Last Wednesday was National GIS Day and while you may not have gotten the memo, the city’s GIS staffers came out in full force.
In the first event of its kind, representatives from the city’s GIS units (including the Streets Department, the Water Department, the Office of Innovation and Technology, the Police Department, the City Planning Commission, 311 and the Free Library’s Map Collection) set up shop at the Free Library‘s Central Branch to show passersby how maps and models can affect how the city works.
The all-day event was unique, said the city’s Director of Enterprise GIS Jim Querry [see our Q&A with him here], because the city’s different GIS units don’t usually join forces and talk to the public about their work. Separate units might go to a school and talk to students about GIS, but this was the first time the city organized a cross-department event.
It was also less structured than a formal talk, Querry said, likening the event to Knight Foundation‘s Random Acts of Culture. People could just walk up to each table and chat with the staffers about their work — no tickets needed.