2014 CGIA Awards announced at CalGIS 2014

CGIA Announced the winners of the 2014 Awards last week at the CalGIS conference in Monterey.

The winners were:

  • Exemplary Systems: Ari Isaak, Evari GIS
  • Outstanding Internet Application: Robert Beckler, City of Modesto
  • Advancement of Collaboration: California Public Safety Technology Modernization (PSTM)
  • Chairman’s Award: Jeff Orton, Paramount Citrus

Click here for full award details.

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Free GIS Training for Southern California government staff from SCAG

scag_gisPassing this along to you, in case you are a SCAG GIS Services participant (most local governments in Southern California are)

Thank you for participating SCAG GIS Services Program. As promised, SCAG will be providing 8 intermediate and 5 advanced GIS trainings in months of April, May, and June at different venues. Online registration is available at

As part of SCAG GIS Service Program, these trainings are free to the participating jurisdictions. For more information about SCAG GIS Services Program, please refer to If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Javier Aguilar at


Again, thank you for your participation!

CGIA Open Board Meeting at CalGIS


Our next Board meeting is next Monday at CalGIS.  I sent an email with our agenda earlier today to all CalGIS members, but I wanted to pass this along.  If you are at the CalGIS conference, don’t hesitate to stop by.   We will be having a discussion about supporting collaboration in GIS for the State, and perhaps the role/status of the California GIS Council.

CGIA Board Agenda – CalGIS (April 14, 2014)

Hope to see you Monday!

Cal State Long Beach Masters in GIS Science – 1 year program

calstatelbPassing this along:

There is still time to apply to the California State University Long Beach MS in Geographic Information Science (CSULB MSGISci). The MSGISci is a 1-year 30-unit program geared toward working professionals.

Click here for more information and/or visit

Please contact the MSGISci Program Coordinator  Ms. Beth Moody and/or the MSGISci Program Director Dr. Suzanne Wechsler ( with any questions. 

CalGIS 2014 – Still Time to Register

Each year the four URISA chapters in California, along with the California Geographic Information Association, come together to present the California GIS Conference.  This year, the  conference will celebrate the milestone 20th annual event in Monterey, California, April 14-16, 2014.

The conference will kick off on Monday with preconference courses and meetings and then feature a full day (Tuesday) of important general sessions and keynote addresses:

Mike Migurski, of Code for America, will deliver the opening keynote address discussing  “GIS: Leaders from Within”.  He’ll discuss Code for America’s work with hundreds of local city, county, and state governments, they have found that GIS departments and data are the unsung heroes of civic hacking and open data. Location data is first out of the gate with government data releases, and beautiful maps and visualizations are the poster children of accessible public data. What are the technologies that got us here, and what future skills and methods will help support the central role that GIS data plays in the civic tech ecosystem?

Dylan Lorimer, product development manager for Enterprise Earth and Maps at Google, will discuss “The Changing Nature of Geo” during the mid-morning keynote.

Just before a hosted lunch, a powerhouse panel discussion will focus on “The Future of GIS/Geospatial in California: Technology, Collaboration, and Innovation”. Panelists will include:  

Scott Gregory – State of California GIO
Alex Barth – Developer, Open Data Expert – Mapbox
Dylan Lorimer – Google
Jeff Johnson – Boundless
Chris Thomas – Esri
Mark Greninger – County of Los Angeles GIO

The Tuesday afternoon line-up will feature a town hall session on “Geospatial Education, Career Development and Mentoring, where the conference will discuss some critical issues facing the development of the human element critical to GIS success with a goal of generating actionable tasks that can be used to support human resources across the state. A brief look-back at 20 year history of CalGIS conferences will precede Lightning Talks, always entertaining!

Wednesday’s education will feature twelve breakout sessions on a wide range of topics from the environment and modeling to data sharing and Federal programs. The conference will conclude with a powerhouse closing session featuring Eric Gundersen of MapBox, who will discuss open source solutions followed by the closing keynote speaker, Jack Dangermond, President of Esri, discussing  “GIS Technology Trends”.

Always an important part of the conference is the opportunity to visit with exhibitors and sponsors and network with the California GIS community during a number of conference events.

In addition, Esri, gold conference sponsor, is hosting a GeoDev MeetUp on Sunday evening and a Story Map Competition on Monday.

Review the entire conference program online at and register by April 11 in order to save $25.

Reminder to register for CalGIS 2014

CalGIS 2014 is only 3 weeks away!  CalGIS is the premier California focused GIS conference, and this year it is in Monterey (doesn’t get much better than that!))  The ESRI conference can get overwhelming, and focused specifically on one technology, while CalGIS has a very nice, small feel, with great sessions, and a great place to interact and meet GIS professionals from around the State.

