The 14th annual conference of the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) is just around the corner. Scheduled for Sept. 12-16 in Austin, Texas this conference promises to be the largest ever with a record number of attendees and sponsors already registered. NSGIC is an organization of states committed to efficient and effective government through the adoption of geospatial information technologies. Members include state geographic information system managers, mapping coordinators, plus representatives from federal agencies, the private sector, academia, and other professional organizations.
In the past 2-3 years, NSGIC has been growing, attracting more state GIS coordinators to its membership, plus much interest from federal government agencies and private sector geospatial technology companies. As evidence of this interest, 27 companies and agencies have contributed over $150,000 in sponsorship support for this year’s conference. Within this past year NSGIC hired Bill Burgess, former GIS coordinator in the Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources, as a federal liaison. Part of Bill’s job is to provide an on-site NSGIC presence at federal activities and events, and to monitor a variety of federal agency grants awarded to NSGIC to improve coordination and communication with the states. Grants awarded to NSGIC by the US Geological Survey, FEMA, NOAA, and NASA and the Federal Geographic Data Committee total over $650,000.
In addition to attracting state GIS coordinators from approximately 45 states, this year’s meeting will be host to gatherings of the regional geographers from the US Bureau of the Census, USGS state liaisons, FEMA district coordinators, state floodplain coordinators, and a variety of regional representatives from the EPA. As a member of the NSGIC Board of Directors, I will be attending the conference in its entirety, and will provide you a complete report in the next issue of the Bulletin.