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GISCorps Newsletter


GIS Professionals Volunteering for a Better World

May 2013
A Message from the Core Committee


Greetings Volunteers and Friends,  


Since February we have launched nine new projects and are in the process of finalizing three additional projects at this time. Twelve new volunteers have been deployed to these new projects and another twelve will soon be deployed to the missions that are in the recruitment process.

The new projects are in Zambia (onsite teaching), Tanzania and Cambodia (remote sensing), the US (web mapping), and Central Mediterranean (data mining, cleansing and publishing).
The sixth recruitment for the DPRK project is also underway (for 10 more volunteers) and we will soon be recruiting for a K-12 project in California.

To date, we have deployed 422 volunteers to 122 projects in 47 countries and they have collectively contributed over 13,500 hours of volunteer support time to these projects: An amazing and inspiring accomplishment!
We are thankful for your continued support of GISCorps and grateful to our volunteers for their remarkable service; please check our website for new information on missions and other exciting news!

With most sincere wishes,

GISCorps Core Committee,
Heather Milton, Mark Salling, Allen Ibaugh, Dianne Haley, Dave Litke, Carol Kraemer, Shoreh Elhami

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

Deployment and Partnership News

Missions in Progress

A total of 12 missions are in progress and three new projects are about to begin. Detailed accounts of these projects are posted on our  Ongoing Projects Page . 

Featured Projects

The National Map Corps Colorado Pilot Project

In November 2012, GISCorps received a request from the U.S. Geological Survey for assistance in creating and editing data for The National Map. The goals of the project were to: 1) Work towards completion of The National Structures Dataset for Colorado; and 2) Develop a framework for self-organizing of volunteers to promote efficiency and accuracy of crowd-sourced data. Twenty-three volunteers were recruited for the project which started in December 2012 and was completed in February 2013. Read more here.


Aerial Damage Assessment Following Hurricane Sandy

We received a request from Humanitarian OpenStreetMap (HOT) shortly after super storm Sandy hit the northeastern US in October/November 2012. They were interested in deploying the "expert" crowd (GISCorps volunteers) on a crowd sourcing project that they launched shortly after the storm. They asked that the GISCorps volunteers help evaluate the crowd's overall accuracy, by rating a sample of the site's images using the same interface. Volunteers came from seven countries: Amelia Ley (US), Naiara Fernandez (Spain), Roxroy Bollers (Guyana), Giedrius Kaveckis, (Italy), Jeffrey Pires, (US), David Anderson (US), Meliv Purzuelo (Philippines), Kevin Pomaski (US), and Eyob Teshome (Ethiopia). Read more here.



Read more about other completed GISCorps projects here.  


Read more about projects in progress here.  

Volunteer Profile 

Name: Max Silin


GISCorps mission/Year served: AllHands Volunteers - Geodatabase & Web Application Development / 2013 


Share your experience about the mission: The goal of our mission is to design a web-based geodatabase and a web-mapping application for capture, management, and query of the spatial and non-spatial data pertaining to the All Hands Volunteers Recovery Coordination Services (RCS) operations. The major challenge in the beginning was to standardize the broad range of project requirements and determine the technology and skill set necessary for the successful project implementation. Most recently, we have a strong team of professionals, collaborating closely with the project stakeholders and working closely towards the next stage of the project. As we speak, the project team is in the process of optimizing the existing customer data to be loaded into the designed geodatabase and finalizing the functional requirements for the future web-application development. 


Anything else to share: GIS - is the key to a better, environmentally friendly future. Nowadays, as the modern technology enables GIS to perform to its full potential, businesses and government organizations of all levels realize the value that GIS brings to the table and embrace the geospatial technology. I am proud to be a part of the growing GIS community, and thankful to the GISCorps for giving me an opportunity to contribute my professional skills for a Better World.




To read more stories visit the Volunteer Profiles Page. 


Conference Announcements 

Esri's 33rd International User Conference:
San Diego, California - July 8-12, 2013 


As in the past several years, GISCorps will be a participant in the Map Gallery on Monday evening during the Esri UC in San Diego. Stop by the GISCorps display in the Sail Area and learn more about GISCorps' missions and meet members of the Core Committee and volunteers. GISCorps will also hold its annual meeting/presentation at the conference. The meeting will be held on Wednesday July 10th from 5:30 to 7:00 PM in Room 5B. Core Committee members and several of our volunteers will give presentations on 2012/2013 activities. Following the presentation, there will be a no-host gathering at a nearby restaurant. The location will be posted on GISCorps' website as well as on FaceBook, Linkedin and Twitter.
Note: If you are a deployed GISCorps volunteer and plan to attend this Conference, please let us know by sending an email to: [email protected]. We would love to add you to the list of presenters.

GIS-Pro 2013: URISA's 51st Annual Conference for GIS Professionals - Providence, Rhode Island, September 16-19, 2013
The 51st Annual URISA Conference (GIS-Pro 2013) will be held in Providence, RI. As in previous years, we will have several activities including our annual presentation and a poster exhibit. More details about the events will be posted in the next newsletter.   

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 Projects
Volunteer Profiles




URISA Chapters


URISA Sponsors 


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.   

Partner Organizations








Disaster Charter   


...and many more

GISCorps Core Committee

Shoreh Elhami, Co-founder

Dianne Haley, Vice Chair 

Allen Ibaugh

Carol Kraemer

Dave Litke   

Heather Milton

Mark Salling, Chair   

Contact us: 


Email: [email protected] 


Twitter: @giscorps  


Start your 2013 tax planning -   

Donate to support the continued good work and future of GISCorps (tax-deductible) 

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 logging in here.

URISA 2013 Conference Calendar

GIS in Public Health Conference
June 17-20
Miami, FL

GIS-Pro 2013: URISA's 51st Annual Conference
September 16-19
Providence, RI

GIS in Transit
October 16-17
Washington, DC

Locating the Future (Addressing Conference)
November 3-6
St Louis, MO

For more information, visit