Go to the CalGIS 2014 website

If you haven’t registered, do so right away!!!  CGIA members get a $25 discount too!

CGIA will also have it’s annual open board meeting on Monday, where Scott Gregory will join us for a discussion about how to enhance collaboration and communication across the State.

CGIA Sponsors the LA Geospatial Summit

CGIA recently sponsored the 4th Annual LA Geospatial Summit (click here for the program), organized by USC and hosted at the Japanese American National Museum.  It was a great event, with very interesting topics and speakers.

Here are some pictures from the event – I’ll send more when I get more.

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CGIA Extends Award nomination deadline to this Friday March 28th

We have received some very nice nominations for the upcoming CGIA Awards.  We have extended the deadline for nominations by one week to this Friday, March 28th.

Get your nominations in on – click here to go to the nominations page

Choosing a mobile development Strategy

ESRI wrote a very nice article about the various technology decisions when selecting a mobile development strategy.  It isn’t GIS centric nor esri centric, so I highly recommend it.

Choosing a mobile development strategy introduces many parameters: a team’s development skillset, the application’s required functionality, and the ease of maintenance, just to name a few.  Compared to desktop technology, mobile technology is still in its embryonic stage and rapidly evolving.   This post examines three models of mobile application types: Web, Hybrid and Native.

Finish reading:

CalGIS Webinar #7 – Parcel Data and Local Government GIS

The CalGIS Conference is one month away!  April 14-16 in beautiful Monterey, CA.  If you haven’t  registered now is the time.  We have great presentations, workshops and sponsors.  Don’t miss out!  Invite your friends and colleagues.For more information go to

Preliminary Program – great speakers, workshops, maps & meals!

Please register for CalGIS Webinar #7 March 2014 on Mar 21, 2014 11:00 AM PDT at:

CalGIS Webinar Series leading up to CalGIS 2014: This webinar will focus on Parcel Data at the local and state level and Local Government GIS data use at Los Angeles County. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

 Webinar #7 Speakers:

Nate Roth will be providing a “teaser” for the his presentation at CalGIS on the progress of a project funded by the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) to collect and standardize parcel data for the entire state.

Nathaniel (Nate) Roth is a staff GIS Programmer and Project Manager with the Information Center for the Environment at UC Davis. He has fifteen years of experience working with GIS data analysis, standardization, and spatial modeling.  His primary interests lie in the use of data and modeling to better inform land use policy formulation. In particular he has focused on the role that land use policy plays in influencing travel behavior, and the impacts of land conversion on agricultural and natural systems. In addition to his staff position, Nate is also a Ph.D. candidate in the Geography Graduate Group at UC Davis 

Mark Greninger will discuss the history of GIS collaboration within Los Angeles County, focusing on the LA County Data Portal, LARIAC imagery consortium, and how the Assessor’s change of heart on sharing parcel information has benefited the County. 

Mark Greninger is the Geographic Information Officer (GIO) for the County of Los Angeles.  He graduated from Stanford University in 1996 with a degree in Environmental Geology, but quickly became passionate about GIS and has been in the field since then, starting with command line Arc/Info.  He began his GIS career by building an Enterprise GIS System for the Environmental Protection Agency in San Francisco.  After the EPA, he moved to Los Angeles County, where he has been for over 10 years. 

He is the County’s first GIO, a position he has held for the past 5 years.  As GIO, he oversees the development, governance, and activities of the County Enterprise GIS Program and Enterprise GIS infrastructure.  He leads collaborative efforts with other jurisdictions to acquire region-wide datasets, and develop standards recommendations for adoption and implementation, in order to ensure the deployment and effective use of geography and geospatial technologies for the County’s 100,000 employees and 10 million residents.

Emilio Solano  from the LA County Assessor will discuss how GIS is used in the Assessor’s office to maintain the parcel database, map the location of property boundaries, support appraisal and assessment, including a demonstration of GIS applications used by the Assessor.

Emilio Solano is the Chief Cadastral Engineer for the County of Los Angeles.  He has been working at the Office of the Assessor for 30 years, the last 12 years managing the Mapping & GIS Services Section. In 1986 introduced computer assisted drafting to his section, in 1992 started the implementation of GIS, and by the year 2000 deployed the first GIS application at the Assessor’s website: the Property Assessment Information System, which is still in use. With a total staff of 42 engineers and clerical support, the section manages a geodatabase containing more than 2.4 million parcels, maintains over 117,000 assessor map pages and processes 25,000 parcel changes per year.

