Hub Specialty Designation

SymGEO is pleased to announce we have been awarded the ArcGIS Hub Specialty designation from Esri! This prestigious honor is bestowed upon partners to recognize their expertise and delivery of solutions and services that help customers build a bridge between government departments and communities using ArcGIS Hub technology.

“ArcGIS Hub is an easy-to-configure cloud platform that organizes people, data, and tools to accomplish Initiatives and goals.” – Esri

SymGEO has been fortunate to work on community engagement projects for municipal and local government clients and has enhanced our partnership with Esri to gain valuable insight into best practices and emerging Hub technologies. We work diligently with our clients to identify their core messaging, digital assets, targeted audience, and corporate branding. We then typically implement a Hub site comprised of pages and initiatives that feature a range of ArcGIS Online solutions, including Survey123, Web AppBuilder, ArcGIS Dashboard, Collector, and 3D WebScenes.

To show a sampling of the our ArcGIS Hub work, we offer the following examples:

SymGEO partnered with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Urban Forestry Division (UFD) to build an ArcGIS Hub site that showcases their work, data, and configurable applications. Upon completion, we then developed an initiative for their group that features Urban Wood Reuse in Washington, DC. The site is designed for schools that are interested in ordering products from DDOT made from urban trees so that school children can appreciate the continued benefits of the urban forest. The site uses Survey123 to capture order information, and ArcGIS Dashboard (on the backend) to track request status as the orders are being processed. Most recently, we have made a page for their group that explores Urban Forest Health issues.

SymGEO worked with guidance from the Kentlands Downtown Working Group to develop Kentlands Downtown: Energize!, an ArcGIS Hub-powered site that aims to connect the community with the economic development team to voice their opinions on what would do well or is needed in the Kentlands. The site leverages Survey123, ArcGIS Dashboard, and a number of unique design elements, including a 3D “virtual” fly-through. The realistic textured 3D environment was developed using a Local Government solution (Local Government 3D Basemaps) that used building footprints, LiDAR data, and CityEngine.

SymGEO was honored to partner with DC’s Ward7 to design and launch a community outreach site designed to present a brief history of the area, a flavor of the neighborhood, the challenges faced due to a changing development landscape, and a call to action for the residents. The site features a history of the development and a map showing the rather sharp economic divide between Ward7 and some of its surrounding neighborhoods.

SymGEO is focused on empowering state and local governments to better use their data and digital assets and to facilitate 2-way engagement with their constituents and communities. We leverage configurable Esri applications to deliver cost-effective solutions to our clients and pride ourselves on delivering a tailored, successful experience during each engagement. Talk to our industry experts today if your neighborhood, department, or organization is interested in community engagement with the power of Esri’s ArcGIS Hub technology – SymGEO is a certified specialist and is here to help!

Forest Structure Analysis using LiDAR

SymGEO is pleased to announce the development of two new D.C. forest structure datasets created in partnership with DDOT Urban Forest Division, using LiDAR data managed by OCTO and the DC GIS program. The final version of this dataset will help Urban Foresters manage the canopy by providing important attributes including tree height, canopy width, and forest structure information.

A little background: LiDAR data is a digital cloud of millions of elevation points typically gathered by a low-flying airplane or ground-level vehicle. The elevation is recorded at every surface the measuring laser beams hit, so in the case of a forest, it will capture the top of the trees, some branches, as well as under-story vegetation and ground elevation. The LiDAR used for this project was also classified by the provider into a number of useful categories, including buildings, ground, and high / medium / low vegetation.

Using an innovative method, SymGEO used the ArcHydro toolset to create “catchment” areas for each tree, with tree locations being determined by the UFA Street Trees dataset. Each tree point was given an artificially high elevation value, and then all surrounding vegetation points around the tree point were examined. If the model determined that the vegetation points were connected to the tree, then it was included in the catchment. If an adjacent tree was found (indicated by adjacent vegetation elevation points increasing in height), then the catchment was divided into the two tree areas. Kind of technical, but maybe the graphic below will help 🙂

This catchment method worked quite well; however, it did suffer from capturing multiple trees in the same catchment. Fortunately these cases were isolated quite easily be doing a spatial join between the catchment areas and street tree points, and identifying many-to-one joins.

For these cases, the catchment areas were converted into a grid of points, and the points were joined to the nearest tree. They were then back into areas (with the new tree ID as an attribute), effectively splitting up the area into smaller areas that had a one-to-one join with the tree points.

Once the tree area was established and cleaned up through a manual inspection of outliers, attributes including tree height and average canopy width are assigned to each tree. These attributes will help the Urban Forestry Division manage the tree canopy even more effectively.

A secondary dataset was also produced using the LiDAR data that catagorized areas into high, medium, or low vegetation, so some combination thereof. This helps the Urban Forestry Division prioritize areas for under-story plantings or the establishment of new urban canopies. This data set suffered a little from mis-categorized LiDAR points, but it is a good starting point for an urban canopy structure dataset.

If you have access to a LiDAR data set, and are interested in learning more about derivative products, contact us today – SymGEO is here to help!