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Plenary Keynote : Bill Johnson

William F. Johnson
Carpe Geo Evangelist, Applied Geographics, inc

Carpe Geo and Parvum Momentum

The keynote presentation will explore the dimensions of why GIS is a great career through the lens of Bill's career experiences. Come along for the journey and learn a couple of Latin phrases along the way. You will be challenged to think about whether and how any of what Bill learned might apply to you.

More info on Carpe Geo available at www.appgeo.com/carpegeo/

About our Keynote

Bill is a seasoned GIS professional with more than 34 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 two years leading GIS program development in Washington, DC for the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), which is 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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Tuesday Luncheon Keynote : Kimberley Denney

Kimberley Denney
Executive Vice President, Atlantic

History of Lidar Technology

This unique session will take you on a journey through the evolution of lidar technology and how it has been instrumental in a number of significant discoveries throughout history. It will conclude with a focus on one of the most significant milestones as it relates to the user community today: when lidar was introduced to the natural resource arena and how this breakthrough ultimately led to the Congressionally funded United States Geological Survey (USGS) 3D Elevation Program (3DEP).


Kimberley Denney is Executive Vice President of Atlantic, a full-service geospatial firm that that specializes in remote sensing, surveying, and program design throughout North America and beyond. With nearly ten (10) years of experience, Ms. Denney quickly emerged as an influential leader in the field due to her unique approach and skill to design lidar programs benefitting local, State, Federal, Tribal, and private sector users. She is socially conscious through her passion to participate in projects that lead to a greater understanding of many global and regional challenges, particularly those related to hydrology and land management. Ms. Denney serves as one of the private sector representatives on the National States Geographic Information Council’s (NSGIC) 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) Steering Group and as Chair of GeoWomen.

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Thursday Luncheon Keynote : Tom Patterson

Tom Patterson
retired Senior Cartographer at the U.S. National Park Service

Mapping Grand Canyon National Park

In this presentation I will explore four recently published maps of Grand Canyon National Park that owe their design inspiration to renowned mapmakers of the twentieth century. 

The first map, the “South Rim Pocket Map,” targets the majority of visitors who go only to the South Rim and stay there for four hours or less. I based this map on the 1972 “New York Subway Map” by Massimo Vignelli, which distorts geography in order to squeeze information into tight geographic areas. Out of necessity I did likewise for the “South Rim Pocket Map,” which had a print run of three million copies last year. 

My next map, “Hiking Below the Rims,” draws inspiration from Brad Washburn’s “Heart of the Grand Canyon” published in 1978 by National Geographic. I used a digital technique called texture shading to mimic the Swiss-produced rock hachuring found on Washburn’s map.

Up next in my talk is a map of the entire canyon made for the official park brochure. It features natural colors similar to those developed in the 1950s by USGS cartographer, Hal Shelton.

I will wrap things up with a panorama of the Grand Canyon that borrows a clever idea from late Austrian panoramist, Heinrich Berann. I warped a digital elevation model on a convex arc to create a hybrid 3D scene featuring a conventional map in the foreground and a panorama in the background. You can decide if it works.


Tom Patterson recently retired as Senior Cartographer at the U.S. National Park Service, Harpers Ferry Center. He has an M.A. in Geography from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Presenting terrain on maps is Tom’s passion. He maintains the ShadedRelief.com website and is the co-developer of the Natural Earth cartographic dataset and the Equal Earth projection for world maps. Tom is Executive Director of the North American Cartographic Information Society and Vice Chair of the International Cartographic Association, Commission on Mountain Cartography.

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