GIS for COVID-19 online roundtable on April 1 – KCGIS User Group special meeting

The April 1, 2020 King County GIS User Group meeting will feature an important roundtable discussion on issues related to using GIS to support agency response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis in our communities. This meeting will be held via Skype or Zoom. As usual, the KCGIS User Group meeting is open to anyone. Many…

Visualizing sea level rise on the Duwamish River

The King County Department of Natural Resources & Parks oversees several ecological restoration sites along the Duwamish River. Because the river is estuarine and will be impacted by the rising ocean levels associated with climate change, there was understandably some concern that these sites would also be affected. They needed to visualize what their projects…

WGGL and King County host GIS Portal Summit to share knowledge

By Joshua Greenberg (WGGL Chair) Over 85 GIS users gathered in Seattle at the King County’s King Street Center Conference Center on February 3rd to share their knowledge and experiences using Esri’s ArcGIS Enterprise portal. ArcGIS Enterprise portal “brings together all the geographic information in your ArcGIS platform and shares it throughout your organization” (Esri).…

NSGIC publishes best practices guidance to improve elections with GIS

Free and fair elections are the bedrock foundation of our democracy. In the United States, responsibility to administer elections is delegated to the individual states, which then support election activity at the county level. Within the state of Washington, elections are the responsibility of the Secretary of State. The Department of Elections is responsible within…

How GIS helps King County Elections track ballot drop boxes

The King County Department of Elections conducts all elections by paper ballot, which a voter either mails or deposits into one of nearly 70 drop boxes that are distributed throughout the county. For its secure tracking of drop-box collections, Elections transitioned in the spring of 2019 to an all-digital workflow using mostly Esri GIS products. The all-digital aspect is notable in part because this is not yet common practice among elections agencies.

The Role of GIS Professionals in Issues of Equity and Social Justice

During the past year interest in using GIS to address issues related to Equity and Social Justice (ESJ) have been accelerating. Recently Mark Salling from Cleveland State University, Nicole Franklin, King County Chief Equity Officer, and I co-authored an article for URISA’s The GIS Professional to initiate a discussion about the role of GIS professionals…

Strengthening the GIS Profession

“Strengthening the GIS Profession”—that was the title of a 2012 ArcNews article authored by my friend David DiBiase. David asked: ‘Is GIS a profession?’ As he pointed out, this is an important question. He defined a GIS Professional as ‘…someone who makes a living through learned professional work…that requires advanced knowledge of geographic information systems and related geospatial technologies, data, and methods.’

The GIS profession, or any profession, rightly requires a definition that defines it across multiple dimensions. This article will assess from a personal perspective where the GIS profession stands today, based on the dimensions of the GIS profession that DiBiase outlined in 2012.