GIS Day 2016 - Tuesday, November 15th

Posted on 10/26/2016 | Matt Cohn

GIS Day 2016 will be held on Tuesday, November 15th at the I Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign. It will feature practical GIS presentations, lightning talks focused on GIS implementation strategies, a map/poster competition, and a late afternoon career connection session for students and employers.

The GIS Day keynote address will be delivered by Keith Searles, Illinois alum and CEO of Urban GIS, Inc. His company provides GIS consulting and project management services to businesses, local and federal governments, transportation agencies, and utilities. Urban GIS also hosts internships, and has already helped prepare one of our students for a career in the field.

Jiangdong “Chuck” Liu (BS, 2015), a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) in GIS student, completed his Summer 2016 internship at Urban GIS, where his strong GIS background enabled him to provide technical and professional support to some of the company’s non-GIS departments. His analysis of customer data allowed the marketing department to develop a cost estimate for a project proposal. Liu also wrote scripts to automate some of Urban GIS’s manual processes, which helped the data management team increase their efficiency.

“I was able to use, and build up professional skills during the internship,” said Liu. “All of the different courses and projects I completed at Illinois taught me how to handle geospatial data, and represent it to a large audience. Meanwhile, in the PSM program I have learned many business concepts, including marketing, process management, and supply chain management.”

Liu gained real-world experience at Urban GIS, and also learned that existing GIS analysis and data collection can always be improved. “Most GIS software still has many manual processes, and as we move to a more online, cloud-based software environment, I want to make this technology more accessible to a wide audience by doing web development and working on automatic, interactive GIS processes.”

Liu’s classmate Fikriyah Winata entered the PSM in GIS program this fall, and will give a Practical GIS Presentation at GIS Day. She plans to highlight Survey123 for ArcGIS, a powerful form-centric survey data collection tool. Survey technology has developed very quickly, and researchers are moving from paper surveys to app-based tools. “I want to show people how easy it is to conduct a survey, create a webmap from the data we collected, and share these collaborative maps with colleagues, and the public,” said Winata.

Dr. Shakil Kashem serves as the PSM in GIS program advisor, and teaches many of our department’s GIS courses. He is also on this year’s GIS Day planning committee. Dr. Kashem’s students in GEOG 473 – Digital Cartography and Map Design will participate in this year’s GIS Day. “GIS Day and similar events are good learning opportunities for our students, where they can see the diverse applications of GIS and cutting-edge geovisulization techniques,” said Dr. Kashem.

Registration for GIS Day is open until Monday, October 31st: