Graduates from the Geographic Information System Certification Institutes (GISCI) new GIS Professional Certification Program will receive free materials and training from ESRI. The first 1,000 professionals to obtain certification will receive core professional GIS training and educational materials worth $335,000. These resources will enable the professionals to continue developing their skills and support their contributions in their respected fields.

Each graduate will receive the "Planning for a GIS Virtual Campus" class by Roger Tomlinson, Ph.D. and certified GIS professional, and the books Thinking About GIS: Geographic Information Systems Planning for Managers by Tomlinson, Beyond Maps: GIS and Decision Making in Local Government by John O'Looney and GIS in Public Policy by R.W. Greene.

GIS certification is career recognition through the evaluation and approval of individuals engaged in a specific occupation or profession, and it is offered by national membership associations representing numerous other career paths. The GISCI program gives recognition to professionals who demonstrate competence and integrity in the field and establish and maintain professional practices and ethical conduct.

The GIS professional certification process was developed under the guidance of URISA, a nonprofit association of professionals using GIS and other information technologies to solve challenges in state and local government agencies and departments. GISCI is a tax-exempt not-for-profit organization that provides the GIS community with a complete certification program and does not require membership in URISA or any other professional organization.

Source: ESRI, Jan. 20, 2004