2016 Washington GIS Conference

WAURISA 2016 - Conference Logo

WAURISA 2016 Washington GIS Conference was a success!

The 2016 Washington State GIS Conference planning committee was held May 23 - 25 at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, Tacoma, WA.

The available Presentations are here.

Please be certain to thank the 2016 Conference Sponsors!


Conference Schedule
Washington Local Government GIS Leaders Summit (Free Special Interest Group Meeting)
Keynote Speaker
Best Map, Poster, Script, & Online Mapping Application Contests
ESRI Hands on Learning Lab
Hotel Accommodations
Richard 'Dick' Thomas Memorial Student Presentation Competition & Award

IMPORTANT DATES  (back to top)

All imported dates has past.


View the Conference Schedule here, 2016 Washington GIS Schedule & Directory.

You can manage your schedule online and using a mobile device 2016 Washington GIS Schedule & Directory (mobile) or simple scan this QR code with your device!

Sched.org QR Code


REGISTRATION  (back to top)

The Conference is over.

Conference & Workshop Rates Early Bird
Ends April 18
April 19 - May 5
May 6 - May 25
Professional Rates
Workshop & Conference $305 $315 $335
Conference Only $230 $240 $260
One Day Conference Only $150 $150 $150
Workshop Only $120 $135 $165
Student Rates
Workshop & Conference $135 $160 $185
Conference Only $100 $120 $145
Workshop Only $85 $110 $135

WORKSHOPS  (back to top)

2016 Washington GIS Conference workshops were held Monday, May 23th, 2016.

The Morning workshops: 8:30am - 12pm

Create Great Web Apps - No Coding Required
Move Beyond Static Maps: Introduction to ArcGIS Online
Key Surveying and Geodesy Elements Geospatial Professionals Should Understand
GIS Program Management (part 1 of 2)

The Afternoon workshops: 1:30pm - 5:00pm

ArcGIS Open Data: Get Started & Use Best Practices
Using ArcGIS Online and Esri Collector to Capture GIS Data
GIS Program Management (part 2 of 2)

Questions? Please see the Workshop Page for further details or email questions to Workshops@waurisa.org.


Held Monday, May 23th, 2016 1:30 - 5:00 pm

All too often city and county GIS managers have to make decisions isolated from their peers. The purpose of this free half day work session is to break down those silos and explore ways to better support our local GIS managers and leaders in their work goals. This session is intended for GIS department heads and managers who work at County and City offices. We will start with some presentations that introduce current resources available to GIS managers. These include presentations from our State GIS Coordinator, the Chair of the WA Geographic Information Council (WAGIC), the Past Executive Board Member of the Association of County & City Information Systems (ACCIS), and the creator of the URISA GIS Capability Maturity Model. The rest of the afternoon will be a working session to discuss goals and objectives, and to brainstorm to identify how we can leverage our GIS network across the state. The participation of our City and County GIS leaders is crucial to building this community cooperation and involvement.

For more information see the Local Government Summit Page

OPENING KEYNOTE  (back to top)

Josh Howell

Opening Keynote by: Josh Howell
Digital Business Lead & Field CTO

Josh Howell consults with organizations on strategy around digital transformation and technology needs. Mobile applications, digital marketing, IoT devices, and big data analytics are reshaping every industry, and promise to be more impactful than the internet has been to date. Josh works to distill high-level digital business best practices and strategies down to actionable, low-cost, and effective ways to get started, and deliver rapid results. The EMC Federation of companies have consulted with, and performed work for companies ranging from the Fortune 100 to startups like Uber and Twitter.

Leveraging his 15 year background in IT across several industries, an MBA focused on Innovation Management, and lessons derived from thousands of customer meetings, Josh works with commercial, education, healthcare, and local government organizations across Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and California who are interested in how to be the disruptor of their industries rather than the disrupted.

The conference theme for 2016 is "GIS Evolved: Transforming Our World". WAURISA is seeking potential speakers to provide fresh, dynamic solutions to today's challenges. Presentations are invited that address the broad subjects of interest to GIS practitioners.

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Poster Displays

The dimensions of the poster were no larger than 48 inches x 60 inches and no smaller than 24 inches x 24 inches. The poster contained a title, y our name and affiliation, an introduction (abstract), methods, results and conclusion / outcomes / impacts. Easels will be provided. A limited number of display boards will be made available to pre-college and higher education entries.

2016 Map Contest Winners

Best Cartographic Design:

Won by: Matt Stull, City of Tumwater, "City of Tumwater Street Map"

Judging criteria: Efficiency in communication of intended message and maximization of the user's cognitive experience.

Best Analytic Presentation:

Won by: Gary Montgomery, Washington Traffic Safety Commission, "Distribution of Native Populations in Census vs Traffic Fatality Population"

Judging criteria: Communication of the problem/project to be solved and presentation of the analytic procedures.

Best Data Integration:

Won by: Joy Paulus, Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), " Updating the State's Detailed Land Use Data Coverage"

Judging criteria: Relevance and select variety of chosen data sources (surveying, remote sensing, GPS, etc.) and data formats (raster, vector, text, etc.) to the problem-solving and mapmaking processes.

Best Online Interactive Map:

Won by: William Longmire, City of Ellensburg, "Ellensburg Parks, Facilities, and Trails"

Judging criteria: Clear, effective design to maximize user understanding and experience of map interaction and application usage.

