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Stronger Together -- What I’ve learned through 37 years of GIS coordination

William F. Johnson

Carpe Geo Evangelist

Applied Geographics, Inc.

This presentation will focus on some of the intangible elements of a geospatial career that are not often talked about. There will be no “shop talk” about how to do GIS. Nor will there be any coverage concerning the latest data, or software, or machine learning, or other methods to accomplish your GIS work. Instead, Bill will offer insights learned and from his career journey, which has been dedicated to state and national geospatial coordination. You’ll hear some stories that highlight how these experiences have honed and affirmed the value of working together. You will also hear about frameworks that can help you understand the elements that must come together for successful collaborations. The goal is to inspire you to anchor your own career in a solid set of values and behaviors, especially towards working together to achieve goals not attainable working alone.

Bill is a seasoned GIS professional with more than 36 years of experience. Upon completion of his MA in Geography at Michigan State University in 1984, he started his career at the New York State Department of Transportation, which at that time was the home of the statewide mapping program. His initial work involved converting the mapping program from photo-mechanical to state-of-the-art digital production, in preparation for color printing, publication, and sale of 1:24,000 scale quadrangles, county base maps, the NYS atlas, and other maps. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, he and his team also led one of the largest civilian GIS deployments of that era, serving more than 1,000 users in 11 regional DOT offices. Since then, he rose through the GIS ranks in New York State government, culminating in being named New York’s first Geographic Information Officer in 2013. He retired from state service in 2016 and spent the next two years leading GIS program development in Washington, DC for the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), the nonprofit responsible for nationwide broadband support programs on behalf of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In April of 2018, Bill joined Applied Geographics, Inc where he is applying his carpe geo philosophy of building trust through collaboration, of effecting fundamental change through thoughtful investment, and of consistent attention to excellence, as AppGeo’s carpe geo evangelist.

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