology), and geomorphology involves processes that span a vast range of spatial and temporal scales. To understand geomorphic processes requires thinking beyond the range of features and events observable in a lifespan. Computer simulations and analyses offer a means of posing hypotheses that one may not consider using field observations alone. Since coming to Washington in 1987, I've sought synergy using both what we can see and what we can model, first as a graduate student, then a post doc, and since 1997 working with a small nonprofit research organization and now with a small for-profit consulting firm.

Over the past 20 years I've collaborated on many projects to develop software for analysis of Earth's surface. This has resulted in a large library of analysis tools, all open source, and all written in Fortran. The software is used for tasks such as channel network extraction from digital elevation data, landslide hazard assessment, wetland and riparian zone delineation, aquatic habitat assessment, and analysis of sediment delivery to channel networks from road systems. It is used in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, but I have not been diligent at communicating with folks in my own back yard. I'd like to show what I've got, describe how it's used, see what might prove useful for folks working locally, and hear about other similar efforts.

9:40 AM

🗣 Talk

Orcamap: an open-source mapping system for endangered orcas, Zillow Commons, Slides
Scott Veirs, Orcasound
Scott Veirs is an oceanographer turned marine biologist who coordinates the Orcasound -- an open-source project that makes it easy to listen for whales via a network of live underwater microphones (hydrophones). Dr. Veirs specializes in orca bioacoustics and is dedicated to using cutting-edge technologies to catalyze killer whale conservation. He is also chair of the marine mammal work group within the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program where he promotes adoption of new data acquisition and mapping tools to advance science and recovery throughout the Salish Sea.

Orcamap is an open-source mapping system that enables sighting and acoustic network coordinators to input, vet, and visualize observed locations of endangered southern resident killer whales in real-time. The front end is a Node.js site using Mapbox. The back end and vetting mechanism is a shared Google spreadsheet. We will demonstrate how the app works, discuss future features and end-users, and articulate a vision for linking the system to an emerging framework for sharing spatial data across the Salish Sea bridging historic disconnections between U.S. and Canadian databases.

10:00 AM


10:20 AM

Lightning Talks, Zillow Commons,

5 minutes each.

⚡ Lightning Talk

Lessons Learned from Teaching GIS in Vietnam, Slides
Robert Catherman, Medrix
Author of open source GIS curriculum for ESL students Volunteer working with MEDRIX in Vietnam for 20+ years UW alumni -- majored in Atmospheric Science

This is a non-technical session about lessons learned while partnering with a university in Vietnam to teach GIS for students who speak English as a second language. These lessons learned generally apply to teaching GIS in many other cross-cultural situations. This will be a non-technical talk but hopefully helpful to anyone considering teaching or mentoring GIS learners.

⚡ Lightning Talk

Map Quality Measurement (MQM): US Cities Road Data Quality on OpenStreetMap, Slides
Monica Brandeis, Critigen
Map is her passion! Monica owns a PHD on crowdsourced mapping projects after many years experiences in GIS and Remote Sensing fields. She believes map should be made and used by everyone. As a senior data analyst, she dedicated a lot of her time on big pictures and finding directions to enhance map quality from different angles so more and more users can be benefit from it.

The Map Quality Measurement (MQM) initiative started in 2018 to establish a standard methodology and metric to evaluate OpenStreetMap(OSM) road quality and prioritize map error hotspots in the United States. MQM applies the open source ‘atlas checks’ to OSM road data in 51 selected cities in the U.S., ranks them based on the results, and creates vector grid layers to show the map quality in each city. The map quality can be weighted by social-economic metrics (population density and car ownership) to re-prioritize map error hot spots. We also created a web app to demonstrate the analysis results and allow further user interaction. We used open-sourced data and software to create this project.

⚡ Lightning Talk

One-line GIS; Spatial Analysis with the CLI,
Damon Burgett, Mapbox
Damon is a Geographer at Mapbox who has worked in Satellite imagery, geospatial data processing, user facing APIs, and creative frontend client applications.

