Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Where should we have the 6th Annual SARGIS Meeting?

We need a Search and Rescue Team to help us host our 6th Annual Search and Rescue GIS Meeting.

Ideally it would be at a location that: 
  • Has a networked computer lab with +20 computers for MapSAR / IGT4SAR training (A University Campus or Training Center)
  • A meeting room with projector, high speed internet, and room for +30 people 
  • Accessible by airport and public transportation 
  • Tent camping nearby 
  • Within 30 miles of a microbrewery & a National Park site 
This map should help (zoom in to your area of interest for more local intel)

I can help organize the event, but need someone to take care of on-site logistics. For example, helping the IT department at a University setup computers for training (install software, test tutorials, etc). 
We could also consider finding a sponsor for the event once we know where it will be. 

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

I think this year we will open up the event to a webcast for more events so those of you who cannot make it can still attend. 

Here is the agenda from last year.

Here are results as of 01/27/2014. 

This is based on 100 votes so far. I will leave the survey open until Friday - but it is looking like two locations will be needed, joined via web cast.


  1. Don Ferguson says:

    We can host the meeting in Morgantown at West Virginia University using the WV GIS Tech Center


    The tech center lab has 25 work stations with ArcGIS 10.2 installed and we could get more if needed. Also lots of extra lecture rooms if needed and all the amenities of a major university. Lots of lodging that is walking distance to the Tech Center and camping is only about 10 miles out of town.

    Downtown Morgantown

    Camping and cabin rental

    Most important there are TWO microbreweries within walking distance to the Tech Center
    Morgantown Brewing Company - http://www.morgantownbrewing.com/
    Mountain State Brewing Company - http://morgantown.mountainstatebrewing.com/

    Morgantown is centrally located being 1.5 hours south of Pittsburgh, 3 hours from Washington, DC and 4 hours from Columbus, OH. There are even National Park Service facilities close by:
    Friendship Hill National Historic Site - (30 min) http://www.nps.gov/frhi/index.htm
    Fort Necessity National Battlefield - (30 min) http://www.nps.gov/fone/index.htm
    Harpers Ferry National Historic Park - (2:45 hrs) http://www.nps.gov/hafe/index.htm
    Shenandoah National Park - (4 hrs) http://www.nps.gov/shen/index.htm
    National Park Service HQ - (3 hrs) http://www.nps.gov

    There is a small airport in Morgantown and another in Clarksburg (30 miles south) but the primary airport would be in Pittsburgh about 90 miles North (Pittsburgh International - http://www.flypittsburgh.com/).

    There are also several UAV manufacturers located in West Virginia that are very interested in getting involved in SAR as well as other types of emergency and disaster response so I could probably arrange a demo.

    As for other activities...plenty of great mountain biking, trail running and hiking, rock climbing and world class whitewater all within a short drive of Morgantown.

    1. Actually there is now a 3rd brewery. It is considered a mini brewery that is not open to the public. There beer is however served at over a dozen establishments throughout Morgantown.


      We also have several wineries and micro-distillers within 30 minutes of Morgantown as well.

      -Douglas Moore

  2. Karyn from GeoCove says: Orlando isn't a huge WISAR hotspot, but it's a fun place! We host if there is interest in coming down south!

  3. Michaela from NMSU says: Would love to do it here in NM but it would have to be in the second half of June (e.g., June 20-22).

  4. The Appalachian Search and Rescue Conference (ASRC) is celebrating its 40th anniversary on May 31, 2014 at the University of Virginia. Let's try to avoid the May 30 weekend for the SARGIS meeting so we can have a good turnout from the mid-atlantic.

    1. Duly noted Andrew - we will pull that date off the list!

  5. If people were really interested in traveling all the way, we could potentially host the next conference up here in Anchorage, Alaska. We have both the University of Alaska and Alaska Pacific University with GIS labs available and both support the SAR community. It's definitely a long, and expensive, travel requirement but I guarantee Alaska is worth it!

    We have several microbreweries, good camping, and great public transit.

    1. Thanks Seth - I have added it to the list of potential sites. I'd love to make it up there, but yes most people would not be able to travel all that way. Do you think you could help host a webcast off-site for presentations and discussion? We could also provide training materials as well (best taught in person).

  6. FireWhat Training Center is honored to be on the list of possible SARGIS conferences. FYI the FireWhat Training center is approximately 30 feet from the Dunsmuir Brewery. The center is about a 10 minute drive from Castle Crags State Park and 15 minute drive from Mt.Shasta (14,162 feet). We are also known for being the home of the "best water on earth". High altitude mountain rescues are common in these parts. Up here SAR work together with the Friends of the Mt.Shasta Avalanche Foundation, Mountain Guides and the Forest Service during rescues. The training center is approximately 1/3 mile away from the Upper Sacramento River, known for its cold swift water, class 3-4 rapids and Blue Ribbon fly fishing. We also have the best restaurants in Siskiyou County.

  7. Dunsmuir location is an excellent choice.

  8. Mount Shasta California has everything you need :)