Chris Dunn

Cartographer at Law

Over the years that I’ve been both an attorney and a GIS guy, I’ve yet to come up with a catchy elevator speech about what I do. But I am going to try. 

What I Do: I uncover the hidden patterns and evidence contained in data sets, maps, coordinates, and other geospatial items so that you can think critically about 3-D spaces and terrain. Just like an address is a crucial piece of information to get you from Point A to Point B, geographic information systems (GIS) and other geospatial technologies can inform your decision-making and how you interpret business intelligence, marketing data, evidence in court cases, real estate, and so many other fields.

What I do is uncommon. I get that. Some people call me their “map guy” or the “GIS lawyer” or “that lawyer who focuses on making maps.” It’s all good. I love making maps, solving problems, and keeping my clients happy. So, it doesn’t matter what we call what I do. What matters are the results my clients see. 

If you have a problem you think might benefit from a spatial approach, please get in touch with me via the contact information posted in this web page’s sidebar.

The Obligatory Short Bio

Christopher W. Dunn lives in Columbia, Missouri, where he is a small business owner, solo practice attorney, and geospatial expert witness. Chris uses his experience and education to solve geospatial problems for his clients. He uses GIS and 3-D modeling software to make demonstrative exhibits for attorneys and specialty maps for his health care, nonprofit, and private-sector clients. Chris regularly makes presentations to the geospatial community on current and emerging geospatial legal issues.

EDUCATION

Juris Doctor, University of Missouri, School of Law, Columbia, Missouri. (May 16, 2014)

Master of Arts, Geography, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. (December 10, 1994)

Bachelor of Science, Geography, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. (May 15, 1993)

TESTIMONY IN AN EXPERT’S CAPACITY

Civil Wrongful Death: Prepared demonstrative exhibits used in court and testified before the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit of Missouri, Cooper County, Missouri, on behalf of the plaintiffs in Raymond Bacon v. Glenn C. Head, 16CO-CC00014 (2019). The case was a civil wrongful death and trespassing action. I created a digital 3-D crime scene model, produced multiple maps and graphical exhibits using the state’s evidence, and testified as to the map’s and the model’s applicability. 

Criminal Appeal: Prepared demonstrative exhibits used in court and testified before the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit of Missouri, Cole County, Missouri, on behalf of the appellant in Anthony Williams #517097 v. Jeff Norman, 13AC-CC00376 (2014). The case was a habeas corpus, actual innocence appeal. I created a digital 3-D crime scene model and produced multiple exhibits using the state’s evidence and testified as to the model’s applicability.

Administrative Law: Testified before the First Circuit Court of Kansas, Leavenworth County, Kansas, on behalf of the plaintiff in Board of Leavenworth County Comm’rs v. Whitson, 281 Kan. 678, 132 P.3d 920, 132 P.2d 920 (2006). My testimony related to the land use regulation scheme in effect at the time of an alleged violation.

DEMONSTRATIVE EXHIBITS

Working through GeoVelo, LLC, I have prepared numerous demonstrative geospatial exhibits that have been used in legal negotiations, investigations, property negotiations, administrative procedures, planning and zoning hearings, city council meetings, civil litigation, continuing legal education (CLE) course presentations, criminal litigation, and state court appellate work.

PAPERS, PROJECTS, & PRESENTATIONS

Missouri Association of Mappers 2019 Annual ConferenceFrom Deed to Map. A six-hour course. (Springfield, Missouri – August 7, 2019)

Mid-America GIS Consortium (MAGIC) Manager’s Summit 2019 – Geospatial Law – Open Data, Policy, Licensing, Disclaimers, & More. A one-hour course. (Kansas City, Missouri – April 8, 2019)

Wisconsin Land Information Association Annual ConferenceLegal Issues in GIS. A two-hour GIS Professional Continuing Education (GISP-CE) course. (Appleton, Wisconsin – February 22, 2019)

National Trail of Tears Association – Rediscovering the Trail of Tears – An Esri Story Map. A 30-minute presentation. (Tuscumbia, Alabama – October 27, 2018)

American Association for State and Local History – It Turns Out Mapping the Trail of Tears in Missouri Is More Difficult Than You Might Imagine. A 30-minute presentation. (September 29, 2018 – Kansas City, Missouri)

Missouri Humanities MagazineRediscovering the Trail of Tears in Missouri. Article. (Fall/Winter 2018)

Missouri Mappers 2018 Annual ConferenceGeospatial Law 2017 for the Keepers of the Records. A four-hour CE course. (August 2, 2018 – Jefferson City, Missouri)

