If you are interested in getting involved with GIS in Maryland, there are several avenues you can pursue, including statewide committees and initiatives as well as local user groups and conferences.
You can start by becoming a member of the Maryland State Geographic Information Committee (MSGIC). This volunteer organization is made up of members from all levels of government, academia, regional organizations, and private industry. There is an Executive Committee that meets the second Wednesday of every month in Columbia at 9am. While this meeting is open to all, there is a larger quarterly meeting that is held on the second Wednesday of January, April, July and October. This venue is perfect for networking with fellow GISers and keeping up with statewide coordinated activities. The next quarterly meeting is April 27th at the Caroline County Health and Public Services Building in Denton MD. MSGIC has a group on LinkedIn: MSGIC
Another great resource is Maryland’s Internet Map (MD iMap), which provides a wide variety of products and services to the citizens and government employees in Maryland at no charge. It represents a centralized collection of the most commonly used, best available GIS data and applications in the State. Take a look at the MD iMap Portal. This website details the current MD iMap initiatives in Maryland. You can also get involved with the MD iMap initiative by joining the MD iMap Technical Committee, which meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month at MDE from 1 – 3 pm. Follow MDiMap on Twitter: @MDiMap
Local User Groups & Conferences
There are also several regional users groups in Maryland – central, western, and eastern.
- The Central Maryland User’s Group (CMUG) is the largest local user’s group, focusing on GIS activities in Central Maryland. A meeting was just held on April 15th, and the next meeting will be in the mid-August timeframe. Be sure to check out the blog for more details.
- The Western Maryland GIS User’s Group (WMUG) meets 3 times a year – the third Friday of May, August, and November. The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 20 at Frederick City Hall. Contact Elizabeth Stahlman at Allegany County for more details.
- The Midshore Regional GIS committee (MSRGC) meeting is April 20 from 9 to 11:30 at the Public Safety Building in Easton, and the next meeting is October 26 in the morning, location TBD. Contact Lauren McDermott at Salisbury University for more details.
The ESRI Mid-Atlantic User Group (ESRI-MUG) is an organization of GIS users in PA, DE, NJ, MD, DC, VA and WV. This group helps to identify and educate users regarding GIS trends, ESRI product development, local/regional applications, and events of interest. They also have an annual conference for all users, which is a great place to see what how GIS is being applied in the mid-Atlantic region. Follow ESRI-MUG on Twitter: @Esri_MUG.
The TUgis conference is held by the Department of Geography and Environmental Planning at Towson University. This conference has some excellent presentations and is a great place to network with GIS users from all over Maryland. The 25th annual conference will be held in March, 2012.
Another option to be more active or to learn more about GIS in Maryland is to attend a GIS Day event on November 16, 2011. GIS Day is intended to promote GIS and Geography awareness. You can find a GIS Day event near you by searching on ESRI’s GIS Day website.