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Fall 2010

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Organizations Around the World Use GIS Day to Promote Geographic Awareness

November 17, 2010

GIS Day logoThe twelfth annual GIS Day celebration is right around the corner—November 17, 2010. If you haven't planned your event just yet, there is still time, and resources are available online (, along with success stories from previous years, to help your organization create a successful event. Users that have hosted past events often mention how rewarding it is for them to demonstrate to local schoolchildren, people in their community, or those within their organization how GIS technology impacts our daily lives. Events are typically held every year on the third Wednesday of November during Geography Awareness Week, a geographic literacy initiative sponsored by the National Geographic Society (

South Florida Water Management District, Florida


South Florida Water Management District celebrates GIS Day (photo courtesy of SFWMD).

In 2009, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) celebrated GIS Day at Pine Jog Elementary School in West Palm Beach, Florida. Pine Jog Elementary is a public county school with an environmental science focus. The school provides a unique environment where kids learn appreciation for Florida's natural ecology and learn about environmental sustainability. During GIS Day, SFWMD volunteers helped educate fifth-grade students about the importance of geography and how SFWMD uses GIS/GPS technologies to study, manage, and conserve South Florida's precious water resources and the habitats they support.

This year, SFWMD is planning another wonderful event. GIS Day will be held like a conference, offering various ways to participate for juniors and seniors from Jupiter High School and Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy, as well as all interested district employees. The day will start with a brief welcome and overview of activities. During the event, attendees will be able to choose from three concurrent 60-minute sessions, each held during three different periods (for a total of nine sessions). Each session will include a talk from a district employee, a student presentation, and a tour of the following:

Resources Available

There are many more event examples and success stories available at, including hands-on GIS workshops, training seminars, special presentations and talks, map galleries, treasure hunts, and field trips. Once an idea is in the works, users are encouraged to access the free resources and support that Esri provides online, including sample agendas, proposal letters, white papers, information on how to do a GIS Day proclamation in your area, and even ways to create your own GIS Day cake.

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