2014 CGIA Awards – Nominations open

Nominations for the 2014 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), April 14-16th in Monterey California:

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:

  • 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 Presentation 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.

Nomination deadline is March 21st, 2014.

New resource for CGIA member

I have posted a set of slides from a recent GIS Manager’s workshop in Pasadena to the member’s area here:



“GIS…integrating your community, world, life”

You’re invited ……. to the fourth annual CGIA GeoSummit at UC Merced on

Friday, March 14th,8:30 am – 3:30 pm in the California Room.

 As part of CGIA’s outreach initiative, we have again partnered with UC Merced to present a day filled with amazing speakers on the application of GIS.  This event brings together state and regional GIS experts, educators, graduate students, and faculty using GIS in their research, in addition to community members with an interest in GIS.

This year’s event features speakers from all walks of GIS to share their work and research using the latest in GIS technology to understand and address local, regional, and statewide concerns.  Speakers this year include:

Keynote Speaker:  Paul Doherty, ESRI, Disaster Response Program

Scott Gregory, GIO, State of California
Harold Feinberg, DOT, State of California
Jared Rutledge, Fresno County Epidemiologist
Sonja Thiede, Resource Analyst, Kings River Conservation District
Jeff Orton, GIS Coordinator, Paramount Citrus
Laurie Maak, Green 360
John Minkler, ACEL Charter School

In addition to the speakers, we are having a map gallery and encourage attendees to bring maps for display.  At the end of the event there will be tours of the new UC Merced Spatial Analysis and Research Center lab (SpARC).

This is a great day to spend at the beautiful UC Merced campus, all about GIS.  So whether you are new to GIS, would like to learn more about it and how it affects you, or a seasoned practitioner, this is a great event to attend.   We hope you will join us.

Admission is free, registration is required, lunch is included, and parking costs $6.00 for the day.  For further information please contact:  RuthAnne Harbison at

In addition to UC Merced, CGIA would like to thank the following co-sponsors:  the City of Merced, CentralCal URISA, NorCal URISA ,ReCCES,  HSRI, The Blum Center, UC Merced SNRI, ESRI, and SpARC.

Please register at:

CalGIS Webinar Series: Webinar #6

The CalGIS Conference is only two months away and it will be a great conference.  I encourage you to get registered for the conference soon.  We have some great sponsors coming on board and workshops are filling up.  Don’t miss out! 

For more information go to
Preliminary Program – great speakers, workshops, maps & meals!

Please register for CalGIS Webinar #6 – February 2014 on Feb 21, 2014 11:00 AM PST at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

CalGIS Webinar #6 Speakers:

Larry Orman – Executive Director Greeninfo Network – California Parks & Protected Areas GIS Data – How to Get It, How to Use It

Larry created GreenInfo Network in 1996, after 19 years as Executive Director of Greenbelt Alliance, the Bay Area urban planning and conservation non-profit. He’s a passionate believer in the importance of compelling visual images for advocacy, public education and thinking about how to solve social and environmental issues (he also remembers long hours of magic marker coloring of paper maps while in graduate school at the U.C. Berkeley Dept. of City and Regional Planning – oh, for GIS back then…). As Executive Director, Larry develops projects and partnerships, and loves explaining to people the cool things that the GreenInfo staff can do for them.

Ragi Burhum – Chief Amigo (CEO) Amigo Cloud – Interview regarding GIS development and Review of Amigo Cloud

Ragi Burhum is software developer living and working in Downtown San Francisco. Ragi worked previously on the programming for ESRI’s desktop GIS software and now manages AmigoCloud, a new start-up that offers services related for GIS on mobile devices. Ragi is an active member of the California OSGeo Chapter, a charter member of OSGeo, and speaks about GIS and location based technology at events around California.

CalGIS Webinar Series: Webinar #5

From Jeff Orton, CalGIS 2014 Chair:  “Nearly 600 of you have registered for these webinars since September.  California has a great geospatial community and I encourage you to share both the webinar and conference opportunities with your colleagues. I had no idea how these webinars would be received, and your participation and positive feedback have validated the time and energy spent on these.”

Please register for CalGIS Webinar #5 on Jan 17, 2014 11:00 AM PST at:

CalGIS Webinar #5 – Jan 2014

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Landon Blake – Odell Engineering – The business case for greater land surveyor involvement in GIS.

