URISA Announces Advocacy Agenda

Prior to GIS-Pro 2010 in Orlando, Florida, URISA chapter leaders from across North America were asked to gather relevant issues from their local members and report them during the chapter roll call at the conference. The concerns expressed by all the chapters on behalf of their members revealed the commonality of the issues. This input and subsequent discussions were used to develop URISA's first advocacy agenda. The association, its chapters, and its private-sector partners will use that advocacy agenda to guide efforts in communicating with national and state/provincial governments, county commissions, city councils, and other geospatial and professional organizations about actions that will help resolve those issues or address those concerns.

Four primary themes emerged, along with areas of activity being discussed and pursued:

  1. Executive support and sustainable funding for geospatial programs
    • Develop, promote, and implement URISA's ROI model.
    • Promote and enhance the geospatial community.
    • Encourage the development of GeoAuditing.
  2. Nationwide development of high-quality, publicly accessible geospatial data
    • Develop and implement the GIS Capability Maturity Model (discussed in the ArcNews Winter 2010/2011 issue).
    • Coordinate advocacy with the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) and other organizations on For the Nation data initiatives.
    • Support the Coalition of Geospatial Organizations (COGO) Geospatial Report Card and NSGIC Geospatial Maturity Model.
  3. Affordable geospatial training programs offered by academic institutions and other organizations
    • Support the GeoTech Center and others in developing affordable geospatial training.
    • Identify and promote open educational resources initiatives internationally.
    • Promote more federal financial aid opportunities for part-time and nontraditional students.
    • Continue developing web-based curricula of URISA workshops and webinars.
    • Create web collaborations to extend the reach of geospatial education beyond URISA.
  4. A highly capable geospatial workforce to meet current and future demands
    • Support implementation of a Geospatial Technology Competency Model.
    • Promote the use and understanding of the Geospatial Body of Knowledge.
    • Develop Tier 9 of the Geospatial Technology Competency Model.

URISA's advocacy agenda is posted online at Visit the site often for updates on activities and progress and attend GIS-Pro 2011, URISA's 49th Annual Conference for GIS Professionals in Indianapolis, Indiana, in November to join the discussion in person. Send comments to Wendy Nelson, URISA executive director, at

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