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GISCorps Newsletter


GIS Professionals Volunteering for a Better World

August 2014
A Message from the Core Committee


Greetings Volunteers and Friends,
We are pleased to bring you the latest issue of URISA's GISCorps newsletter. Since May, we have launched four new projects. One is with the International Rescue Committee for a project in the Democratic Republic of Congo; two are with US-based nonprofit organizations; and another is for a Search & Rescue organization in Alaska. As a result, six new volunteers have been deployed and that brings the total number of projects to 145 with 498 deployed volunteers. We are also in the process of initiating two new projects at this time.

For all three of the projects featured in this newsletter, the volunteers developed interactive maps. One depicts the partition history of a country; another provides a series of interactive maps leading up to a 2016 international UN event; and the other maps out the stories of youth worldwide reducing CO2 emissions and taking action on climate change.

We had a great display and session at the Esri User Conference again this year (see article later in this newsletter). It was great to catch up with volunteers and friends.

We hope to see you next at URISA's GIS-Pro Conference in New Orleans from September 8-11. We have a number of activities planned for GIS Pro 2014, and we hope you will be able to join us in NOLA!

GISCorps activities following Hurricane Katrina's devastation of the Gulf Coast in 2005, put GISCorps 'on the map' so to speak. The projects were extremely difficult, and our volunteers were smart, professional and selfless. They contributed tremendously to the relief efforts and made us all so proud. The entire community came together in response. Take a few minutes to read the coverage from the Fall 2005 issue of ArcNews.

We are thankful for your continued support of GISCorps and grateful to our volunteers for their remarkable service.

With sincere wishes,

GISCorps Core Committee: Dianne Haley, Carol Kraemer, Heather Milton, Mark Salling, Allen Ibaugh, Dave Litke, 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 8 missions are currently in progress. Detailed accounts of these projects are posted on our  Ongoing Projects Page. 

Volunteer Customizes a Web Map for the 1947 Partition Archive Project

The 1947 Partition Archive Project, a US-based nonprofit organization, requested the assistance of a volunteer with expertise in creating a map of their Partition stories. Jason Lampel was recruited for this project and assisted in enhancing the story map. The organization's representative submitted a great summary of the project. Read more here.  

Creating Interactive Map for 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS)

The WHS requested the assistance of a GISCorps volunteer to create several interactive maps for this event. Katie Mayr, a GIS Specialist with City of Charlotte, NC was recruited for this project and will be working with WHS representatives in coming months. Read more here.  


A Story Map for Young Voices on Climate Change

Young Voices on Climate Change (YVCC), a US based non-profit organization requested the assistance of a GISCorps volunteer for developing a Story Map. Pamela Bond, a GIS Specialist with Idaho Department of Fish and Game was recruited for this project. The Story Map was developed in ArcGIS Online and is an interactive map of youth worldwide reducing CO2 emissions and taking action on climate change. Read more here.


Read more about other completed GISCorps projects here.  


Read more about projects in progress here.  

Volunteer Profile 



Name: Francesco Petrosino, Professional Consultant Engineering Geologist

GISCorps mission/Year served:
DPRK iMMAP/WFP Project 2011/2014

Experience about the mission: I am an engineering geologist and a GIS expert of landslide susceptibility mapping and seismic hazard. I found GISCorps 3 years ago and was recruited for the DPRK iMMAP/WFP in 2011. I'm proud to be a member of the QC\QA team, after having digitized a number of tiles. I'm sharing my GISCorps experience in several Italian technical meetings and classes, one of the more recent classes is a Geological Hazard Defense class for the Regional Civil Defense Network that I belong to. I appreciate the hard work of all other team members, especially Carol, Karen, Patrick and Scott.

Call for Volunteers for GISCorps Website 

Volunteer #1: We are looking for a volunteer with experience creating and modifying Wordpress webpages and content, including links to social media, to more effectively distribute new content. The website is not only a hub for educating the public about what the GISCorps is, it also serves as a portal to the database which houses information concerning projects, volunteers, and friends of GISCorps. Another component of the new website will be conveying clearer information on how to donate and support the GISCorps and its volunteers. Some programming skills may be required to assist in establishing the connection between the new website and the existing database.
Volunteer #2: Volunteer with Web Design experience who can suggest theme, layout, and branding of the new GISCorps website. We will need to migrate information from the current GISCorps website into the new format.
If interested, please submit your resume containing relevant experience to [email protected]. Thank you and we look forward to working with you on this exciting project that will support all our volunteers as well as our mission! 

Conference Announcements 

Esri's 34th International User Conference - San Diego, California - July 14-18, 2014

As in the past several years, GISCorps held several meetings/ presentations at ESRI's 34th User Conference (San Diego, July 14-18, 2014).
  • Monday: Many volunteers and friends visited our display during the Map Gallery and the exhibit looked fantastic.
  • Thursday: Three volunteers (Lorri Peltz-Lewis, Shoreh and Allen from the Core Committee) presented at the annual presentation/meeting.
GIS-Pro 2014: URISA's 52nd Annual Conference - New Orleans, LA, September 8-11, 2014

The 52nd Annual URISA Conference (GIS-Pro 2014) will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. As in previous years, we will have several activities including a roundtable luncheon discussion and a substantial exhibit. For details about GIS-Pro 2014, click here.

Note: If you are a deployed GISCorps volunteer and plan to attend GIS-Pro, please let us know by sending an email to: [email protected]. We would love to add you to the list of participants.

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 Partners  


 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, Chair 

Allen Ibaugh

Carol Kraemer, Vice Chair 

Dave Litke   

Heather Milton

Mark Salling


Contact us: 


Email: [email protected] 


Twitter: @giscorps   

Include URISA's GISCorps in your charitable giving!  


Donate to support the 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 2014 Conference Calendar
Sept 8-11
New Orleans

URISA Leadership Academy
October 13-17 Louisville, KY

October 27-30

For more information, visit

News from Friends of GISCorps 


Nonprofit Organization Program  


Disaster Response and Assistance


ArcGIS Online for Organizations