3C GIS Day 2020: An Obstacle Turned Opportunity
Many institutions and libraries have been suffering as a result of the pandemic. Health and safety concerns have made it difficult, among other things, to continue offering and supporting conferences and events that, in the past, serve to advance libraries’ missions and showcase expertise, collections, and services. However, we have also witnessed a rise in virtual events and geographically distributed conferences. This last year, the libraries at The Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Cincinnati, as well as the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis at OSU, combined their efforts to offer the first ever “3C GIS Day,” an all-day event highlighting research, innovation, and pedagogy around Geographic Information Systems at the three universities (Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, hence 3C) that was hosted by our institutions’ libraries.
This virtual event drew hundreds of participants from around Ohio, the country, and the world to learn about new approaches to GIS being undertaken by researchers at our universities, and highlighted library expertise in supporting innovative pedagogy and research through GIS platforms. The virtual event necessitated by the pandemic encouraged our institutions to collaborate on a single large conference instead of separate programs, as we had in previous years, and facilitated conversations around GIS topics in arenas such as: COVID-19, the environment and mobility, the social sciences and humanities, and industry insights. The event brought together students, staff, faculty, and industry professionals to discuss the work being done at and beyond our institutions, and emphasized the growing importance of GIS in bringing together a world that has become (temporarily!) isolated.
The planning committee for the event included Joshua Sadvari at OSU, Katie Philips with CURA, Amy Koshoffer at UC, and Ben Gorham from CWRU. The CWRU libguide for the event can be found here: https://researchguides.case.edu/3CGIS/
–R. Benjamin Gorham, Case Western Reserve University