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Get ready for a mappy GIS Day in 5 easy steps!

Are you a K-12 teacher looking to celebrate GIS Day this year? Check out the 5 steps to getting ready for GIS Day and be ahead of the game!

GIS Day is a time to celebrate the power of maps and the importance of spatial thinking. Whether you’re new to GIS or an avid user, it’s a great opportunity to promote this special day by highlighting students’ work, sharing interesting projects created using ArcGIS Online with your colleagues and administrators or to just have fun with maps!

This year, GIS Day will be celebrated internationally on November 13th, the Wednesday of Geography Awareness Week. However, you can celebrate it any day you want to!

Here are 5 steps to getting ready for GIS Day!

  1. Determine who you will celebrate with. GIS Day can take place in your classroom with your students, with your entire school, or even out in your community. Keep in mind that GIS is not limited to geography or social studies students. There are many applications in other subjects, too.  Like math, science and history!
  2. Explore the GIS Day gallery and find activities to use with your students. These ready to use maps and story maps will encourage students to explore and answer relevant questions that are tied to the curriculum. Find other resources at students in learning through maps. Try out this math activity about the Canadian Grand Prix.
  3. Invite a local GIS professional to your class to speak about careers and how they use GIS to make decisions. This will allow students to see there are many Canadian GIS applications.Explore what GIS Ambassadors are doing across Canada to support the use of GIS in K-12 education.
  4. Want to integrate GIS into your teaching after GIS Day? Request your student ArcGIS Online accounts at Make sure to do this at least a week before your event if you require them for the big day.
  5. Register your GIS Day event early and you will receive swag for your event!

Have a look at last year’s GIS Day events in Canada to get ideas that might help you with your event.

If you have any questions, contact and we will be happy to help you.

Happy Mapping!

About the Author

Angela Alexander is a K-12 Education Specialist in the Esri Canada Education and Research group. She has over 15 years of experience working with educators across Canada. Angela focuses on producing geographic information system (GIS) and curriculum-specific resources, and conducting and creating custom workshops for educators. She manages the GIS Ambassador Program and is the Technical Chair for the annual Skills Ontario GIS competition. Angela also writes monthly posts for the Esri Canada Education and Research blog, highlighting K-12 educators and partners, new ArcGIS resources and GIS-related events.

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