February 2015
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GIS Case Study – LA County Regional Storm Drain System

Referral Address Verification Systems (RAVS)

Department of Public Works (DPW)

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Problem: Los Angeles County’s urbanization took place in a region prone to periodic droughts and flooding.  Designed to protect life and property from flooding caused by major storm events, a drainage infrastructure of debris basins, catch basins, inlet structures, underground storm drains, and channels was built in the County by local, state, and federal governmental agencies, such as Los Angeles County Flood Control District (LACFCD), cities, Caltrans, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.  The LACFCD alone owns and/or maintains approximately 3,800 miles of storm drains, 500 miles of open channels, and over 80,000 catch basins.  The operation and maintenance, as well as improvement planning for the countywide drainage system resulted in extensive labor costs due to the high frequency of locating, retrieving, and reviewing old maps and drawings as well as cross-checking multiple databases by staff in several jurisdictions.  Unnecessary redundancy, duplication of efforts, and errors were inherent in a system that was often based on paper drawings stored in separate field offices.
Solution:The Storm Drain System (SDS) is a Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping project with the purpose of collecting information on extensive and disparate drainage infrastructure (such as geographic location, design specifications, maintenance responsibility, ownership, flow rate, and flow direction) and integrating it into an efficient seamless countywide GIS network model as well as web-based and mobile applications for a more efficient operation and maintenance, planning and free public access.  Users can access LACFCD design drawings and right of way maps through the system.  Though links are provided for downloading data, users are encouraged to visit the Storm Drain System page on the Los Angeles County GIS Data Portal, which provides additional information about the downloads.
Summary:For many years, a storm drain GIS system of this scale and detail was a mere vision.  The project began in 2004, when the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County needed to satisfy an environmental consent decree. In 2008, Public Works selected a GIS editing team to complete the network schema and map the remaining LACFCD-owned or maintained infrastructure and populate the attributes.Though still considered a work in progress, numerous benefits are being realized.  Detailed facility information is already helping field crews realize substantial savings due to reductions in operation and maintenance labor hours and inquiries from the public.  Also, customers can easily apply for permits to connect their drainage systems to the LACFCD-maintained infrastructure and Public Works is better able to plan and carry out the periodic catch basin cleanout activities.
Contact:  Thierno Diall, PE (tdiallo@dpw.lacounty.gov) – (626) 458-6920



GIS Tutorial for Health – March 7th, 2015

charles_drew_gisThe Charles Drew Medical GIS laboratory is pleased to announce the CDU GIS Workshop series in GISc and Health. In these trainings, the CDU GIS Lab director, Paul Robinson, PhD and his team will open up their research lab for intensive training in the use of GISc in Public Health and Medicine. The workshop includes a GIS Health Tutorial Book with 180-day free trial ArcGIS software.

Sliding fees to participate:

  • CDU Students $150
  • Other Students $200
  • CDU Staff $250
  • CDU Faculty $350
  • All Others $450

Click here to download the flyer

Time to Use the US National Grid (USNG)

I just attended a training about the U.S. National Grid (USNG) provided by the Southern California NAPSG – “Using USNG in Support of Public Safety GIS and All Hazards Emergency Management.”  This was a good introduction and had some very good hands on training about using the USNG.  Thanks to Tom Gikas of LA City Fire for hosting this event.

In LA County we’ve been talking about finding a replacement for the Thomas Bros. page grid.  You know, those map books everyone had before they had a GPS unit in their car or on their smartphone.  But some firefighters, EMTs, LAPD Air Support Division, etc. still use Thomas Guides either as their map of choice or as a backup – they still like the grid for locating items (even if it doesn’t cover the entire County either).  It might take us a while to get there, but there are many reasons to use the USNG including:

  • Too many coordinate systems now (many ways to describe a location); but need a standard,
  • A third of all emergency calls DO NOT occur at a street address (based on NFIRS 2000-06 data); need a good way to find these locations,
  • It is the only coordinate system recognized as a standard by the FGDC,

*Source:  Emergency Resource Deployment Planning (SOC)

A really good resource, if you want to learn more about the USNG is go to the U.S. National Grid Information Center.  There is a lot of information here.  To get familiar with this you can start with an online viewer (click here Google mashup, from Gmap4 or click here for ArcGIS Online version).

We’re going to put the grid into our online GIS web mapping applications soon; so more people can see it.  It’s time we started looking into this and using it.

