Friday, September 22, 2017

2017 North Dakota GIS Users Conference Wrap-Up

The 2017 North Dakota GIS Users Conference, held September 19-20 at the National Energy Center of Excellence at Bismarck State College was a great success!  There were 117 registered attendees with 28% from state agencies, 22% from counties, 21% from the private sector, 9% from cities, 9% from higher education, 6% from utilities, and 4% from federal agencies.

Here's a great overview video of the conference, courtesy of Dr. Joseph Kerski who was one of our awesome keynote speakers:  North Dakota GIS Users Conference Highlights

Here's the video of the two keynote presentations: Keynote Video  Dr. Kerski provided the first beginning at 5:50; Dr. Philp provided the second which starts at around 40:20.  At around 1:06:15 the discussion with the audience begins.

There is no way for a few photos or text can capture everything that went on at the conference, but what follows are just a few snippets.

A Buffet of Lessons

The Esri Hands-On Learning Lab was once again in high demand.  This is a great way to learn more about the software and have direct access to an Esri instructor. Thank you Esri for your support!

Attendees of this conference know first-hand that our keynote presenters raised the bar of excellence. Dr. Joseph Kerski and Dr. Alex Philp kicked off the conference with individual presentations which were followed by them leading an audience discussion.

Keynote Discussion

As the conference continued, both Dr. Kerski and Dr. Philp provided additional presentations. 

Dr. Philp - Geography of Disease Workshop

Augmented Reality Sandbox

The University of North Dakota and Bismarck State College each provided augmented reality sandboxes.  By simply rearranging the sand in the box with one's hands, and by hovering one's fist over the sand and then unclenching the fist, one can change the displayed contours, fill depressions with what appears to be water, and watch the flow of the "water." 

At this conference not only did we have breakout rooms for presentations and workshops, we also had presentations, exhibitors, lunch and breaks, all in the same room.  

In this age of easy to use tools and rich sets of data sources, it's extremely easy to not think about what is going on behind that OK or NEXT button.  Dr. Kerski provided the closing keynote, with a very applicable topic:

Don't Forget about Data Quality!

Our Awesome Sponsors

This conference would not have been possible without our sponsors.  Thank you!!

Links to Presentations

Thank You!

The conference co-chairs Ann Fritz and Angie Milakovic would like to thank the following individuals and groups for their help and assistance:

  • Bismarck State College for hosting the conference
  • Skip from the NDDOT for the poster in the exhibit area
  • Alison of the BSC Conference Services for taking care of the logistics

We also extend a special thanks to those who spent their valuable time preparing for the presentations, workshops, and share their ideas with the GIS community.

Conference Planning Committee

  • Angie Milakovic, Bismarck State College
  • Ann Fritz, ND Dept. of Health
  • Alison Zarr, Bismarck State College, Continuing Education
  • Bob Nutsch, ND Information Technology Dept.
  • Brad Rundquist, University of North Dakota
  • Cameon Eisenzimmer, Ackerman-Estvold
  • Dan Janes, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
  • Jim Mertz, Bolton & Menk
  • Steve Shivers, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Solli Frank, Juniper Environmental

We hope to see you at the next conference! Stay tuned!