In The News

President's Message: December 2020

Let’s face it, 2020 is a year that started with great promise and threw us one roadblock after another. We have all suffered at some point and have had to deal with pain in ways we never thought possible. Many have been unable to hold and console loved ones.  Others alone with nothing more than an internet connection and ZOOM to maintain connection with the world.  This will be a year we soon won’t forget, no matter how hard we try.

As of writing this, the year will be over in 24 days.  While that doesn’t mean the switch will be flipped and this will all be a recent memory, it does provide hope for a better year-an opportunity to reflect on the previous year and a moment to breathe and prepare for the year ahead. Next year may prove to be just as turbulent as 2020, but now we are equipped and prepared to tackle the year headstrong. 

For the members and supporters of GITA, THANK YOU!  Without your support, this organization would not exist. We will continue to provide industry leading education and resources for GIS professionals at any stage of their career.  For 2021, the organization is looking to expand on our current offerings to ensure that GITA supports every need for the GIS professional.

The core mission of our organization is to educate, advocate, and connect GIS professionals all over the world. This is a challenge that is not easily met in an industry that continues to diversify and expand rapidly. It’s a challenge we’ve accepted head-on. The pandemic does not give us permission to forget our mission or forget who we support. It does mean we have to be more creative with how we accomplish our mission. 

For the first time in over 30 years, GITA produced its first ever completely virtual conference - a task that was nearly impossible if not for the dedication of the GITA Board of Directors and Conference Committee. I can’t express the amount of appreciation I have to the Board and Committee for putting together a great agenda with industry leaders as presenters. GITA is expanding on the pipeline conference in 2021 and continuing to offer virtual webinars. All GITA educational content will be achieved in the Learning Management System (LMS) that was debuted during the pipeline conference.

Along with welcoming a new year, in January GITA will welcome five (5) new board members to the Board of Directors, and we say goodbye to two longer time supporters of the organization. The Board was extended by three (3) board members for 2021 to help us bring more leadership and diversity to the board.  I couldn’t be more excited at the direction of the board, our plans for 2021, and ushering a new wave of leadership to the organization.

Thank you to all that support the organization and have provided feedback and leadership of this past year.  I am excited for the year ahead and encouraged by the resilience and ingenuity of the GIS community.

Drew Fioranelli, GISP
President, GITA


EnerGIS 2020 may have been delayed, but awarding scholarships to deserving students was not.

Winning a $500 Undergraduate Runner-up Prize (left) was Jaclyn Mantel of Saint Louis University who submitted an abstract titled “Missouri Land Use and Stream Nutrient Load Correlation”.
Winning a $2000 Undergraduate Grand Prize (center) was Robin Pierce of Texas A&M, who submitted an abstract on “Incorporating Mineral and Lease Owners into Spatial Lease Data”.
Winning our $2000 Graduate Grand Prize (right) was Nina Trusso of San Francisco University with her abstract “Wild Fish and Forests: The Northwest Forest Plan 25 Years Later”

Best wishes to our 2020 winners. Look for news soon on an updated schedule for an EnerGIS 2020 event!


REGISTRATION OPEN: 2020 GITA Virtual Pipeline Forum

Register Here


Join us from the comfort of your home or office as GITA’s annual pipeline conference goes VIRTUAL! The 2020 GITA Virtual Pipeline Forum will take place August 25th-27th and will focus on the Gas Mega Rule and the impact it promises to have on the pipeline industry. Keeping with our rich history, the 2020 agenda will feature industry speakers offering insight, ideas, and best practices developed in response to these significant regulatory changes.  Being virtual offers attendees a rare opportunity to hear from these operators, service providers, and regulators in a three-day online setting. We are thrilled to continue to bring together professionals and key decision makers from GIS, IT, regulatory compliance and pipeline integrity, as well as the vendor community and policy-makers for GITA’s 29th annual Fall pipeline event!

Visit Conference Website 


 The 2020 GITA Virtual Pipeline Forum will include:

  • Updates on the Gas Mega Rule, and information relating to other “in-flight” PHMSA initiatives;
  • Overview of recently approved changes to the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) program;
  • Operator presentations focused on MCAs, Geohazards, and MAOP Reconfirmation Program strategies;
  • Operator Q&A Panel;
  • Technology overviews, including operator case studies and highlighting what’s new in the industry.
  • Valuable points you’ll receive toward your GISP or renewal!


Enhance your integrity program’s understanding of the three components of the Gas Mega Rule, prepare for continued regulatory change, and learn about tactics, strategies, and approaches that can improve the safety and reliability of your system. Don’t miss this opportunity to join your industry colleagues for this unique event, as we continue to bring new ideas to the forefront of the discussion, share lessons learned, and build on the partnerships and relationships that help keep our industry strong, even in the face of unprecedented challenges!


FREE GITA Webinar: Robots and Remote Sensing

When: Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Time: 1PM - 2PM EST  
Speaker: Jason Braverman, SkyX

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are driving a remote sensing revolution with the highest-quality optical data available today. With this data, GIS teams are visualizing assets and operations on a massive geospatial scale, enabling management teams to make intelligent and informed decisions. Automation is the key to driving excellence in your monitoring program. Get the visual data that unlocks a new perspective, while streamlining the process around sourcing, analyzing, and refining into its most actionable points.

In this webinar, attendees will learn:

  • How different UAS builds are enhancing visual insights across industries.
  • Why a high-level of autonomy can supercharge your data collection efforts in the field.
  • How to make sense of vast amounts of raw imagery from each inspection, and distill it down to the most valuable data points - without overburdening your staff.
  • The ways that routine monitoring with an autonomous aerial data solution increases ROI in the long term.


Speaker: Jason Braverman, Chief Technology Officer

Jason is a strategically focused technology visionary offering proven success in planning, designing, building, and innovating next-generation technologies. With degrees in Computer Science, Aviation Science and Aerospace Engineering, Jason specializes in resolving complex technical challenges during enterprise systems integrations.

As a serial entrepreneur, Jason is highly effective serving as a bridge between technical and business organizations and has brought numerous start-ups to successful standing and exits. He brings more than 25 years of active experience in both start-up and large organizations.



Free GITA Webinar: Wide Area Infrastructure Mapping Using a Fixed Wing VTOL Drone

Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Time: 1:00PM - 2:00PM EST
Speakers: Trent Casi and Stephanie Lambert, Wingtra
This webinar will present the applications for using a fixed wing VTOL drone for mapping infrastructure assets in the energy industry. Comparisons will be made using a quad-copter vs a fixed wing platform discussing the pros/cons of both. Workflows for project setup, flying, image collection, image processing, and analytics will be presented.
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