Landon Blake is a licensed land surveyor living and working in California’s Central Valley. He has been involved in GIS for over 10 years. He serves as a Charter Member of the OSGeo, the editor of the OSGeo Journal, and the Board Representative for the California Chapter of the OSGeo. He also works as avolunteer programmer on OpenJUMP, an open source desktop GIS program.

 Alex Barth -Mapbox -  Introduction to Mapbox and all of the exciting happenings.  (Note from Jeff: If you follow Mapbox you can see that they have a lot going on right now.  They will be actively involved in the conference this year, Eric Gundersen (CEO) will be a major speaker and Alex will teach part of the open source workshop.  If you are not familiar with the company, this is a great chance to get an introduction.)

Alex is an open data expert with years of practice in developing and implementing open data strategies and solutions on behalf of multinational organizations like the United Nations and World Bank. At Mapbox, he leads the data team to raise the availability and quality of freely accessible open data.  Before joining Mapbox, Alex was a developer and strategist for Development Seed.

Fourth Annual Los Angeles Geospatial Summit – Call for Papers

Passing this information along: (CallforPapersandPosters)

Attention: Undergraduate and graduate students in GIS and related geospatial disciplines

The Fourth Annual LA Geospatial Summit is now accepting proposals to present 10-minute papers with five-minute Q & A or posters, an important career development opportunity.

The summit is a one-day event presented by the USC Spatial Sciences Institute in collaboration with other Southern California GIS programs, to explore emerging trends in geospatial science, technology, and applications. Students will have the opportunity to hear panels and presentations by industry leaders and network throughout the day, including at the new Industry Fair and closing reception.

To apply, submit your 200-word abstract to your academic program director by Monday, January 13, 2013. Download the proposal form. The USC Spatial Sciences Institute will notify selected students by January 31, 2014.

Please click here to register!
Students must be registered to present
Student Registration Fee: $40 (includes continental breakfast, lunch, and reception)
Attendance qualifies for GISP credit

Friday, February 21, 2014
8:30-5:45 p.m.
Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Collaborating programs

California State University, Channel Islands • California State University, Long Beach • Cal Poly Pomona • Claremont Graduate University • County of Los Angeles • Loyola Marymount University • Rio Hondo Community College University of California, Los Angeles • University of Redlands

New Professional Concentration Program at UC Davis Extension

For those GIS professionals interested in continuing education, UC Davis has some new courses (the Python Programming would be good).

Here is the email I received, and here is a document with details.:  New GIS program at UC Davis Extension

As a GIS professional, you know the benefits and enrichment that come from staying connected to others in your field, and also recognize the importance of continuing education, particularly in such an evolving discipline. I’m writing to let you know that UC Davis Extension now offers a Professional Concentration in Geographic Information Systems. The program is designed to enhance the skills of experienced professionals and GIS beginners.

Additional information is available on our website along with a list of upcoming courses, including a new Python Programming for GIS course – which may be of interest to other GIS professionals and students in Los Angeles County. I’m hoping you will share the information with colleagues, students and/or on your website.

I also have attached more in-depth information about the program. Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information.

CalGIS Webinar Series: Webinar #4

Please register for CalGIS #4 on Friday, December 13, 2013, 11:00 AM PST at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Guest Speakers for Webinar #4

Amy Smith – Fehr & Peers – Using Python for Efficiency and Innovation with ArcGIS: I’d like to share some of the efficiencies I’ve discovered using Python in my own GIS workflows as well as some of the applications I’ve built using Python and the ArcGIS suite of geoprocessing tools.

Amy Smith is a GIS Specialist with Fehr & Peers, a California-based transportation consulting firm. Amy’s GIS career started with space-based radar imagery analysis in the Florida Everglades. After relocating to California from Florida, she worked with the Department of Water Resources collecting and mapping bathymetry data in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Now at Fehr & Peers, Amy works closely with planners and engineers using geospatial technologies to better understand transportation. She develops custom spatial analysis tools for web and desktop using Python.

Rob Elkins – ESRI – Desktop Product Manager – Discussion of trends and vision of recent technical investment in the next generation of Esri Desktop software, ArcGIS Professional, as well as great new functionality in our ArcMap, ArcGlobe, and ArcScene Desktop products.


Find a GIS Day event in your area

GIS Day is fast approaching – the one day a year that we get to celebrate what we do.

To find an event near you, ESRI has a GIS Day locator here:

If you are in LA County, swing by our event: :)




CalGIS (in Monterey April 2014) is a great California-focused GIS conference.  They have a number of slots available for presentation submissions – if you want to present on the work that you are doing, this is a great place to do it!