GIS Activities

The purpose of this page is to share GIS related activities and resources with the community.  Activities could include webinars, training opportunities, user group events, interesting web applications, GIS themed puzzles, or anything else related to GIS!  

VAMLIS welcomes suggestions for activities to add to this page.  Please email your suggestions to 


*New! VAMLIS 'Lunch-and-Learn' Webinar Series # 4

EVENT: Free Live VAMLIS Webinar with Q & A 

When: Tuesday, May 4th @ 12-1pm -  Click here to join Webex

Title: Large-Scale Data Collection with ESRI’s Mobile Platform  

Description: GeoDecisions provided global positioning systems (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS) services for a nationwide veteran cemetery record project for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA). The purpose of this project was to collect and catalogue as accurately as possible the hundreds of thousands of graves and monuments maintained by the VA dating back from 1862 to present day, ensuring all locations and images are preserved, recorded, and accessible for years to come.

The project required collection of sub-inch level accurate points, paired with high quality photos of over 240,000 headstones, monuments, niche covers, and many other features in 18 different VA National Cemeteries throughout the United States. GeoDecisions’ overall objective was to efficiently collect and store points with related pictures. Esri’s Collector for ArcGIS was proven to be very beneficial in this effort. As with any large project, there were multiple barriers to overcome in the field and behind the scenes with data post processing. Every site presented its own set of unique challenges, ranging from bad service, to incorrect source data, to varying levels of tree foliage. Initially, progress was slow, but by optimizing collection methods and pushing the Collector app to the limit, the team was able to capture over 2,400 locations, including images, daily. This reflects a 300% increase in productivity when compared to the team's starting numbers. By experimenting with different methods, we have continued to be creative in our process and more efficient with our time doing field work. The team was also able to utilize machine learning techniques to assist with the post processing of the image data for QA/QC steps as well as attribute extraction saving the team valuable man hours.

In this webinar, our presenters will cover the project methodologies along with obstacles met and overcome along the way.

Presenters/Panelists: GeoDecisions' Brett Jones  - Enterprise GIS Manager & Sam Brazil - Data Scientist/Application Developer

*VAMLIS Members can view previously-recorded presentations by signing in to and clicking the Upcoming Events: Webinar Recording Series (below their Memberships list in 'My Dashboard') upon login or clicking the new Videos tab at the top of the website.


TRAINING: DataMark's Monthly Webinar series (select Tuesdays at 2pm ET) - Link here for schedule and to register for any session 

MEETING:  VGIN Webex: Virginia NG9-1-1 GIS User Group Meeting

When: Wednesday, August 11th @ 2-3pm - Click here for Webex link  

Call-in number: 1-866-692-4530, Conference Code: 171 241 0808,  (if prompted password is NG911GIS)

TRAINING: Society for Conservation SCGIS 2021 International Conference will be virtual again this year and consist of a series of online sessions.  Conference registration will be free to all who wish to attend.  Community Member Presentations Week will run from July 26-30, submissions accepted through June 25th here.  Technical workshops, Keynote sessions, and Global Scholarship program also!

Registration is coming soon and will be posted to SCGIS conference pagehere.

Dates: Virtual sessions from July 19th - August 6th


TRAINING:  Check out these great educational opportunities from our Virginia Tech partners:

  • Mapping with Drones Workshop -  This is an intensive, yet introductory level workshop, and can be considered a ‘drone boot camp’. No previous knowledge or experience with drones, sUAS, or GIS is required.   This 2½ day workshop  and will held virtually.   Registration is required and is limited.  For more information, go here à
  • Working with Lidar Using ArcGIS Pro – this eBook, developed by the Virginia Geospatial Extension Program, in partnership with VirginiaView and GeoTEd-UAS, is available as an eBook for free (through Kindle Unlimited).  Otherwise, eBook copies are also available for $3.99.  Over 60,000 eBook pages have been read to date, but if you’d prefer a good old fashion paper book (that you can hold in your hand), then these  are available from AmazonPress as well.  Additional information is available from here à
  • YouTube Geospatial Video Tutorials -  A collection of Geospatial and sUAS instructional video tutorials are available via YouTube from the Virginia Geospatial Extension Program.  More info. is available from here à


TRAINING: GISCI Official Practice Exam for GISP Technical Knowledge Exam - Now Available! Details can be found on GISCI's website here.

ACTIVITY: Guess the Geographic Pools shape from the Aerial Images.  Bonus: use the coordinates to find the real-world locations of these pools.   Click here for Aerial Pools Activity         *SPOILER ALERT: DOWNLOAD ANSWER KEY           #aerialimagery captured by Nearmap


ACTIVITY: See if you can use GIS mapping to solve some eerie geographic mysteries and win a prize from GeoDecisions! This activity requires you to review a series of 10 images to try to come up with an answer to the associated question. An ArcGIS Earth video fly-through provides clues throughout the game.  Click on this link for more details:


ACTIVITY: Want to challenge yourself on your knowledge of GIS?  Try solving this GIS themed crossword puzzle!  We can promise you that even those of us who have been GIS professionals for years will find solving this ESRI puzzle a challenge. Download activity materials here. (Solution on last page)