The grant program was established by ESRI in memory of GIS pioneer John E. Estes, who died in 2001.

ESRI, the leading developer of geographic information system (GIS) software, announces that recipients of the International Steering Committee for Global Mapping (ISCGM)/Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) grants will be providing status reports on their individual projects at the GSDI 6 Conference, to be held in Budapest, Hungary from September 16-19, 2002. The grant program, which attracted interest from national mapping agencies throughout the world, was established in memory of GIS pioneer John E. Estes, who died in 2001.

ESRI is underwriting the program with a comprehensive package of software, training, and support worth more than $6,000,000 (U.S.). Approximately 100 grants valued at $60,000 (U.S.) each will be awarded to support the building of national spatial data infrastructures in countries around the world. The program also promotes the sharing of geospatial data to expand the GSDI movement.

Working with Global Map and GSDI, ESRI has designed and developed a custom training program to support the Global Map/GSDI Grant program. Until now, developing and publishing Global Map data required a great deal of time and effort. A three-week, hands-on course, "Building and Publishing a National Basemap," has been designed to make the process of creating and publishing Global Map data easy to understand and easy to accomplish. Upon completing the program, students will be proficient in the application of ArcGIS technology for the production of GIS data and map series to Global Map specifications. The initial training programs will be offered in Redlands, California.

Winners include Algeria, American Samoa, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belize, Benin, Barbados, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Commonwealth of Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Macao, Republic of Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, South Korea, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vietnam, British Virgin Islands, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The ISCGM/GSDI grant program was launched at the 2001 Global Spatial Data Infrastructure meeting in Cartagena, Colombia, on May 23, 2001.