Category Archives: Education



Dear Amigos,

Applications are open for the 2017 VALHEN Scholarship Program.

Scholarship awards are for one year and will be paid directly to the recipient’s college or university to cover tuition, books, and/or fees.

Application Deadline:
October 3, 2016

Application available at:
Valhen Scholarship Program

Awards Ceremony
Date:  Friday, March 3, 2017
Event: VALHEN’s 2017 Encuentro
Place: Hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University

For additional information or questions, please contact: or visit

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must:

  • Be of Latino/Hispanic heritage;
  • Live in Virginia;
  • Have a minimum 2.5 GPA (on a 4.0 scale);
  • Be a graduate of a Virginia high school and either have been accepted to, or be already enrolled as a full-time student in, a degree-granting public or private Virginia college or university;
  • Be able to demonstrate leadership through involvement in school and in the community, government, non-profit organization, work/job duties, or in another manner not mentioned here.
  • Important Note: An essay of 300-500 words is required of all applicants.

Finalists will be required to submit:

  • An official transcript
  • Contact information for three references: 1) a teacher; 2) a peer; 3) a non-teacher (but not family member). References will be contacted by VALHEN.
  • An interview may be required.

Winners will be contacted by VALHEN, and will be:

  • Present at the March 2017 Encuentro Luncheon to receive the award. Winners will receive complimentary ticket for parent or guardian.

Winners will be required to sign a waiver allowing VALHEN to post his/her bio and photo on the VALHEN website and to use this information in a Press Release announcing the scholarship winners.

Muchas gracias for your continued support of our Latino/Hispanic youth in the Commonwealth!


The Virginia Latino Higher Education Network

Geospatial Competency Lifecycle-Geospatial Education and Career Pathway

From Geospatial World:

Geospatial Competency Lifecycle – Geospatial Education and Career Pathway

The definition of geospatial career pathways, offering professional growth opportunities following a geospatial paradigm with associated competencies, will enhance the appeal of starting positions and draw smart young people into our field. By Prof Josef Strobl

Very likely only a minority of current staff are on a geospatial career path, most rather fill a specific position without a clear development track. Offering attractive careers will be critical to attract and retain bright and motivated brains. Progressing from entry-level experience towards geospatial 2.X, 3.X etc and ultimately C-level positions is a prospect important for the ‘brainware’ lifecycle, as progressive development through generations and versions is for software.

The‚ ‘brainware’ behind managing and operating spatial data infrastructures, generating information from geospatial sensors and data, and effective geovisual communications increasingly is considered the main critical success factor for leveraging geospatial technologies across its application domains. Education and training on various levels are supposed to develop these competences. Even though educational programs proliferate, student numbers often stay below expectations and industry is struggling to hire qualified staff. After decades as an established discipline, (too) many geospatial positions in public administration and businesses are still being filled by people “trained on the job”.

Continue reading Geospatial Competency Lifecycle-Geospatial Education and Career Pathway

USGIF Launches Universal GEOINT Certification Program

USGIF Launches Universal GEOINT Certification Program

May 16, 2016

USGIF officially launched its Universal GEOINT Certification Program this morning during general session at its GEOINT 2016 Symposium, marking an exciting milestone for theGEOINT Community.

USGIF’s certification program includes three exams with corresponding certifications: GISand Analysis Tools (CGP-G); Remote Sensing and Imagery Analysis (CGP-R); and Geospatial Data Management (CGP-D). A fourth competency—data visualization—is incorporated throughout all of the exams.

Available to U.S. and international GEOINT practitioners across industry, military, academia, and government, the certification program is beneficial to anyone who wants to further their education and training, take the next step in career advancement, or showcase his or her understanding of GEOINT.

Each of the three exams and subsequent professional certifications are incredibly valuable as standalone credentials. However, GEOINT practitioners who earn and maintain all three USGIF certifications simultaneously will be eligible to apply for USGIF’s overarching Universal GEOINT Professional (UGP) designation.

USGIF recognized six Universal GEOINT Professionals this morning that achieved theUGP designation during the program’s pilot testing phase. The first UGP recipients are: Talbot Brooks, Stewart Bruce, Chris Johnson, Angel Martinez, Christopher Stahl, and Michael Wood.

Also during the pilot testing phase, 26 individuals achieved the CGP-G certification, 37 earned the CGP-R designation, and 28 achieved CGP-G recognition.

