November 5, 2009

UMN GIS Day 2009

Hi all,

It is almost GIS Day! This year, the University of Minnesota is celebrating GIS Day on Friday, November 20 to complement the 3rd Annual Borchert Lecture, given this year by Mark Monmonier. Mark Monmonier is a distinguished researcher and author known for his fascinating books on cartography and geography, including "How to Lie with Maps". For more information on Monmonier and the lecture, see the following link:

A poster session held in conjunction with the lecture, taking place at 12 noon outside the Cowles Auditorium in the HHH lobby. We encourage anyone using GIS in their research to participate and submit a poster. The poster session is open to all and aims to display some of the work going on at the U within GIS and using GIS. There are groups coming in from around the state to see the lecture and poster session, making this a great opportunity to showcase your work and get your name out there a bit.

If interested in sharing a poster, please reply, and please forward this on to whomever else you think would be interested. It should be a great event!


October 12, 2009

UofM Graduate Education Workgroups

Follow the links below to stay informed about changes to graduate education at the U.

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

I am pleased to announce the two work groups that will build on the work begun last spring by the Committee on Graduate Education. The work groups will focus on unresolved issues noted in President Bruininks' June 26, 2009 report. Work group recommendations are due to me on December 1 and will be posted at that time for public comment. For more information, see the work group on academic issues and processes and the work group on student administrative processes or visit the provost's office Web site.


E. Thomas Sullivan
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

September 17, 2009

UMN IT outage Saturday morning 25September2009

IT Outage on Saturday, October 24, 2009

I am writing to provide an update on a planned IT Outage that is scheduled for Saturday, October 24, 2009. Knowing how difficult that this might be, coming in the middle of a term, I want to send this update to you well ahead of October 24.

Last summer, we had two power-loss events in the University's primary data center (located in the West Bank Office Building). All Enterprise and University-wide applications run on servers in this data center, and many colleges and departments have servers (and systems/services) here as well. Thus, it is imperative that we increase the amount of utility and emergency power to this center so that we do not have catastrophic events. The unfortunate part is that the coordination with multiple outside groups (power companies, etc.) did not allow completion of this work at the end of the summer.

Therefore, I write to ask you to please plan for an "IT Outage" on Saturday October 24. What this means is that the systems you and your students possibly depend on (e.g., Moodle, WebVista, e-mail, MyU Portal, OneStop, etc.) may not be available on October 24. Thus, I wanted to send this update to you.

Collegiate IT directors are very aware of this situation. In their words, "A planned IT outage is far better than an unplanned one," and they understand how critical this work is to complete. Please feel free to visit with them; the more they know about your teaching and research needs planned for Saturday, October 24, the better they can plan for possible backup support.

The specifics:
This IT outage will begin at 2:00 a.m. on Saturday October 24.
All applications supported by the Office of Information Technology (OIT) are expected to be restored to service by noon on October 25.

Again, please visit with your collegiate IT director. Also, please feel free to convey any concern to me as well. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) also has created a Web site that will be continuously updated as we plan for and execute this outage.

Thank you for your understanding and planning efforts.

Ann Hill Duin
Associate Vice President and Associate CIO
Office of Information Technology

Will Craig and Carl Reed to be Inducted into URISA's GIS Hall of Fame

Please congratulate Will for this high distinction!

September 15, 2009 (PARK RIDGE, IL) - The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) established the GIS Hall of Fame in 2005 to recognize and honor the most esteemed leaders of the geospatial community. To be considered for the GIS Hall of Fame, an individual’s or an organization’s record of contribution to the advancement of the industry demonstrates creative thinking and actions, vision and innovation, inspiring leadership, perseverance, and community mindedness. In addition, nominees must serve as a role model for those who follow. URISA Hall of Fame Laureates are individuals or organizations whose pioneering work has moved the geospatial industry in a better, stronger direction. The first class of inductees included Edgar Horwood, Ian McHarg, Roger Tomlinson, Jack Dangermond, Nancy Tosta, and the Harvard Lab. Gary Hunter was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006 and both Don Cooke and Michael Goodchild joined him the following year, in 2007.

