Sustaining Members





GIS Coordinator – City of Merced

Under general direction, performs responsible professional, technical, and administrative work to plan, organize, manage, and promote the citywide Geographic Information System (GIS). Plans, coordinates, and manages data used by GIS, including GIS data structure, system design, and user training.  Provides leadership role in development and implementation of GIS technology to support the analytical, statistical, and mapping needs of the City. Works closely with department administrators and users to plan and coordinate citywide GIS program development, system maintenance, training, and support.

City of Merced GIS Coordinator


CGIA Member Spotlight: Han Chu


Job: Vice President / Director of Spatial Technology Solutions, Psomas

Bio: I have been serving the geospatial industry for over 25 years, and currently focusing on program oversight, project management, and consulting services in technology planning, development, implementation, and sustained operations. My passion and strength is in exploring opportunities for GIS and technology-driven improvements that will enhance operational efficiency, implement technology, and promote positive cultural changes within an organization.

I am a registered civil engineer, licensed surveyor, and real estate broker, which really helps me to understand the issues and needs of the technology user community. And because I started out my career as an engineer and a surveyor for the City of LA, Water and Power, I have gained a unique perspective that bridges between public agencies and private sector.

I have BS in Civil Engineering from Cal Poly, and MBA from UCI, and currently serving on the Board of CGIA.

Project(s): Because of my background, experience, and expertise, my favorite GIS projects are enterprise GIS strategic planning. As boring as they may sound, I truly enjoy the experience of interacting with the entire organization, learn about their business, and discovering true GIS drivers that will improve how they do business on a daily basis. And ultimately being able to witness implementations of these plans, and seeing how GIS does make our lives better, for both the GIS practitioners and the citizens we serve.

What is the best career advice you received? This one is not as specific to GIS career advice but has kept me and my career on track:

“Do the right thing the right way, and everything else will take care of themselves”

Anything About Yourself: Living in California, I grew up enjoying water sports (surfing, scuba diving, and although not on water, snowboarding.) But with my body not as athletic as my mind anymore, I am now a perpetually struggling golfer, but thoroughly enjoying every painful minute I get to be out on the course.

Deadline Extended for 2016 CGIA Award Nominations


Six awards are available to bring recognition to a colleague, project, or program for outstanding achievements in various aspects of GIS:

- Best Student Project or Paper (NEW): Granted to the outstanding quality of work using GIS technology
- Chair's Award: Honor a person for his/her contributions in GIS technology
- Exemplary Systems Award: For outstanding application of GIS technology
- Advancement of Collaboration Award: For outstanding inter-organization collaborative efforts
- Outstanding Internet Application Award: For outstanding integration of GIS and web technologies
- Excellence in Education Award: For an educational institution's commitment to GIS education

For full details and to submit your nomination, go to


CGIA Member Spotlight: Nick Franchino


Job: GIS Manager, Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning

Bio: I’ve worked in GIS for nearly 20 years – all with this same agency. I started as a GIS technician, doing everything from digitizing plans to editing data, including plenty of annotation placement! I have worked on many planning projects through the years, including creating land use and zoning maps for all of the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County (68 maps at various sizes and scales) to support the decision-making process. I’m very proud of the work I’ve done on the web as well. My team has created very complex GIS web mapping applications over the years to provide self help services for County staff, other agencies, and the public. I’ve also worked on five aerial imagery projects since 1998, serving as the Project Manager for the Los Angeles Region Imagery Acquisition Consortium (LARIAC) from 2006 to 2010. I’m a certified GIS Professional (GISP) and a certified planner with the American Institute of Planners (AICP).

Most of my current work includes managing a great team of GIS analysts and specialists as well as providing support for the County’s Enterprise GIS Steering Committee. Our goal is to provide excellent customer service as it relates to geospatial applications and products

Project(s): The LARIAC is my favorite project. The County is concluding its fourth iteration of the program, having acquired aerial imagery and related products in 2006, 2008, 2011, and 2014. I have been the LARIAC Outreach Manager since 2011 and strive to get as many cities and agencies to join (there are 88 cities in Los Angeles County – all with various capacities as it relates to GIS) as possible, which brings down costs and enables us to expand the types of products we acquire. My former mentor and boss, Milan Svitek, was the driving force behind the LARIAC (he conceived it and brought it to fruition) and he believed that we could acquire imagery countywide and work with all public agencies within Los Angeles County to share in the costs and spread GIS knowledge. While the program used to be primarily about acquiring aerial imagery and digital terrain datasets (and delivering it to participants on hard drives), the program has transitioned into a service delivery program for online access to these great information products. In addition to aerial imagery, LARIAC now includes building footprints, landcover analyses, viewers/analytical tools, and other specialty items.

