Since 1999, on the Wednesday of Geography Awareness Week, there is an international recognition and celebration of GIS. On GIS Day, professionals and enthusiasts take time to show the world what GIS has done to make a difference in our society and in our daily lives. This year, the Portland GIS community came together for the 7th consecutive year to recognize our work, celebrate our efforts, and share GIS with others.
It started in the late afternoon with a Missing Maps Mapathon, where 25 people mapped 2,906 buildings in a flood-ravaged region of India, and continued into the evening, where at least 130 people attended the GIS social held at the Ecotrust Conference space with exhibits, displays and presentations.
The Missing Maps Mapathon, led by Madeline Steele from TriMet, brought together a group of people to digitize buildings using OpenStreetMap for a two-hour period. Many thanks to the PSU Geography department for use of the lab, and to Alicia Milligan for assistance with the event. The data improvements made during this mapathon and others like it, make a huge difference for aid groups around the world.
During the GIS Day Social at Ecotrust, attendees had the opportunity to play around with the augmented reality sandbox table, Quantum Spatial's topology model created by a group of third grade students from cardboard, see some of the tools that Mapbox has to offer, and get a taste of the UAS classes offered by Portland Community College (PCC). Attendees also had an opportunity to win a wide variety of raffle prizes including maps, books, and t-shirts that were donated by DOGAMI, Esri, Ecotrust, SCGIS, Greg Miller, and PCC.
The keynote speaker, Lyzi Diamond, Geospatial Expert and Software Engineer, presented on what it's like to be a Geospatial professional when technology is always changing, how she became a programmer (despite never feeling like one), and her strategies for success (which include 'just winging it'). Christina Friedle, Geography Faculty & Department Chair at PCC, welcomed everyone to the event, while Jocelyn Tutak, Senior GIS Analyst at Ecotrust, welcomed everyone to the event space and introduced Ecotrust's efforts in advancing social equity, economic opportunity, and environmental well-being.
A very special thanks to our sponsors - Quantum Spatial, Mapbox, PC Trask, Portland Community College - Geography, ASPRS, ORURISA, Ecotrust, Metro, DOGAMI, Esri, Portland State University - Geography, and Society for Conservation GIS. The success of our event is due to the large community support provided by all these organizations.
Our annual GIS day events are put together by GIS community members Madeline Steele, Christina Friedle & Alexa Todd, who volunteer their time to ensure that there is at least one day a year that the Portland GIS community comes together to celebrate our work and discipline. Thank you also to PCC student volunteers Lindsay Cumella, Steve Carter, Devin Shiang, and Michael Medina, for checking everyone in and making sure that people had everything they needed. And thank you Liam Neely-Brown for taking photographs, again!