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GISCorps Website Goes Live 6.30.04

URISA's GISCorps is a volunteer-based GIS professional entity with the goal of providing short-term GIS expertise to less developed countries.

The Core Committee of URISA's GISCorps is pleased to announce the launch of its new web site located at: www.giscorps.org. The site includes information about the history of GISCorps, strategic and operational plans, a volunteer application form, contribution opportunities and much more.

GISCorps is the idea of longtime URISA member Shoreh Elhami. The basic premise is to form a volunteer-based GIS professional entity with the goal of providing short-term GIS expertise to less developed countries and communities around the world. Although assistance may be offered in the US and Canada, the focus will remain on communities in developing countries. GISCorps is a volunteer-based organization of GIS professionals committed to assisting developing countries and communities in need. GISCorps volunteers will seek to enhance the well being of less-developed communities by providing GIS expertise in areas such as humanitarian relief, environmental analysis, sustainable development, economic development, community planning and development, aboriginal issues, and health and educational related applications.

In October 2003, the URISA Board of Directors unanimously endorsed the GISCorps as an initiative under URISA's auspices. Following the endorsement, a Core Committee of 6 individuals was formed. The committee has been hard at work ever since and has met on a monthly basis. A Strategic and Operational Plan was endorsed by URISA's Board of Directors in February 2004. The committee is currently seeking donations and contributions and plans to conduct the first pilot project during the summer of 2004. The first unofficial project has already been implemented. Martha Lombard, URISA Past President and GISCorps committee member, assisted a World Bank mission in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru to evaluate existing GIS capabilities. The World Bank has estimated GISCorps' contribution to this project equal to $5,000.

Source: URISA, June 29, 2004

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