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Letter to GITA members

Dear GITA members:

We appreciate your patience as we have transitioned from a full-time paid staff to an all-volunteer organization. After tremendous amounts of work by members such as yourselves, I am quite pleased to announce a "Big Picture" vision for GITA as an organization going forward. The following is a summary of what we hope to provide both to you, our valued members, and to the industry at large:
  • GITA is a non-profit professional association dedicated to providing geospatial education and professional development to its members, with special emphasis on the electric, water/wastewater, oil and gas, transportation, emergency response and telecommunications industries.
  • Educational services will be delivered through:
    • Live webinars and training sessions
    • Published white papers and approved trade articles
    • Recorded lectures and webinars
    • A newsletter
    • Product and services reviews (think Underwriters Laboratory for geospatial)
    • Research papers and services
    • Specialty conferences and related events, such as the Oil and Gas Pipeline Conference
    • Industry recognition for excellence (scholarship and awards)
  • Our services will be delivered primarily online (save for conferences) and created/conducted by volunteers.
  • We shall be organized by functional committees coordinated by an executive management team (Board of Directors)
  • Our value propositions (why people should join and participate) are:
    • GITA will serve as a registrar and record activities in support of GISP certification and other professional development reports/benchmarks conducted using association materials
    • GITA will serve as an unbiased artibiter and reviewer of products and services (example: we will compare or review vendor-supplied data sources for a particular industry or perhaps provide a comparison of services offered by firms working in a particular industry) — these will not be "this is best" types of reviews, but rather analysis for completeness, accuracy and similar — users still decide who/what is best ...
    • GITA will conduct relevant industry research
    • GITA members will gain access to geospatial products and services at a discount by using our Business Affiliate members
    • GITA members will have direct access to industry leaders engaged in NGAC, FGDC and GISCI as GITA holds representative seats within these organizations
    • Our educational content will be first rate, extensive in coverage, and highly available We hope that you will join us in re-committing to GITA as an organization. We are listening and committed to your professional development. Additional information about key personnel and organizational structure will be posted to our web site in the coming weeks.
Please also note that Dr. Sheila Wilson will present our next webinar about the GIS Certification Institute and the value of GISP on Tuesday, March 26 at 2 p.m. CST. Additional information will follow in next week's NewsHub.

Respectfully submitted,

Talbot J. Brooks, President
Geospatial Information and Technology Association
president@gita.org
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Share your opinion on geo-information products
UN-SPIDER
How beneficial are geo-information products for disaster and risk management? Assessing the operational as well as strategic impact of geoinformation (e.g. risk maps, early warning, damage maps) is a central question in this context. It can only be solved by integrating the knowledge and experience of end-users involved in emergency response, disaster preparedness or risk reduction activities, on an operational or strategic level.

In the context of the VALID project, the project team has issued a survey which is online on http://www.un-spider.org/validsurvey. We invite you to share with us your opinion on up to ten geo-information products that have been shortlisted in a previous user survey. If you wish to give your opinion in this user appraisal, kindly do so until April 11.

VALID is an ongoing project jointly carried out by UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER and the Joint Board of Geospatial Information Societies. The objective of VALID is to produce a publication to give evidence of the benefits which can be realized by applying geoinformation to disaster and risk management. If you have any questions about the VALID project and the user appraisal, feel free to get in touch with Dr. Robert Backhaus.

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The FGDC has initiated a process to develop a new strategic plan for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. We plan to work collaboratively with partners and stakeholders in the geospatial community to develop a new strategy that includes a set of goals and objectives for the continued and sustainable development of the NSDI.

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When will we see the first true GIS app? Who will build it? What will it do? Can it replace the desktop and should it? What can we learn about the future from the current crop of tablets and broadband availability? Do current retina displays and $999 apps mean GIS will come to the tablet?

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Takeaways, ArcGIS and mobile developer tips, photo gallery and tricks from #DevMeetUp Colorado
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Monitoring the ionosphere with integer-leveled GPS measurements
GPS World
It's not just for positioning, navigation and timing. Many people do not realize that GPS is being used in a variety of ways in addition to those of its primary mandate, which is to provide accurate position, velocity and time information. The radio signals from the GPS satellites must traverse the Earth's atmosphere on their way to receivers on or near the Earth's surface.
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Smart grid analytics: Lessons learned by Baltimore Gas & Electric
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By Jesse Berst: I've been chatting recently with folks at Accenture and Baltimore Gas & Electric to learn how they are currently collaborating to create some intriguing analytics applications. I'm preparing for an upcoming data analytics webinar on March 26. At Smart Grid News, we label our webinar series "Lessons from the Real World" because we focus on practice, not theory.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

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Size matters in spatial and critical thinking
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There's a new geography education app out for iOS, writes Kelly Johnston from the University of Virginia Scholars Lab: I recently joined with map-minded folks to build GeoTron 5000 to put the power of comparative geography and spatial literacy in hand. Choose two places and the GeoTron 5000 robot spins up two maps to show exactly how those places compare.
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NASA's second annual international space apps challenge
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NASA has announced this year's International Space Apps Challenge, the second annual event aimed at solving practical problems in space and on Earth. The challenge will run in 75 cities around the world, and NASA has curated over 50 challenges for participants to tackle. There will also be a "make your own challenge" option for those who already have a great idea that doesn't fit into the NASA-curated parameters.
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Researcher: Hackers can cause traffic jams by manipulating real-time traffic data
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Teachers can give technology byte
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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