Anything About Yourself: I like to golf and spend time with my kids – it’s pretty cool when my son wants to make a 3D map of his school in SketchUp and use some of our GIS tools in his work. I’m on LinkedIn. My department’s website has a Map Catalog, link to our Interactive Mapping Applications and to our GIS Data Portal at  Information about the LARIAC Program can be found on the project website at



GeoSummit at UC Merced

"Discover the Power of GIS" Map Your Future.  The 5th annual GeoSummit at UC Merced, on Friday, April 8th  will feature amazing speakers:  Jessica Touchard of GeoSearch, Inc., Dr. Jared Rutledge, Epidemiologist for Fresno County, Liz van Wagtendonk of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and Jinger Zeng of Dronesmith Technologies3DR Robotics.  In the afternoon there will be interesting presentations from various research centers on campus sharing their important work.   Each year this event brings together speakers from the GIS Community, student presentations, and map displays.  The event is free to attend, registration is required, and on campus parking for non-UC Merced students is $6.00.  Plan on attending this day all about GIS on the beautiful UC Merced Campus.  The event flyer is attached with information on the speakers and presentations, as well as the link to registration.

GeoSummit 2016 Flyer

GeoSummit at UC Merced

2016 CGIA Awards – Nominations Open

Nominations for the 2016 CGIA Awards are open:

Awards are open to any person in the State of California, and will be announced at the California GIS Conference (CalGIS), May 10-12, in Anaheim, CA:

Bring recognition to a colleague, project, or program. The visibility that goes with winning an award can be an important component to building credibility, gaining exposure, promoting a program, or garnering funding. Each year the California Geographic Information Association recognizes outstanding achievements in various aspects of GIS within California through its awards program. CGIA seeks nominations for outstanding individuals and organizations in the following categories:

  • Best Student Project or Paper (NEW!): Granted to the outstanding quality of work using GIS technology. A travel award (up to $500) to the 2016 CalGIS conference will be given to the recipient of this award. The travel award can be used toward the registration fee (a must), hotel, and/or flight/gas. Receipts are required. The recipient must provide a written summary of his/her overall experience of the CalGIS conference along with a brief review of the sessions attended (due no later than May 31, 2016).
  • Chairman's Award: Granted to honor a person who has made outstanding contributions in the promotion, innovation, and/or use of GIS technology.
  • Exemplary Systems Award: Granted for outstanding application of GIS technology representing innovative, elegant, or creative techniques.
  • Advancement of Collaboration Award: Granted for outstanding inter-organization collaborative efforts in GIS.
  • Outstanding Internet Application Award: Granted to the outstanding integration of GIS and web technologies demonstrating excellence in aesthetic presentation, functionality, ease of use, and overall user experience.
  • Excellence in Education Award: Granted to the educational institution that displays extraordinary approach, contribution, development or commitment to GIS education in California.

An award is a pat on the back for the project team. It’s always an amazing thing when a project is completed, and an award is a good way of acknowledging everyone’s efforts from top to bottom. Nominate a colleague, project, or program for a CGIA award by going to the CGIA Nomination Page.

Deadline for nominations has been extended to Friday, March 25, 2016.

If you have any questions, please contact Christine Lam, CGIA Vice-Chair, at

CIRGIS Meeting dates for 2016

The Channel Islands Regional GIS Collaborative (CIRGIS - website) has posted its meeting dates for 2016.

