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GISCorps Newsletter

 GIS Professionals Volunteering for a Better World

August 2017 
A Message from the Core Committee
Greetings Volunteers and Friends:  

We are pleased to bring you the August edition of our newsletter. Since May, three projects have been completed and two new projects have been launched, that brings the total number of launched projects to 204 with 1,348 volunteers deployed to 77 countries.

Three completed projects included an outstanding mission at the request of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to assist in eradication of Polio. A total of 274 volunteers from 20 countries digitized nearly 600,000 building sites in two provinces over a period of 5 weeks. In the second project, our volunteer helped determine the most suitable branch locations for the Northern Illinois branch of the Girl Scouts. The third involved design and implementation of an ArcGIS Online landing page and creation of several web maps and story maps for a US based nonprofit organization.

Our thoughts are with our volunteers and their families in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. We anticipate a number of projects and we will deploy as quickly as possible. Stay tuned, volunteers!

In other news, we are excited to report that Carol Kraemer has returned to the Core Committee of GISCorps. Carol has been a GISCorps volunteer since 2010. She has been involved in a number of projects and activities including the DPRK, NetHope, and an amazing member of the Core Committee for 3 years. Welcome back Carol!

We had a great display and session at the Esri User Conference again this year in the Sustainable World Community exhibit (see a report later in this newsletter). It was great to catch up with volunteers and friends.

Hope to see you next at URISA's GIS-Pro Conference in Jacksonville, Florida from October 23-26. We have a number of activities planned for GIS Pro 2017, and we hope you will be able to join us in Jacksonville!

Thank you once again for your continued support of URISA's GISCorps. We are grateful to you and our volunteers for their remarkable service.

With most sincere wishes,

GISCorps Core Committee: Dave Litke, Dianne Haley, Allen Ibaugh, German Whitley, Leslie Zolman, Shoreh Elhami, Carol Kraemer

P.S. Please email  if you wish to be removed from this list.

Deployment and Partnership News

Missions in Progress
A total of six missions are currently in progress. Detailed accounts of these projects are posted on our Ongoing Projects Page.  

Featured Projects

Mapping Regions of DRC to help WHO's Global Polio Eradication Initiative
In late May 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) approached GISCorps about conducting a short-term time-sensitive crowdsourcing project for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The Initiative is a public-private partnership led by national governments with five partners - Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Read more about this project. .
Read quotes from some of the project volunteers here.

Site Optimization Analysis for the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois (GSNI)
This project was developed to enable the GSNI to assess their current membership and how their existing locations serve those members. The GSNI wanted to determine how to best serve current members and potential new members through their facilities. They needed maps and locational analyses to assist in the review of current locations versus new locations so they could serve the population of the area more effectively. The project was completed by volunteer Jon Schwichtenberg.  Read more here .

Volunteers assisting Feeding America - Riverside/San Bernardino Branch
GISCorps solicited volunteers Jason Harshman and Marc Guidry to assist Feeding America Riverside/San Bernardino (FARSB) in utilizing the Esri ArcGIS Online (AGO) platform to host and share geospatial content and applications. This included the development of their AGO portal, administration of the portal, creating content, and developing applications. This effort provided FARSB with an AGO portal that they can build upon with more content, apps, and services to share with their members.  Read more  here .

Read more about other completed GISCorps projects here.  
Read more about projects in progress here.  

Conference Announcements 

Esri's International User Conference
As in previous years, GISCorps held a number of events at Esri's International User Conference in San Diego in July: 
  • Tuesday-Thursday: GISCorps had a booth in the Exhibit Hall, in the area for nonprofits called Sustainable World Community. During those three days, many volunteers, friends and new visitors stopped by at our booth. This year, David Litke coordinated volunteers' efforts during the exhibit.
  • Thursday:Dave Hansen presented the project that he has been managing for the past year. The session topic was: "Applying Participatory GIS Approaches for Optimal Development Outcomes".
  • Thursday: Many of our volunteers and friends attended the Annual Presentation/Meeting and shared their experiences with the audience. Photos of all events are posted here.
GIS-Pro 2017: URISA's 55th Annual Conference
URISA's 2017 GIS-Pro conference will take place in Jacksonville, Florida this October. As usual, there will be GISCorps gatherings and presentations. Check out the conference program and start planning your trip to JAX!

Volunteer Profile 

Project Name/Description WHO DRC Polio Eradication Crowdsourcing

Number of Participating Volunteers: 274

Number of Participating Countries:  20

Final Outcome:  588,797 structure points mapped in 5 weeks.

Read quotes from participating volunteers.

Thank you for your continued support of URISA's GISCorps!

In This Issue
Message from the Core Committee
Featured Projects
Volunteer Profiles

2017 Charitable Giving


Please include GISCorps in your charitable giving plans to keep this volunteer program running for years to come.   Donations are tax

Get Social with GISCorps! 

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URISA's GISCorps Core Committee

Shoreh Elhami

Dianne Haley

Allen Ibaugh

Carol Kraemer

Dave Litke   

German Whitley

Leslie Zolman


Contact us: 




Twitter: @giscorps   

Partner Organizations








Disaster Charter   


...and many more

URISA  Education  Calendar

  For more information, visit

Volunteer Database

It is critical to our operations that our volunteer database is as up-to-date as possible, since it is this database that we query to find volunteers suitable for deployment on a mission.

If you have not updated your record recently, please do so by logging in here.

News from Friends of GISCorps 


Nonprofit Organization Program  


Disaster Response and Assistance


ArcGIS Online for Organizations

Shopping for GISCorps' Stuff?

Do you find yourself in need of a new T-shirt, coffee mug, ball cap or tote bag? Do you want to help promote GISCorps' good work? Well, you are in luck! You can now find various GISCorps items at our online shop.