Category: Groups


URISA looks to build management initiative

Apparently, while at the Esri UC, URISA has announced their new Geospatial Management Initiative (GMI). You may recall that we have heard about the Geospatial Management Competency Model (GMCM) that is being developed to join the GTCM to lay out the roles of geospatial professionals. URISA sees the GMI as a way to build a Geospatial Management Body of Knowledge in order to act as a straw-man document for the GMCM (much as the previous GIS&T Body of Knowledge acted for the GTCM).

We will be sure to head over to the URISA booth tomorrow and see if we can get more details from Wendy and the gang.

Head over to the URISA website to read the press release.

Geography Education Specialty Group of the AAG

As some of you may know, I took up the mantle of Treasurer of the GESG this year. Since I have an audience to reach out to through the blog, I thought I would take some time to evangelize the GESG and encourage folks to keep it in mind as they renew their AAG membership to register for the annual conference (mere weeks to go to submit abstracts).

The mission of the Geography Education Specialty Group is:

To promote research, development, and practice in the learning and teaching of geography and to examine and strengthen the role of geography in education by focusing on the development of learners, teachers, curricula, and programs.

This clearly touches on anyone that is in the classroom, working in outreach, or really interested in how people conceive of Geography. There is obviously significant overlap with in membership with NCGE, but working as part of the AAG allows the GESG to build on the presentations and discussions of the larger group of educators and geographers in attendance at the AAG annual meeting. In other words…join both!

If you are a student studying Geography Education, be sure to check out the GESG’s Gail Hobbs Student Paper Competition. It is a great way to share your work and meet Geographers with a similar focus during the sessions (you know, there really are people outside your department). Plus, talk about icing on the cake, there are cash prizes for the competition! Student membership is cheap at $1.

For the non-students, whether you are an AAG member or will be applying in the future and are interested in Geography Education, be sure to add us to your list of Specialty Groups. It is a great way to keep up-to-date with Geography educators in the AAG, and the related activities going on at the annual meeting. Regular membership is a very reasonable $5.

Directions podcast COGO interview

Joe Francica over at Directions Media Podcast spoke with chair-elect of COGO, Geney Terry, about COGO, its membership, and its role in the community. I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, but this is one of those conversations that I think will say a lot about the Geography and geospatial tech arena.

But really, if you are listening to us, you are probably already subscribed to the Directions Media podcast too, right? [iTunes link]

Associations/Groups – GISCI

Since I finished my GISP application and FINALLY sent it in I thought it was probably time to highlight the GIS Certification Institute. From their web site the GISCI

“provides the geographic information systems (GIS) community with a complete certification program. GISCI offers participants from the first early years on the job until retirement a positive method of developing value for professionals and employers in the GIS profession.”

While the GIS community itself seems to fall into varying camps regarding the issue of certification, GISCI offers an option for those of us who feel that certification should move forward. The organization has grown out of efforts and conversations at URISA and other educational organizations along with industry. GISCI’s certification process is experience based and relies on documentation of your education, GIS experience and your service to the GIS community (kind of a tenure process for GIS folks really). If you are more interested in a test-based certification you may want to look to the ASPRS.

While there is no universally recognized certification for GIS and geospatial technology professionals, I think that GISCI has made the most significant steps toward such a goal with at least 4,535 GISP members to date.

Associations/Groups – Remote Sensing & Photogrammetry Society

The RSPSoc – Remote Sensing & Photogrammetry Society is a UK-based academic association that looks at the application to education, science, research, industry, commerce and the public service of RS and aerial imagery. The RSPSoc maintains a significant number of activities and publications. The upcoming RSPSoc 2009 conference will be taking place in Leicester on September 8-11. Publications from the association include the International Journal of Remote Sensing (IJRS), the The Photogrammetric Record (PHOR), a newsletter, and proceedings from the annual conference. The RSPSoc website has a wealth of information including an educational area, public outreach, student community, and special interest groups.

Associations/Groups – URISA

Urban and Regional Information Systems Association is a multidisciplinary group that has been around since 1963. In their own words:

URISA promotes the effective and ethical use of spatial information and information technologies for the understanding and management of urban and regional systems.

The association supports this mission in many ways and is very active with several publications per year including their journal, newsletter and conference proceedings. URISA organizes several conferences each year such as their annual conference, the Caribbean GIS conference, GIS in Public Health and their new Leadership Academy series. While the organization itself is international in reach, it focuses on North America and has regional chapters throughout the US, Caribbean, and Canada. Perhaps the association is best known outside of its membership for its survey of the GIS profession which it conducts once every three years which has acted as a guideline for professional expectations and a metric for companies to consider when hiring. Membership isn’t too expensive and is especially reasonable for students and comes with subscriptions to URISA’s journal and newsletter.

Associations/Groups – Association for Downloadable Media

This is mostly for the geobloggers out there. There is a group of well known podcasters/bloggers who are looking at the need for an association of New Media publishers. They have just posted a survey to try to get initial thoughts and determine the need for an association. While most of us do this for fun and only get a little ad revenue (ie none of us have quit our day jobs), I still see a need for an organization that can support education, research, and outreach about the various New Media. As those of you who have joined us at the sessions we have organized at the AAG and ESRI UC know, there is interest, but not always understanding about what we do…this is where I feel that an association of New Media publishers could really make a difference.

If you are interested you can find there survey at

Associations/Groups – National Council for Geographic Education

It has been over a year since I added to our posts about professional organizations for Geographers and geospatial professionals, so I wanted to start up again with an organization that helps to support the educational efforts that will yield the next generation of Geographers…the National Council for Geographic Education. The NCGE seeks “to enhance the status and quality of geography teaching and learning.” They do this by supporting educators, facilitating communication and offering educational materials on the website. With its annual conference coming up in October to be held in Oklahoma City, the NCGE is continuing their efforts from a new office in Washington, DC (housed with the AAG offices) with a new executive director, Kimberly A. Crews. The council publishes the Journal of Geography and the Perspectives newsletter. For membership information, and to learn more about the NCGE, be sure to visit their website.

URISA Student Paper Comp

URISA has announced their first annual student paper competition. From the announcement:

Are you an undergraduate, graduate, or Ph.D. student? Are you interested in a career using geographic information systems, information technology, geospatial technology, planning or community development? If yes, your writing and research should be recognized and shared with your peers. Submit a paper to the first annual student paper competition sponsored by the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA).

Head over to the URISA website for find out more. Oh and papers are due by April 2, 2007.

Conservation data and maps

One of the cool sites mentioned when we interviewed folks from the SCGIS was the Conservation GeoPortal. The Conservation GeoPortal allows you to search metadata from other conservation researchers for data and information that is of interest. In addition to a metadata search there is also a map browser to look for data by location. Be sure to check out the portal.

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