Missouri Realtors® 2018 April Business Conference, Realtors® Land Institute – Why All Maps are Inherently Inaccurate. 3.0 hours Missouri Bar Association CLE. (April 24, 2018 – St. Charles, Missouri)

University of Missouri School of Law, 2017 Veterans Clinic Symposium – Using Geospatial Data to Establish a Nexus Between the Veteran’s Claim and Their Injury. Keynote presentation; 1.0 hours Missouri Bar Association CLE. (November 10, 2017 – Columbia, Missouri)

Arkansas GIS Users Forum – My Weird Career Path Leading Towards Geospatial Law. A 40-minute keynote address. (October 4, 2017 – Eureka Springs, Arkansas)

Arkansas GIS Users Forum Annual Conference – Geospatial Law 2017. Topics: (1) state open records acts and geospatial data acts, (2) liability and sovereign immunity, (3) government-held geospatial data and copyrights, etc. A four-hour CE course. (October 3, 2017 – Eureka Springs, Arkansas)

Missouri Mappers 2017 Annual ConferenceGeospatial Law 2017 for the Keepers of the Records. A 4-hour CE course. (August 2, 2017 – Jefferson City, Missouri)

MOGISCON2017 (Missouri GIS Convention 2017) – Why RSMo § 67.1850 is Bad for Your Community. (RSMo § 67.1850 is the state statute governing the control, pricing, and release conditions for local government GIS data in Missouri.) A 60-minute CE course. (February 21, 2017 – Osage Beach, Missouri)

MOGISCON2017Geospatial Law 2017. Topics: (1) state open records acts and geospatial data acts, (2) liability and sovereign immunity, (3) government-held geospatial data and copyrights, etc. A four-hour course. (February 20, 2017 – Osage Beach, Missouri)

Kansas State University Law Day – University of Missouri School of Law’s representative. (September 9, 2016 – Manhattan, Kansas)

MAGIC 2016Geospatial Law 2016. An eight-hour CE course. (April 24, 2016 – Overland Park, Kansas)

Missouri Primary Care Association Membership MeetingMPCA & GIS. A 20-minute teleconference presentation. (July 15, 2015 – Jefferson City, Missouri)

Kansas Association of County Planning and Zoning OfficialsThe US Constitution and Land Use Law. A one-hour presentation. (April 22, 2015 – Rock Springs Ranch, Kansas)

Missouri Rural Health ConferenceHealthTran Implements GIS. A 20-minute presentation. (November 19, 2014 – Columbia, Missouri)

University of Missouri School of Law, Health Law SocietyGeospatial Medical Law. A 20-minute presentation. (October 10, 2014 – Columbia, Missouri)

MAGIC Mid-States Data Warehouse Committee – Sierra Club v. Orange County: The California Supreme Court Declares Publicly Held GIS Data Is an Open Record. A 30-minute teleconference presentation. (August 30, 2013 – Web-based)

Truman Medical Center, Board of Directors – Geographic Information Systems for Health Care. A 30-minute presentation. (May 31, 2013 – Kansas City, Missouri)

Missouri Geographic Information Systems Advisory Council – Missouri’s Local Government GIS Data: Who Really Ought to Own It? A 30-minute presentation. (January 10, 2013 – Jefferson City, Missouri)

University of Missouri School of LawGPS vs. Surveying. Guest lecturer for the course Real Estate Transfers led by Professor Wilson Freyermuth. A 20-minute presentation. (October 31, 2012 – Columbia, Missouri)

City of Leavenworth, KansasComprehensive Development Regulations. Project manager and co-author for the revision of the city’s entire development code. (2010 to 2011 – Leavenworth, Kansas)

City of Leavenworth, KansasComprehensive Land Use Plan. Project manager. (2011 – Leavenworth, Kansas)

Leavenworth County Port Authority Trails Group (part of the Mid-America Regional Council’s [MARC] Metro Green Program) – Team leader and GIS mapper. (2006 to 2011 – Leavenworth, Kansas)

City of Leavenworth, KansasArterial Appearance Overlay District (AAOD) Regulations. Author. (2010 – Leavenworth, Kansas)

City of Leavenworth, KansasCity-Wide Trail Master Plan. Steering committee member. (2010 – Leavenworth, Kansas)

City of Leavenworth, KansasCode Enforcement Procedures Manual. Author. (2010 – Leavenworth, Kansas)

City of St. Joseph, Missouri Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Citizen board member. (2010 – St. Joseph, Missouri)

