GIS Club Meetings
GIS Pro Danielle Lee Shares Tips with the Club
"I fell head over heels for GIS' is how Danielle Lee describes her first exposure to the topic. She had graduated from UW-Madison with a BS in biological systems engineering and 'had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.' She's now a Certified Geographic Information Systems Professional working as a GIS specialist at Advanced Engineering and Environmental Science in Madison.
Lee talked with about 15 members of the GIS Club on 5/4/15 about being successful as a GIS pro. Among her suggestions...
- Constructively critique your peers' maps. You may see ways to improve the map that they can't because they're too close to it. And ask for criticism in return. It may hurt a little but it helps a lot.
- Learn to code. It'll make you more productive and valuable.
- Get good at learning new things "I'm not sure of the answer but I know that I can figure it out" is her answer when presented with a challenge.
- It's always about the people. Get involved in professional organizations and stay in touch with former colleagues and professors.
- Focus on small wins. They add up to big wins.
- Become a GISP.
There's more detail on her presentation slides.
Future Meeting - Urban Ecology Center Data Reduction
Now that we have the spatial data about the location of the invasive species reed canary grass, buckthorn, and common burdock that we collected at the Urban Ecology Center using the club's Trimble GPS receiver on 10/30/14, we need to map it.
During the next club meeting we'll refine the accuracy of the data by combining it with GPS data collected by local fixed reference stations. Then we'll produce a thematic map showing the point and polygon locations of the invasive plants on top of a six-inch orthophoto of the area. The UEC will use the map, along with other data that they've developed, to continue their work to eradicate the invasives.
The club officers are arranging a date for this meeting. Watch here and your e-mail for the date and time.
Urban Ecology Center Project Field Work Meeting Wrap-Up, 10/30/14
Members of the GIS Club collected spatial data about the location of Reed canary grass, Buckthorn, Common Burdock around the UEC's Park Pl. campus. Anne Reis, the UEC's GIS and field data coordinator, explained the eradication project and how GIS is supporting that effort. Jason Tilidetzke, a recent GIS Certificate graduate, talked about how he uses GIS and GPS in his utility engineering work.
Anne led the club on a walk to the infested areas where we collected point and polygon data. Jason demonstrated his high-end Trimble GPS receiver with centimeter accuracy.
Special thanks to Anne Reis for allowing us to use the UEC as a project and to Jason Tilidetzke for sharing his knowledge of using GIS and GPS in the real world.
UEC Prep Meeting Wrap-up, 10/23/14
Members of the GIS Club built a data dictionary for the field work that we'll do at the Urban Ecology Center during our next meeting. We tested the dictionary, which serves as a template for collecting attribute data in the field, by finding imaginary invasive species in Spaights Plaza.
Fall Kickoff Meeting Wrapup, 9/25/14
The club members offered lots of good ideas for projects and for club activities. The officers are organizing the ideas. Watch for details about the fall club activities here and on the club's Facebook group page.
If you're a registered member of the club, you'll get an e-mail with details of uncoming activities. If you're not yet a member, it's easy and free. Learn how at on the join-up page.
During our 4/28/14 meeting we continued to develop plans and approaches to fulfilling Feeding America's GIS needs.
During our 4/14/2014 meeting, Robert Koppelman, partnership development associate at Feeding America, outlined Feeding America's needs...
Main Problem: Representing data via geographic locations
1) Plot food donor locations and recognize closet agencies to needs
a. Desires interactive map ex. click on agency and see name, address, and contact
b. Create code for food pick up frequency
2) Map County wide poverty-related demographics to show potential donors the scope of need. Non-profit with little or no funding to purchase GIS software. GIS Club explored free software and Internet mapping capabilities. We brainstormed ideas of how Feeding America could be self-sustainable in their mapping needs. Robbie was encouraged to sign up for the ESRI nonprofit application (which he did on spot).
Summary We excited Robbie with the potential of GIS applications in his organization. He has great general Google mapping skills and we think with further mentoring he would be have the information, resources, and skills to meet and exceed all the needs of Feeding America.
Got a question? E-mail the club: GISClub@UWM.edu.
Milwaukee River Greenway Coalition Mapping Field Work-April 8, 2013
"Real-Life GIS" Club Meeting-March 27, 2013
Matt Richardson from Milwaukee Data Initiative: "Open Data and GIS"
Dave Horvath from ELM Consulting Group International: "Developing GIS Web and Database Applications"
Anne Ries from the Urban Ecology Center: "Adventures in Eco-Mapping"