President's Message 2023

Mary Susan Knauss, GISP, MSIS, President NYS GIS Association

July 25, 2023

Greetings All,

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to rally round and attend this year’s NYGeoCon, Monday, September 24th, thru Wednesday, the 27th, at the Desmond Hotel in Albany. Let’s gather to see our friends and colleagues. There will be no better way for us to share and assess the last few metamorphic years and look to the future.

The Board is pleased to report that we’ll be voting on changes to the Association Bylaws at the annual meeting held at the NYGeoCon from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesday, 26 September 2023. These are designed to strengthen the Board and add additional talent and focus. We are recommending that the size of the Board be increased to six (6) Directors. This will create two (2) new Director positions with the alternate year terms currently in place. It is also proposed that the requirement that past presidents wait two (2) years before running for Director be removed. The most forward-looking change is the creation of a new position: Information Technology Officer (ITO). The back office of the Association needs rejuvenation. This appointed position will focus on achieving that goal.

As members, you find yourself equipped with the most powerful tools and concepts of this age and you want to put them to maximum effect. What to do? Leverage the Association and join a committee, better yet, become a Committee Chair. This is a watershed moment and with the leadership of the ITO, we mean to build a better member space for collaborative work. We have 700 followers on LinkedIn and 400 active members. What does that tell us? Social media was not even imagined twenty years ago when the Association was formed. Step up to be Communications Co-Chair with Max Villanueva or consider being a Chair for the Membership Committee. Being a part of a collaboration advances careers and strengthens your network.

Professional Associations like ours are where consensus happens. Our current Legislative Committee focus now is to encourage government to use the new and improved tools at their disposal. At the 2023 NYSAPLS conference, Dawn McCall, our President-Elect, organized a roundtable of surveyors and GIS professionals. Thanks to her efforts, a new collaboration has been started with the Surveyors to encourage the State to leverage GIS to improve access to essential spatial records. At this year’s NYGeoCon, we will be continuing and broadening that roundtable discussion, exploring how shared services can empower frictionless information flow among all stakeholders. This Roundtable will be held on Monday afternoon, September 24th, and is open to the public.

There is another technology convergence on the way: GIS, CAD (both flavors), and BIM that uses cloud services rather than the desktop. It scales. Solutions that were unimaginable in the near past are trivial now, from mylar to field maps in less than twenty years. It is breathtaking really. We all know that the power of GIS can make almost any problem simpler to solve and now it is time to spread the word. This year, invite a colleague from another organization to join you at the NYGeoCon.

Let’s bang the drum, make some noise, and have some fun. There is so very much to do.

Best Regards,
Mary Susan (Suzie) Knauss, MSIS GISP
President, NYS GIS Association
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