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Summer 2009
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Mark Your Calendar for GIS Day 2009

Planning Begins

GIS DayOn Wednesday, November 18, 2009, GIS users around the world will celebrate the 11th annual GIS Day. This international grassroots event promotes the use and importance of GIS throughout the world and provides users with the opportunity to share their passion with others.

Event Ideas

Each GIS Day event is unique. The creativity displayed by GIS Day participants has made the program a worldwide success. Keep in mind that GIS Day events can be customized to fit your available time and resources. Whether large or small, your GIS Day event is helping educate people around the world about the importance of GIS in our daily lives. Here are a few ideas to consider for this year:

  • Organize an open house at your organization and display GIS work.
  • Host a training session for fellow colleagues and the public.
  • Participate in your local school's science fair or career day.
  • Organize a GIS Day informal gathering during your lunch break.
  • Contact local community and youth organizations and give a presentation.

"I didn't get into GIS until I was 39 years old, but I really have a passion for it," says Matt Morris, GIS analyst, West Texas Gas. "If I can find just one like-minded soul out there and let them know about it [GIS], that would be really cool." Morris visited a local school's career fair for GIS Day.

Available Resources

The GIS Day Web site ( is a valuable tool to gather ideas and obtain free materials. Visit the Web site to find

  • Agendas, posters, signs, PowerPoint presentations, and much more
  • Activities for K12 students
  • Affordable GIS Day items to purchase
  • Videos showcasing GIS Day events
  • Success stories and photos from past participants
  • GIS Day Watch e-newsletter archives

Learn from Others

Last year, people from more than 75 countries celebrated GIS Day. Learn more about two of these events:

San Juan County GIS Day Provides Seminar and Highlights Map Book—The San Juan County, Washington, GIS department organized a successful GIS Day event in 2008 for county employees and the public. The day began with a one-hour presentation titled GIS for Professionals: Beyond the Assessor's Parcel Search. This session was ideal for local real estate agents, surveyors, delivery personnel, architects, contractors, and any other interested community members.

Attendees were made aware of ready-to-use GIS data, as well as low-cost GIS applications that could improve their current business practices. This gathering also provided the perfect opportunity for the county to gain feedback about their new interactive mapping application and publicize the county's new map book. Following the presentation, GIS staff answered questions, provided technical support, and demonstrated GIS applications. The day concluded with a seminar specifically for county employees that provided tips and tricks for improving workflow efficiency and accessing data quickly and easily.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Virtual Event Makes for Cost-Effective GIS Day Celebration—In 2008, Will Rogers, regional geospatial program manager, North Atlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was faced with several obstacles when planning for its 2008 GIS Day event. As part of a national geospatial team, he wanted to share GIS initiatives from many locations throughout the agency in a cost-effective way to a very large group of geospatial colleagues located across three continents. His solution was to organize an agency-wide virtual GIS Day Webcast event.

The virtual GIS Day event encompassed 15 presentations broadcast to more than 1,100 agency members worldwide. Rogers acted as session moderator and coordinated 30-minute presentations that were jointly conducted by GIS professionals and project managers. The virtual format benefited both the presenters and the agency's geospatial community of practice by allowing participants to attend from their own desks, in their own time zones, according to their own work schedules.

"The audience thought the event was wonderful. Everyone was excited and eager to see more," Rogers says. The geospatial community of practice is considering leveraging the idea by offering monthly webcasts based on the nine main business elements of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

More Information

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