CCJDC Meeting Minutes- April 30, 2019


9:30 am: Call to Order/Sign-in Sheet: Meeting called to order by Austin Robey, chair of CCJDC.

Any new announcements or additions to agenda

Job announcement by Gina Schmidt: GIS and Environmental Database Specialist for PIE Services, Seaside.

9:35 am: Approval/Recap of Minutes

At the last meeting positions were voted on for CCJDC. Austin Robey will be chair for 2019 and Rick Boggs is co-chair. AMBAG is treasurer by default (no nominations received).

9:36 am: Participant Introductions & Agency Updates

Austin Robey (City of Watsonville): Started 3 weeks ago as GIS Coordinator for City of Watsonville. Going to be implementing RouteSmart, a routing software, primarily for solid waste management. He is also going to be implementing Cityworks to manage assets in city, starting with the water department. Moving from file geodatabase platform to ArcGIS Enterprise soon.

Rick Boggs (CSUMB): Hasn’t been doing as much GIS lately, working with facilities department on computerized maintenance management system. Graduate project at SJSU working with ESRI’s CityEngine looking at their geodesign workflow.

David Sergienco (MIIS): Grad Student at MIIS taking GIS classes.

Sandi McDaniel (ESRI): Local government account manager for ESRI. Handles Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz counties and based out of Sacramento office.

Joanna Nishimura (ESRI): Solution engineer for ESRI, also based out of Sacramento. She will be primary solution engineer for our local governments in this area.

Carol Ostergren (USGS): Based in Santa Cruz office.

Randy Casey (City of Salinas): Looking to overhaul entire GIS System, had ESRI come in and do an architectural review of entire system. Upgrading to Enterprise and possibly Portal. Currently running 10.4 so looking to upgrade to latest software.

Charles Hanley (City of Salinas): Finished 6th Story Map last week.

Anthony Cardoza (City of Salinas): Been working with Geocortex Essentials.  

Gavin Leavitt (City of Salinas): Tabular data to GIS format.

Emily Wilkinson (PV Water): Dabbling in Story Maps.

Marcus Mendiola (PV Water): Doesn’t use GIS as much as used to but makes land use maps at least once a year.

Maia Hoffman (PV Water): Working with GIS as intern at PV Water and Lab Manager at UCSC.

Will Condon (AMBAG): Cleaning and compiling data for AMBAG’s Activity Based Model, and completing public request maps.

Lynn Overtree (San Benito Agricultural Land Trust): Shifting hats again, moving from Land Trust of Santa Cruz County to San Benito Agricultural Land Trust. Wants to collaborate with people from San Benito County.

Chad Miller (Monterey County): Upgrading to ArcGIS Enterprise 10.6. Upgrading Geocortex as well.

Gina Schmidt (AMBAG): Working a lot on the Activity Based Model, which models people and trip movement at individual person level. It is a travel demand model, but is not using ESRI software, mainly using TransCAD for model,

Jenni Gomez (Santa Cruz County Assessor’s Office): Maintaining parcel data layer.

Brian Kriete (Santa Cruz County): Integrating asset management software and network software.

9:45 am: GIS Day Planning

Need to get site nailed down. At last meeting, requested someone to contact Cabrillo or UCSC. Brian will reach out to Cabrillo, and Austin will reach out to UCSC. Also need outreach for food since there is no budget. Need volunteers for GIS Day, it is good experience for reaching out to venues and event planning. Need people to volunteer for outreach to sponsors, someone to put together abstract and agenda. Most of it is emails and a couple of calls. Part of sponsor outreach is looking for prizes, i.e. last year’s books from ESRI. Chad agreed to help out with abstract and agenda. CCJDC meeting at the end of summer will be big for GIS Day planning. Email blast for presentations will be sent after September meeting.

The group likes the idea of having a map area at this year’s event (since we make maps). Maybe change poster presentations to map presentations.

Carol noted that Nevada group has fun map competition. Artographic, cartographic, etc. with prizes.

