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August 28, 2020
URISA’s Vanguard Cabinet Announces the Results of the 2020 University Student and Young Professional Digital Competition

URISA’s Vanguard Cabinet is pleased to announce the results of the 2020 University Student and Young Professional Digital Competition. 

Eligible participants must be enrolled in a college or university, be a recent graduate (spring or summer 2020), or a young or emerging geospatial professional with fewer than five years of experience. 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. 

Abstract submissions were reviewed and five finalists were invited to present their projects to a panel of judges and enthusiastic URISA members on August 25, 2020:

  • COVID-19 Dashboard, San Diego: Presented by Xiangchen Zhao, University of California, San Diego, Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute, La Jolla, California
  • Ahmedabad Solid Waste Management: Presented by Tej Chavda, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India 
  • Teen Pregnancy in Kenya: Presented by Joy Christine Nduta, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya
  • Calgary Traffic Incidents Operation Reporting and Dashboard: Ralph Renso Ronquillo, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary, Alberta 
  • US Return-to-Play COVID-19 Map: Presented by Kimberly Korzym, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana 

The five finalists all receive complimentary URISA membership. 

The top three projects presented were:

Winner: Xiangchen Zhao – COVID-19 Dashboard, San Diego
Second Place: Tej Chavda – Ahmedabad Solid Waste Management
Third Place:  Kim Korzym – US Return-to-Play COVID-19 

Event Judges:

  • Keri Brennan, GISP, ENP – Benchmark Geospatial LLC, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Xan Fredericks, GISP – US Geological Survey, St Petersburg, Florida
  • John Nolte, GISP – Denver Water, Denver, Colorado

Usually only the top three presentations would receive complimentary registration to GIS-Pro. Because all five presentations were outstanding, the judges decided to also award each presenter with complimentary GIS-Pro 2020 registration. 

We enthusiastically look forward to following their careers!

The Vanguard Cabinet (VC) is an advisory board made up of passionate, young (35 years of age or younger) geospatial professionals who strive to engage young practitioners, increase their numbers in the organization, and better understand the concerns facing these future leaders of the geospatial community. The VC’s mission is to collaborate with URISA’s Board of Directors and URISA committees in creating and promoting programs and policies of benefit to young professionals and to enhance overall innovation, collaboration, networking, and professional development opportunities.


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