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The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) has a new committee, URISA Connect, that is focused on providing opportunities for GIS professionals to connect with their peers virtually. With dwindling (or nonexistent) travel budgets impacting the ability to participate in conferences, URISA Connect makes it possible to learn and share without traveling. Tim Case, volunteer chair of the URISA Connect Committee and director of asset management at Wright-Pierce in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is leading the effort.
"You might be wondering, what's with the name? Our intent is to do more than provide a webinar curriculum," Case says. "Using the online tools and some creative moderating, we can hold more interactive sessions with 'fireside chats,' panel sessions, and working team sessions. All this seems in line with the URISA culture of connecting with peers."
The first session took place in late June 2011. Martha Wells, GISP (Spatial Focus Inc.), led a session on addressing return on investment and standards. It was so well received that a follow-up session is scheduled this fall.
In August, Greg Babinski, GISP (King County GIS), presented an interactive session on URISA's GIS capability maturity model.
The committee plans to present one URISA Connect event per month, with past sessions available for URISA members to view online. Note that URISA Connect events count toward your GISP certification education points.
Tune in regularly to check out the lineup on www.urisa.org.