What did you do for GIS Day 2020?

11-30-2020 03:36 PM
Esri Notable Contributor
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What did you do for GIS Day 2020?  I hope you had a spatial time!  Over 1,200 events were registered and hosted all over the world, by universities, schools, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private industry.   GIS Day clearly showed that in our current disrupted, changing world, GIS is more relevant now than ever before.   I was privileged this year to be invited to speak in a number of fascinating virtual events, which I will briefly describe here.  I also would love to hear what you were up to for GIS Day!  

I spoke with people in industry and in K-12 education during the multi-day Texas GIS Day event.  One of my favorite things about this event was hearing from innovative teachers, and the student GIS essay contest.  South Dakota State University's GIS Day event featured a career panel where I joined colleagues such as Mark Freund, GIS coordinator for the state of South Dakota, Matt Gerike, Geospatial Program Manager for the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ross Scott from South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks, and Lauri Sohl, GIS Manager for the City of Sioux Falls. 

For the California State University San Bernardino event, my colleagues and I created this GIS definition, trends, and careers video, and we were joined by CSUSB faculty, AAG past President Dave Kaplan, and others.  I was also honored to speak with several HBCU's and Minority Serving Institutions for GIS Day, including innovative faculty from Fayetteville State University and Morgan State University.  At Florida International University's GeoWeek event, I conducted an overview and then a hands-on workshop on connecting 4 components of the ArcGIS platform--maps, story maps, field data gathering via Survey123, and dashboards.  I also presented at the University of the Potomac's GIS Day event which included some fun geospatial games, including a few I have shared in this "ideas for hosting events" essay here.   I was also invited to participate in several international events, including for Bangladesh and India, and this one from the University of Pecs, Hungary, and Esri Italy

I was also honored to participate on an education panel in the Tribal GIS 2020 conference, in which Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president, keynoted.  This was not a GIS Day event per se, but happened to fall during the same week; it is an annual event that we have long been honored to support.  At the event's education panel, I spoke about the work we have been doing with tribal colleges and schools in GIS and spatial thinking over the past 25 years. I also sought the community's input on how to tackle the challenges that remain.  

Many of these events used ArcGIS Hub as a way of publicizing and managing their events.  Why?  The event organizers found that ArcGIS Hub provided a convenient way for collaboration, hosting resources, and organizing a variety of content and speakers.  ArcGIS Hub as a framework was used for an event that I keynoted, hosted by the GeoTech Center, by the University of California system (below), this Hub from Vassar College highlighting food share mapping, a natural resource inventory, gentrification, and more, and this event from the City of Dallas.   At the GeoTech Center's event, my topic was about data quality, entitled Good Maps, Bad Maps, You Know I've Had my Share), which you can view in this link.

The University of North Texas used the ArcGIS Experience Builder, which allowed them to feature their open data services, projects, COVID campus maps, and more

Let me highlight a few additional events that were wonderful and innovative, such as the three day event from the University of California system, including hands-on workshops, regional and urban GIS, risk assessment, remote sensing, public health, and policy.  Another hub in California, including their GIS Day event but also their campus map layer and much more, is this one from California State University Dominquez Hills.  

On the international scene was this event from Alejandro Báscolo and his colleagues at the National Technological University of Tucumán, Argentina.  argentina.jpg

I also liked the fact that the University of Wyoming's GIS Day event included a "My Favorite App" sharing section.


My colleagues on our Esri health team hosted a Celebrating GIS in Health event where they discussed how ArcGIS Community Health Users from different sectors (health systems, health plans, and public health) are using GIS in the health industry.  This event included speakers, a free ArcGIS license raffle, and more, using a Survey123 to gather registration information and to spread the word: https://arcg.is/0iPrvH.

Mapping spatial inequity was the theme of the Yale GIS Day event.  The event included lightning talks and keynotes on What We Share in our Common Humanity, and, Leveraging spatial data for examining historic and present environmental injustice, with examples from New Haven.  

The above events represent only a few of the many GIS events hosted by innovative GIS users and enthusiasts all across the globe.  I invite you to access the events map on the GIS Day site to investigate more of these.  The resources on the GIS Day site, which will continue to be maintained, include posters, videos, lessons, data sets, and more, and could be useful for students and instructors far into the future. I invite you to make use of them.   

What did you do for GIS Day this year?  I welcome your comments, below!  Alternatively, submit the highlights of your event to the story map, here!   And use this same story map to check out what others did this year that are not mentioned above! 

--Joseph Kerski 


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About the Author
I believe that spatial thinking can transform education and society through the application of Geographic Information Systems for instruction, research, administration, and policy. I hold 3 degrees in Geography, have served at NOAA, the US Census Bureau, and USGS as a cartographer and geographer, and teach a variety of F2F (Face to Face) (including T3G) and online courses. I have authored a variety of books and textbooks about the environment, STEM, GIS, and education. These include "Interpreting Our World", "Essentials of the Environment", "Tribal GIS", "The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data", "International Perspectives on Teaching and Learning with GIS In Secondary Education", "Spatial Mathematics" and others. I write for 2 blogs, 2 monthly podcasts, and a variety of journals, and have created over 5,000 videos on the Our Earth YouTube channel. Yet, as time passes, the more I realize my own limitations and that this is a lifelong learning endeavor and thus I actively seek mentors and collaborators.