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GIS Ambassadors’ Back to School Map and App Challenge

Attention GIS Ambassadors and future ambassadors! We are happy a new school year has started, and we hope you will get out to schools (in person or virtually) soon to promote the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and the power of maps! This post covers our Back-to-School Map and App Challenge and what’s new with the GIS Ambassador Hub.

We hope all of you had a great summer. Thank you for your support last year! Your time is important, and we appreciate your work to increase the use of GIS in classrooms across the country.

Back to School Map and App Challenge!

This year’s goal is to get more of you engaged in doing GIS Ambassador activities! We’re here to support your ambassador work. That’s why we are launching the Back-to-School Map and App Challenge! Using your account in the GIS Ambassador ArcGIS Online subscription, create a resource that students and teachers can use in the classroom! You can leverage data from your own organization or find publicly shared data and create a map or app with it! If you require an account in the GIS Ambassador ArcGIS Online subscription, contact us at, and we can set you up.

Check out existing resources as exemplars of what is possible.

A screenshot of a variety of web maps created for the GIS Ambassador maps and apps exemplars.

Explore existing resources that will inspire you when creating maps and apps for K-12 educators and students!

Back to School Map and App Submissions

Submit your map and app by November 3rd, and we may highlight it in an upcoming Esri Canada Education and Research blog post. Please make sure you include a description of your map/app and the data source(s) on the Item Details page in ArcGIS Online.

The GIS Ambassador Resource Hub

We’ve updated our GIS Ambassador Resource Hub to better help you through your journey as a GIS Ambassador. We have updated steps on getting started, resources, and added a survey for you to share what you are doing to support K-12 education.

A screenshot showing steps that guide GIS Ambassadors in their journey.

The GIS Ambassador Resource Hub is a place for ambassadors to get started and continue their journey in supporting K-12 education in their communities.

Ready, Set, Go!!

We encourage ALL GIS Ambassadors to do at least one of the following activities this school year:

A screenshot showing icons of GIS Ambassador activities.

  • Create a map or app with their organization’s data or other data that would be relevant to K-12 education projects and assignments. The resources created can be used at school visits and will be highlighted in the GIS Ambassador Hub.
  • Provide a presentation/workshop (virtually or in-person). This can be connected to GIS Day,  a K-12 teacher/class or another event. We will provide you with resources to use in your outreach.
  • Create a video or story map about what you do with GIS in your work or school and, if applicable, what you have done so far as a GIS Ambassador.
  • Provide support in K-12 education. This can include but is not limited to working with a teacher or class on a project, data support, development of a lesson or tutorial, or judging/helping to develop the annual Skills Ontario GIS competition question.

Need some inspiration?
Watch our GIS Ambassador video series to see how professionals have shared their GIS knowledge with the K-12 education community in Canada.

Happy Mapping! We look forward to hearing about what you are doing this school year!

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.

Profile Photo of Angela Alexander