URISA Exemplary Systems in Government Award Recipients Announced

URISAURISA Is pleased to announce the recipients of 2014 Exemplary Systems in Government (ESIG) Awards. Since 1980, URISA’s ESIG Awards have recognized extraordinary achievements in the use of geospatial information technology that have improved the delivery and quality of government services. The award competition is open to all public agencies at the federal, state/provincial, regional and local levels. Applications were submitted within Enterprise and Single Process System categories.

ENTERPRISE SYSTEM CATEGORY – Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of using information systems technology in a multi-department environment as part of an integrated process. These systems exemplify effective use of technology yielding widespread improvements in the process(es) and/or service(s) involved and/or cost savings to the organization.

The 2014 Enterprise System Category Winner is “New Hampshire Mosaic Parcel Map” submitted by Stephan Hamilton, Director, Municipal & Property Division, of the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration and David Salzer, Director of Projects and Patrick Santoso, Director of Operations at the Technology Transfer Center, University of New Hampshire.

Summary: The New Hampshire Mosaic Parcel Map system is a state of the art integration of parcel boundaries, attributes from the Assessor’s Computer Aided Mass Appraisal (CAMA) systems, feeds from Register of Deeds, Real Estate Transfer tax and forms and 2014 Municipal budget and appropriations data.  The system is based on a successful feasibility study integrating parcel boundaries and attributes form Assessor CAMA systems from 18 municipalities. The system is integral to the operations of taxing jurisdictions, the Department of Revenue, many state agencies, municipalities and regional planning commissions.  User testimonials mention that time savings and efficiencies have been significant and deadlines are being met with up to a 25% reduction in staff.  Considering the scope of this system, the needs it addresses and its very successful implementation, the New Hampshire Mosaic Atlas is the 2014 Enterprise ESIG Award winner.

Distinguished Systems recognized in the Enterprise System Category include:

  • RECOVER: Rehabilitation Capability Convergence of Ecosystem Recovery Project
    Submitted by:  Keith T. Weber, GISP, GIS Director, Idaho State University
  • Building an Enterprise GIS for the Newest City in Georgia
    Submitted by: Mike Edelson, Senior GIS Analyst, City of Brookhaven, Georgia

SINGLE PROCESS SYSTEM CATEGORY – Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of applying information system technology to automate a specific SINGLE process or operation involving one department or sub-unit of an agency. The system application results in extended and/or improved government services that are more efficient and/or save money.

The 2014 Single System Category Winner is “NCHHSTP Atlas”, submitted by Kim Elmore,  Co-Lead of the NCHHSTP Atlas, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention.

Summary: In support of the Data.gov initiative and motivated by the need to bring together data on a variety of diseases traced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) Atlas was developed.  The primary key to the success of the NCHHSTP Atlas is the ability of a user to interactively access data sets that in the past could only be accessed one at a time through individual web sites, in one location, creating maps, charts and tables.  The system provides a very robust set of queries and views of data made available on the internet for public use with an eye to providing cost effective disease surveillance and intervention.  Considering the size of this project and how many users it has benefited, the NCHHSTP Altas is the 2014 Single Process ESIG Award winner.

Distinguished Systems recognized in the Single Process System Category include:

  • MapGeo
    Submitted by: Sara Siskavich, GISP, GIS Manager, Nashua Regional Planning Commission
  • Sidewalk Maintenance and Repair Tracking Application
    Submitted by: Ian Dunn, Software Specialist, City of Perrysburg, Ohio
  • Data Extraction Tool
    Submitted by: Wilfred Batke, Mapping Technologist, City of Richmond, British Columbia
  • ZoneSJ Map Viewer
    Submitted by: Yves Leger, M.Sc., GISP, GIS Manager, City of Saint John, New Brunswick
  • CropScape
    Submitted by: Zhengwei Yang, Ph.D., IT Specialist, United States Department of Agriculture and Weiguo Han, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, George Mason University

The accomplishments will be recognized during the Awards Ceremony at GIS-Pro 2014: URISA’s 52nd Annual Conference in New Orleans, September 8-11. The winning systems in each category will be discussed in a featured hour-long session during the conference and most of the other systems will be presented during the luncheon presentation session, allowing attendees ample time to learn more. In addition, each system will be highlighted in an upcoming URISA webinar series. . To review the winning submissions for this year’s ESIG Awards, visit http://www.urisa.org/awards/exemplary-systems-in-government/. For details about GIS-Pro 2014, visit www.gis-pro.org.

[Source: URISA press release]

Adoption of Cropping Sequences in Northeast Montana: A Spatio-temporal Analysis

AEEBy John A. Long, Rick L. Lawrence, Perry R. Miller, Lucy A. Marshall, and Mark C. Greenwood

Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 197, 01 December 2014, Pages 77–87, Published Online 07 August 2014


  • Study was a spatio-temporal analysis of management practices in northeast Montana.
  • We examined cereal–pulse sequences and strip-cropping conversions during 2001–2012.
  • Both practices were spatially clustered in the region.
  • Neither practice was strongly associated with spread due to diffusion of innovation.
  • Both practices were strongly associated with the availability of water.

“Producers make the decision to adopt a particular agricultural practice within a range of social, economic, environmental, and agronomic constraints. The semiarid regions of the US northern Great Plains are dominated by dryland farming practices and the traditional practice has been to rotate small-grain cereals with summer fallow; however, producers are moving away from this practice. The area of fallow in northeastern Montana decreased by one-third and the area of pulse crops increased nearly six-fold during 2001–2012. We previously identified two key practices that are indicative of regionally changing agricultural practices: (1) the broad-scale adoption of cereal–pulse sequences, and (2) the conversion from continuous strip-cropping to block managed cereal-based sequences. Here, we examined the adoption of these two practices from a spatio-temporal perspective to determine if the observed patterns were consistent with those expected from a priori processes: random occurrence, spread and adoption of the practices due to social interaction as described in innovation diffusion theory, or adoption based on environmental factors. Our results suggest that the adoption and spread of both practices were likely constrained by the suitability of the physical environment. Available water, in particular, exerts a fundamental control on the decision whether or not to adopt either practice. We also found evidence for the expansion of these practices due, in part, to social factors, particularly during the early period of adoption. We conclude that producers made the decision whether or not to adopt these practices primarily as a function of environmental suitability and, to a lesser extent, within the context of social interactions.”