Sunday, October 25, 2009

Alumni in the Spotlight

Buffy Conrad ‘08

Buffy graduated with vast experience and skills in the GIS field. While attending Washington College, she took Professor Bruce’s GIS classes and interned in the GIS lab, all of which helped her prepare for her career after graduation. Buffy has carried her love for the GIS field into her new job with the Maryland State Highway Administration. Buffy provides GIS data for engineers such as aerials, contours, and maps. She takes photographs of sidewalks and mediums. The engineers then use these images and maps for better roadway design. She is currently working on a website, which is very new to her, that is about point collection and contours. Buffy enjoys her job with the Maryland State Highway Administration and is glad that she could use her GIS skills in the workforce.

Crime! Works So Good It’s Practically Criminal

Maryland Crime Mapping and Analysis

The GIS Lab received funding from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) to provide mapping and support in Maryland. The crimes that are mapped range from traffic accidents to homicides. The Washington College GIS Lab conducts an outreach program which invites any law enforcement agency to sign up for training. The majority of the lab’s promotion comes from word of mouth and conferences. Staff members Caryn Thomas ‘05 M’09 & Andrew Wright guide student interns in the lab teaching them the ins and outs of crime mapping. In addition to map¬ping, the GIS Lab has also worked with the Division of Parole and Probation (DPP) to create a web mapping viewer to display the over 100,000 individuals on parole or probation. This application is available to law enforcement to aid them in crime analysis.

Caryn Thomas ‘05 M’09:
Crime Mapping Analyst, was hired through the second grant the college received from GOCCP. She provides maps on demand for the Governor’s Office and other law enforcement agencies. She also provides training and technical support for crime analysts across the state of Maryland in their endeavors to produce high quality maps that will assist their officers.

Andrew Wright:
Crime Mapping Analyst, was hired through the third grant the college received from GOCCP. He mainly focuses on providing outreach and assistance to law enforcement agencies in the field. Andrew recently began teaching our 3rd Introduction to GIS course for crime analysts. Andrew trains law enforcement to use our Maryland Division Parole and Probation web mapping application that allows law enforcement to view offenders statewide.

Tracey Bienemann ’11:
“I am currently working on research to establish solid evidence for characteristics of disadvantaged neighborhoods to eventually draw conclusions about how the GIS Lab can evaluate its census block data to determine which neighborhoods are in the disadvantaged category in Maryland. I am also continuing work on the Maryland Sex Offender Mapping Errors. I have learned a lot about dangerous and unhealthy neighborhoods.”

Mary Kelley ’11:
“I am editing the crime maps that were previously made. The maps show specific crimes in Easton, Maryland. There are separate maps for separate crimes. The crimes mapped are assaults, robberies, burglaries, and theft. For each type of crime there are two maps; one for crimes in 2009 from January to July and one for crimes in 2008 from January to July.”

Monday, October 12, 2009

Current Projects: Historic Chestertown in 3D

Washington College’s Stewart Bruce and his Introduction to GIS students are putting together a 3D model of the current Washington College campus. Photos and building footprints of the campus are acquired, than placed into Google Sketch Up where students rebuild the campus in 3D. Once the project is completed, it will be placed on the Washington College website so that alumni or prospective students who are not able to visit the campus will be able to take a virtual tour of Washington College. Yet, the project does not stop here. A 3D time series will also be created in order to show how the campus has changed over the years.

The GIS Lab is doing something similar with historic Chestertown. Student Stephanie Olsen ‘12 strolls the streets of Chestertown, taking pictures of the homes, than brings them back to the lab. Once in the lab, they are placed in ArcMap and Google Sketch Up where students Jimmy Bigwood ’12, Tyler Brice ‘13, Lydia Powell ‘12, and Kim Zepeda ‘13 reference the footprints, aerial photography, and street view photography to add them in developing accurate 3D representations of the buildings today.

Welcome to Water Street, Chestertown Above 3D Rendering of North Water Street, created by Washington College 3D Modeling team pictured here.

120 North Water Street