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Awards and Map Competition

Colin Duewell Outstanding Contribution in Communication and Collaboration Winner

Colin Duewell, our Department of Economic Development GIS Specialist, for his Outstanding Contribution in Communication and Collaboration to the GIS community and our state.  As the one GIS professional for a 900+ employee department that analyzes business and workforce development issues, his work has been critical to advancing Missouri’s efforts to strengthen our economy.

His daily work requires not only a strong set of GIS skills but the equally important ability to communicate spatial data to the policymakers, planners, and the general public.  Much of our work in economic and workforce analysis requires strong collaboration and impacts the decisions of job seekers, businesses, and community leaders so having a keen sense of how to communicate complex geographic data is vital to our efforts.  I have been privileged to be Colin’s colleague for over a decade and, while his body of work is too vast to catalog in one place, I’d like to highlight a few products that showcase his strong communication and collaboration skills:

Workforce Area Migration Briefs (October 2016):

Colin gathered and analyzed a complex set of IRS migration data that is difficult to visualize regionally in a way that communicates the bottom line of the movement of people into and out of a region.  These reports show the migration of households outward from urban cores but also the attraction of large metropolitan areas for more rural regions.

Workforce Development Area Commuting Profiles (March 2016):

Colin used spatial analysis to develop heat maps of employee location data, a fantastic way to show worker movements and how interconnected our local economies are.

Economic Analysis of Casino Applicants for Missouri’s Gaming License (November 2010):

This is an older example highlighting some of Colin’s contribution to our efforts but is important to understand his depth of communication and GIS talent over the years he has worked in the Department of Economic Development.  Colin developed excellent maps to visualize the issues and, more importantly, helped develop the gravity model analysis needed to evaluate business sales displacement.  I also highlight this report because it received an national research award in 2011 from the Council for Community and Economic Research and showcases Colin’s long-term impact to the department as a great communicator and collaborator.

These examples are the tip of the iceberg in terms of GIS contributions Colin makes on a daily basis to the department and its many stakeholders.  Most of our regular reports demonstrate his GIS influence and can be found at  From unemployment maps to heat maps of workers impacted by a layoff, Colin is constantly creating well-communicated spatial analysis and mentoring others in this office with basic GIS skills.  He is an excellent leader to our staff and a great hands-on practitioner highlighting the power of GIS to make better decisions.



Map Competition

1st Place

Dyan Pursell, GIS Specialist, Missouri Dept. of Conservation, 537-815-7900 x2943,

Assessing and Monitoring Stream Channels and Riparian Corridors Using LiDAR in the Grand River Grasslands

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is exploring the feasibility of using LiDAR to accurately model headcuts, sites of bank instability and riparian corridor condition , as well as document channel width within the Grand River Grasslands Priority Geography.  LiDAR was flown at USGS QL 0.5 for the Missouri portion of the Grand River Grasslands, but at a lower elevation to achieve a horizontal accuracy of 6 inches and a vertical accuracy of 3 inches. Leaf-off LiDAR was flown December 2015 to enable an accurate measurement of stream features and produce a high quality DEM. Leaf-on was flown June 2016 to accurately measure riparian zone canopy cover. Using e‑Cognition software, objects were generated from the 2015 USGS leaf-off (4-band) DOQQ, and land cover (LC) classes were assigned to the resulting 167,000+ objects. In combination with parcel data, this LC classification will assist land managers in determining which landowners to contact regarding implementing Best Management Practices (BMP) along stream corridors. Examination of both leaf-off and leaf-on canopy cover, derived from LiDAR, revealed inconsistencies, as some places indicated a larger canopy cover during leaf-off.  The accuracy of the NHD stream file was an issue that resulted in manual manipulation  of stream vertices to create a better feature class.  For future areas of interest, an accurate stream layer will be derived from a hydrologically sound DEM using a conditional flow accumulation statement. Using the improved stream layer, points were placed along third and fourth order streams at 6 inch intervals; elevation data was attached to each point and a comparison, from point to point, was made.  Elevation changes of greater than 2 inches were flagged and will be field checked for possible headcut locations. The feasibility of using slope and aspect to derive bank incision and instability is being considered. While the base layers of this project are still in development, the project outcome will include a GIS based tool that will allow MDC to assess other Priority Geographies and evaluate where BMPs will be most effectively implemented.


2nd Place

Major Stakeholders in the Hinkson Creek Watershed This map demonstrates the landholding entities within the Hinkson Creek watershed. This map was shared with the landholding entities during meetings to discuss comprehensive stormwater management strategies for the watershed. Matthew Smith, GISP GIS Analyst II Boone County

3rd Place

Samson Tesfaye etal, Professor of Research, Dept of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Lincoln University