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.