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Home   About   Events   Membership   Resources   Contact Us Feb. 28, 2012

Why I belong to GITA
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By Dr. Robert Austin, Past-President

My involvement with GITA began in 1984 when the organization was known by its former name: AM/FM International. For almost three decades, I have found GITA to be a major source of information about technological innovations, provided in a vendor-neutral context. Perhaps more importantly, I have found GITA's conferences, workshops and other educational forums to be an important source of information about the sociology of GIS. As GIS technology has evolved, the focus of the industry has shifted to enterprise adoption, user acceptance and related issues. My participation in GITA events and exposure to GITA communications have helped me learn about how others have faced these issues and resolved them. (Why make the same mistakes as others when you can learn from them… and then make new mistakes?!)

When I attended my first conference, I was a university professor on sabbatical. Since that time, I have worked in the private sector and more recently for local government. My work in each of these sectors of the economy has benefited from the networking and information sharing opportunities made possible by GITA. The broad reach of GITA into each of these sectors confirms its role as the preeminent professional organization for members of the GIS industry.

Since 2010, it has been my pleasure to represent GITA and our industry on the National Geospatial Advisory Committee. GITA's presence (which also includes former president Dave DiSera) on the NGAC has ensured that GITA's membership has a voice in federal government decision-making that affects us all. And GITA has communicated these concerns, including our positions on workforce development and best practices, to the highest levels of government.

These are some of the reasons that I belong to GITA — and why I believe that you, too, should consider GITA membership.

Dr. Robert Austin is the Manager of Enterprise Applications Integration in the Department of Technology and Innovation at the City of Tampa, Fla.

Committee gears up for the 2012 GIS for Oil & Gas Conference
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The 2012 GIS for Oil & Gas Conference Committee will meet in Houston on March 5-6 to begin developing the educational program for this year's conference and exhibition. The conference dates are Oct. 22-24. There are already some changes on tap for the conference: The committee will be discussing expansion of the program to include more exploration and production material, as well as presentations designed to attract utility pipeline distribution practitioners. In addition, the conference moves to a brand new venue, the Hotel Intercontinental near Houston's famous Galleria. Jay Smith, MJ Harden/Geoeye, who will serve as conference chair again this year, is optimistic about these changes.

"I'm very pleased with the selection of the Intercontinental as the venue for the 2012 Oil & Gas Conference. It's a great facility and will offer us more flexibility in exhibit space and meeting rooms," he said. "I think people attending the conference will really enjoy how all the parts of the event flow together. We're looking forward to building upon last year's educational program with an even stronger collection of key topics and presentations." More information about the 2012 conference will be made available in the near future.

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Charlotte GECCo workshop venue announced
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The Geospatially Enabling Community Collaboration (or GECCo) workshop scheduled for March 15-16 in Charlotte, N.C., will be hosted by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities at their Lee S. Dukes Water Treatment Plant in suburban Huntersville. Sincere thanks to Rob Bailey at CMU for arranging for the use of their excellent facility for the upcoming GECCo. The Charlotte GECCo workshop will feature presenters from the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., as well as several local/regional speakers who will highlight their organizations' approach to leveraging geospatial technology for emergency response. Attendees will also participate in a tabletop exercise specially designed for the area by the GITA GECCo team. More information is available from the Charlotte GECCo website.

Should all GIS users learn to code?
Directions Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The number of people using GIS software today dwarfs the number of people writing the code behind it. Should those end users know at least a little about programming? Directions Magazine Executive Editor Adena Schutzberg suggests they should. More

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4 cities that get it — and 3 utilities with smarts
Smart Grid News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For countries around the globe that will be scrambling to accommodate an additional 2.7 billion people in the world's cities by 2050, Lux Research has cited four initiatives as among the most replicable models. The report names Amsterdam, Stockholm, Colorado's SmartGridCity and Portugal's PlanIT Valley as model cities of the future. More

10 more Twitter add-ons for the business user
GIS User    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sure Twitter is cool ... but what about making it even cooler and more useful? Here's a sampling of 10 add-ons apps that can make your Twitter experience even more productive for your business. More

How important are land boundaries?
Vector 1 Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Boundaries around the globe between countries and other legal entities are constantly in a state of change. Contrary to the widely held view that most countries are well surveyed and their boundary and territory is established — that is not the case. Debates, conflicts and tensions continue to arise where boundaries are involved. More

Out in front: The fire next time
GPS World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
We have turned back the LightSquared effort to establish a threatening beachhead adjacent to GPS spectrum bands. Having expended many millions, we can now return to our business, secure in having demonstrated both our rights and our rightness. ... No. We cannot afford to do that. More

Rapid satellite imagery service on way
United Press International    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A rapid-response satellite imagery service for crisis situations could be available as early as this spring from two U.S. companies. The service from Virginia's Esri, a geographic information software company, and GeoEye, another Virginia company, will enable more timely crisis response to disaster response. More

Websites help home buyers, renters hone their searches
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Among new Internet-based real estate ventures to pop up in recent months is one that enables house hunters to simultaneously search for just about every lifestyle criteria imaginable. Another protects would-be tenants from unwittingly renting from a struggling owner in the midst of a foreclosure. More

Smart grid 2.0 means real-time pricing, data analytics and more
Green Tech Grid    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
How do we know when we've passed from smart grid 1.0 into smart grid 2.0? Greentech Media just wrapped up a webinar on the topic and will be sharing the slides, audio and Q&A from the session in short order. In the meantime, here's a cogent definition of terms from Chris King, chief regulatory officer at eMeter. More

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