On the map

Students overlook the bluffs on campus

UWL’s location perfect for second regional Geospatial Conference

A conference focused on mapping areas and finding locations has pinpointed UWL as an ideal spot once again.

The second Upper Midwest Geospatial Conference is back at UWL Wednesday and Thursday, May 23-24. It’s an opportunity for professionals to connect, share information and pick up on the latest trends in Geospatial technology. The technology takes the study of geography to the next level to incorporate products used to display and analyze physical location. The products range from GPS units in cars and Google Earth to technology that uses lasers to record the distance between objects in one instantaneous snapshot.

Students at UWL are learning about several of these concepts in the Department of Geography and Earth Science, which has a GIS major and minor.

Adam Skibbe, a conference organizer and GIS Administrator at the University of Iowa, is especially hopeful that people will make new connections, especially with others across state lines. “Anything that requires hands-on fixing will be bigger than state borders,” he says. “After all, a tornado doesn’t care if it crosses from Iowa into Minnesota and Wisconsin.”

The learning conference, organized by UWL Continuing Education and Extension, is geared toward Geographic Information Systems (GIS) professionals; however, anyone can register online or show up during the conference. The cost and schedule is online.

“I hope anybody who comes leaves with a sense of excitement that they’ve captured an idea or excitement toward what they do — even if it’s just interacting with someone from somewhere else who does something like what they do,” says Skibbe.