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GIS-Day comes to Sonoma County - Global Geographic Information Systems


GIS-Day comes to Sonoma County
Global Geographic Information Systems

By Kevin Lacefield

 The largest GIS Day event in the North Bay will take place on Wednesday, November 19th from 9 am – 3 pm at the Santa Rosa Finley Center. GIS Day is a global event for users of geographic information systems to exchange information and demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society. The Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) and the North Bay GIS User Group are partnering with local and national organizations to host the November 19 educational and collaborative forum.

“GIS technology and advancements help us build safer and stronger communities,” said David Rabbitt, Chairman of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and the Sonoma County Water Agency. “GIS Day is an opportunity for information sharing that will benefit our environment, advance the industry and create new opportunities and jobs.”

Napa County GIS Manager Patrick Kota will make a special presentation focused on the recent Napa earthquake and how the county’s information technology services division responded to the emergency.

GIS Day is open to the public, and is an opportunity to demonstrate and share how GIS makes positive changes in Sonoma County through exhibits, maps, posters, presentations, and a student contest. The Water Agency’s Water education staff will be conducting watershed mapping instruction for elementary school classes in conjunction with Piner High School’s Geospatial Technology Pathway (GTP) students. The educational and student component provides an opportunity for students to showcase their work and hear presentations from GIS professionals in the area.

GIS Images of segments of land changing over time

“Maps are like campfires – everyone gathers around them, because they allow people to understand complex issues at a glance, and find agreement about how to help the lands,” said Rich Hunter, former GIS Manager with the Sonoma Ecology Center.

One of the highlights of GIS Day will be a map contest for elementary school classes and college students. The winning elementary school class will receive a pizza lunch, while creators of the top three maps in the college competition level will receive a $50, $150 and $300 prize.

Presentations, exhibits and a map gallery will include local public agencies, non-governmental organizations and private organizations, including Sonoma State University, the City of Santa Rosa, Baseline Consulting, Mapistry, Sonoma Ecology Center and many more. Each presenter has the opportunity to unveil new techniques and applications to further the GIS industry.

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Santa Rosa Finley Center
2060 W College Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

For more information please visit 

or contact Kevin Lacefield with the County of Sonoma at ,

Alex Young with the Sonoma Ecology Center at 

or Trae Cooper with the City of Petaluma at