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WKU group attends Kentucky’s annual GIS conference

Each year, Kentucky’s mapping professionals meet at a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) conference to share ideas and discuss innovative technologies and solutions in GIS for disseminating geospatial data.

This year the group, which includes WKU students, faculty, staff and alumni, met Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at the Galt House in Louisville. The Kentucky Association of Mapping Professionals (KAMP) hosted the conference and has been the primary host for the past few years.

Geoscience graduate student Luke Miles and Kevin Cary, WKU GIS Director and certified GIS professional (GISP), presented WKU GIS, the Kentucky Mesonet, and Web Maps. Their presentation discussed displaying live Kentucky Mesonet data in various web map forms in an Internet browser on both desktop and mobile devices powered by GIS technologies. Web maps are dynamic maps displaying many map layers and various levels of detail on demand for any area of interest at different map scales. These types of maps open doors for on-the-fly spatial analysis and serve as a portal for gathering additional information about a particular location or area. Web maps discussed in the presentation were created using Adobe Flex, Microsoft Silverlight, and Java Script.

Scott Dobler, Instructor of Geography and Co-Coordinator of the Kentucky Geographic Alliance (KGA), presented Engaging the K-12 Esri Site License, and Call for Interested Professional Help for 2013/2014. Dobler has been very active with the KGA over the past few years and has been pivotal in making Esri’s GIS software available to Kentucky’s primary and secondary schools. He also spoke during the conference lunch on opportunities for GIS professionals participating with Kentucky’s schools.

Josh Montgomery, GIS Specialist with WKU Planning, Design & Construction (PDC), Thomas Woodall, Campus Infrastructure and Data Specialist with Facilities Management, and Kevin Cary presented Partnering with Academics to Utilize and Maintain a University Enterprise GIS.  Both Montgomery and Woodall are graduates of WKU’s GIS program majoring in GIScience. Woodall is a geoscience graduate student.

Also in attendance at the conference were Taylor Berzins, a junior majoring in GIScience, and James Austin Boys, a WKU meteorology major and GIS minor, who was recognized at the conference as the recipient of a $500 scholarship from KAMP.  There was also a huge presence of WKU graduates at the conference who have gone through WKU’s GIS programs, including the GIS Certificate and GIS Minor. Many are employed in various levels of state government agencies and GIS industries.

“GIS analytical techniques are changing the way that we interact with our surroundings in myriad innovative ways,” noted Geography and Geology Department Head David Keeling, “and WKU’s GIS program and facilities have set the standard for GIS training in the state of Kentucky and surrounding regions.”

For  information on GIS, visit http://www.wku.edu/gis or contact Kevin Cary in the WKU’s Center for GIS at (270) 745-2981 or kevin.cary@wku.edu

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