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  • 23 Sep 2013 12:08 PM | Anonymous member

    NEURISA 2013 Awards

    Press Release


    The New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 NEURISA Awards.  The awards were presented at GIS-Pro 2013 (URISA's Annual Conference) in Providence, RI on September 18, 2013.

    NEURISA Special Achievement Award

    Criterion: Through the use of geospatial or other information technologies, the individual has made a significant contribution that greatly enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization; or realizes a significant return on investment; or greatly improves the quality of services. This contribution may be a single act or a cumulative performance.

    2013 Recipient - Michael Howser

    Congratulations to Michael Howser, UCONN - University Libraries - Map and Geographic Information Center (MAGIC), for receiving the 2013 NEURISA Special Achievement Award!  Michael has transformed the way GIS data is organized and made available in CT.  He has facilitated the growth and innovation that has transformed CT’s Map and Geographic Information Center (MAGIC) over the past five years.  He has had a role in creating a seamless statewide 1934 aerial data set of CT.  He helped to establish the CT State Data Center, a collaboration of academic and state organizations that serve as a liaison to the US Census.  He has helped to digitized a wealth of historical information through a massive scanning and metadata project of over 200,000 documents.  The comprehensive collection of digital GIS datasets available through MAGIC has exploded in the past five years, yet still remains easy to navigate and simple to use.

    NEURISA Superior & Dedicated Service Award

    Criterion: A NEURISA member or a member of the NEURISA Board of Directors who has made a significant contribution to the organization and its activities.

    2013 Recipient - Neil MacGaffey

    Congratulations to Neil MacGaffey, past NEURISA President and Assistant Director at MassGIS, for receiving NEURISA’s Superior and Dedicated Service Award for 2013.

    Mr. MacGaffey exemplifies the meaning of superior and dedicated.  He was a key player helping to sustain NEURISA when it was struggling to survive.  He understood the importance of establishing and documenting procedures and protocols necessary to mature and sustain the organization.  He realized that leadership starts with a “vision”, but is nothing without hard work, team building, speed and authenticity.  He understood the importance of recruiting good people to the Board.

    • Feng Yang (NEURISA Past-President): “He dedicated a great deal of his time to running this organization for many years. He was instrumental in laying down the foundation for this organization to grow to where it is now.  NEURISA benefited from his vision, excellent communication and outreach skills, his ability to identify talented people, his management skills and his solid technical understanding of the profession.”

    • Paul Samara (NEURISA Past-President): “He is the consummate collaborator and defender of both needed and defined processes. He has been unwavering with his commitment to this organization and his efforts have been nothing short of stellar.  He exemplifies this award and I cannot think of any person more deserving!”

    More than anyone else he brought discipline, focus, and dedication to NEURISA.  He was (and still is) committed to making NEURISA a great organization!

  • 06 Sep 2013 11:11 AM | Anonymous member

    Dear NEURISA Member,

    GIS-Pro 2013 is only 1 week away (Sept 16-19)!  Don’t have the time to attend the entire conference?  No problem.  URISA is offering discounted one-day registrations for NEURISA members (if you’re getting this email you’re a NEURISA member)!

    Tuesday or Wednesday are the best options for one-day registrants.

    • If you register for Tuesday, there is the GovGirl keynote, presentation luncheon, access to the exhibition hall, networking reception, 18 breakout sessions, and NEURISA’s evening social at Rí Rá Irish Pub (free drinks/food/prizes)!

    • If you register for Wednesday, there are 12 breakout sessions, the UNH keynote, the awards breakfast, and the main GIS-Pro social event.  You can attend the sessions on Thursday morning too!

    Here is the schedule:

    Register online to take advantage of your NEURISA discount.

    We’ll see you there!

    New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA)
  • 22 Aug 2013 1:45 PM | Anonymous member

    The New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA) is excited to help bring GIS-Pro 2013 ( to Providence, RI this year (September 16-19).  GIS-Pro is an excellent opportunity to reinforce or introduce your company’s presence to GIS professionals who help drive the adoption of technology within their organizations.

    NEURISA is looking for sponsors to help us host a fun GIS-Pro evening social at Ri Ra’s Irish Pub ( in downtown Providence Tuesday night (September 17th).  We’ll have live entertainment, food, free drinks, and raffle prizes for GIS-Pro participants.  It will be an excellent opportunity for GIS-Pro attendees to mingle and network in a relaxed setting, and an opportunity for your company to showcase its presence and support.

    Your company can be a sponsor for only $250.  As a sponsor you’ll receive the following benefits

    • You will be identified (logo) as a sponsor on the event flyer, which will be inserted into the GIS-Pro program.

    • You will be recognized for your support during the event.

    • You will receive a list of all event attendees (name, organization, email).

