A Recap of the 2015 NC GIS Conference

Pre-Conference Social Gathering and Awards Ceremony – Wednesday, February 25 at 5:30pm (Download)

Carolina URISA hosted a social Wednesday night and  James Armstrong provided remarks during the event.

“We appreciate those who attended and our instructors who traveled to offer the official URISA workshops this year.  There were 4 workshops and we had 85% attendance, even with weather issues.” James continued, noting CURISA has become the educational organization for the Carolinas, with training scheduled in both NC and SC.  Also, that membership includes Geospatial Training and CURISA has increased membership by 30% in the last year.

“The board is excited to announce that CURISA will begin offering recognition on our website for the Hall of Fame to remember those who served this organization.  For our 20th anniversary we offered awards, this year the board realized we need to recognize those who have made a difference through the years to the GIS community.”

The board also created the Presidents award, for an individual who has shown leadership over a long period of time.  “Kristian Forslin has been working with CURISA for over a decade and we present him with the award this year.”  James read from the inscription “In recognition for outstanding service to Carolina URISA and the GIS community.” Thank you Kristian!

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NC GIS 2015 Plenary Session (Download)

James, President of Carolina URISA offered some comments in the Plenary session at NC GIS 2015.

“It’s a wonderful GIS community.  As the current president of curisa, its an honor and privilege for CURISA to participate and play a key role in this conference again.  We had 4 great workshops Wednesday, even with the weather we were at 85% of registered attendees attending.  CURISA has positioned itself as an advocate for GIS training and education.  We believe we are on the right track as our membership has grown 30% due to the variety of workshops and Geospatial Training offered.”

James then introduced Allen Ibaugh, Past-President of URISA.  Allen noted that URISA has been around for 50 years and highlighted a variety of initiatives offered.

  • GIS Certification Institute – If you are not a GISP go ahead and get certified now. Coming later this year there will be an exam in addition to the portfolio.  Those with the GISP will have a different fee schedule.
  • Unified Membership Model – If you are a CURISA member you also become a URISA member with a variety of additional benefits, more information in the next year.
  • GIS Management Institute (GMI)- One of the most exciting activities out of URISA is from GMI.  We will be making a variety of best practices available to the membership. Also, soon to be released is a web based tool to capture metrics on GIS Programs across the US to form a rating system with reviewers offering recommendations for improvements to the program. It’s a great way to improve and justify ROI for additional funding and resources for your GIS Program.
  • GIS Corps– 15 years, 170 missions to help in event of national disaster or humanitarian by offering GIS Support. One example is a group working on Ebola mapping in Africa which is in cooperation with the WHO. Browse to GISCorps.org to see missions and needs.

Allen continued to note that URISA offers monthly webinars, some multi-day, some just an hour.  Also, a number of conferences and opportunities for training such as:

  • GIS and CAMA – Oklahoma City, March 5 2015
  • URISA Leadership Academy (ULA) – This is highly recommended for those entering or interested in learning more about leadership and management in GIS, Denver, June 22-26, 2015
  • GIS-Pro – This is the conference for GIS professionals and will be held in Spokane, October 18-22, 2015

Tim Johnson, Conference Chair continued noting that the program had 9 concurrent tracks and that audio along with the screen capture of the presentation will be recorded for most sessions this year.  There were 46 exhibitors from across the country.

A poster session during the Wednesday night social offered both hardcopy and digital thanks to Ed Shipman (CURISA Advisory Board) and Trish Patterson (City of of Burlington). There were over 800 who attended out of 1024 registered, even with a winter storm dumping inches of snow across the state .

Opening Plenary
IMG_2577 The Three Amigos
The three amigos visiting at the Carolina URISA booth – Tim Johnson, Tom Tribble, James Armstrong at the Poster Session and Social Thursday evening.

Enterprise GIS – Allen Ibaugh shared information about URISA GMI and the GISCMM (Download)

Social Media Goes Both Ways (Download)

“Social media is a failure, Why invest time in it?  Don’t do it, social networking instead.”


Ethics and the Geospatial Profession (Download)

Closing Remarks and Keynote from Paul Ramsey (Download)