The group agreed that last year’s expert panel, though useful, was very student focused.

Carol was on the panel and was interested if students found it valuable? Is there anything the students wanted them to address? Gina can email the students that she has emails for from last year’s event.

Feedback form after the event may be useful. Anybody interested in creating one? Maximum of 4 questions. Perhaps digital (SurveyMonkey, Survey123)?

Carol suggested approaching GIS managers for the county and region to find out what the local issues are and how GIS is used to address them in a panel format. Maybe send out a pre-event survey for what attendees may be interested in hearing at the event.

Maybe another meeting in mid-June? Also early-mid September for GIS Day pre-planning.

For the regular CCJDC meetings, coming up with content and topics beforehand may generate interest. Also maybe use this venue for other people to present their own work.

For GIS day, David suggested a collaboration corner for putting heads together and helping people overcome hurdles in their projects. Chad works with non-spatial developers and bringing in the spatial element is an eye-opener for them. Good to show what’s available to them and getting GIS into the community. Partially teaching, partially learning. More collaborative than a presentation.

Having ESRI and Mapbox representatives at GIS Day could be interesting as well.

Salinas: Have 3 coders in their department, may be useful to collaborate on coding with other people in the group outside of their organization. Best format may be having it as part of CCJDC meeting or a forum. One of the best parts of the CCJDC is meeting other professionals and bouncing ideas off of them. Website and mailing list is another great resource.

Tutorial on Leaflet could be interesting to learn JavaScript rather than solely focusing on ESRI software.

Chad suggested having a standing part of meeting called “code review”, formal or informal, usually gets a discussion going.

Everyone is empowered to steer the meetings how they want. Group has a lot of information and potential that can be utilized by further participation.

10:15 am: LiDAR update

The government shutdown really affected USGS and this project. They have not yet received the delivery for coastal LiDAR project, then a couple more months for QA/QC, any back and forth from vendor. Late July or August is Carol’s best guess for actually having the data and available to share with people. LiDAR training may be a good topic for an upcoming meeting.

10:26 am: Break/Breakfast/Networking

10:45 am: ESRI Presentation: Story Maps by Joanna Nishimura

What is a Story Map? Newest edition released as beta in beginning of April. Story Maps are web apps that combine interactive maps. Combine maps with your own multimedia content. Media does not have to be stored on ArcGIS online. Goal of story maps is to tell a story about the world. Can be large or small scale.

Work on a variety of screen sizes. Majority of online content is consumed through mobile devices. It is important to test your story map on different screen sizes. User experience may not be great on smaller screens for some templates.

User does not need to know a single line of code. Drag and drop content.

By default Story Maps stored in cloud by ESRI, but open source. Download source code for templates and modify them yourself.

Currently available in 7 different templates. then clicking the apps tab shows different templates and what they do.

Examples: Santa Cruz Steelhead: Uses cascade template, looks and feels totally than the other example that uses cascade template.

Opening with a video is effective way to grab user’s attention. Consider different options for opening to keep it interesting.

Links on top allow the user to jump to different parts of the Story Map.

Static maps can be more effective than dynamic maps for certain applications. Using dissolve function makes map appear to be a video as scrolling through.

Example: Santa Clara Development Projects: Map tour template type--User can click on different locations. Made in ArcGIS online then incorporated into the story map. When clicking on a point, description and picture pop up. Consider limiting amount of text within the story map to keep user’s attention.

Example: Dynamic and grows over time. Short list template type. Tabbed experience. Each tab relates to a different web map. Weekly update theme, gives the user something to look forward to. Images for points use interesting pictures (people) showing not just map focus but people focus. Each farm has a Story Map for it. By the end of the year will have 52 individual Story Maps.

Example: Hurricane Irma Resource Catalog: Compile different resources that may be of interest to the public. Utilizes web app builder from ArcGIS online. Butte County used a lot of Story Maps during the Camp Fire at end of 2018 for information for public.