    Please contact Diana Maties ( or myself ( if your company would like to sponsor this event or if you would like more details.

    Thanks again for your support.

    Steve Sharp


    New England Chapter of URISA
  • 17 Jul 2013 7:51 AM | Anonymous member

    The New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA) is dedicated to providing quality workshops and webinars on topics relevant to you.  We have created a brief survey to gather your feedback so we can improve our chapter, our events, and the topics covered.  Your feedback is important to us!

    The survey can be found here:

    This survey should only take about 5-10 minutes of your time, and your answers will be completely anonymous.  A survey summary will be published in our Fall NEURISA Newsletter.

    Please fill out the survey by Friday, August 2nd.

    Thanks in advance for completing the survey!

    Steve Sharp

    President, NEURISA
  • 11 Jul 2013 4:55 PM | Anonymous member

    The New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA) is accepting nominations for our Special Achievement Award, which will be presented at GIS-Pro 2013 (Providence, RI - Sept 16-19).  The NEURISA Board of Directors is looking for nominees who through the use of geospatial or other information technologies, have made a significant contribution that greatly enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization, realizes a significant return on investment, or greatly improves the quality of services.

    Please submit a nomination by completing this form:  The deadline for submissions is August 9th, 2013!

    Potential Recipients: Geospatial or Information Technology Professionals

    Criterion: Through the use of geospatial or other information technologies, the individual has made a significant contribution that greatly enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization; or realizes a significant return on investment; or greatly improves the quality of services. This contribution may be a single act or a cumulative performance. Significance will be measured by a positive impact on an organization or a community.

    Nomination Process: Nominations will be solicited from geospatial and information technologies professionals and the NEURISA Board.  The nomination deadline is August 9th, 2013.

    Selection Process: A committee of three NEURISA Board Members (President, President-Elect and Past-President) will select from nominees submitted based upon the criterion outlined above.
  • 24 Jun 2013 12:02 PM | Anonymous member

    New England URISA (NEURISA) is partnering with URISA to offer some discounts to our valued partners.

    URISA is offering discounted GIS-Pro 2013 (Providence, RI, Sept 16-19) Exhibitor pricing for NEURISA Corporate Sponsors ($750).  To help you take advantage of this deal, NEURISA is offering a special mid-year Corporate Sponsorship package for only $250 (normally $400 for the year)!

    • NEURISA Corporate Sponsorship (rest of 2013) = $250

    • GIS-Pro 2013 Exhibitor Booth (NEURISA discount) = $750 before July 1st

    So for $1000 (the price of a single “non-member” exhibitor registration) you can reach out to potential clients by supporting NEURISA, by being part of GIS-Pro 2013, while saving up to $300!

    I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity by

    • Replying to this email ( indicating that you would like to be a NEURISA Corporate Sponsor.  We will simply invoice you for $250 (please send us the email and/or address to forward the invoice to).

    • Registering as a GIS-Pro 2013 Exhibitor  Select the discounted fee option for NEURISA Corporate Sponsors.  Act before July 1st to get the best deal!

    Don’t hesitate to contact me at if you have any questions or would like additional details (please see info below).

    Steve Sharp


    New England Chapter of URISA

    NEURISA Corporate Sponsorship benefits are detailed here

    GIS-Pro 2013: Special Rate Schedule for NEURISA Corporate Sponsors

    • Discounted Fee for URISA Corporate Partners and NEURISA Corporate Sponsors:

        $750 until July 1 / $1,000 after July 1

    • Fee for Non-member Exhibitors: $1,000 until July 1 / $1,300 after July 1

    Register as an Exhibitor here
  • 22 Apr 2013 9:40 AM | Anonymous member

    Happy spring from the New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA)!  We hope you had a great winter.  

    NEURISA has had a busy start to 2013.  We’ve welcomed several new board Board members (Chris Akin, Erin Jacque, Diana Maties, Brett Horr, Brian DuPont and John Hangen); a very capable group that is bringing new ideas and energy to NEURISA’s efforts.   We successfully hosted several events during the first quarter of 2013 including

    • NEURISA Webinar: Leveraging Census Data in Rhode Island (February 21, 2013)

    • NEURISA Training: Free GIS Mapping Resource Options in Massachusetts (April 13, 2013)

    • NEURISA Lightning Talks: Dartmouth College (Hanover), NH (April 16, 2013)

    Special thanks to Diana Maties (NEURISA’s Event Coordinator) and Erin Jacque (NEURISA At-Large Board member) for pulling together these events.  We would also like to thank our Corporate Sponsors (AppGeo - Cartegraph - CDM Smith - DGT Survey Group - Sewall - VHB - CAI).  Their support allows NEURISA to offer free Chapter membership, and free webinars, workshops, and events to constituents throughout New England.