Meeting Schedule for 2016

  • January 21, 2:00 - 5:00 pm at Ventura College
  • March 17, 2:00 - 5:00 pm at Santa Barbara EOC
  • May 19, 2:00 - 5:00 pm at Ventura College
  • June 7, at Spatial@UCSB event (time tba)
  • July 21, 2:00 - 5:00 pm at Ventura College
  • September 22, 2:00 - 5:00 pm at Santa Barbara EOC
  • November 18, GIS Day at Ventura College (time tba)

Ventura College

Health Science Center Conference Room HSC 211

4667 Telegraph Road, Ventura, CA 93003


Santa Barbara EOC

4408 Cathedral Oaks Road, Santa Barbara, CA  93110



Far North Regional GIS Council Meeting Notice – January 20, 2016






FNRGC Meeting 1/20/2016

10:00 –2:00pm

Redding City Hall, River Conference Room

777 Cypress Ave., Redding, CA 96001

  • 10:00 – 10:10 Introductions
  • 10:10 – 11:00 Old Business
    • CGC Update – Dave Powers
    • CGIA Update – Terri Webster
    • RAGU announcements/updates – Mel/Marcus
    • FarNorCalGIS Platform announcements/updates – Sean T
    • GIS Day 2015 Summary – Terri/Dave/Devon


  • 11:00 – 12:00 New Business
    • Orthoimagery Subcommittee – Devon/Jen/Dave
    • GIS Data Clean-Up Efforts/Public Safety GIS – Dave/Devon
    • Historical Society to launch digital tours – Marcus/Dave


  • Lunch 12:00 – 1:00p
  • Knowledge Faire 1:00p – 2:00pm

Building template based mobile map apps’

By Marcus Harner

Save the Date! – SoCal Marine GIS Users Group

Save the Date!

Following a very successful inaugural meeting at the Long Beach Aquarium last fall, the Southern California Marine GIS User Group will hold its Spring Meeting on March 2, 2016 at the SCCWRP office in Costa Mesa, CA from 1:00-4:00pm.

The meeting is free and open to all members of the Marine GIS community – additional details about the planned speakers, agenda and how to register will be available in February.


About the SoCal Marine GIS Users Group

The Southern California Marine GIS is a welcoming group of GIS professionals and aficionados doing work in and about the Southern California marine and maritime community. Our goal is to create connections and foster innovation to improve and accelerate marine and maritime GIS in the local area.

Visit us on Facebook

GIS Aide – City of Thousand Oaks

The City of Thousand Oaks is currently accepting applications for a part-time, hourly Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Aide in the Public Works Department.

See full listing here

Salary: $18.36 per hour

This hourly, at-will position involves working approximately 15 – 18 hours per week, and will not exceed 1,000 hours per fiscal year (July 1st to June 30th).

The ideal candidate shall:

  • Have experience using ArcMap(.mxd files), to create maps analyze spatial data, and edit feature locations, attributes and annotations;
  • Possess experience in georeferencing (.tiff files) to create digitized data, preferably with experience digitizing utility data from engineering drawings;
  • Be detail oriented and responsible for data accuracy;
  • Have experience answering questions and supporting decisions regarding maps;
  • Communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing; and,
  • Be a team player who works well with others, is motivated, and provides excellent customer service.

CalGIS 2016 – The Magic of GIS


Join your peers in Anaheim, May 10-12, 2016 for essential workshops and education, important keynote presenters, unmatched networking, and a packed vendor hall.

Preconference Workshops:  Consider registering for one of the optional preconference workshops that will be presented on Tuesday May 10, most require an additional fee and seating is limited, so register soon.

  • Deploying Mobile GIS:  Full-day training 8:30am-5:00pm.
  • NG9-1-1 and the GIS Workflow:  Half-day training 8:30am-12 noon.
  • Open Source GIS:  Full-day training 8:30am-5:00pm.
  • Esri Story Maps workshop:  Half-day, 1:00-5:00 pm.

We're especially please to welcome our conference Keynote Speakers:

  • Clint Brown, Director of Product Engineering, Esri
    • The Human Era of GIS
  • Benjamin Tuttle, PhD, Geographer, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
    • Delivering GEOINT in the Open

Nearly sixty presentations on a variety of essential topics will be presented on Wednesday and Thursday (May 11th & 12th) including:

  • Precision Mapping from Street Level Imagery for Asset Management
  • Comprehensive Tsunami Evacuation Modeling to Inform Emergency Management:  A Case Study of Balboa Island, California
  • Social Media, Big Data, and GIS:  A Case of Predictive Crime Analysis
  • Big County NG9-1-1 Implementation:  What Will It Take?
  • GIS as Centerpiece to Public Works Strategy-City of Anaheim Case Study
  • Maps and Database Design as Communication Tools.

