GIS Summer Institute 2017 

During the summer, the Washing College GIS Program holds a Summer Institute where we teach a series of workshops to train professionals in a variety of GIS topics. These topics range from the basics of GIS, how to effectively use the ESRI ArcGIS Software, how to analyze and display data, and more. The Summer Institute is an opportunity to get familiar and practice skills in Geographic Information Systems.


In the past, the Summer Institute attracted attendees with an educational or environmental background. This year, the majority of the participants were from law enforcement agencies. The shift in who attends these workshops is often a function of timing with school calendars, but we believe part of the cause is the growing awareness within the law enforcement community of the technical capacity at Washington College. Throughout the years of obtaining grants that revolve around crime and traffic, the GIS Program has developed many partnerships with law enforcement agencies throughout the state.


The 2017 Summer Institute was broken up into eight intensive workshops over a two-day period on June 6th and June 7th. The workshops focused on providing a broad introduction to ESRI software, geospatial concepts and applications that can augment the work of professionals in any field. They gained the experience of working with real data, analyzing and creating quality maps, while learning new techniques that they can use in their own profession. As a quick demonstration of what the ESRI software can do, GIS Project Manager, Sean Lynn created a web map application for the attendees to view all of the places to eat around Chestertown.


Four of the GIS Program’s staff members provided engaging presentations on how to use geospatial technology such as,

ArcMap Basics and Overview

Instructor – Erica McMaster, GIS Program Director

ArcMap & Data Formats: CAD, .TIF…

Instructor – Erica McMaster, GIS Program Director

MapStory in Development

Instructor – Sean Lynn, GIS Project Manager

ESRI Web Apps, Tools, and Widgets

Instructor – Sean Lynn, GIS Project Manager

Data Analysis, Queries, and Visualization

Instructor – Michael McGahee, GIS Analyst II

ArcGIS Desktop Tips & Tricks

Instructor – Alicia Shipley, GIS Analyst I

Web Applications for Crime and Traffic Safety

Instructors – Erica McMaster, GIS Program Director, and Sean Lynn, GIS Project Manager

Getting Started with Web GIS

Instructor – Sean Lynn, GIS Project Manager


For each workshop, student interns would walk throughout the crowd to help address any issues that came up throughout the course, since a majority of the sessions provided a hands-on learning exercise.


This year’s institute proved to be a success. One GIS staff member, Sean Lynn, ended up doing a follow up training for one of the attendees in Charles County. These workshops allow our staff and students to make important contacts. The GIS Program is now becoming known as a go to resource for specializing in training and education for law enforcement agencies.


The GIS Summer Institute provides an opportunity for different professions to come together and gain a working knowledge of the great benefits GIS can provide their field.


What other professional development training events would you recommend GIS to host?


What are some of the professional development events have you attended that was a beneficial resource to you? Leave a comment below!