President's Message 2012

President's Message 2012

President Bruce Oswald

Bruce Oswald


Welcome to the NYS GIS Association, New York’s statewide professional geospatial organization representing the interests of its geospatial community.

I’d like to start out by thanking all those volunteers that helped us accomplish so much in 2011! In particular, I’d also like to thank both Ann Deakin and Lis DeGironimo who “retired” from the Board this year after providing the Association with significant contributions over the past few years.

Finally, I’d like to welcome our new Board Members: Amy Work from IAGT and Dale Morris from Erie County as well as our returning Board Member, Verne LaClair. We’re very excited to have them join us and are looking forward to working with each of them in 2012!

For a second straight year, the Board of Directors, the Committee Chairs and I began our new terms by engaging in a strategic planning process over the course of the last few weeks. We reviewed the results of the annual survey, comments received from members and input provided by Board and Committee Chairs on items that we needed to accomplish in 2012. The themes coming from each of these areas included:

  1. Track and engage in discussions to improve the NYSAPLS legislation
  2. Provide more professional development opportunities
  3. Co-sponsor the Geospatial Summit and the State Conference and more closely coordinate their missions
  4. Provide a conduit on communication for the NYS GIS Community
  5. Provide networking opportunities
  6. Implement GIS into K-12 education
  7. Increase support to regional GIS organizations
  8. Increase membership as well as member involvement in Association activities

This month we will again take a look at the structure of the organization and decide what changes should be made to best accomplish these themes and assign tasks to each committee. Then, we will ask each Committee to develop a work plan and budget to accomplish these tasks. We want to encourage each Association member to join a committee to assist us in completing these tasks. In order to insure that we accomplish these tasks, the Board will monitor them on a regular basis.

While 2011 was a difficult economic year for all of us in New York, the Association was able to complete a number of items. Here are just a few of the things that were accomplished:

  • A new website was developed! Let us know what you think by using the feedback link:
  • NYSAPLS included exemptions for GIS professionals for the first time in their survey legislation.
  • A sold-out Webinar was held on the use of ArcGIS and 3D Analyst to work with LIDAR data.
  • The Association co-sponsored a wonderful GeoSpatial Summit thanks to the receipt of a $5,000 grant from the US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation
  • Twitter, Facebook and Linked-In accounts were established. Members were kept up-to-date on the latest GIS news via social networks, the NYS List Serve and the web site.
  • A license to provide free Esri software to K-12 schools in NYS was signed.
  • Two panel sessions were held at Educator’s Day and NEARC to provide both educators and GIS professionals with insight as to what skills are needed to become successful as a GIS professional.
  • Two great newsletters were released! If you haven’t seen them, they can be found at:
  • The Association provided $1,000 to IAGT’s TWIST (Teaching with Spatial Technology) which is a program given each summer designed to assist K-12 teachers empowering student discovery through GIS.

The Association is proud of the accomplishments that were achieved and looks forward to your assistance in making 2012 even better!

If you are not a member, why not consider joining the Association? By doing so you will be supporting an organization that is dedicated to improving the geospatial profession in New York State and giving you a voice in our future. Please click on the green “Join” button on the home page. It’s an “easy button” for improving the future of GIS in New York!

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Association, we want to wish you all a wonderful 2012!

Bruce Oswald
NYS GIS Association President