Will Craig, GISP and Carl Reed, PhD will join this esteemed group during URISA's 47th Annual Conference in Anaheim later this month.

Dr. William J. Craig is widely regarded to be one of the pioneers of urban and regional information systems and GIS. He began as system manager and project director of one of the world’s first State-wide GIS--the Minnesota Land Management Information System. Since then he has become internationally known for his work of almost 40 years with the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and for his dedication in promoting major national and global initiatives associated with data sharing, multipurpose cadastres, census data, spatial data infrastructures, public participation GIS, and the GIS code of ethics.

Professionally, he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in geography from the University of Minnesota and is a certified GIS Professional. He began his career at the University of Minnesota in 1967 and continues there today as the Associate Director of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs. He co-founded University of Minnesota’s Master of GIS professional degree program in 1997.

He has been extremely active in the promotion of geographic information and he has held numerous key appointments including: President of URISA (1986-87); President of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (1997); President of the National States Geographic Information Council (2009-10); Chair the inaugural nation GIS/LIS Conference (1988); Chair of the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Geographic Information (1992-93); Chair of the MetroGIS Coordinating Committee (2000-02); member of the Mapping Science Committee of the National Research Council (2000-2005); and member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Land Parcel Databases (2006-07).

Will Craig has been a tremendous source of momentum and guidance on the development of ethics standards for the GIS professional community. The GIS Certification Institute’s Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct are very much a product of his early work and consistent activity in this area. He has contributed to countless conferences and seminars over the past 40 years as both a committee member and participant, not only in North America but also as an invited keynote speaker in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

He has been a champion of Public Participation GIS (PPGIS), starting with Citizen Access Day at the 1994 URISA Conference and culminating in his 2002 book Community Participation and Geographic Information Systems. Between those dates and subsequently he produced numerous research articles on the nature of PPGIS. He has inspired others to take up and extend that work in their conferences and research.

His outstanding dedication and professional service have been recognized by his peers with the URISA Leadership Award in 1989, the URISA Horwood Distinguished Service Award in 1993, the Minnesota State GIS Honor Roll Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995, the University of Minnesota Academic Staff Award in 1998, and the Outstanding Service Award from the National States Geographic Information Council in 2007.

In summary, Will Craig has made an outstanding lifetime contribution to the promotion and application of geographic information to deliver better outcomes for society. Over the past four decades his activities have been such that he has developed a network of professional colleagues around the world who hold him in the highest regard. He has always had the ability to provide insightful and thoughtful comments when offering his views and he is considered to be a true gentleman of our discipline. For young professionals there could be no better role model than Will Craig and as such he is a thoroughly deserving nominee to the URISA GIS Hall of Fame.

September 4, 2009


Welcome to Fall semester 2009!
I'll be catching up on the blog now and will be regularly adding material.

Good luck in all your classes and endeavors!

January 26, 2009

China fines students for 'illegal map making'
China fines UK students for 'illegal map-making'
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
Chinese authorities have fined three British geology students for illegal map-making activities? in the politically tense Muslim region of Xinjiang, state media reported on Monday. The Xinjiang Daily said the three students from Imperial College London had been researching fault lines in the remote western region, where anger against Chinese rule triggered deadly attacks last year.
The students had permission from China's Earthquake Administration for geological research, the Xinjiang Daily said, but noted that it had not been cleared with any other government departments.
The students, who were not named in the report, were fined a total of 20,000 yuan (US$2,940) but received no further punishment, the report said. It said authorities confiscated their equipment in October after they were found collecting data in several areas, including Kashgar, the ancient Silk Road trading post where some of last year's unrest took place.
China has in recent years placed stricter controls on data-collecting activities such as map-making across the country, with state media reports voicing fears that unauthorised maps could compromise state security.

August 22, 2008

First entry

This is the first entry in the blog for information related to the MGIS graduate program. The postings come from the DGS desk and are aimed at current students, faculty, and staff. They will include information about events, courses, graduate school activities, etc.

If you have any questions, please contact me by email ( or phone (612-625-2586).