GIS Day @ University of Idaho


Geoprivacy and the Ethics of Location

November 16, 2022

Clearwater Room (and Online!)
Idaho Student Union Building
University of Idaho
Moscow, Idaho

GIS Day @ University of Idaho is a free event that brings together scholars, students, professionals, businesses, and the public to discuss geospatial technologies and demonstrate their many uses. This year's theme is Geoprivacy and the Ethics of Location, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Dara Seidl to explore this vital topic. Admission is free and open to everyone. The sessions will take place on Wednesday, Nov 16th, 2022 as a hybrid event hosted at Clearwater / Whitewater room of the Idaho Student Union Building and streaming live via Zoom.

Please contact Bruce Godfrey (, 208-292-1407) with any questions.

Schedule of Events

GIS Day @ U of I 2022 is a hybrid event taking place on November 16th in the Clearwater / Whitewater room (on the second floor of the Idaho Student Union Building) and live streaming via Zoom. Times are given in Pacific Time (PST). Please register to receive the Zoom link.

Wednesday, Nov 16th, 2022

Draft schedule is subject to change!

9:15 am - 10:00 am
Whitewater Room and Zoom

Geoprivacy and GIS: Avenues for Engagement

Dara Seidl (Associate Professor of Geographic Information Systems, Colorado Mountain College)
Presenting virtually

Keynote presentation

GIS Day 2022 will mark twenty years since the release of Mark Monmonier’s influential book on geospatial technology and privacy, Spying with Maps. What has changed in the geoprivacy world in the last twenty years? How have perceived geoprivacy risks from two decades ago panned out, and what new directions and concerns have emerged? This talk will identify evolving practices in the collection and stewardship of sensitive location data and address a lingering concern: how to engage future purveyors of spatial data in cultivating geoprivacy.

Presenter Bio

Dr. Dara Seidl is a geographer and GIS scientist who loves to help students effectively capture, produce, analyze, display, and communicate geographic data. She is passionate about incorporating ethics into geography education. Her scholarly research centers on geoprivacy, which is the right of individuals to control their personal location data. She was named a 2019-2020 EthicalGEO Fellow by the American Geographical Society to develop an educational toolbox of short films on geoprivacy. She regularly published on cartographic techniques to protect privacy in mapping and societal reactions to personal location collection.

Moderators: Bruce Godfrey, Felix Liao.

10:20 am - 11:00 am
Whitewater Room and Zoom

Short Talks - Morning

Matty Murphy (University of Idaho); Kara Utter (NR URISA); Jennifer Hinds (University of Idaho)

Ten minute presentations highlighting recent geospatial-related work

Presenters from across the geospatial, GIS, and drone community will give 10-minute presentations highlighting their recent work.

  • Open source human rights investigations and their evidentiary implications, Matty Murphy (International Studies, University of Idaho) - This talk will present initial findings of research into how open source HR investigations are conducted, as well as the broader global implications of such investigations in the 21st century.
  • Getting Involved in the GIS Community, Kara Utter (Northern Rockies chapter of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association) - This presentation will cover who NR-URISA and URISA are and what we do for the GIS Community. It will cover a little about our history, what our current focus is, and why it’s important to get involved with professional GIS organizations like ours. I will also emphasize the importance for Students and Young Professionals to get involved to help network and make connections.
  • Cloud Optimized GeoTIFFs, Jennifer Hinds (Research Computing and Data Services, University of Idaho) - Rendering large raster images when developing web mapping applications can be a challenge. This is where Cloud Optimized GeoTIFFs (COGs) save the day.

Moderators: Lisa Jones, Perri Moreno.

11:20 am - 11:45 am
Whitewater Room and Zoom

Location sharing and geoprivacy preservation

Grant McKenzie (Assistant Professor of Spatial Data Science, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
Presenting virtually

Invited special topics presentation

Concern over the privacy of one’s personal location is at an all-time high, yet the desire to share our lives with friends, family, and the public persists. Current approaches to sharing personal location information is often limited to sharing a single spatial resolution with all individuals, regardless of relation, and with little control over how this content is shared. In this talk I propose a set of design goals and a design pattern for sharing personal location information that are realized through a prototype mobile web application called PrivyTo.

Moderators: Jeremy Kenyon, Evan Williamson.

11:45 am - 1:00 pm
Whitewater Room


Pizza will be available in Whitewater room. Please register in advance to help us judge numbers.

1:00 pm - 1:40 pm
Whitewater Room and Zoom

Short Talks - Afternoon One

Matthew Steinwurtzel (University of Idaho); Dave Pitney (University of Idaho); Michael Decker (University of Idaho)

Ten minute presentations highlighting recent geospatial-related work

Presenters from across the geospatial, GIS, and drone community will give 10-minute presentations highlighting their recent work.

