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January 23, 2018
Presentation Proposals Invited for GIS-Pro & CalGIS 2018 in Palm Springs

URISA is thrilled to partner with the California Geographic Information Association (CGIA) and the four California URISA Chapters – SoCalNorCalCentralCal and BAAMA/BayGEO – to present GIS-Pro & CalGIS 2018 in Palm Springs this year! Those five California-based geospatial organizations typically collaborate to present CalGIS each spring, an event that has a long history (nearly 25 years!) of educational and community-building excellence. 

This year’s one-of-a-kind Geospatial Event will bring together not only both California and National GIS professionals at all stages of their careers, but also an international audience to present, discuss, analyze, and share their experiences, insights, and solutions. Help us get the dialogue going. Demonstrate your expertise, collaborate with peers, and share your stories. 

Presentation proposals are now being accepted.

Presentation Topics to Consider

The Education Committee has provided the following list to consider as possible presentation topics. The list is not meant to be restrictive, but is provided to stimulate ideas. Feel free to think outside the box. Propose ideas geared to GIS beginners, mid-career managers or the leaders in the field. Presenters at all stages of their careers (from high school students to seasoned professionals) are invited to submit. All proposals received will be reviewed and considered for the program.

GIS Leadership & Management

From single user to enterprise systems, learn the difference between Leadership and Management and why both are critical to your organization’s GIS success. In this track, learn more about topics such as the GIS strategic planning, ROI, maturity, and more.

Suggested Topics:

  • Value Proposition: communicating benefits of GIS to decision makers
  • GIS strategic planning
  • Running/managing a small business
  • GIS Capability Maturity Model
  • Change management
  • GIS budgeting/ROI
  • Capacity building
  • Success stories and challenges
  • Team building and GIS staff management
  • Professional development plans
  • Other topics related to GIS leadership and management

Preparing for GISP Certification

This track will explore the knowledge areas related to the GISP exam and how to prepare for GIS professional certification. It will review topics related to the exam, help attendees assess their readiness, and provide a forum for discussion.

  • Reasons for certification
  • Portfolio development
  • GIS Code of Ethics

Exam knowledge areas are grouped into the following categories:

  • Conceptual Foundations
  • Cartography and Visualization
  • GIS Design Aspects and Data Modeling
  • GIS Analytical Methods
  • Data Manipulation
  • Geospatial Data

GIS for Natural Resources

This track will discuss the influence GIS has on determining the future of our planet’s most precious resources. From forestry management to conservation and renewable energy, GIS has never been more important in providing technology to sustain our future. Share your stories on such an important topic. This track is for professionals and researchers working in any area of natural resource planning, management or research. Presentations from professionals working within public agencies, consulting firms and academia are encouraged, including examples of current planning and management applications, or modeling and planning for long-term changes at the local, regional or ecosystem scale.

  • Natural resource and environmental conservation management
  • Renewable energy
  • Climate change
  •  Forestry and Fire
  • Coastal Protection
  • Water: Drought, Floods, and Supply
  • Wildlife
  • Parks and the Natural Landscape
  • Land Use Data for Resource Planning
  • Natural Resource Monitoring and Data Stewardship
  • Other natural resource topics

GIS for Next-Gen 9-1-1 and Emergency Response

As the use of GIS continues to grow in the fields of emergency response and next generation 9-1-1 telecommunications, having the ability to accurately locate emergency incidents is more important than ever. The application of GIS technology is a proven benefit to those who are responding to both natural and human-caused disasters. With no shortage of emergency situations, whether it is a catastrophic wildfire or isolated call for help via 9-1-1, GIS and accurate address data facilitate timely emergency responses. GIS-Pro and CalGIS 2018 recognize the value of GIS in assisting those who answer the calls for help. Presentations highlighted in the GIS for Next Gen 9-1-1 and Emergency Response track will cover improving location data quality, emergency response applications, emergency mitigation applications, and the coordination and data sharing between local, regional, national and international agencies that improves the emergency response at all levels.

