URISA’s GISCorps has Launched its 60th Mission!

In April 2010, GISCorps, a program of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), received a request for a volunteer from one of its long-time partners, the Information Management and Mine Action Program (iMMAP). This project was GISCorps’ 60th mission!

iMMAP is assisting the Chadian Independent Electoral Commission (CENA) in Chad. The goals of this project are to georeference +/-10,000 polling stations for the entire country and then add attribute data such as type of polling station, mobile network operator available, accessibility, and time to reach from the sub-district center to that dataset. This dataset will be used for the preparation of the upcoming legislative elections due in September 2010. After developing a job description, the search for volunteers began and the recruitment will be concluded shortly.

Another recruitment effort is in progress for a project in North Korea. That project is in partnership with the World Food Program (WFP) and iMMAP. Twenty digitizers will be compiling features such as settlement points, transportation (roads, foot path, and railroads), rivers and lakes (complete with attributes) from 400 scanned map sheets. This project will be managed by two GISCorps volunteers, Chris Zumwalt from California and Carol Kraemer from Georgia. Karen Payne of ITOS will be assisting with this project as well.

Our Vietnam project in partnership with CartONG was completed in April. The overall goal of the project was to support the Vietnamese government in finding a mechanism to improve the livelihood of the poor by increasing the value of their forests through a pilot study in two regions in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. CartONG and Jason San Souci, the GISCorps volunteer, have written a detailed report which is posted on the website.

In October 2009, we were approached by Professor Michelle Thompson of University of New Orleans – Department of Planning and Urban Studies (UNO-PLUS). She requested a volunteer with expertise in ArcGIS Server. Rafael Ferraro from Virginia has been working with the UNO-PLUS team since then and has developed an IMS application which will soon be launched publicly. Screenshots of the application are posted on our website.

The project to develop several datasets for a flood stricken region in Albania is progressing, and in early April the partner agency asked for four additional volunteers who were deployed and put in direct contact with them. More information about the project is posted on the website.

With the 60th mission, the count of our deployed volunteers will reach 180 (including North Korea’s 20 volunteers). We are extremely proud of our volunteers’ selfless service and their desire to make a positive difference in the world.

For more details and to read the details of our projects, visit our website at: www.giscorps.org

The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) is a nonprofit professional and educational association that promotes the effective and ethical use of spatial information and information technologies for the understanding and management of urban and regional systems. It is a multidisciplinary association where professionals from all parts of the spatial data community can come together and share concerns and ideas. For more information, visit www.urisa.org.

[Source: URISA press release]

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