-Nick Franchino  (11S LT 8513 6901)
LA County Dept. of Regional Planning, GIS Manager

US National Grid

Free ArcGIS Pro Training

arcgisproThanks to SoCalGIS for passing this free training along.

10 unusual maps of Los Angeles

09-Minimalist-LAThanks to David Peck for finding this and passing it along!

Click here to see them!


Federal GIS Jobs in California – February 2015

Cartographic Aid/Technician

…digitize line and point data and generate geographic information system ( GIS) maps. Develops new transportation maps from ortho photos and notes; works from rough drawings, sketches, GIS data files and verbal instructions; and prepares intricate, detailed…

Salary: $12.19 – $25.98 / Per Hour
Series & Grade: GS-1371-03/07
Location(s): Multiple Locations (20)
Open Period: 1/12/2015 to 8/31/2015
Announcement Number: BLM-TEMP-2015-0010


Department: Department Of The Interior
Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Position Info: Work Schedule is full-time. – This is a temporary appointment. These positions h…
Who May Apply: All U.S. Citizens – No previous Federal Service is required.

Save Job   |   More Like ThisRange Technician (Monitoring)

Continue reading Federal GIS Jobs in California – February 2015

eGIS Committee Agenda – February 2015

The agenda for next week’s meeting is attached.  eGIS meeting notice and Agenda – February 2015

I am also attaching my proposed schedule for departmental presentations on GIS – this meeting we will have presentations by DPW and ACWM.

The presentations In order to showcase the work that departments are doing in GIS and to share best practices, each month we will have two departments present their GIS work. Presentations should be about 15 minutes. Just show how you use GIS (maps, etc).


See you Tuesday!

GIS Classes at Santa Monica College

Couple of GIS classes at Santa Monica College are starting up on February 17th

For more information go to:

http://www2.smc.edu/schedules/2015/spring/ – find Geographic Information Systems on the left.


Transfer: UC, CSU • Prerequisite: None.

GIS are computer-based systems used to collect, store and analyze geographic information. This course will present the concepts of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) science and its applications to spatial data management. Topics include: Identification and acquisition of GIS data; Assessment of vector and raster systems, scale, resolution, map projection, coordinate systems, georeferencing and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Spatial analysis and modeling with GIS will also be presented.

GIS is the same course as Geography 20 and Computer Information Systems 20. Students may receive credit for one, but not both.

2312   Arrange-5 Hours    ONLINE-E   Drake V G

Above section 2312 is a Distance Education course conducted over the Internet. For additional information, go to smconline.org (schedule of classes).


Transfer: CSU • Prerequisite: Geography 20 or GIS 20.

This course emphasizes GIS principles and methodology used in both the private and public sectors. Hands-on applications using both raster and vector data and technology will expose students to more advanced understanding of GIS. Students will learn various methods of data acquisition, including Global Positioning Systems (GPS) as well as the World Wide Web. The add-on modules extend the analytical capabilities of ArcView and allow input of map features and conversion of feature themes from raster to vector. This course will also provide an introduction to several of ArcView’s extension including Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst. Students will complete a Model Builder to be used in siting new solar sites. Spatial Analysis will include slope and aspect maps, neighborhood and zone analysis. The course will present single and multi-layer statistical operations including classification, coordination, and modeling analysis.

GIS 23 is the same course as Geography 23 and CIS 23. Students may receive credit for one, but not both.

4241   6:45p-9:50p T   BUS 250   Kahn P J

Intro to GIS class at Cal State Fullerton this Thrusday

fullertonCal State Fullerton has a GIS program – the intro class starts this Thursday:

Extended Education’s Geographic Information Systems program provides classes online and in person at Cal State Fullerton’s Garden Grove Center.

This spring, the program’s introductory course, “Introduction to GIS” will be held Thursday evenings in Garden Grove.

For specific information on other courses, or to register, visit the program website.

Google Earth Pro is now available for free

This is an interesting development – Google Earth Pro was actually, on a yearly basis, more expensive than ESRI’s ArcMap desktop.  That has now changed.

Click here for the article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2015/01/30/google-earth-pro-is-now-available-for-free/

You can request a free key for Google Earth Pro at: https://geoauth.google.com/gev0/free_trial.html. The e-mail address that you use to register for Google Earth Pro will be your username. After you sign up, Google will send you a key to enter when you open Google Earth Pro.