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Supporting GIS Project Development During a Worldwide Pandemic

By Justin Sorensen

One-year ago, I began developing a concept for offering online GIS consultations and project support at the Marriott Library. The idea was to provide an alternative option to an in-person consultation for University patrons by meeting virtually to answer questions and provide project support when a visit to the Library was not possible. Little did I know that just one-month later in the face of a worldwide pandemic, I would be implementing this concept and putting it to the test as the primary method for providing GIS project support through GIS Services.

The virtual GIS consultation option has proven extremely successful over the past year. By conducting meetings through Zoom, I have been able to offer virtual project assistance in a secure, one-on-one environment, providing patrons with the support needed to further develop their geospatial projects. The next best thing to an in-person meeting, Zoom interactions have provided the means for conducting and coordinating project discussions, answering questions, and sharing suggestions or ideas. In addition, the ability to interactively demonstrate various GIS software processes have been aided through screen sharing and remote control features within the virtual environment, providing the missing link for supporting software education and project progression. As a result of the virtual GIS consultation option, several journal publications, research projects, and online exhibits have been implemented over the past year with many more on the horizon.

Tested and proven in the face of difficult and challenging times, expect to see our virtual GIS consultation option progress into the future as an alternative option available to University patrons. Someday, in-person meeting options will be available once more, but until then, GIS Services will still be here (virtually speaking) to support the development of your geospatial projects and research.

Visit the GIS Services website to learn more about our support services and to schedule a virtual consultation:

Happy Mapping!

Justin Sorensen | GIS Specialist
Creativity & Innovation Services / GIS Services

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