Check them all out on the conference website as well as information about the venue.  Hope to see you there!




CGIA Member Spotlight: Jeff Orton

**CGIA has created a member spotlight corner located on the top right panel of our main home page. If you want to be next, please send us the following information (see example below) along with a photo.**

Job: Director of GIS, Wonderful Citrus, Delano CA

Bio: I have been working in digital mapping and GIS since at least 1990.  I have worked as a data editor for a photogrammetric mapping company, a GIS Technician for the City of Provo, the GIS Administrator for the Utah Transit Authority, and the GIS Coordinator for the County of Kern.  I currently work in the agriculture industry helping map and analyze data for over 90,000 acres of citrus in California, Texas, and Mexico.  Each different job has been a different application of my geography training (CSU Fresno, BYU, and University of Utah) and my interest in GIS.  Along the way I have done everything from (very) local mapping projects to working on the development of federal transportation data standards.

I love that GIS brings me in contact with a wide variety of disciplines and is constantly challenging me to learn and develop new skills.   As I have entered the second half of my working years, I have come to realize that while my accomplishments at work are a great source of gratification, the greatest pleasure of my years in GIS has been the quality of people with whom I have had the opportunity to interact.

Project(s): While at the Utah Transit Authority I was able to work on several national standards efforts (NCHRP 20-27 (3), Transit Communications Interface Profiles, Bus Stop Inventory Best Practices).  Each of these presented its own challenge and had its own unique connection to my interest in spatial data.

At the County of Kern, I had the great privilege of being the first GIS Coordinator/Manager that the County hired.  What followed was almost 9 years of rolling out new tools, building data repositories and helping enhance the spatial awareness of county employees and residents.  Along the way we built up a good team of talented people who continue to provide great service to the community.

Wonderful Citrus has been an enormous change from the wide multidisciplinary interactions of local government to the deep focused work of agribusiness.  The speed at which a large company moves coupled with the rapid change of technology, particularly in the mobile environment, has challenged me and provided great opportunities for GIS to shine.

Anything About Yourself: One of my first interests in GIS (and my dissertation topic) was the coupling of GIS with Family History (genealogy) data.  I still work on Family History and find the challenge of data exploration and the thrill of discovery interesting after all these years.


LA Geospatial Summit

la_geospatialRegistration for the sixth annual LA Geospatial Summit is now open.

February 24, 2016 @ 8:30 am - 6:00 pm

Propel your geospatial career on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at the annual one-day professional development and networking event presented by the USC Spatial Sciences Institute.

  • Learn how GIS is transforming the energy, utility, and water industries.
  • Hear how Vizio is using geospatial analysis in its market insight and business analytics unit.
  • Find out about GIS careers opportunities with the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census.
  • Get advice on mapping out your geospatial career.
  • Network with industry professionals throughout the day.
  • Gain experience in presenting and listening to “lightning talks” and poster presentation.
  • Talk with company and organization representatives at the lunchtime Industry Fair:
    • California Geographic Information Association
    • California Surveying and Drafting Supply, Inc.
    • County of Los Angeles
    • Esri
    • SoCal URISA
    • U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation

2016 collaborating academic programs:California State University, Long Beach; University of California, Los Angeles; and University of Redlands.

Registration Fee (includes continental breakfast, lunch, and reception)
Students: $40
Professionals: $65

Register NOW!

Program at a Glance

Qualifies for GISP credit


Help GeoTech Recognize Those Who Support Geospatial Education

geotech_nominationThe GeoTech Center needs your help in recognizing individuals and organizations that have supported geospatial education at two year colleges.

Each year GeoTech asks for nominations for three Awards – two for individuals and one for an organization through it National Excellence in Geospatial Education Awards program.  One award is given to an individual for Lifetime Achievement, one for an individual that has exhibited excellence during the past two years and one award is present to an organization.

Past recipients include Deidre Sullivan and Tora Johnson for Lifetime Achievement, Nicole Ernst and David Skiles for distinguished educator awards and Directions Magazine and GeoTED for organization partners’ awards.  Please nominate those individuals and partners you would like recognized by going to the GeoTech website at and filling in and submitting the brief nomination forms no later than February 1, 2016.  If you have any questions, please contact Ann Johnson at

LA County GIS Day – Guides and schedule complete

LA County GIS Day is less than one week away!  The GIS Day committee has finalized the booths and presentations - we will have 50 booths, and many great speakers!!

