November 4, 2016 All-Day Series of Talks to Focus on Geographic Information Systems

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Public Contact: John Hessler (202) 707-7223; Tim St. Onge (202) 707-9044
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The Library of Congress will celebrate GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Day on Nov. 16 with an all-day series of talks on the use of GIS technology in the federal government, the private sector, academia and K-12 schools.

The discussions will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, in the reading room of the Library’s Geography and Map Division, on the basement level of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. Tickets are not required for this event, which is free and open to the public.

A Geographic Information System is a computer system for storing, analyzing, manipulating and displaying digital data that is linked to positions on the Earth’s surface. GIS provides the modern basis for digital geographic analysis and map-making.

GIS Day—held during Geography Awareness Week (Nov. 13-19)—is an annual, global celebration of GIS technology, with events held by organizations around the world. Formally started in 1999, GIS Day aims to provide a forum to promote the benefits of GIS research, demonstrate real-world applications of GIS and foster open idea-sharing and growth in the GIS community.

The Library’s morning session will include presentations from high-school and university students and recent graduates showcasing their environmentally-focused GIS research. The morning will also feature talks on the use of GIS in the federal government and by non-profit organizations and will highlight career opportunities in the growing field of GIS.

The afternoon session will focus on GIS activities and resources throughout the Capitol Hill complex. Cartographers, GIS analysts and library technicians from the Library’s Geography and Map Division and the Library’s Congressional Research Service will discuss ongoing projects and services. These are designed to broaden the availability of geospatial data and provide GIS analysis and custom cartography to Congress. The afternoon also will feature talks from congressional aides using GIS to visualize geographic data and inform constituents of policy issues and news through digital cartography.

The program will conclude with tours of the Geography and Map Division’s collections, including rare cartographic treasures.


9 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., Opening Remarks

9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., GIS in K-12 Education

Students from Heritage High School in Leesburg, Virginia and Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia discuss their projects

9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., GIS in Undergraduate and Graduate-Level Research

“Web-Mapping Application for Historic Sites” by Charlie Wells, undergraduate at Towson University

“Spatial Analysis of Real-Estate Valuation in the City of Fredericksburg” by Andrew Johnson, graduate of University of Mary Washington with master’s in geospatial analysis

“Creating Efficiency with Geographic Information Systems at Stafford Regional Airport” by Chris Petroff, student in geospatial analysis master’s program at the University of Mary Washington

10:45 a.m. to 11 a.m., Break

11 a.m. to noon, GIS in the Federal Government and Beyond

“GIS as a Career Choice” by Nina Feldman, Library of Congress

“Careers in Geography and GIS” by Doug Richardson, American Association of Geographers

“Crowdsourcing the National Map” by Elizabeth McCartney, United States Geological Survey

Noon to 1:15 p.m., Lunch

1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., GIS at the Library of Congress

“Dynamic Indexing Project” by Amanda Brioche and Erin Kelly, Geography and Map Division

“Congressional Cartography Program and Digital Geospatial Data Preservation” by Tim St. Onge, Geography and Map Division

“Congressional Research Service (CRS) Analysis and Mapping for a Data-Driven Congress” by Jim Uzel, Calvin DeSouza and Hannah Fischer, CRS

2:15 p.m. to 3 p.m., GIS on Capitol Hill

“GIS for Congress: Use Cases and Resources for Staff” by Rebecca Steele, Office of U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR); Tim Petty, Office of U.S. Sen. James Risch (R-ID); Veneice Smith, U.S. House of Representatives Library; and Lauren Lipovic, Esri.

3 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., Concluding Remarks

3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m., Open House in the Geography and Map Division

The Library of Congress has the largest and most comprehensive collection of maps and atlases in the world, some 5.4 million cartographic items that date from the 14th century to the present time. The cartographic collections cover every country and subject, in formats ranging from early manuscripts to the most up-to-date digital geospatial data and software. The collections include the works of some of the most important surveyors and mapmakers in America, such as George Washington, Meriwether Lewis, and Richard Edes Harrison, along with archives relating to the history of geography in the United States. For more information, visit

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at, and register creative works of authorship at


PR 16-197
ISSN 0731-3527