The Command Line is a powerful place to quickly transform and analyze Geospatial data. We'll blaze through using open source tools like fiona, rasterio, and mercantile to work with data on the command line.

⚡ Lightning Talk

The Sound of Shapely,
Andrew Powers, CARMERA
Andrew is a software engineer at CARMERA.

Andrew uses Shapely, a python library for vector data, to build high definition maps at CARMERA. In this talk, he’ll take you on a tour of his favorite features and illustrate how the library is integral to buildings maps for autonomous vehicles.

⚡ Lightning Talk

Software performance & the climate crisis- Thoughts on our thirst for speed and oil,
Dane Springmeyer, Mapbox
Dane is a software engineer at Mapbox.

Dane has recently been diving deep on performance optimizations in his work at Mapbox and spending evenings learning about energy efficiency as he renovates an old home. This talk will explore his lingering questions about how to live ethically as our climate warms and what this means for how we optimize software.

10:45 AM

🗣 Talk

OSM Water: How well are Minnesota’s water features mapped?, Zillow Commons, Slides
Matthew Manley, Critigen
GIS Data Analyst at Critigen

Water-related features are an often-overlooked part of the OpenStreetMap model. These features help create the natural context for the map and add important reference information. In Minnesota, a large proportion of these features are derived from bulk imports of data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Hydrography Dataset (NHD). Our project seeks to understand the degree to which OSM water data in Minnesota has “moved beyond” NHD through edits or the addition of new features derived from additional sources. This project will identify differences between OSM water features and NHD water features in the hopes of identifying how data evolves from the bulk import phase to the current state of the map. Our presentation will include a discussion of the methodology we used for data preparation and analysis, as well as our proposal for improving the quality of OSM water data in Minnesota in the future. This research will be relevant for those interested in identifying gaps in OSM data, mapping natural features, and mapping in Minnesota more generally.

11:05 AM

🗣 Talk

Geo-Machine Learning (geoML) & Model Democratization with OSM Data, Zillow Commons, Slides
Shay Strong, EagleView
Dr. Shay Strong is the Director of Data Science and Machine Learning at EagleView. She received her Ph.D in Astrophysics from the University of Texas at Austin, focused on planetary atmospheric modeling. Prior to EagleView, she worked at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab as a Senior Scientist for both National Security and NASA spacecraft development and design. She left Johns Hopkins to be a part of a small D.C.-based startup called OmniEarth, focused on machine learning from aerial and satellite imagery. There she developed a system to evaluate residential water usage, at scale in the cloud, for the desert U.S. Southwest with neural networks & deep learning. She joined EagleView as part of the successful EagleView acquisition of OmniEarth in May 2017, where she leads the machine learning data extraction of information from imagery for insurance and government applications.

How can we democratize the development of geospatial machine learning models, lower the barrier to entry for students and practitioners in this space, and obliterate the ‘practice’ of geospatial platform commercialization? Leveraging OSM vector data and cloud compute, through such programs such as the University of Washington’s GeoHackweek, we are able to further the removal of the knowledge barrier for scaling ML applications and flood a commercialized marketplace with models leverage-able by a broader community.

11:25 AM

🗣 Talk

Getting weird with geospatial data and the web, Zillow Commons,
Damon Burgett, Mapbox
Damon is a Geographer at Mapbox who has worked in Satellite imagery, geospatial data processing, user facing APIs, and creative frontend client applications.

The pluggability and flexibility of Open Source data processing and visualization tools enable left-field "misuse cases" for geospatial data. These "misuses" have led to a number of both fantastically frivolous AND incredibly useful projects. This presentation will explore some of my successful and failed experiments in creatively getting weird, including: Encoding elevation data into pictures - Post-punk elevation visualization (Joy Division elevation maps) - Visualizing when we'll be underwater - Animating weather data - Tiling non-geospatial data - Encoding data into efficiently striking formats.

