Fall 2008

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

2008 Conference
From the Chair

Intro to Scholarship Winners
Polaris Winners

Drive to Excellence
More Photos Online

Governor's Council
FY09 Appointments
Annual Report
Commendation Winners
Rochester Meeting

MetroGIS Geocoder

Hugo Tornado Response
New Brighton Housing

Higher Education
Chimp Behavior

Rep. Walz Honored
In Memorium: Phil Kelley

Other Places
NSGIC Addressing White Paper
Online Addressing Seminar
GIS Associations Unite



Registration for the Annual Conference is Now Open!
By Kari Geurts, 2008 Conference Chair

It’s time to register for the 18th annual Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium Conference and Workshops. To register please visit our website at The Preliminary Program is in the mail, and you can review or download the program from our website.

The Conference Planning Committee is excited about this year’s event. We are offering three new workshops this year: Crime Mapping, Oracle Database and .NET Programming. There will be seven full tracks of concurrent sessions and the largest poster exhibition in years. As always there will be many great opportunities to network and socialize at the entertainment events.


  • Wednesday, October 1
    • Workshops
    • Welcome reception at Goonie’s Comedy Club
  • Thursday, October 2
    • Opening plenary: Navigating the Disaster: The Application of Geospatial Technologies to Emergency and Disaster Response
    • Concurrent sessions
    • Scholarship competition
    • Awards luncheon
    • Exhibit hall and vendor reception
    • Silent and live auction
    • 5K fun run/walk
    • Beer tasting
    • Birds-of-a-Feather sessions
  • Friday, October 3
    • Concurrent sessions
    • Closing lunch and plenary: From the Prairie to the Sea
    • Member meeting with door prizes


Workshops: The event begins with workshops held in the Mayo Civic Center. Come to the Grand Lobby to register, receive your program materials, and enjoy a continental breakfast. Or join us for lunch at 12:15 and attend an afternoon workshop. With a broad offering of hands-on and lecture-style workshops on a variety of topics, we hope that everyone will find something of interest.

Welcome Reception: That evening, be sure to stop by Goonie’s, located just two blocks west of the Civic Center. The Consortium will again host an evening social hour with complimentary appetizers and comedy! Please join us for this fun and free entertainment option.


Opening Plenary: Conference registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and we lead things off with a great plenary session. Talbot Brooks, Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at Delta State University, will address the conference and speak about Navigating the Disaster: The Application of Geospatial Technologies to Emergency and Disaster Response.

Concurrent sessions begin immediately following the keynote. Seven tracks of concurrent sessions run throughout the conference schedule, providing information on a vast array of GIS/LIS-related topics. Learn how others have implemented solutions to issues you might be having, find out about new technology advances, and listen to recent research in a field of interest.

Scholarship Competition: For the third year, outstanding students from across the state will be competing for cash prizes in a dedicated scholarship track. Watch for the competition entries among the student track presentations and in the poster gallery.

Awards Lunch: The Thursday lunch program includes the presentation of the Consortium’s three Polaris mid-career awards as well as two Governor’s Commendation awards to outstanding GIS projects.

5K Fun Run/Walk: Get outside and get moving! Join us for an "all fun – no competition" 5K on Rochester’s city trail system. The paved route winds along the Zumbro River and around Silver Lake. Set your own pace – running "buddies" and topics of conversation will both fall into place. Families are welcome. All participants registering by September 22nd will receive a T-shirt commemorating the inaugural event.

Exhibit Hall, Vendor Reception and Auction: The exhibit hall will be open throughout the conference, and vendors will be on hand to share their latest technologies and services. This year’s silent and live auction will be held during the vendor reception, following the concurrent sessions. Conference attendees are encouraged to contribute to the silent auction and bid on auction items as all proceeds from this event benefit the Consortium’s scholarship program. You can sample the hors d’oeuvres during the reception as you make your way through the hall and the poster gallery, where you can meet and talk with the poster presenters and exhibitors.

Beer Tasting and Birds-of-a-Feather Sessions: Join us in the Galleria Ballroom at the Radisson Plaza Hotel for the annual beer tasting. Home brewers are welcome to bring samples to share. Tickets can be purchased at the door. All proceeds from this event support activities to foster and recognize exceptional up-and-coming GIS professionals. Across the hall from the beer tasting, the free concurrent Birds-of-a-Feather (common interest groups) sessions will be taking place.


Sessions and Closing Plenary: The conference concludes with concurrent sessions in the morning followed by lunch and the closing plenary session. Our closing lunch will include an awards presentation to this year’s student scholars. Closing the conference will be Todd Foster and Scott Miller, Hudson Bay Expedition, presenting their inspirational talk From the Prairie to the Sea, the story of a historic canoe trip. Following the lunch will be the Consortium’s brief annual member meeting and awesome door prizes. You must be present to win!

It should be a great conference with quality workshops, engaging sessions, full exhibit hall, quality entertainment and an excellent opportunity to reconnect with friends and acquaintances. Please pass on the word about the conference to others who may not get our materials directly or may be interested in attending.

To register, visit our website at: While there, you can learn more about the conference, make hotel reservations, and contribute to the silent auction. Thanks to each and every one of you who support the Consortium, and we hope to see you all in October!

For more information, please contact Kari Geurts at or 651-259-5275.