  • Developing a Method for Quantifying the Thermal and Hydrologic Impacts of Beaver Habitat Using Thermal Infrared Imagery, Matthew Steinwurtzel (Fish and Wildlife Sciences, University of Idaho) - Historically, beaver-mediated habitat would have been a ubiquitous and multifunctional aspect of Idaho’s river and riparian ecosystems. Beaver habitats have been demonstrated to increase groundwater exchange, maintain surface water during drought or low flows, and promote thermal heterogeneity by increasing groundwater and surface water exchanges. As climate change will continue to impact riparian habitat and riverine ecosystems through changes in precipitation and temperature, the identification of restoration activities for managers that promote and facilitate cold-water refuges for imperiled salmonids is critical. Using Thermal Infrared Imagery (TIR), we are developing a methodology that maps and models the thermal profile of salmonid-bearing watersheds. This applied methodology can be adopted and used to address the spatial and temporal limitations of typical large-scale riparian ecosystem investigations in other watersheds.
  • Standalone GPS devices - still relevant today?, Dave Pitney (Geography, University of Idaho) - With the widespread adoption of smartphones and their ‘good enough’ GPS capabilities, is there still a role for standalone GPS devices? It depends on the use case. Presentation will conclude with a preview of our digital topographic maps for Garmin GPS devices.
  • Keeping Watch: Mapping Idaho’s Fire Lookouts Through Lived Experience, Michael Decker (CDIL and Confluence Lab, University of Idaho) - Keeping Watch is a geo-spatial narrative project that locates oral history testimonies from former and current fire lookouts on a GIS interface. Its aim is to trace shifting perspectives of space/ place through the gaze of fire lookouts–both objectively as tower technology and subjectively as human presence.

Moderators: Evan Williamson, Lisa Jones.

2:00 pm - 2:25 pm
Whitewater Room and Zoom

The Associated Press investigates a tech tool that offers police 'mass surveillance on a budget'

Jason Dearen (National Investigative Reporter for The AP and Garance Burke, Global Investigative Journalist for The AP)
Presenting virtually

Invited special topics presentation

Associated Press investigative journalists discuss their recent story about the obscure cellphone tracking tool, Fog Reveal. The reporters found that local law enforcement has been using the tool to track suspects in criminal investigations, sometimes without a search warrant. Fog Reveal searches billions of records from 250 million devices that police use to create “patterns of life” for people under investigation.

Moderators: Bruce Godfrey, Perri Moreno.

2:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Whitewater Room and Zoom

Short Talks - Afternoon Two

Nathan Hopkins (Idaho Geological Survey); Wilma Robertson (State of Idaho); Aaron Sparks (University of Idaho)

Ten minute presentations highlighting recent geospatial-related work

Presenters from across the geospatial, GIS, and drone community will give 10-minute presentations highlighting their recent work.

  • A New Database Initiative for Geologic Mapping in Idaho, Nathan Hopkins (Idaho Geological Survey) - The Idaho Geological Survey publishes freely available geologic data, including geologic mapping, of interest to diverse stakeholders in Idaho. This talk will introduce an initiative to create a seamless 1:24,000-scale compilation of the geologic mapping of Idaho in a new geodatabase schema consistent with national standards.
  • A State Project to help PSAPs getting ready for NG9-1-1, Wilma Robertson (Office of Information Technology Services, State of Idaho) - The State received funding to help Public Safety Answering Points improve their GIS Data for five Core datasets to get Idaho ready to switch from E911 to NG9-1-1. Learn about the efforts currently underway.
  • Using multi-temporal LiDAR to assess fire impacts on tree growth, Aaron Sparks (Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences, University of Idaho) - This talk will give a brief overview of current research efforts on the U of I Experimental Forest aimed at understanding forest growth dynamics using multi-temporal airborne LiDAR, including fire impacts on tree growth.

Moderators: Felix Liao, Jeremy Kenyon.

Content from past years' presentations, posters, and exhibits can be found in the GIS Day @ U of I Repository page


To participate in GIS Day 2022, please register in advance to let us know if you will be attending in person or online. Visit the event registration link and fill in the form with your details. Information about how to join the sessions will be emailed to you a day before the event. Registration is free and open to all.


Each year a variety of entities generously provide financial contributions to help make this a successful event. The current list recognizes our 2022 supporters.

If you or your organization would like to become a sponsor of GIS Day at the University of Idaho please click the button above to learn how to make a donation.

Planning Committee Members

  • Bruce Godfrey - Chair (Library)
  • Lisa Jones (Plant Science)
  • Jason Karl (Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences)
  • Jeremy Kenyon (Library)
  • Felix Liao (Earth & Spatial Sciences)
  • Perri Moreno (Library)
  • Evan Williamson (Library)