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GISCorps Newsletter


GIS Professionals Volunteering for a Better World

November 2011
A Message from the Core Committee


Greetings Volunteers and Friends,


We had a great time at URISA's GIS-Pro 2011 Conference in Indianapolis earlier this month. The conference was filled with invaluable workshops and sessions as well as after-hour events such as IGNITE talks which added excitement and great networking opportunities for the attendees (see the article later in this newsletter). GISCorps' past Chair, Allen Ibaugh, gave a fantastic update on new and on-going projects and highlighted that 80 missions have now been undertaken by GISCorps with nearly 250 volunteers deployed!

Since the August newsletter, we have deployed 18 additional volunteers to three projects in Haiti, North Korea, and Somalia and are currently in conversation with two other organizations about new opportunities.
We also held our annual election and elected Heather Milton as the new Chair of the Core Committee and Mark Salling as the Vice-Chair. Continuing members include Allen Ibaugh, Dianne Haley, and Shoreh Elhami.

We are thankful for your continued support of GISCorps; please check our website for new information on missions and other exciting news!

As this will be the last GISCorps Newsletter of 2011, the GISCorps Core Committee would like to extend to you and yours our wishes for a Happy Holiday Season and the very best in the New Year.
GISCorps Core Committee,
Heather Milton, Mark Salling, Allen Ibaugh, Dianne Haley, Shoreh Elhami

P.S. Please email [email protected] if you want to be removed from this list.

Deployment and Partnership News

Missions in Progress

A total of 14 missions are currently in progress while two new projects are about to begin.  


Detailed accounts of these projects are posted on our Ongoing Projects Page

Featured Project

Volunteering with a non profit organization in Montgomery County, MD
By: Rob George, a GISCorps volunteer from Pennsylvania   


GISCorps assisted a US-based nonprofit organization, Identity Inc., with analyzing and mapping a variety of demographic and financial data of both upper and lower income school communities in Montgomery County, Maryland. The project was designed to address the issue of social justice within Montgomery County.  There is a significant gap between upper and lower income classes in the county and most middle/upper income families strive to live in the community with the best possible schools. The Montgomery County district is divided into high school "clusters" which contain middle and elementary schools in a hierarchical spatial structure. The allocation of resources in such a system may not equitably distribute resources within the entire district.


Median Household Income
Montgomery County is very diverse in many ways, ranging from urban to rural areas, and its demographics reflect this diversity.  Only 4.3% of the county is under the national poverty line, compared to 14.3% for the United States.  The Gini coefficient statistic is a standard measure of income inequality and ranges from 0 for absolute equality to 100 where one household has all the income. Using household income from the Census Bureau's 2007-2009 American Community Survey, we find that the coefficient for Montgomery County is 66.1 and is much higher than the national coefficient of 45.4.  Thus there is a high degree of household income inequality in the county.


Click here to continue learning about this project.




Read more about other completed GISCorps projects here.

Read more about projects in progress here.  


Volunteer Profile

We will be profiling our volunteers' invaluable work under this section. Check out the Volunteer Profiles Page for more stories.


Name: Dr. Terance L. Winemiller Ph.D., GISP
Associate Professor, Auburn University at Montgomery
GISCorps mission/Year served:
Mission with International Charter/USGS/JAXA - Japan/2011  
Share your experience about the mission: The GISCorps mission was to analyze satellite imagery to help guide the emergency response efforts for the coastal communities that were either directly impacted by the March, 2011 tsunami inundation or, at the time, had not reported their condition. After I was selected to participate, I received geographic coordinates for three cities located on the northern coast of Japan and access to public and restricted areas on the USGS EROS Hazards Data Distribution System. Our specific assignment was to search for pre- and post- disaster coverage of the three areas of interest, Miyagi-Kamaishi, Iwate-Miyako, and Iwate-Miyakoshi. Original data were processed and enhanced in ENVI 4.8. Final maps were produced in ArcMap 10.0., by creating multiple data frames for small scale pre-disaster and post-disaster scenes as well as large scale insets to illustrate highly impacted zones in the area of interest. Our finished maps were uploaded to the USGS server for distribution. Involvement in this project provided an invaluable opportunity for students enrolled in our GIS program to gain real-world experience in a disaster situation where GIS project design, development, and operations require deployment of high-quality output in an extraordinarily short period of time.
Anything else to share:
I became interested in GIS as a graduate student at Louisiana State University. Today, I use GIS in my research and teach undergraduate and graduate courses in GIS at Auburn University at Montgomery. There is nothing more gratifying than to use the expertise I have in remote sensing and GIS to help others in times of need. The GISCorps provides a way to hopefully improve quality of life on a global basis.


   Terry Winemiller 

GISCorps Events


GIS-Pro 2011: URISA's 49th URISA Annual Conference, Indianapolis, IN, November 1-4, 2011 
GIS-Pro 2011 was held in Indianapolis, IN. GISCorps held multiple events including a poster exhibit, presentation and the annual meeting. The efforts and services of GISCorps volunteers and Core Committee members were recognized at a breakfast award ceremony. To see the photos taken at those activities, click here.

ICCM Conference, Geneva, November 14-15, 2011 

The 3rd International Conference of Crisis Mappers (ISSM) was held in Geneva, Switzerland on November 14-15. The main topics included collecting, organizing, and validating the data received from the crowd during various crises. Additional topics included security, scaling and mainstreaming of this type of data. GISCorps attended and presented the work of its volunteers at the conference. Read more about the conference here.

News from Friends of GISCorps 


Thank you for your continued support of URISA's GISCorps!

In This Issue
Message from the Core Committee
Missions in Progress
Featured Project
Volunteer Profiles


Highlights from GIS-Pro 2011 


GIS Salary Survey


URISA Chapters  


More About Us 

Get Social with GISCorps! 

Like us on Facebook 

View our profile on LinkedIn 


Follow us on Twitter 


Shop for

GISCorps Stuff

Do you find yourself in need of a new T-shirt, coffee mug, ball cap or tote bag? Do you want to advertise GISCorps and your association with the organization? Well, you are in luck! You can now find various GISCorps items at our online shop at:  

Partner Organizations








Disaster Charter   


...and many more

GISCorps Core Committee


Allen Ibaugh

Heather Milton, Chair

Dianne Haley

Mark Salling, Vice Chair 

Shoreh Elhami, Co-founder


Contact us: 


Email: [email protected] 


Twitter: @giscorps  


Donate to GISCorps 

Volunteer Database

It is critical to our operations that our volunteer database is as up-to-date as possible, since it is this database that we query to find volunteers suitable for deployment on a mission.

If you have not updated your record recently, please do so by

URISA 2012 Conference Calendar

GIS/CAMA Technologies Conference
March 12-15, 2012
San Antonio, Texas

URISA Leadership Academy
June 11-15, 2012
Savannah, Georgia

URISA/NENA Addressing Conference
August 6-9, 2012
Memphis, Tennessee

GIS-Pro 2012: URISA's 50th Annual Conference for GIS Professionals
October 1-4, 2012
Portland, Oregon

URISA's Caribbean GIS Conference
November 12-16, 2012
Montego Bay, Jamaica

For more information, visit