11:45 AM

🗣 Talk

Virtual Rasters - Tiny files with a big impact, Zillow Commons, Slides
Justin McAllister, MicaSense
As the CTO of MicaSense, Justin manages development of new remote sensing technologies and works with customers to find new value in their data. With 15 years experience in the drone industry and 5 years in the remote sensing community, Justin enjoys combining hardware and software to get the the real point: finding the information buried in troves of remote sensing data.

See how virtual raster files (VRTs) can be used to combine raster data and perform complex raster math in using built in Python code. Save time and hard drive space by defining your derived rasters programmatically instead of manually using a raster calculator on every file.

12:00 AM


1:30 PM

🛠 Workshop

OpenSidewalks, Bezos Seminar - Gates G04,

Organizing your community around data collection for accessible, sustainable and resilient neighborhoods.

1:30 PM

🗣 Talk

Using Redis for Geospatial Data, Zillow Commons, Slides
Rock Pereira, Astratta.io
Rock is with a startup, Astratta.io, that helps content marketers create video abstracts. They use a PostgreSQL / Redis hybrid for long-term storage / caching of edits. He regularly attends MaptimeSEA. He used the AIS data in a study of collision avoidance at sea. At the City of Seattle Hackathon, his team used Census Tract data and OSRM to study access to Social Services in Seattle.

Redis is an in-memory, key-value database. But it has basic geospatial functions that make it useful for building real-time, location-based apps. This talk is an introduction to Redis, when to use it, and its limitations. In the demo we'll work with AIS data, for the locations of sea vessels. Checkout the Jupyter notebook.

1:55 PM

🗣 Talk

Dynamic EV Charging Infrastructure Prioritization, Zillow Commons, Slides
Corwin Bell, Fehr & Peers
Corwin is a transportation planner with experience in transportation equity, shared mobility, transit planning, traffic operations, travel demand forecasting, and benefit cost analysis. Prior to joining Fehr & Peers, Corwin was a staff researcher at UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC), where he managed projects on transportation equity, smart cities, and shared mobility.

Fehr & Peers used Open Data (OSM, US Census, Seattle Data Portal) and open source tools (Python) as well as ArcGIS to develop an Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) prioritization tool for the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). This tool was a key input for SDOT's “EVSE Roadmap” to provide improved connections to public transit via electrically-powered shared mobility services such as car share and ride-hail services. This EVSE Roadmap outlines an initial regional strategy for Seattle to test an innovative method to increase EV adoption in shared mobility services.

2:15 PM


2:35 PM

🛠 Workshop

Solving spatial problems with queries, Room 271,
Fred Lott, King County WLRD
Fred Lott has a background in hydrology and currently works for King County.

Solving Spatial Problems with Queries is an introduction to using SQL with spatial extensions to create reports, summarize data, and explore spatial relationships. We will use QGIS 3.8 to conduct SQL queries on tabular and spatial data. This workshop will focus on Spatialite, but the concepts are applicable to PostGIS and to some extent, MySQL and SQL Server. Please bring your laptop with QGIS 3.8 installed. Some familiarity with SQL, QGIS, and spatial concepts will come in handy, but beginners are welcome. Workshop materials are available here.

2:35 PM

🛠 Workshop

Introduction to editing OSM with JOSM, Room 371,
Clifford Snow, OSM Washington
Clifford has been editing OpenStreetMap since 2011 and first started using JOSM seriously when importing buildings and addresses in Seattle over six years ago.

JOSM is a java based advanced OSM editor available for Windows, Mac and Linux. This is a guided session on how to become a power user using JOSM to edit OpenStreetMap. This session will cover plugins, map paint styles, relations, filters and more. Before attending this workshop, please install JOSM on your laptop.

4:00 PM

Event Ends,


Interested in sponsoring this event? Send us a message at hello@cugos.org.


We are a small team of CUGOS regulars focused on putting together a great event for the broader geospatial community. Interested in helping out? Sign up here.


Bill & Melinda Gates
Center for Computer Science (CSE2)

3800 E Stevens Way NE
Seattle, WA 98195