    We are planning several additional summer and fall events.  Stay tuned.

    NEURISA is also very pleased to announce that GIS-Pro 2013 ( is coming to New England this year (Providence, RI - Sept 16-19)!  GIS-Pro is URISA’s annual conference.  GIS-Pro delves into more than just technology and applications; it explores issues related to policy, standards, GIS leadership and management. GIS-Pro offers a unique multidisciplinary approach, with participation from all levels of government, academia, and technology you the benefit of a variety of viewpoints and experiences.  NEURISA members qualify for a discounted registration rate (if you're receiving this message you’re a NEURISA member!).

    We’ve  also been working to strengthen our connection to URISA, our parent organization.  Following extensive work by the Chapter Affiliation Work Group and Chapter Leaders from most of URISA’s Chapters, the URISA Board of Directors adopted a policy statement to modify and improve the affiliation between URISA and its chapters. The purpose of this policy is two-fold: (1) to improve the connection and communication between the chapters and URISA; and (2) to assist URISA in continuing to provide benefits to its chapters.  URISA has formed a new Chapter Advisory Board (CAB) under a charter that includes the above-stated goal. Every Chapter has one representative appointed to the CAB.  NEURISA has appointed Mike Olkin, NEURISA’s Immediate Past President.

    At NEURISA we are interested in working with you to facilitate opportunities that enrich your career and our profession. Do you have suggestions for webinars, workshops, or other events?  Drop a note into our suggestion box available on our homepage (

    All the best,

    Steve Sharp

    NEURISA 2013 President

  • 11 Mar 2013 5:50 PM | Anonymous member
    NEURISA is proud to announce our first NEURISA Lightning Talks event for 2013.  It will be held on Tuesday, April 16 (6:30-9:00PM) at Dartmouth College, NH.  Each presentation is limited to 20 slides which auto-advance every 15 seconds, encouraging presenters to stay on topic and on their toes!  This year we are inviting University and College students to submit abstracts as well as GIS professionals.  A cash bar and free appetizers will be available for attendees and presenters.

    Registration: Attendance is free.  Seating is limited to 40 people, so register today.

    Call for Presentations: We are actively looking for speakers. Topics include anything and everything GIS or IT related.  Do you have a quick GIS or IT story to tell?  Submit a presentation proposal online by going to:  The submission deadline is April 1st.

    Here is a link to last year's Ignite Spatial Vermont presentations:

    Sponsors: NEURISA would like to thank the University of New Hampshire’s Cooperative Extension for their support.

    We would also like to thank our Corporate Sponsors.  We are looking for additional sponsors for this event.  Please contact Diana Maties at 617-574-4409  ( or Steve Sharp at if you would like to learn how your organization can sponsor this event.


    Corporate Sponsors: AppGeo - Cartegraph - CDM Smith - DGT Survey Group - Sewall - VHB
  • 31 Dec 2012 9:00 AM | Anonymous member
    On behalf of the New England Chapter of URISA's Board of Directors, I want to wish you a safe, prosperous and wonderful beginning to 2013. As we look ahead toward a new year that promises to be an exciting one, with URISA's GIS-Pro coming to Providence in September 2013, its a great time to reflect back upon our success in 2012. What I remember most fondly about this past year is how the spirit of teamwork came through to help bring our professional community even closer together. In our mission to help geospatial and IT professionals to stay informed and connected, we called upon many people to selflessly contribute valuable time, expertise and friendly support. From all that we accomplished in 2012, I'm proud to say that the team came through like champions!

    Here's a brief summary of our year in 2012:

    Our second Ignite Spatial Vermont event in April attracted a mix of professionals and students from throughout northern New England for an increasingly popular way of networking and learning. The first ever Ignite Spatial Providence event in May followed quickly, with a capacity attendance of professionals and students from throughout southern New England gathered for an informative and entertaining afternoon of spatial goodness. In June, NEURISA hosted a popular webcast in collaboration with Robert Goodspeed and Meghan McGaffin, titled "Sharing Spatial Data in New England: Policies, Technology and Trends." We spent the summer and early autumn planning for what turned out to be a wonderful day at our annual conference, NEURISA Day 2012 on October 15th in Sturbridge, MA. Our fourth straight year in Sturbridge was a sold out event, attended by people from all over the northeast and we packed the agenda with topics that address a changing profession. The morning was devoted to all things LiDAR, followed by an afternoon full of interesting presentations addressing everything from open source technology, to cloud technology to unmanned aerial systems to mobile and web technologies. We were thrilled by the enthusiastic response throughout the day, and were happy that our keynote speaker, Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne, was interested in providing a follow-up LiDAR webinar. Footage from the resulting December 13th "Municipal Uses of LiDAR" webinar will soon be available.

