Organizations Use Webcasts, Mobile Devices, and More

GIS Day logoFor GIS Day 2010, organizations started to move away from traditional classroom lectures to more technology-based activities to show GIS in action during their events. Several organizations hosted a live GIS Day webcast to reach a wider audience. This allowed them to accommodate more participants and cut event costs. Also during 2010, GIS professionals hosted outdoor activities with local schools, scout groups, and 4-H clubs using mobile devices. Based on the success of these interactive events, GIS Day organizers have expressed interest in adopting new methods to include in their celebrations. GIS Day 2011 will be held on November 16 during Geography Awareness Week, a geographic literacy initiative sponsored by the National Geographic Society ( To find more information on GIS Day and to start planning an event, visit

Maui Economic Development Board's Women In Technology—Hawaii, USA

The Maui Economic Development Board's (MEDB) Women In Technology (WIT) held its second annual statewide GIS Day webcast. On November 17, 2010, for seven straight hours, various GIS professionals from around the state and country provided presentations via webcast to demonstrate how GIS is used in their work and share potential career pathways in GIS. Several hundred students throughout the state, from five different islands, logged on to view the webcast and interact with the GIS professionals.

Webcast facilitator Diana Papini Warren comments, "We especially enjoyed students' participation in answering questions after each presentation in order to win a T-shirt or poster. It was an exciting event this year!" Twenty-five different schools at elementary, middle, and high school levels participated in various sessions, and each teacher also received supplemental GIS Day materials and lessons. This annual event is offered as part of MEDB WIT's GeoTech for Hawaii schools statewide initiative.


GIS Day attendees at Nanjing Forestry University, China.

Nanjing Forestry University GIS Association—Nanjing, China

On GIS Day, Nanjing Forestry University's GIS Association invited nine other universities and alumni who majored in GIS to celebrate GIS Day. About 500 attendees sat together to enjoy lectures and demonstrations from university professors on 3D data acquisition and global climate change. Esri instructors were also in attendance to demonstrate ArcGIS 10. In the evening, participants continued to celebrate with a GIS Day cake, an awards ceremony to recognize university students who visited local elementary schools as GIS mentors, and video presentations created for the event by Nanjing Forestry University students that addressed their interest and ideas for the future of GIS.

Loudoun County—Virginia, USA


Volunteers in Loudoun County collecting spatial information using the county's Trimble GPS units, as well as Apple iPhones.

GIS Day in Loudoun County, Virginia, lasted all week. On the Saturday before, volunteers mapped fire hydrants using iPhones and Trimble handheld devices in the town of Hamilton, Virginia. That morning, they collected information on 90 fire hydrants. On Monday, the board of supervisors received a presentation on the latest uses of GIS. Wednesday morning, teams from the county, the water utility, and the Town of Middleburg mapped the hydrants in their city. And on GIS Day, locally made GIS videos were added to a display in the government center.

Resources Available

There are many more event examples and success stories available at The success stories are great ways to get ideas for your next GIS Day event, 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 resources and support provided online, including sample agendas, proposal letters, white papers, and ideas on how to do a GIS Day proclamation in your area and create a GIS Day cake.

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