ArcMap is Done

ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap) version 10.8.1 is the last version for this GIS software that we have been using for many years. There will not be a 10.9 version. You are encouraged by ESRI to move on to ArcGIS Pro.

ArcMap 10.8.1 will be supported until March 1, 2026. Most of you probably knew this already, but just in case click here for more info.

Summer GIS Courses @ Rio Hondo

GIS Courses are scheduled online for this Summer at Rio Hondo College with several optional field exercises.  During this time, classes at Rio Hondo College are online for Summer 2021 and tentatively returning to on-campus and Hybrid Fall 2021.  We will have optional local field exercises during July to provide hands-on opportunity using drones for survey mapping workflow and processing.  For more information visit 

Introduction to GIS (GIS 120) 4 units CRN 50133 (Dates 06/07-08/13)

Applied Geographic Info Systems (GIS 130) 4 units CRN 52362 (Dates 06/21-08/13).  Note, if you have not attended GIS classes at Rio Hondo before, please contact for course waiver to register for the class (introduction to GIS is a prerequisite).

LEGO Art World Map

If you like maps and LEGOs, then this is for you! This new addition to the LEGO Art collection contains the most pieces ever included in a set in LEGO’s history … 11,695 pieces! The world map measures 25.5 inches high by 40.5 inches wide when completed. The map is made up of 40 interconnecting base plates which are divided into three sections for the build that can be arranged in one of three ways, allowing you to place your favorite part of the world in the center of the map.

And check this out, there are customizable brick-built push pins that you can use to mark out destinations already visited or highlight those still on your bucket list! All of this for only $249.99! Available June 1st. Check it out!

Chair and Vice Chair needed for California GIS Council

The California GIS Council needs a Chair and a Vice Chair to serve July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. The Vice Chair would move into the Chair position for the July 2022 – June 2023 term.

The original deadline of May 7 has been extended. The nomination period for the Council’s Chair and Vice Chair for 2021-2022 fiscal year will close at 5:00 pm on May 13, 2021. Self-nominations are highly encouraged! Please consider nominating a colleague or stepping up yourself for this opportunity to help facilitate greater cooperation throughout the State of California by supporting the collection, acquisition, sharing, and dissemination of GIS data, standards, and policies.

Nominees must specify a constituency that they identify with. Please note that identification with a constituency does not imply any official representation; rather, an individual brings the perspective of one’s work within that constituency to the Council. The Council Charter identifies the following constituencies:

State Government
Federal Government
County Government
City Government
Tribal Government
Regional Government and Regional GIS Councils
Special Districts
Private Industry
Professional Associations
Public and Private Utilities

The positions’ responsibilities are specified in Section 4 of the Council Charter:

“The Chair will be responsible for scheduling Council meetings, presiding over the Council, and representing the Council in public meetings.”

“The Council will elect a Vice Chair from a different constituency than the Chair for a one-year term. The Vice Chair becomes the Chair the following year. The Vice Chair will be responsible for supporting the Chair in his or her responsibilities and fulfilling the Chair’s duties when the Chair is unavailable.”

The time commitment for the Chair position can average out to about 8 hours per month. Additional time may be needed for any Workgroups that the Chair may also be involved with. The most time is spent in the weeks leading up to the quarterly meetings. It’s usually a bit less for Vice Chair. Anyone considering taking on these roles is welcome to contact the current Chair Jane Schafer-Kramer and current Vice Chair Ashlee Llewellyn at or message us on LinkedIn to inquire further.

Nominations are being accepted now and will close at 5:00 p.m. on May 13, 2021.  Please use the form linked below to enter your nomination. Those nominating themselves should be prepared to include a brief candidate statement. If you are nominating someone else, please inform them that you are doing so!

GIS Council Chair Nomination Form

GIS Council Vice Chair Nomination Form

Thank you,

Jane Schafer-Kramer
California GIS Council Chair until June 30, 2021

Follow us on LinkedIn

Hands-On Mapping: The Story of a Blind Cartographer

The talk will take place Friday, April 23, 2021 on Zoom.

On the event of the fifth anniversary of the David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford University, please join us for an online talk by special guest Dr. Joshua Miele who will talk about his story as a blind cartographer.

Joshua will use the creation of TMAP – Tactile Maps Automated Production – to frame the broader landscape of how tactile maps and graphics can be used by blind people to understand many kinds of spatial information. He will discuss the power of touch as a spatial percept, as well as the design constraints on tactile representations that are surprising and challenging to most visual designers. Key topics include historical techniques for creating tactile maps, examples and counterexamples of tactile map use cases, and promising technologies for expanding the availability of accessible maps in the future.

Please register here:

ArcGIS Earth New Release

There is a new release of ArcGIS Earth. This is a major release for ArcGIS Earth on desktop, bringing users more capabilities for sharing data as well as configuration settings–from mobile, to desktop, to the organization portal. Mobile users will also get a new release of the ArcGIS Earth app later this month. Click below to read more.

You can download ArcGIS Earth here.

2021 NGS Geospatial Summit

Registration is open for the next National Geodetic Survey (NGS) Geospatial Summit, taking place online on May 4-5, 2021, from 1:00 – 5:00 pm, ET. NGS strongly encourages attendees to participate on both days.

The NGS plans to replace the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83) and the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88) as part of modernizing the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS).

Attend this year’s Geospatial Summit to: 

  • Learn the benefits of NSRS modernization, 
  • Hear about NSRS modernization progress, 
  • Prepare for how the transition will affect you, 
  • Ask questions of NGS experts, and 
  • Share your feedback about the planned changes.

The summit is free for everyone to attend. Click below for more info and to register.