    As we head into 2013, the NEURISA Board of Directors is going through more changes than we have seen in several years. We have been quite fortunate to have several longtime board members stay with us as the chapter has gone through an unprecedented growth phase since being rejuvenated in 2008. Past Presidents Neil MacGaffey, Paul Samara and Feng Yang are stepping down as 2012 comes to a close. Our Treasurer for several years, Mary Hutchinson, is handing off the reigns to Nathan Dansereau. At-Large Board Members Kim Honetschlager, Randy Pickford and Judy Colby-George are stepping down after several years of close involvement in planning excellent events throughout our region. Each one of these board members made significant contributions to our organization and I want to thank them all. A few board members of note deserve some extra recognition. Neil MacGaffey, as a founding member of the organization, for many years was the face of NEURISA, keeping the organization moving forward through decades of hard work, persistence, diligence and the will to involve many people in organizing some memorable events. Neil will be greatly missed on the board. Paul Samara joined the board several years ago, and was instrumental in implementing some crucial new business processes, a corporate sponsorship structure and a complete new content management system that we now use as our website / event planning platform. Feng Yang moved the organization forward by establishing a regular quarterly event and communication schedule, while doing much to build the branding of NEURISA, all while mentoring me for my year at the helm. As the NEURISA Treasurer for several years, Mary Hutchinson implemented sound, efficient and trustworthy accounting practices, while working with a new president each year. This level of service was crucial to our growth as an organization, as were all of the contributions made by our board members. The word that best sums up the spirit of the work performed by our outgoing board members is "Dedication," and any organization needs plenty of that in order to be successful.

    As 2013 arrives, I am excited to welcome our new at-large board members, Chris Akin, Erin Jacque, Diana Maties, Brett Horr, Brian DuPont and John Hangen. As a group, they bring new energy and resolve to our cause. As individuals, they each bring unique talents that we look forward to putting to great use for the geospatial and IT community in New England. Our new board members join an excellent crew that includes Secretary Robert Pruyne, Communications Director Chris French, At-Large member Shane White, yours truly, and our incoming President Steve Sharp. In working closely with Steve throughout 2012, I've come to recognize his strong leadership, organizational and team-building abilities. Steve was more than just a trusted advisor throughout this year, as he has taken on a leading role in the management and decision making that has helped to make this year a success. We are looking at a great year ahead with Steve at the helm and with our 2013 Board of Directors.

    Now for a word about our corporate sponsors, AppGeo, Cartegraph, CDM Smith, DGT Survey Group, Sewall and VHB. These companies each contribute the funds that are necessary to keep our organization operating and focused upon helping our profession. As NEURISA passed the 1,000 member mark in 2012, while keeping membership free (if you're receiving this message, you are a NEURISA member), we recognize that it would not be possible without the support of our corporate sponsors, all of whom are leaders in the field. We appreciate the support and look forward to continuing our strong relationship with our loyal sponsors in 2013.

    What I most look forward to in 2013, beyond the prominence of GIS-Pro coming to our region, is the opportunity for wider engagement within our professional community. The type of engagement of which I speak can happen in many forms, whether it is via involvement in efforts to plan events or training opportunities, or via reaching out to colleagues in our profession. At NEURISA, we are interested in working with you on facilitating more engagement that enriches our profession throughout the region. Please be in touch with us as a partner in the continued effort to make our profession a strong, hospitable community. We look forward to a great year of service, and toward working closely with you!

    All the best,

    Michael Olkin
    NEURISA 2012 President
  • 12 Sep 2012 12:20 PM | Anonymous member
    We're not the only ones excited that NEURISA Day is fast approaching on October 15th in Sturbridge, MA. Registration has been brisk and we expect the event to reach our venue capacity soon. Register today to join us for a great day of networking with colleagues as well as some excellent presentations on topics including LiDAR, mobile technology, open source GIS, unmanned aircraft systems and more.

    In addition to all of the great sessions throughout the day, this year we are introducing a new portion of the program, which is all about you. If you are attending NEURISA Day 2012, we want to recognize the great work that you are doing. Gatherings like NEURISA Day are such a great chance for people of common interests to connect in person and we want to help by recognizing your work. You just never know who else in the room will take an interest in your achievements. Send us one image or presentation slide that shows off your best work from this year, along with a brief description, and we will show it off at NEURISA Day 2012! Are you already registered for NEURISA Day 2012? Then go ahead submit your project description with the online form here, and send slide to with the subject line "My best work of 2012, for NEURISA Day".

    Mike Olkin
    2012 NEURISA President

The New England Chapter of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (NEURISA) is the professional association of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) practitioners in New England. NEURISA is a nonprofit 501(c)6 organization whose mission is to advance the effective and appropriate use of GIS and related information technologies to solve challenges throughout the region.
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