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URISA’s GISCorps provides short-term volunteer GIS services to organizations and communities in need around the world. Since 2003, GISCorps has launched hundreds of missions supporting nonprofit organizations and disaster response in 80+ countries. From humanitarian relief to public health to conservation, GISCorps volunteers do GIS for Good where it’s needed most.

GISCorps is a Program of Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA):

  • URISA Annual Conference, Long Beach, California.
    October 2001
    October 2001URISA Board Member Ed Wells, invites Shoreh Elhami to serve on URISA’s International Task Force (ITF).

  • ITF Taskforce Report
    September 2002
    September 2002Shoreh submits a report to the ITF task force on possible roles that ITF could take. GISCorps and its roles were listed in that document.

  • October 2002 URISA Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois.
    October 2002
    Shoreh shares the idea with more URISA members including Sanjiv Gandhi, Martha Lombard, Tom Conry (the Core Committee members at the time) and with several GIS Industry leaders such as Jack Dangermond.

  • GISCorps Summary Page
    November 2002 – March 2003
    Shoreh and Ed work on a summary page on GISCorps and share it with several Board and general members of URISA.

  • First GISCorps Website Launched
    April 2003
    URISA’s staff creates the GISCorps web site under URISA’s main site. The on line Volunteers Application form is débuted and Shoreh signs up as the first volunteer!

  • Friends of the GISCorps (FOG) database
    May 2003 - July 2003
    Shoreh starts compiling a database of Friends of the GISCorps (FOG) and volunteers. By July 2003, 26 volunteers have joined the GISCorps. The first article on GISCorps is published in URISA’s Newsletter.

  • ESRI Users Conference, San Diego California.
    July 2003
    Shoreh presents the project to an enthusiastic audience at a users meeting arranged by ESRI. Many of the attendees are already GISCorps volunteers, such as Juna Papajorgji. Shoreh also presents the GISCorps to three other user groups and meets with several GIS Industry leaders. Arc-News publishes a news bit on GISCorps.

  • Donation from University of Florida, Department of Urban and Regional Planning
    August 2003

    University of Florida, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, makes the first donation to the GISCorps idea, via Juna Goda Papajorgji.

  • Donation from Alachua County, Florida, Property Appraisers
    September 2003

    Alachua County, Florida, Property Appraisers, makes the second donation to the GISCorps idea, via the Honorable Ed Crapo.

  • GISCorps Overall Plan
    October 2003
    October 2003Shoreh, Ed, Juna, Martha, Sanjiv, and Tom work on an overall plan for GISCorps in a power point slide show. This is presented to URISA’s Board of Directors on October 15th. The Board of Directors unanimously endorses the GISCorps as an initiative under URISA’s auspices. In the following days using the power point slides, Shoreh and Juna discuss GISCorps with the conference audience. The number of volunteers increases to 41.

  • Core Committee of GISCorps formed
    November 2003

    November 2003The Core Committee of GISCorps is formed. The Core Committee is charged with developing a Strategic Plan (SP) and an Operation Plan (OP). Committee members are:

    Shoreh Elhami, GIS Director, Delaware County Auditor – Adjunct Instructor, Ohio State University, City and Regional Planning Department

    Juna Papajorgji, GIS Manager, Alachua County – Adjunct Instructor, University of Florida, Urban and Regional Planning Department

    Ed Wells, GIS Consultant, Geo-Decisions, Washington D.C.

    Martha Lombard, URISA Past President – President, Spatial Focus, Birmingham, AL

    Tom Conry, GIS Manager, Fairfax County, VA

    Sanjiv Gandhi, IT Manager, City of Orlando, FL

  • Strategic and of Operational Plan reviewed
    January 2004

    A draft of the Strategic and of Operational Plan is reviewed by Elaine Whitehead (former URISA Board member) and by Dan Parr (URISA President).

  • GISCorps Core Committee elections
    April 2004
    The GISCorps Core Committee elects Shoreh Elhami as its Chair and Juna Papajorgji as its Co-chair. Martha Lombard presents the Strategic Plan and the Operational Plan draft to URISA’s Board.

  • GISCorps Website launches
    June 15, 2004
    June 2004First day on the net for GISCorps.

  • BAAMA Chapter of URISA
    December 2004
    BAAMA Chapter of URISA , in California, endorses GISCorps.

  • Alberta Chapter of URISA endorses GISCorps.
    March 2005

    March 2005Post 2005 activities are included in “Our Projects” webpage.

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