Ingram’s Magazine – Coordinator, representing the City and County of Leavenworth, Kansas, as the City-County Coordinator for two editions of the magazine. (2007 and 2009 – Leavenworth, Kansas)

Leavenworth County, Kansas Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Project manager. (2007 – Leavenworth, Kansas)

Kickapoo Tribe in KansasPlum Creek, PL 566 Public Water Reservoir Project. Team leader. (2004 to 2005 – Horton, Kansas)

EMPLOYMENT

Business Owner and Attorney, GeoVelo, LLC, Columbia, Missouri. (2012 to present). GeoVelo uses GIS to support attorney, health care, nonprofit, and private-sector clients. For example, I provide geospatial business intelligence and market analysis products to health care market participants. The CEOs and CFOs of major hospital systems use these maps as key elements in their strategic business development, specifically in planning, marketing, and facility location siting decisions. Moreover, I use precise 3-D modeling software, in conjunction with GIS techniques, to create accurate crime scene reconstructions.

GIS Manager, Community Asset Builders (CAB), Jefferson City, Missouri. (11-2014 to 08-2016). CAB uses GIS to provide geospatial business intelligence and market analysis products to health care market participants. In my position, I managed all aspects of GIS business intelligence services for clients. Coached CAB team members on the use of geospatial data to improve health care access planning. Developed a GIS for Missouri’s Federally Qualified Health Centers to visually depict patient growth/decline, market penetration, and new development opportunities.

Director, Planning, Zoning, and Community Development Department, City of Leavenworth, Kansas. (11-2008 to 05-2011). Reported to the City Manager. Chair of the city’s Development Review Committee. Supervised the city’s 105-unit low-income residential tower, the city’s brownfields redevelopment project (per the US Environmental Protection Agency guidelines), and the following city divisions: Planning, Zoning, Code Enforcement, Historic Preservation, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Planters II, and HUD Section 8 (per the US Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines). Successfully managed the city’s 2010 Comprehensive Land Use Plan, developed the city’s AAOD regulations, and co-developed the award-winning Downtown and Northeast Leavenworth Redevelopment Plan in partnership with the city’s Economic Development Department. Revised the city’s development regulations by combining seven sets of regulations into one unified development manual. Led an aggressive city effort to rehabilitate or demolish blighted structures. Served as the Census 2010 coordinator. Supervised eleven full-time staff. 

Director, Planning and Zoning Department, Leavenworth County, Kansas. (05-2005 to 11-2008). Reported to the Board of County Commissioners. Successfully managed the county’s 2007 Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Partnered with MARC and the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) on the Corridor Management Plan for the highways US 24, US 40, and K-7. Served as secretary to the County Planning Commission. Led more than 20 public outreach sessions. Chaired several economic development and infrastructure efforts. Developed a popular monthly planning and zoning training program for board members called Topics in Planning. Supervised five full-time staff.

Director, Planning Department, Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, Horton, Kansas. (02-2004 to 05-2005). Reported to the Tribal Chairman. Primarily implemented a $12 million federal project for the Plum Creek Dam and Reservoir. Authored the reservation’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. Developed the Tribe’s GIS. Led more than 50 public sessions.

Community Planner, Mo-Kan Regional Council, St. Joseph, Missouri. (09-2001 to 01-2004). On-call planner for four northwest Missouri and two northeast Kansas counties and their municipalities. Administrator for the CDBG programs and the federal Community Economic Development program.

Branch Office Manager, Austin Miller P.A., Engineering Services, Wichita, Kansas. (11-2000 to 08-2001). Managed the Dodge City, Kansas, office. Duties included marketing the Wichita office’s services as well as land use planning, subdivision plat development, project oversight, cartography, GIS, IT administration, and website design.

Director, Department of Planning, Zoning, and Environmental Health, Ford County, Kansas. (06-1998 to 11-2000). Reported to the Board of County Commissioners. Managed office staff; drafted county planning, zoning, and environmental health policies; and interpreted state statutes. Served as secretary to the Ford County Planning Commission and Zoning Boards. Supervised two staff members.

Executive Director, Central Kansas Local Environmental Planning Group (CKLEPG), Great Bend, Kansas. (05-1995 to 06-1998). Reported to a board of directors. Administered environmental codes in seven central Kansas counties. Tested water and provided technical assistance to citizens on water and wastewater. Investigated complaints and code violations.

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Kansas State University, Department of Geography, Manhattan, Kansas. (08-1994 to 12-1994). Provided teaching assistance for the department’s only computer cartographic course.

