More than 700 geographic information system (GIS) professionals will meet October 8-10 for GIS in the Rockies 2002 ( at the Plaza at the Mart, I-25 and 58th Avenue.

This fifteenth annual conference offers workshops on Tuesday and technical sessions and an exhibition on Wednesday and Thursday. Professionals from beginner to advanced level will find workshops and program sessions addressing their current challenges. Wednesday and Thursday the program features more than 90 speakers from such companies as Newmont Gold, Trimble, TRW, URS Corporation and many others. Program details are available on the website at

This year's keynote speaker is Karen Siderelis, the Geographic Information Officer of the US Geological Survey. She will speak at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, and at 10:00 a.m. will officiate at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the Exhibition.

The Exhibition Hall has 75 booths and will feature 44 Colorado companies as well as others from across the country, from Washington (Microsoft) to Florida (ImageLinks, recently named to Deloitte & Touche's Technology "Fast 500").

The geographic information technology market is experiencing growth in the commercial arena and in such homeland-security related areas as mapping, asset management and emergency services. Estimates of the market range from $1.5 to $2.3 billion, with growth rates in the 10-15% range.

GIS in the Rockies is known as the largest regional GIS conference in the country, providing a forum for professionals to learn about and to share their experiences with GIS technology. Its size is a natural consequence of the fact that the Colorado Front Range has a high concentration of businesses and agencies providing and using geographic information systems and related mapping technologies. In recognition of the importance of GIS to the state, Governor Bill Owens has issued an Honorary Proclamation making October 7-11, 2002, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Week in Colorado.