Taking First Place at the 2012 National Geospatial Technology Skills Competition
I just took home first place in the 2012 National Geospatial Technology Skills Competition at the 2012 ESRI Education GIS Conference.
There were three rounds to the competition, which was put on by the Geotech Center for community college students. The center is a group funded by the National Science Foundation to promote geospatial education. I entered the competition as a San Diego Mesa student, where I’ve studied GIS over the past two yearrs.
The first stage was a very tough online exam. The second round was a video of a presentation of a GIS project uploaded to Youtube, and the top six from the second round were flown in to the biggest GIS conference in the world to present their final presentations for the third round.
Of course, the GIS conference took place in San Diego, where I have lived the past four years, so it was basically like being home. Home field advantage, maybe? The other finalists were from around the country, in places such as North Dakota, New Mexico, and Georgia.
Here’s the video of my second round entry (my final presentation was essentially the same):
2012 National Geospatial Technology Skills Competition Finals
The finals took place in a conference room with about 30 to 40 audience members who were voting on who they felt performed best. I believe they were given a few different categories and asked to score each finalist on a scale of 1 to 5. I don’t know what the categories were.
For my presentation, I worked on a project that was fun, had colorful maps, and was easy to follow. If a GIS powerpoint contains too many words, I think you’ve going to be slowly losing the audience. I had also wanted to work with hurricanes for awhile, and the Bermuda Triangle added the “fun” element. The other presentations were all very good, and I feel honored to have beat them out.
Some of my friends asked me if I won a grand prize. The trip to the conference for the six finalists was the real prize. For first, I simply won a plaque, a new resume addition, and some bragging rights. Here’s victory:
I also got to put my project up in the ESRI map gallery, an honor in of itself:
For anyone interested in a PDF of the end-of-semester class project this presentation was based on (and the source for the map above), click here.