Environmental Engineering Intern, Fort Riley, Kansas. (05-1994 to 08-1994). Participated in a Department of Engineering and Housing 90-day internship. Performed on-site investigations of remediation sites. Served as a database programmer.

Graduate Research Assistant, Kansas State University, Department of Geography, Manhattan, Kansas. (08-1993 to 08-1994). Conducted extensive data mining and research. Constructed 31 maps of the Ogallala Aquifer for a journal publication.

Sergeant (E-5), Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD), US Army. (06-1986 to 11-1991). Performed 47 Combat EOD missions to defuse and destroy improvised explosive devices, captured military ordnance, and collected intelligence on new weapons discovered during combat operations in Iraq, Kuwait, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during Operations Desert Shield-Desert Storm. Operated in eight foreign nations. Held both Top Secret (TS-BI) and Critical Nuclear Weapons Design Information (CNWDI) security clearances. Served on several US Secret Service protection details for the President of the United States, Vice President, Secretary of State, and foreign heads of state. Honorable discharge.

ADDITIONAL DUTY POSITIONS

Chair, Development Review Committee, City of Leavenworth, Kansas. (2009 to 2011)

Secretary, CDBG Commission, City of Leavenworth, Kansas. (2008 to 2011)

Secretary, Historic Preservation Commission, City of Leavenworth, Kansas. (2008 to 2011)

Secretary, Planning Commission, City of Leavenworth, Kansas. (2008 to 2011)

Secretary, Zoning Board, City of Leavenworth, Kansas. (2008 to 2011)

Secretary, Board of Zoning Appeals, City of Leavenworth, Kansas. (2008 to 2011)

Secretary, Planning Commission, Leavenworth County, Kansas. (2005 to 2008)

Secretary, Zoning Board, Leavenworth County, Kansas. (2005 to 2008)

Secretary, Board of Zoning Appeals, Leavenworth County, Kansas. (2005 to 2008)

Secretary, Planning Commission, Ford County, Kansas. (1998 to 2000)

Secretary, Zoning Board, Ford County, Kansas. (1998 to 2000)

PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS

American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), American Planning Association, Chicago, Illinois. Certification required passing a proctored examination. (2003 to 2014)

Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM), Association of State Floodplain Managers, Madison, Wisconsin. Certification required passing a proctored examination. (2008 to 2011)

Systematic Development of Informed Consent, Institute for Participatory Management and Planning, Jefferson City, Missouri. A 40-hour program sponsored by the Missouri Department of Transportation. Certification required passing an examination. (2003)

Transportation Corridor Access Management, Hutchinson, Kansas. A 16-hour program sponsored by KDOT. (2000)

Water Well Driller, License. Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Topeka, Kansas. Certification required passing an examination. (1998)

Lead-Based Paint Risk Assessment, University of Kansas, Center for Environmental Education and Training, Mid-States Regional Lead Training Center. A 16-hour course. (1997)

Lead Inspector Training, University of Kansas, Center for Environmental Education and Training, Mid-States Regional Lead Training Center. A 24-hour course. (1997)

Equal Opportunity Counselor, US Army, Fort Hood, Texas. A 40-hour course. Certification required passing an examination. (1990)

Explosive Ordnance Refresher, US Army, Redstone Army Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama. An 80-hour course. (1990)

Bomb Technician, Regional Bomb Technicians Seminar, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Dallas, Texas. A 40-hour course. (1989)

Army Peculiar Explosive Ordnance Disposal Material (Phase III), Redstone Army Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama. An 80-hour course. (1989)

Army Maintenance Clerk Course, Fort Hood, Texas. An 80-hour program. (1989)

EOD Technician, NAVSCOLEOD (Class 35S-89), Indian Head Naval Ordnance Station, Indian Head, Maryland. (1989)

USAREUR Radiation Protection Officer, US Army, Landstuhl Army Medical Center, Landstuhl, Germany. A 40-hour course. (1987)

Top Secret Security Clearance, TS-BI and CNWDI clearances, US Army. (1986 to 1991) As an EOD nuclear weapons specialist, I was under the US Department of Defense’s Personnel Reliability Program (PRP), which is a security, medical, and psychological evaluation program designed to permit only the most trustworthy individuals to have access to nuclear weapons (NPRP).