Building your first story map:

Gallery gives lots of ideas before creating story map.

Resources tab has more of the technical documentation and links to help.

1st method to create StoryMap: Make a web map first in ArcGIS online.

2nd method: Through My Stories tab, optimized for this purpose. Health check flags errors and suggest ways to fix those errors (i.e. private web maps that cannot be viewed by public, etc.)

Question: Can you access check stories no matter how you start the story? Answer: Yes it will flag it within the map and show up in the My Stories tab.

Creating a story map: Pick a template or Ask the Pros (Series of questions to help suggest template)

Follow prompts to add media and content to your story map.

Remember to configure your pop-ups (hide fields, alias fields, etc.)

Remember your stakeholders and audience, share within organization first and get approval.

The Road Ahead: Story Maps vs. StoryMap:

A complete platform rebuild. Unified experience. Can incorporate multiple types of templates into one StoryMap.

Express maps: Web maps you can build and store within StoryMaps. Don’t need to know anything about GIS to use. Very user friendly.

In beta version, need people to test them out and look for bugs.

Question: Can you still customize and use in your own domain? Answer: Yes.

Mobile first: Optimized for initial use on mobile device, and then scaled up to look good on bigger monitors.

Next gen story maps are aiming for monthly updates rather than quarterly or yearly.

Only 2 themes for now, will be adding more. Feedback is important, post in the GeoNet forum if anyone encounters any bugs.

11:57 am: Wrap Up & Adjourn

Meeting adjourned by Austin Robey.

Click here to view presentation slides.

Follow up answers to the questions from Joanna Nishimura, ESRI, regarding StoryMap demo:

Question: Can data points added to an express map be exported?  Can express maps be copied and pasted between different StoryMaps?

Answer: You cannot export features from express maps. They are meant to be simple maps as opposed to structured data sources. We’re still looking at using express maps across story maps, but currently express maps live inside a single story.


Question: Will there be a migration tool for importing existing Story Maps?

Answer: We’re not planning a migration tool. When authors publish a story they typically spend time getting that particular visual treatment approved and they socialize the story at a specific URL. For these and other reasons we don’t think it’s a good experience to offer the ability to update stories built with the classic templates.


Question: Can you set scale dependencies on points and features within express maps?

Answer: That’s not currently planned. Express maps are meant for simple place maps. They’ll typically be used at a single scale or maybe across a small number of scales. For making a sophisticated, multi-scale map an ArcGIS web map/scene should be used.


Question: Will StoryMaps be 508 compliant?

Answer: Stories created with the new builder follow WCAG 2.0 guidelines for accessibility, which is what section 508 guidelines are based upon. We are also planning to achieving a high level of accessibility for the story builder.

Additional information on classic Story Maps and 508 compliance: ,


Question: Will there be a tool for exporting StoryMaps as a pdf (I guess this is a common workflow for markup and revisions when in draft mode)?

Answer: Yes, we’re planning to bring printing to the new product (which will let you print to a PDF)


Question: Will you be able to add in custom HTML/CSS into the block elements in StoryMaps similar to the HTML editor in Open Data?

Answer: We’re looking at more customization options in the future, but are unsure about the details. ***If you have specific information about what you want customize or types of HTML/CSS they want to add, please post that information in the StoryMap beta feedback forum.  If there are recognized use cases and demand for certain features, then this increases the likelihood of these features being included in updates.


Question: Can developers still customize ArcGIS StoryMaps?

Answer: We want to ensure that ArcGIS StoryMaps is a friendly platform for building customized solutions. We’ll have more information about how developers can work with StoryMaps as we get closer to the first general-availability release, so in the meantime please sit tight!


Question: Will there be an update to the classic Shortlist template? Will maintenance, updates, bug fixes still be done on traditional Story Map templates?

Answer: We will not be adding any big new features to existing templates as we are focusing our development efforts on the new product. We will continue to maintain the classic templates for a long time. If issues arise we will evaluate them and address the most critical ones.