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June 14, 2021
URISA’s Vanguard Cabinet Announces 2021 University Student and Young Professional Digital Competition

Des Plaines, IL –  URISA’s Vanguard Cabinet is proud to host the fifth annual Digital Competition to promote the GIS profession and attendance of young and emerging professionals at the GIS-Pro 2021 conference in Baltimore, Maryland on October 3-6, 2021. The competition will be held virtually in August, and the top three (3) presenters will be awarded a full GIS-Pro registration, $500 travel stipend, and the opportunity to present their work live at GIS-Pro 2021 in Baltimore.

The competition is limited to projects that utilize web and mobile platforms, such as ArcGIS Online, Tableau, Mapbox, or Power BI. Projects should showcase the visualization functions of these platforms while also demonstrating knowledge and proficiency in spatial analytics, cartographic design, and/or geospatial techniques.

To enter the competition, participants must submit a link to their virtual project and include a 150 to 300-word project abstract detailing the project design, analysis, and implementation. Selected entries will deliver a 5-minute long ignite-style presentation via Zoom on their project’s use of an online visualization platform, geospatial technology, and spatial thinking. The presentations will be judged by a panel of URISA leaders, and based on the judges’ assessments, three presenters will be selected as winners of the competition.

Abstracts are due on July 9. Don’t miss this chance to get recognized for your work!



  • Must be enrolled in a college or university, or
  • Be a recent graduate (spring or summer 2021), or
  • Be a young or emerging geospatial professional with fewer than five years of experience
  • Must be available to attend GIS-Pro in Baltimore, Maryland, October 3-6, 2021

Submission Materials

  • A current resume, including
    • Graduation date or expected date for college students, and
    • Description of GIS-related work experience
  • Link to the project website or visualizations
  • Project abstract (150-300 words)

Selection Criteria

  • Meet submission and selection deadlines
  • Project must be from an individual (no group projects)
  • Project utilizes a web or mobile geospatial visualization platform, including but not limited to ArcGIS Online, Tableau, Mapbox, or Power BI


  • Participants:  Presenters selected to participate in the live digital competition will receive either a one-year URISA Student membership or a one-year URISA Young Professional membership, depending on each presenter’s status. Note: Participants must present in the digital showcase to receive this award.
  • Winners:  The top three presenters will receive a full GIS-Pro registration, $500 travel stipend (reimbursed upon submittal of receipts), and the opportunity to present their work live at GIS-Pro 2021 in Baltimore.

Key Dates

  • Abstract submissions due by July 9, 2021
  • Competition participants selected by July 16, 2021
  • Participant presentations due to Vanguard Cabinet by August 13, 2021
  • Digital Competition will be held during the week of August 23, 2021
  • Winners will be announced by August 31, 2021

Abstracts are due on July 9, so don’t miss this chance to get recognized for your work! Submit materials to [email protected] for consideration.

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