EOD Specialist (55D10), Redstone Army Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama. A nine-week course. (1986)

AFFILIATIONS

Urban and Regional Information Systems Association, Des Plaines, Illinois. (2019 to present)

Missouri Mappers Association, Jackson, Missouri. (2017 to present)

MAGIC, Kansas City, Missouri. (2015 to present)

Missouri Bar Association, Attorney in Good Standing, Jefferson City, Missouri. (2014 to present)

University of Missouri School of Law Ambassadors, Columbia, Missouri. (2012 to 2014)

Black Law Student’s Association, University of Missouri Chapter. (2012 to 2014)

Federalist Society, University of Missouri Chapter, Vice President. (2011 to 2014)

American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), American Planning Association (APA), Chicago, Illinois. (2003 to 2014)

APA, member of the National and Kansas Chapters and secretary of the Kansas Chapter from 2007 to 2009. (2000 to 2014)

Boy Scouts of America, assistant scoutmaster from 2003 to 2006, scoutmaster from 2006 to 2007, troop committee chair from 2007 to 2008, and merit badge counselor. (2003 to 2010)

Kansas Association of County Planning and Zoning Officials, member, president in 2000, and webmaster from 2000 to 2007. (1998 to 2007)

AWARDS & COMMUNITY SERVICE

Board Member, Boone County Extension Council Board, Boone County, Missouri. (2019 to present)

Dean’s “Top-Achiever” Pro Bono Legal Service Award, University of Missouri School of Law, Columbia, Missouri. (2014)

Co-Chair, Class of 2014 Pledge Drive, University of Missouri School of Law, Columbia, Missouri. Nominated by the faculty. (2014)

Board Member, Welcome Home, Inc., Columbia, Missouri. (2013)

Pioneer Award, Kansas Chapter of the American Planning Association. An urban planning project team award for the City of Leavenworth’s Downtown and Northeast Leavenworth Redevelopment Plan. (2010)

Secretary, Kansas Chapter of the American Planning Association. (2007 to 2009)

Volunteer, Quad States Trail Project, St. Joseph, Missouri. (2007 to 2009)

Volunteer, Tour of Missouri, St. Joseph, Missouri. (2007 to 2009)

Planning Commissioner, member of the St. Joseph Planning Commission from 2004 to 2009 and chair from 2008 to 2009, St. Joseph, Missouri. (2004 to 2009)

Service Award, Kansas Chapter of the American Planning Association. (2008)

Best Industrial (Documentary) Movie, Plum Creek – Water is Life, Film Producer, American Indian Film Institute Award, San Francisco, California. Produced for the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, Horton, Kansas. (2004)

Honorary Deputy Marshal, Dodge City Chamber of Commerce, Dodge City, Kansas. (2002)

Chair, Governing Board, Kansas State University Child Care Center, member and chair from 1993 to 1994. (1992 to 1994)

Combat Veteran, EOD Sergeant (E-5), Operations Desert Shield-Desert Storm, US Army. Awarded the Army Commendation Medal for action in combat EOD operations. (1990 to 1991)

Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America. (1981)

PUBLISHED

All works in this section authored by Christopher W. Dunn, unless otherwise noted.

Rediscovering the Trail of Tears in Missouri (article). Missouri Humanities Magazine. (Fall/Winter 2018)

CKLEPG and GIS (article). Kansas GIS Newsletter. This newsletter is a publication of the Geographic Information Systems Initiative of Kansas, Kansas Water Office, Great Bend, Kansas. (Summer 1997)

Review of Bull’s Eye: The Assassination and Life of Supergun Inventor Gerald Bull (book review). Military Review, Volume LXXIII. US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. (May 1993)

Review of CNN: War in the Gulf (book review). Military Review, Volume LXXII. US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. (February 1992)

UNPUBLISHED

All works in this section authored by Christopher W. Dunn, unless otherwise noted.

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 67.1850: Eroding the Transparency of Missouri’s Sunshine Law (a paper fulfilling the writing requirement of the Juris Doctor degree; Advisor Dean Rafael Gely). University of Missouri School of Law, Columbia, Missouri. (June 2014)

May 2014 Intensive Software Familiarization Seminar for Local Environmental Protection Programs (self-published course). Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Local Environmental Planning Program (LEPP). (1997)

Geographic Information Systems: Local Environmental Planning Program (LEPP) Applications Seminar (self-published course). Kansas Department of Health and Environment. (1996)

The Applicability of Geographic Information Systems to Speed the Environmental Reclamation of Ordnance Contaminated Sites (research paper for my master’s degree, particularly for a class titled Geographic Information Systems; Professor H. L. Seyler). Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. (1994)

The Cambodian Landmine Problem: Impact on Land Use Practices (research paper for my master’s degree, particularly for a class titled Land Use; Professor H. L. Seyler). Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. (1994)