Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fall 2007: Library GIS Workshops

First few weeks of the semester have been a rush, and our first GIS workshop is set for next Thursday. From the Superbowl, to air quality, to flipping houses, we're hoping to make a big splash with this semester's workshop lineup. (For previous workshops, see Spring 2006, Fall 2006, and Spring 2007.)

Starting last semester, we began co-presenting the workshops with faculty whose research expertise was in the subject area, but not necessarily using GIS. This turned out to be very successful and we are repeating that this semester.

Here is an overview. I will provide links to the workshop materials as they become available...

Title: Sleepin’ at the Bowl: Best Locations for New Hotels for Superbowl XLV
Time: September 27, 2 - 4pm
Location: Central Library, Room B20 (basement)
Description: Learn how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be used to analyze the number of hotels, rooms, and occupancy rates in Arlington. We will then identify the best location for the construction of a new hotel to help handle the influx of football fans. Data sources include hotel data from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and commercial property data from the Tarrant Appraisal District.

Title: Stuck in Traffic: Find the Road Segments With the Highest Pollution Levels (co-presented with Dr. Melanie Sattler)
Time: October 25, 2 - 4pm
Location: Central Library, Room B20 (basement)
Description: Learn how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be used to statistically estimate pollution levels within the DFW metroplex and to then identify the street segments that traverse through the regions with the highest levels. Data sources include pollution measurements from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Environmental Protection Agency, and various datasets from the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Title: Buy & Sell That House: Find Houses to Flip (co-presented with Dr. Andy Hansz)
Time: November 14, 230 - 4pm
Location: Central Library, Room B20 (basement)
Description: Learn how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be used to analyze the residential property market in Tarrant County to identify ideal investment houses to flip. Data sources include sample Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data from the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems (NTREIS) and foreclosure listings from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm in the GIS business and apprasals districts are great that have free shapefiles, I found Denton County and Tarrant to have the resources. Do you know of the counties/cities in North TX with free downloads? I can't believe Dallas County, this is the message I got from them:The Dallas Central Appraisal District's digital parcel data is available for sale. The price is $50,000 which purchases a license to use the GIS Data, for your in-house only. Due to the copyright on the GIS, should you decide to purchase the license, you cannot redistribute or sell the GIS shape files. The $50,000 license fee can be paid in three annual payments of $16,667, but the full contract price is obligated. The contract allows for three years of GIS data, which would include the certified data for the year of purchase and the next two years of updated, certified data.

We have coverage for the entire county. Approximately 705,000 parcels exist on the GIS map. These match to over 760,000 property ownership records and tens of thousands more Business Personal Property accounts.

The data can be sorted and totaled for political agencies or school districts. The District maintains separate GIS boundaries for cities, independent school districts, and taxing districts. The District does not maintain boundary files for fire or EMS. The political boundary data files are for sale for $250 each, or $1000 for the following layers: Abstracts, City, County, ISD, Special, Subdivisions, and TIF Zones.

Talk about making a profit, wonder if there is any govt officials with thicker pockets on account of this charge.

Anonymous said...

im commenting on my comment, appraisal districts can charge, they are not affiliated with governemnt, ie dallas county

geovbcoder said...

DCAD is totally breaking the law. It is public data, but they're falsely claiming copyright to keep it out of the general public's hands. But as the shapefile is nothing more an unoriginal collection of mere facts copyright that can't exist (see Feist v. Rural and Santa Clara v. CFAC). And even if copyright did legally exist on this compilation, the Public Information Act is clear that charges can't exceed the actual cost of duplication.

The Office of the Attorney General agrees with us that it is indeed public information (see Open Records Letter Ruling OR2006-00477). DCAD never sued to overturn that decision. So it still stands. Also, in a January 30, 2007 letter sent to DCAD's attorney by the Attorney General's Open Records Division Cost Rules Administrator, the OAG stated: "The district may not assess a "licensing fee," or any other fee, in excess of the actual costs for reproducing the information. Yet, DCAD continues to defy the Public Information Act and the people of Texas by charging $50,000. The Attorney General should take DCAD to court. But it looks like one of us ordinary citizens will have to do it instead.

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