Parallel with USGIF’s efforts, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has created a certification program designed specifically for the U.S. Defense Intelligence Enterprise. USGIF and NGA have agreed upon a plan for reciprocity. The goal between the programs is to achieve transferability through the concept of functional equivalence, which allows hiring officials to agree that more than one certification meets current organizational needs.

This concept of transportable and transparent professional certification with universal applicability will continue to be paramount to USGIF Membership as well as to the growing global GEOINT Community.

USGIF has created an independent Certification Governance Board (CGB) to direct certification efforts. The CGB met several times in the lead-up to the official launch of the certification program, and will hold its first annual meeting at the GEOINT Symposium tomorrow, May 17.

Universal GEOINT Certification Program testing will begin in July.

Free GIS Programming Tutorials: Learn How to Code

From GIS Geography:

Learn to write code for free in any GIS programming language

What do successful self-taught GIS programmers eat for breakfast?

A healthy dose of Python, JavaScript, SQL, VB.NET, C++, HTML, CSS… In that order are the most popular GIS programming languages.

It’s not necessary to have GIS programming skills to land a job in the industry. But it’s a feather in your cap if you do. And it will certainly help.

If you’re just starting out, we flaunt some of the best, free GIS programming resources available to pave your way to coding competency:

-Thanks to Reddit user Korlyth for his contributions and inspiration to us for creating this post.

 GIS Programming in Applications – Python, C++, .NET, C#

Python has been a standard language in GIS because Esri and open source tend to gravitate toward it. Of all GIS programming languages, many consider it to be the front-runner.

In addition to Python, C++, C# and .NET languages exist in GIS:

C++ lets you work in multiple environments. While C# and the .NET languages offer you good development tools and interaction with Windows-based software.

We suggest to learn Python first because its usually the first language a company looks for.

Continue reading Free GIS Programming Tutorials: Learn How to Code

Elmhurst College Digital Earth MOOC

Elmhurst College’s Skills for the Digital Earth MOOC (massive open online course) is a FREE, 4-week, online course designed to introduce how location technologies are used in society. Offered through Desire2Learn (D2L) Open Courses<>.

Registration Opens March 1

Run Dates: April 3 – April 30

Course Description

Ever stop to think about how important location is when using your smart phone? This educational MOOC begins with an elementary explanation of how society uses location in a myriad of disciplines. Geography, or rather, “where?” is important to all of us from various perspectives.

Within this MOOC, participants will learn what location technologies are used for, how the discipline developed and learn by doing via a series of scaffolded practical exercises. Online spatial software will be employed for any device using a browser which takes users through exercises and real world examples. It is appropriate for those with no prior experience with geographic information systems (GIS) software all the way to advanced users.

In this course, participants will:

*   Understand basic geographic concepts and be exposed to the geospatial workforce.

*   Identify skills associated with the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM).

*   Use geospatial tools and technology and apply some business fundamentals using GIS.

*   Recognize employment opportunities in the geospatial industry.

*   Use and interpret spatial data and data sources.

*   Gain core geospatial abilities which are consistent with those of someone working in the geospatial industry.

Completing the Course

Upon successful completion of Modules 1-6, participants will be issued a certificate of completion. Upon successful completion of Module 7, participants will receive an additional certificate.

*   Module 1-6’s certificate of completion may be used as a waiver to GIS 100 Introduction to Geospatial Technologies, the first course in the  Online Undergraduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems<> at Elmhurst College.

*   Module 1-7’s certificate of completion may be used as a waiver to AGS 500 Fundamentals of Geospatial Technologies, the first course in the  Online Master’s Degree or Graduate Certificate in Applied Geospatial Sciences<> at Elmhurst College.

For more information, and to register for the course, please visit:

Millie the Mapper

Library of Congress March 11, 2016 by Carlyn Osborn

We’ve all heard the story of Rosie the Riveter: women, from a wide variety of backgrounds, who entered the workforce during World War II to aid the American war effort. From Lakehurst to Oak Ridge to Willow Run, women became involved in an enormous range of jobs pertaining to wartime manufacturing, production, and preparation. Some of these women also became involved in drafting, photogrammetry, computing, and mapping. Called “Millie the Mappers” or “Military Mapping Maidens” these women played an integral role in producing accurate and up-to-date maps used by various branches of the military and government during World War II. Continue reading Millie the Mapper