Best Student Map:

Won by: Ying-Chu Chen (Troy), Seattle University, "Spatial Analysis of I-502 (Retail Cannabis) Compliance in Seattle"

Judging criteria: Communication of a research project implemented in class with an explanation and presentation of the methodology, steps, and conclusion or results of the project or map creation.

Innovative Scripting Process/Custom Geoprocessing Tool :

Won by: Janice Baird, Skagit County Geographic Information Services, "Scripting Septic Compliance"

Judging criteria: Compelling use of scripting and geoprocessing tools and workflows to automate complex data manipulation workflows.

Display-only Option:
Attendees were encouraged to share their work even if they did not want to enter the contest.

Past winners include:

  • 2015 - Joy Paulus - Washington State Geospatial Program Office, WA Technology Solutions
  • 2014 - Sabah Jabbouri - Green River Community College
  • 2013 - Karl Johansen
  • 2012 - Greg Babinski - King County
  • 2011 - Tom Nolan - City of Seattle
  • 2010 - Ian von Essen - Spokane County
  • 2009 - Marty Balikov - ESRI
  • 2008 - Mike Onzay - City of Mercer Island
  • 2007 - Donna Wendt - City of Tacoma
  • 2006 - Nancy Hultquist - Central Washington University, Geography Dept.
  • 2005 - Geoff Almvig - Skagit County
  • 2004 - Linda Gerull - Pierce County
  • 2003 - Richard 'Dick' Thomas - Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District


Take Esri training at your own pace in the Hands-on Learning Lab (HOLL). The lab consists of a group of laptops with headphones where students can work through lessons at their own pace. A lesson consists of a recorded presentation followed by a hands-on exercise. Each lesson typically takes about 45 minutes to one hour to complete and students can generally come and go as they please. Find out more here

Lesson offerings for 2016 in Esri's Hands-on Learning Lab:

1. Getting Started with GIS 1: Understanding the ArcGIS Platform
2. Getting Started with GIS 2: Using ArcMAP to Explore GIS Data
3. Getting to Know ArcGIS Pro
4. Advantages to Storing Your GIS Data in the Geodatabase
5. Creating Presentation Quality Maps in ArcMap
6. Editing GIS Data in ArcMap
7. Multi-user Editing Using Versioning
8. Editing and Maintaining Parcels Stored in a Parcel Fabric
9. Geocoding Street Addresses to Create Map Points
10. Importing and Preparing CAD Data for Use in ArcGIS
11. The Importance of Spatial Reference in Tactical Applications
12. Exploring Health and Epidemic Patterns Using Spatial Statistics Tools
13. Optimizing Transportation Routs Using ArcGIS Network Analyst
14. Modeling Time and Distance Along Networks Using Linear Referencing
15. Working with Geometric Networks to Manage Utilities
16. Interpolating Sample Points to Create Rasters Using Spatial Analyst Tools
17. Geoprocessing GIS Data Using Python
18. Sharing Maps and GIS Content Using ArcGIS Online
19. Understanding Web Services Using ArcGIS for Server
20. Generating Web Applications for the GIS Novice
21. Getting Started with the Community Maps Data Preparation Tools
22. Mapping Excel Data Using Esri Maps for Office

Vendor registration options

  Rates Booth Attendee Pass Summit Ad Vendor Presentation
Mount Rainier $1100 2 booths 3 passes Full page Yes
Mount Adams $900 1 booth 2 passes 1/4 page Yes
Mount Baker $700 1 booth 1 pass Listing Yes
Mount Olympus $350 shared 1 pass Listing No
Benefits for all vendors
A logo and listing in the printed conference program.
A listing on our conference web page and WAURISA.org.
One-year WAURISA Sponsorship
Participate in Vendor Passport Program


We returned to Hotel Murano for the 2016 conference hotel. Hotel Murano is located at:
1320 Broadway Plaza
Tacoma, WA 98402
Phone: (253) 238-8000 or (877) 986-8083 toll free

Online and phone reservations will be accepted until May 1, 2016 which is the cut off date for reservations.

Online Reservation Link: Phone Reservations: 253-238-8000 or 888-862-3255 Room Rates were $112 per night, not including lodging tax (13.5%) or TPA fee ($1.50 per night)

Directions to the Tacoma Convention Center, click here.
Transit Options:

The following transit lines have routes that take you to the Sounder Station/Amtrak Station in Tacoma. Once there, you can ride the free Tacoma Link light rail directly to the conference center at 10 minute intervals. Visit the following transit links for details.

Sound Transit
Pierce Transit (PT)
Intercity Transit (IT)

Tacoma's Free Link Light Rail runs frequently throughout the downtown corridor with a stop located just outside the GTCTC on Commerce Street. More information: route map (PDF) and schedule.

Parking options:

Street parking is free in Tacoma, but you'll need to arrive well before 8 a.m. on weekdays to find a free all-day parking spot. Additionally, there are free parking spots for 1 and 2 hours near the center, but be aware that parking enforcement is quite efficient. The Greater Tacoma Trade and Convention Center offers on-site parking at the rate of $10 per day in the Lot A Garage.

The Greater Tacoma Trade and Convention Center offers on-site parking at the rate of $10 per day in the Lot A Garage. More information here.

Another option is to park for free at the Tacoma Dome Station and take the free Tacoma Link light rail to the convention center. Parking and route map here.


The Student Competition is on hiatus for a year while we revamp rules. Please stay tuned for exciting changes we have planned. Please contact Sarah Myers, secretary@waurisa.org with questions or comments.