GIS Day 2020

By Katie Iles

While not being able to gather in person, the virtual platform enabled more people to attend GIS Day who normally would not have the opportunity. Not only was the event able to engage with professionals in the community, but it also opened it up to students, teachers, parents, and any other interested citizen who wanted to learn more about GIS.

With this broader audience in mind, the event this year offered a Professional & Industry track along with a Kids & Community track. Given the shift to online learning, the event offered a great opportunity to provide additional educational resources. In addition to the variety of informative presentations, those who attended the event also could access the “GIS @Home Kit” which was filled with online learning materials and games.

With these two tracks, attendees had the opportunity to see a collection of presentations on GIS, including topics of Drones and Electric Vehicle Charging Station Mapping. Several organizations also had a virtual hosted table, which allowed attendees to learn more one-on-one about the way these groups utilize GIS in their projects. Moreover, there was amazing participation in the map and app contest which further showcased the versatility and power of GIS. With many impressive submissions, there were four winners this year – congratulations to Aarti Sharma of Centralina Regional Council, Heather Paxson of City of Raleigh, Saeed Ahmadi Oloonabadi of NC State University, and Thomas Ray of NC State University’s 4-H Club.

Once again, this year’s event had incredible engagement across the community. Thank you to everyone who participated and made this event possible. With this being the first ever virtual GIS Day, we would love to hear your feedback in order to improve for the future. We look forward to next year’s event, whether it be in person or virtual, and hope to see you all there again!

The year 2020 posed several challenges in our lives, including the way we work. Like many other events, Raleigh’s annual GIS Day transitioned to an all virtual platform. Despite the new landscape, on November 18th, 2020, the City of Raleigh, Wake County, Wake County Public Schools, and North Carolina State Government hosted a successful event that was available completely online.