GeoInformatics Training, Research, Education, and Extension Center


Updated Buy Fresh Buy Local Web Map

Posted Aug. 18, 2014, 5:57 p.m.

 The GeoTREE Center has updated the Buy Fresh Buy Local web mapping application developed in conjunction with the UNI Center for Energy & Environmental Education. The application can be viewed at Black Hawk and Surrounding Counties BFL. The application demonstrates businesses and institutions that participate in the Buy Fresh Buy Local program in this area. 


Dubuque/Catfish Creek Watershed ArcSLAMM Workshop

Posted Aug. 18, 2014, 5:57 p.m.

 The GeoTREE Center provided a one day training on August 11 for the City of Dubuque Engineering and Dubuque Soil and Water Conservation personnel in the use of the ARCSLAMM-WinSLAMM coupled urban stormwater modeling system. The GeoTREE Center had created a comprehensive spatial database for the urban area of the Catfish Creek Watershed. The workshop demonstrated the use of these data for modeling urban stormwater runoff and pollution using the popular model WinSLAMM and the free ArcGIS toolbox ArcSLAMM. ArcSLAMM was developed by the GeoTREE Center as part of an Iowa Water Center funded project. Students Alex Newkirk and Jonathan Beavers were instrumental in database creation and workshop preparation. 


UNI International Students Mapping

Posted July 23, 2014, 4:11 p.m.

A web mapping application has been developed to show which countries UNI International students have come from over the last few years. This application was developed for the UNI International Students and Scholars Office. The application can be seen at The data was drawn from UNI Fact Books available at


Local Foods Research and Outreach

Posted July 2, 2014, 4:41 p.m.

 The UNI GeoTREE Center carried out a small research project examining local food environments as part of a 2013-14 UNI Reaching for Higher Ground grant. Spatial analyses were carried out to examine the number of people living within certain (travel - walk, drive) distances of both convenience stores and grocery stores in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area. These results were presented to local food advocates and others including a meeting attended by a representative from Kum & Go Corporation. The research results were provided to support local grower and food advocate Chad Thomas who was attempting to convince local convenience stores to carry more local produce. In addition, results of spatial analyses were provided to a group who are investigating the opening of a food co-op in Cedar Falls who were interested in the proximity of populations around convenience and grocery stores.

 Overall results of the research demonstrated that a much greater number of people live near convenience stores in the local area than do near a grocery store. For example, approximately 4 times more people live within an approximate 5 minute walk of a convenience store as compared to grocery stores (~26,000 vs. 7000). In addition, socio-demographic analyses demonstrated that populations nearer convenience stores are poorer and have higher minority percentages. In addition, the populations nearer convenience stores have a higher percentage of youth than Black Hawk County as a whole. Also based on a drive time analysis from grocery stores it can be seen that there are large areas of Waterloo and Cedar Falls which do not live close to a grocery stores. Notable areas include Northern Cedar Falls and Eastern Waterloo which have lower income populations.

A web mapping application has also been created to display proximity to grocery and convenience stores. The application can be viewed at either or At either of these a use can turn on or off the layers.

Finally, the GeoTREE Center and UNI Geography Graduate student Matt Cooney worked, in conjunction with the UNI CEEE, on creating a web mapping application for the Buy Fresh Buy Local program. See

Please contact John DeGroote at if any questions.


GIS workshop

Posted May 23, 2014, 3:53 p.m.

The GeoTREE Center hosted a two-day GIS basics workshop on May 14th and 15th in the UNI Geography Department. The workshop was attended by 12 employees from city departments including Engineering, Planning & Zoning, Waste Management, Traffic Operations, and Water Works. GeoTREE student research assistants Alex Newkirk and Jonathan Beavers assisted John DeGroote in preparing and carrying out the research.

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