Suggested Topics:

  • Emergency Response and Coordination using GIS
  • Hazard Mitigation
  • NextGen 9-1-1 GIS Data Quality
  • Disaster Preparation Planning
  • Wildfire Mitigation
  • Landslide Mitigation
  • Other related topics


GIS Supporting Health and Human Services

Explore the numerous ways that GIS can support the development of healthy communities; fight pandemics; support our vulnerable citizens;  combat the opioid crisis; and better support both the mental and physical health of the public. Share your challenges and solutions to some of these issues that impact us all. Explore the numerous ways that GIS is used to plan and facilitate effective delivery of services to the public at the individual and community level.

  • Supporting vulnerable populations (homeless, aging, disabled, veterans, etc.)
  • Building Healthy Communities
  • Fighting the opioid epidemic
  • Health impact assessments
  • Well-being and mental health
  • Access to healthcare / health facilities and services
  • Access to healthy foods (food deserts), food safety
  • Active living, recreation, and physical activity; obesity strategies and interventions
  • Crime, violence, personal safety/health
  • Epidemiology; disease vectors; spread of infectious diseases (Zika, cholera, measles, flu outbreak, etc.)
  • Exposures (air quality, water quality, lead, etc.)
  • Emerging technologies
  • Chronic diseases and the environment, including cancers, diabetes and obesity
  • Data privacy, confidentiality
  • Other health and human services topics

Data Driven Communities aka Smart Communities

The sessions in the track will discuss the ways communities use data (both geospatial and non-spatial), the pros and cons of data collection and analysis, and how people interact with data to form policies.  

  • Crowdsourcing 
  • Community Engagement
  • Smart Cities
  • Urban Planning
  • Transportation and Transit
  • Autonomous vehicles 
  • Sustainability & Resilience
  • Environment
  • Active Transportation
  • Walkability
  • Sustainability
  • Resilience
  • Market Urbanism
  • Broadband
  • Retrofitting the Suburbs


Technology changes the way we do business. Modern technology provides the GIS professional with new capabilities to perform much of what we do in our careers. Some of this technology is must-have, providing a real return on investment, while others address new business challenges, while some are just simply cool and provide the wow factor to our work. The presentations in this program track will highlight the new GIS and supporting geospatial technology and capabilities that meet defined needs, demonstrate values, and just plain impress. 

Suggested Topics:

  • Addressing
  • Aerial Photography, Remote Sensing, & LIDAR
  • Agency Collaboration
  • Application Development
  • Architecture & Integration
  • Asset Management
  • Big Data
  • Cartography & Map Design
  • Census
  • Efficient Workflows
  • Emerging Technologies and the Cloud
  • GeoDesign
  • Map Publication Systems and Applications
  • Mobile Applications & GPS
  • Open Data
  • Open Source GIS
  • Surveying
  • 3D GIS
  • Tribal GIS
  • UAVs/Drones
  • Utilities – Water, Wastewater, Electrical, Gas, Stormwater, Phone, Broadband, etc.
  • And any other topics that demonstrate GIS capabilities

Inspiring the Future of GIS and Education

This track is designed to 1) share GIS Education experiences and innovations across a variety of formats (face-to-face, online, workshops) and 2) support young professionals and students in their geospatial career development. The GIS Education sessions will bring together educators from all platforms and how they teach and inspire future generations of geospatial professionals using innovative pedagogy and engaged student learning. The student and YP sessions will provide opportunities to learn about and develop the skills and relationships that will advance their understanding of professional pathways and keys to success in the geospatial workplace.

Suggested Topics for GIS Education:

  • Teaching GIS to kids (K-12 education)
  • Innovations in Community College and University geospatial education
  • GIS education for adult learners & mid-career professionals
  • GIS Across the Curriculum: Interdisciplinary Approach
  • Life-long learning for geospatial professionals
  • Teaching GIS to non-GIS users

Suggested Topics for Young Professionals/Students:

  • Networking 101
  • Translating your GIS skills into the workplace
  • Mentorship
  • Building the best resume
  • Importance of professional communities
  • Value of graduate degrees
  • Certification vs. Certificates
  • Importance of soft skills in a social media world
  • What are employers looking for in new hires?
  • Crafting a job search
  • And any other topics of interest for students and young professionals

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