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A GIS Day success!

GIS Day was celebrated around the world on November 20. Educators and GIS users hosted events to promote this special day.

Rob Langston is a teacher who's known to the GIS education community as the GIS champion from Brandon, Manitoba. I first met him at the Winnipeg Esri Canada User Conference in 2010 when his students were the educational guest speakers. These students won the Manitoba GIS Skills Competition that year.

Three years later, Rob’s students continue to present at the conferences and he continues to use GIS in his classroom. In addition, Rob helps to promote geography and GIS to other teachers in the province as the Canadian Geographic Education Executive for Manitoba. I recently co-presented with him at an ArcGIS Online pre-conference workshop in Winnipeg, as part of the annual Manitoba Social Science Teachers Association (MSSTA) conference.  

Last week, Rob organized a successful GIS Day event at Ecole secondaire Neelin High School. In the morning, with Mayor Shari Decter Hirst in attendence, high school and college students worked together on a lesson created by members of government departments and GeoManitoba focused on Georeferencing and Spatial Analyst activities that included exploring changes in Brandon using aerial photos from 1947 to 2009.

In the afternoon, a conference and a panel discussion were held at the school with guest speakers, including Drew Caldwell, a well-known politican. More than 100 people attended, including provincial politicians, school board trustees and administrators, staff and students from higher education institutions, high school students, industry and government GIS users and the Manitoba GIS User Group, who generously donated swag and $1,000.00 towards the GIS program at Neelin High School. The mayor tweeted about the GIS celebration, the local media covered the event and Esri Canada donated swag for some of the prizes.

Rob, continue the great work in Manitoba! We need more teachers like you who see the value of GIS in the classroom.

Left to right: Rob Langston, Drew Caldwell of Brandon East MLA-NDP and Michael Adamski, principal of Neelin High School enjoyed a very successful GIS Day event.

To read about other successful GIS Day events that occurred this year in Canada, go to the links below:

Contact us at if you'd like ideas on hosting a GIS Day event at your school next year.

About the Author

Angela Alexander is a K-12 Education Resource Developer on the Esri Canada Education and Research team. She has over six years of experience working with educators across Canada. Angela is responsible for producing geographic information system (GIS) and curriculum specific resources, conducting and creating custom workshops for educators and judging and developing the question for the annual GIS Skills Ontario competition in Waterloo, Ontario. Angela has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Sociology from the University of Western Ontario and completed the Applied Digital Geography and GIS certificate program at Ryerson University.

Profile Photo of Angela Alexander