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GISCorps Newsletter

 GIS Professionals Volunteering for a Better World

November 2016 
A Message from the Core Committee
Greetings Volunteers and Friends:  

It sure has been a very busy quarter for us as we have launched five new projects since August. These projects are in South Africa, Los Angeles, New York & Connecticut, Gaza, and Haiti (post Matthew). That brings the total number of projects to 194 with over 1,048 deployed volunteers.

Our volunteers have completed two projects since August. The first one involved digitization of over 20,000 damaged buildings in the path of Hurricane Matthew; this work was done in collaboration with Humanitarian OpenStreetMap (HOT). The second project was also related to OSM but in Burundi. Two volunteers developed a process to download, enhance and upload the data back into OSM.

We are pleased to report that German Whitley has joined the Core Committee of GISCorps. German has been a volunteer since 2010 and has contributed hundreds of hours to several GISCorps projects and efforts since then. More details about her contributions are included under the Profile section of the newsletter.

The 2016 Annual GIS-Pro conference was held in Toronto, Ontario Canada this year. Dianne Haley, Allen Ibaugh, and Mark Salling attended the conference and Dianne gave a presentation about GISCorps' 2015/2016 missions and activities during the annual awards breakfast.

We are thankful for your continued support of GISCorps and grateful to our volunteers for their remarkable service.

With most sincere wishes,
GISCorps Core Committee: Dave Litke, Dianne Haley, Heather Milton, Mark Salling, Allen Ibaugh, German Whitley, Shoreh Elhami

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

Deployment and Partnership News

Missions in Progress

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

Featured Projects

GISCorps Volunteers Respond to Crisis in Haiti from Hurricane Matthew
On 4 October 2016, Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 hurricane, came ashore on the western half of Haiti, causing extensive flooding, mudslides, and damage to roads, houses, and the water and electricity infrastructure. Over 500 people died, and 2.1 million people are affected. The day before the hurricane arrived, GISCorps volunteers began assisting the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) by mapping buildings and roads in the affected areas. Read more.

Burundi GIS/Mapping/OSM Project 
The request for volunteers came from  This project was originally intended to improve the quality of hospital and school data within the country of Burundi to support the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ( UNOCHA ).    The goal was to download the existing data in   OpenStreetMap   (OSM), improve it, and upload it back into OSM to be shared within the   Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) to support UNOCHA and other humanitarian response organizations. Read more .

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

Conference Announcements 

GIS-Pro 2016: URISA's 54th Annual Conference
The 2016 Annual GIS-Pro conference was held in Toronto, Canada this year. GISCorps Core Committee members Dianne Haley, Allen Ibaugh, and Mark Salling attended the conference. Dianne gave a presentation about GISCorps' missions and activities during the awards breakfast. 

Dianne was also recognized with a URISA Horwood Distinguished Service Award. This award is URISA's ultimate award for service and leadership to URISA and within the geospatial industry.

Tripp Corbin (URISA 2016-2017 President), Dianne Haley and Rebecca Somers (URISA 2015-2016 President).

Volunteer Profile 


Name: Mary ( German) Whitley

Organization:  Wildfire GIS Specialist, Deer Creek GIS - Chico, CA

GISCorps mission/Year served: DPRK Project with iMMAP/WFP, 2010-2014; NetHope Ebola Response, 2014; ArcGIS Online (AGO) Subcommittee, 2016; and GISCorps Core Committee member, 2016

Share your experience about the missionI've really enjoyed my time working on GISCorps projects.  Since I work seasonally, it is nice to have some GIS work in the off-season to keep me on my toes and make contacts I might not make otherwise.  I have learned something new on every project I have worked on. The Ebola response was particularly rewarding as it was providing support to the field teams on the ground in West Africa. We were able to get immediate feedback so we could cater our products to better meet their needs.

Anything else to share: I have made many new contacts and friends through my GISCorps' work. I'm honored and humbled to be starting a new adventure working with the Core Committee.    

To read more stories visit the Volunteer Profiles Page

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

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

Get Social with GISCorps! 

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GISCorps Core Committee

Shoreh Elhami

Dianne Haley

Allen Ibaugh

Dave Litke   

Heather Milton

Mark Salling

German Whitley


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Twitter: @giscorps   

Partner Organizations








Disaster Charter   


...and many more

URISA  Education  Calendar


  For more information, visit

2016 Charitable Giving


Did you know that next Tuesday is "Giving Tuesday"?


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

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.