See for full details.

Important Documents and links 


What is GIS Day?

GIS Day is celebrated nationally as part of National Geography Awareness Week.  Click here for more information.

LA County's GIS Day is free to attend both for the public and presenters, supported by County departments and funded by the County's enterprise GIS Program.  We invite you to join us to learn more about how the County, government agencies, private companies, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in  emergency response, social services and administration to make life better in Los Angeles County.

Since location information is a powerful tool to provide better services to the residents of the County, our theme for GIS Day 2015 is  "Mapping for a Better LA".

When and where is the event?

GIS Day will be at Olive Court at Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles.

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015
9:00am to 3:00pm
Los Angeles County Grand Park, Olive Court
200 N. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Announcing CalGIS 2016

Save the date for CalGIS 2016 in Anaheim May 10th-12th at the Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort, 1855 S Harbor Blvd.

The conference committee will soon announce the opening of the Call for Presentation Proposals and looks forward to your submission of abstracts on GIS in California.

Check the website often for announcements and information: .

2015 LA County GIS Day Announce

LA County has announced information around its 2015 GIS Day (click to get full information)

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015
9:00am to 3:00pm
Los Angeles County Grand Park, Olive Court
200 N. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

This year’s event is titled Mapping for a Better LA.  The event is designed for the public, government employees, and students to:

  • Show how county and city governments use GIS to make better decisions;
  • learn about opportunities for studying GIS at local universities and colleges;
  • and discover how this technology is affecting our daily lives.

CGIA is pleased to announce…Women in GIS (WiGIS)

Over the last few years there has been a growing movement to organize a “Women in GIS” group. In July 2015, at the Esri’s User Conference in San Diego, leaders of this budding organization received feedback from women who work in the geospatial industry from all over the world. We asked our colleagues specifically how a group like ours could meet their needs. With a few specific questions as guidelines for discussion, here is the consensus we came up with:

Women in GIS (WiGIS) is an international, professional, and social organization as well as an advocacy group for women and their allies. The aim of WIGIS is to serve as a safe place for women from all geospatial fields to:

  1. work towards overcoming job discrimination, lower pay, professional isolation, and other common barriers women might face, and
  2. foster relationships and resource sharing among members and institutions.

WiGIS is a consortium of advocates from academia, government, and private industry designed to advance the presence of women and minorities in GIS. Activities of the organization include social gatherings, professional development and educational events, and opportunities for networking and mentoring. At a minimum, our goal is to meet quarterly and to engage in constant communication as needed and desired via forums such as the WiGIS website and an email listserv/newsletter.”

CGIA supports GIS professionals through outreach, partnerships with URISA Chapters to host the CalGIS Conference, and with informative and important information on the CGIA website. If you are interested in learning more about WiGIS, please check out the new website:

GIS Return on Investment spreadsheet

Members can now access a Return on Investment (ROI) spreadsheet that can help calculate the ROI of individual GIS projects, which can help justify those projects and the value of GIS.

It is available in the members area here:


Nevada Geographic Information Society Announces Details For Fall 2015 Conference

The Nevada Geographic Information Society - NGIS -
Announces the 25th Annual Nevada State GIS Conference!

Join us at Lake Tahoe’s MontBleu Casino, Resort & Spa in

Beautiful Stateline, Nevada

October 12th - 14th 2015.

Come to Lake Tahoe and Celebrate 25 Years of NGIS with us!

The 25th anniversary conference will be a celebration of the unique nature of our profession. GIS has 

the power to shape and change our world – or even just our community. GIS is cooperative, it is dynamic, 

it can be subtle, and it is ubiquitous. GIS adds value to our communities and improves the lives of our 

citizens every day – often without notice.

You, as practitioners of GIS, make all of this happen and more. So to celebrate and recognize your contributions, the 2015 NGIS Conference Planning Committee is committed to bringing you another 

great conference – complete with some special new twists.

This year’s conference will begin Monday afternoon and run through mid-day on Wednesday. We will

have sessions covering a wide array of topics as well as a new series of lightning talks. We are planning fun events and intriguing pre-conference field trips. We will also be working with NGIF to host a golf tournament in the Tahoe Basin on Sunday the 11th. The event promises to be fun, beautiful, and all for a great cause.