2007 August 2

This issue sponsored by

Professional Surveyor Magazine

If, for some reason, you cannot read this document, please visit:

Editor's Introduction

Last week, I proposed the concept of public GIS centers. [Due to technical problems with our new mass e-mailing system, last week's issue went out late. If you have not yet read my proposal, I suggest that you click on the link above before reading further.] This week, I discussed related issues with two GIS professionals who endeavor to make the tools of their trade available to as many people as possible: Breece Robertson, National GIS Director for The Trust for Public Land, who helps communities develop and use GIS models to identify conservation priorities as a guide to planning and for the protection of parks and natural resources, and Gina Clemmer, the founder and president of New Urban Research, an organization that trains nearly 10,000 people a year to use ArcGIS to research and document community issues. Both are national projects that empower local governments and communities to gather, analyze, and display local data using GIS. In this issue, I also bring you one reaction to my proposal and 26 press releases.

Matteo Luccio

Greenprinting: A conversation with Breece Robertson, National GIS Director, The Trust for Public Land

Fifteen years ago, after college and a couple of years of work as an exercise physiologist, Breece Robertson wanted to do something more related to conservation and sustainability. So, she earned a master's degree in geography and planning at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, then went to work nearby for the Yadkin-Pee Dee Lakes Project, which helped to create tourism as an economic development tool in a 15-county region. Next, she got a job at AllPoints GIS in Boulder, Colorado, teaching mostly to forest service and local government employees how to use ESRI software as well as CommunityViz — an application designed by the Orton Family Foundation to bring communities to consensus on land use planning. For a year, Robertson helped develop the training curriculum for CommunityViz and traveled around the country teaching it.

In 2001, Robertson accepted a position with The Trust for Public Land (TPL) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as its first full-time GIS specialist. Her first assignment was to assist Los Angeles County bring together GIS data and layers using CommunityViz and develop a greenprint — which is an interactive, community-based process that uses GIS models to identify conservation priorities as a guide to planning and for the protection of parks and natural resources. Since then, the greenprint concept has grown within TPL, which is now building a suite of services around it.

Read more …

Teaching GIS to Community Activists: A conversation with Gina Clemmer, President, New Urban Research

Gina Clemmer first studied GIS in the early 1990s at the University of Iowa, as part of a masters' degree in urban planning with an emphasis on low income housing development. "At that time, GIS was an emerging tool in urban planning," she recalls. "The technology was not very user-friendly and it was extremely expensive to get the hardware and software, the plotters to prints maps, and so on." However, a very forward-thinking professor introduced GIS into the planning program.

"Immediately," she says, "there was a rift between the qualitative researchers and the quantitative researchers, for whom technology started to be the sub-text. I fell in the second camp and really believed that technology was a great tool to empower social activists. That was what brought me to urban planning: to make the world a better place." She discovered that she could use GIS to visualize changes in communities and to locate pockets of poverty and dilapidated housing stocks. "I got really jazzed up about that and thought that GIS was just the best tool to do that sort of thing."

Read more…

Letter to the editor

A reader, who does not wish to be identified, had the following to say about my proposal for public GIS centers:

Public GIS centers? What a dumb idea! In case you hadn't noticed, 90 percent of the people in the world just don't get maps. Of the remaining 10 percent, 90 percent are unable, by nature or training, to apply analytical thinking to maps or spatial problems. Even people with knowledge of GIS — if they do not routinely apply their skills — will flail around on basic operations, much less perform a complex analysis efficiently. Joe Homeowner would be at a complete loss in the centers that you envision.

Read more…

News Briefs

Please note: I have neither edited nor verified the content of these press releases.


    1. ESRI (UK) GIS Solution Helps Manage 3.9 Billion Pound Housing Program

    2. CarteGraph Business Partner Program Realizes Exponential Growth in the First Half of 2007

    3. Digital Quest's STARS Certification Selected for Department of Labor's National Standards of Apprenticeship for Geospatial Technician

    4. Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis Engages East View Cartographic to Digitize Historical Maps

    5. GeoDecisions Implements Enhanced Route Log Application for Maine DOT

    6. Cobb Fendley To Provide Right-Of-Way Services For Texas Department Of Transportation

    7. Brazil's National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) Selects IDRISI Andes for Land Reform Efforts

    8. Meridian School District Installs Rapid Responder Crisis Management System to Protect Students and Staff

    9. Pitney Bowes MapInfo Aligns with Exclusive Analysis to Provide Advanced Terrorism Risk Analytics


    1. LeadDog Provides Worldwide Online Maps

    2. mPower Technologies Announces New Release of mPower Integrator 7.0, A Customizable ArcIMS and Autodesk MapGuide Web GIS Application

    3. New Leica ScanStation 2 Boasts Exponential Increase in Scan Speeds to 50,000 points/second — the Highest in the Industry for Pulsed Scanners

    4. DMTI Spatial Enhances Features of GeoPinpoint Suite in 2007.3 Release

    5. ArcGIS Survey Analyst 9.2 Offers a Survey-Based Approach to Land Information Management


    1. Register for URISA's 45th Annual Conference Today!

    2. 1Spatial and Salford GIS team for Spatial Data Quality Control Briefing

    3. Early Registration Deadline for GIS in the Rockies Is August 03, 2007

    4. ESRI Health Conference Explores GIS Solutions for Improving Human Health around the Globe


    1. M.K. Miles Receives Inaugural MAPPS Public Service Award

    2. ESIP Federation Elects 3 New Partners

    3. ESIP Federation Elects New Leadership

    4. geoVue Names Dan Kelly CFO; Gains Exec With 20+ Years of Financial Management Experience in Software and Services

    5. TopoSys North America Opens Denver Office, Adds Industry Veteran to Staff

    6. Firm Promotes Prominent Engineer

  5. OTHER

    1. AAMHatch Wins 2007 BE Award

    2. URISA's Salary Survey Results Published

GIS Monitor Back Issues

You can reach more than 23,000 GIS professionals every issue by sponsoring GIS Monitor. For more information, email us.


Please send comments and suggestions to:

Matteo Luccio, Editor
GIS Monitor

Ultimate Map/GIS Directory — Your search is over!

GIS Monitor is published by:

Reed Business Geo, Inc.
100 Tuscanny Drive, Suite B-1
Frederick, MD 21702 USA
Tel: +1 (301) 682-6101
Fax: + 1 (301) 682-6105


If you wish to subscribe or unsubscribe visit our subscription page.