MAST April 2020 Meeting Canceled

Due to current travel restrictions and widespread concerns regarding COVID-19, we have decided to cancel the April 2020 MAST meeting. We fill this is in the best interest of the safety of our members, and is in line with recommendations from the CDC and WHO.

MAST Board members can still be reached here if any members have any questions or updates. Please reach out to us, as we are here to support and help you.
At this time, the May Board meeting and June public meetings are still expected to take place. Please monitor this page, or e-mails from us, for official updates.

Thank you all for your understanding. Please stay safe.

MAST Meeting Minutes: 14 Feb 2020

This meeting took place in Jackson, MS. There were 16 attendees.

Review MAST Board Meeting Minutes from 10 Jan 2020

MAST members expressed support for awarding Walter the Lifetime Achievement Award.
MAST members expressed support of MAST moving to become a non-profit.

Discussion of Legislative Bills

House Bill 566

This bill would amend state boundaries to be closer to the shore than they currently are.

Senate Bill 2282

This bill looks at increasing exclusions for UAV regulations.

House Bill 495

Create the Mississippi Emergency Telephone Service Charges Committee.
Investigating charges to the State of Mississippi for emergency telephone service.
Lots of involvement by energy utilities.

Senate Bill 2330

Additional funding for Emergency Communications Districts

Senate Bill 2216

State agencies will have to “manage and maintain information, date and datasets” as open data.
If passed, agencies must have a plan in place by June 2021 and start implementing that plan by June 2022.
Scott Delano of the Mississippi Senate asked for MAST’s thoughts on the bill.

  • Some state agencies expressed concerns about hosting the data, especially in more rural areas.
  • There were questions in regards to how frequently the data would need to be updated.
  • How would perpetually-ongoing projects be handled? (i.e. MSDEQ, MDOT).
    • Recommended that they be updated annually
  • Would the data be hosted just from implementation onward, or will it be retroactive as well?
  • MAST suggests the formation of an inter-agency committee, should the bill pass, to foster cooperation between agencies in developing implementation plans.

Open Forum


MARIS has created a forum for the geospatial community in the state of Mississippi.
There are various boards for focused discussions.
It is free to register and participate.


NENA has drafted a GIS Stewardship document. The template is available through them.


The National States Geographic Information Council will have their Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA on September 21 – 25, 2020.


The Mississippi Geospatial Conference will be held October 15th and 16th at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Long Beach, MS Campus.


The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality will have a database of all the levies in the state, including FEMA and Corp of Engineers levies.
They will also be doing a statewide survey of all parcel data.


The Department of Marine Resources is working on a new coastline map using LiDAR, as well as remapping all coastal floodzones.
NOAA has a 2018 topographic map of the Mississippi Coast as well.


The Mississippi Association of Planning and Development Districts is currently looking at a new GIS Analyst.
They have a new building under construction.
Almost all of the viewers in their portal have updated to HTTPS.
The Annual MAPDD Conference will be held at the Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi, MS on April 28th – May 1st.

ArcGIS Pro

As ArcGIS Pro becomes a more prominent tool, there is an increased demand for accessible training materials on how to use the software.

Announcing Feb 2020 MAST Meeting

Save the date! The next MAST meeting will be Friday, February 14th 2020.

The agenda is as follows:
     – Updates from the Board
     – Senate Bill 2216
– Open Forum

We will meet in Jackson, MS at 12:30 that afternoon. The meeting will be held in the Technology room of the Paul B. Johnson Tower at 3825 Ridgewood Rd. Attendees will need to sign in at the lobby. Lunch will be provided.

Please RSVP to Courtney Kirkham ( to ensure an appropriate lunch order is placed.

See you all there!

GIS Workshops at Stennis Space Center

Mississippi State University’s Geosystems Research Institute has announced their Spring 2020 GIS Training Workshops for Stennis Space Center. Each course will cost $25. Waivers are available for employees of local and state government in Mississippi. For more information on these courses, please reach out to John Cartwright (

Introduction to GIS with ArcGIS Pro

This 2-day course introduces basic concepts in GIS and demonstrated their implementation in ArcGIS Pro. It will be taught by Dr. Joby Czarnecki.
January 14-15
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Government Enrollment
Non-Government Enrollment

Migrating to ArcGIS Pro

This 1-day course highlights key differences in common and frequently used functions between ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Pro. It will be taught by Dr. Joby Czarnecki.
January 16
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Government Enrollment
Non-Government Enrollment

Introduction to GIS with QGIS

In this 2-day course learn to make thematic maps and analyze geospatial data with QGIS, a Free and Open-Source Software. It will be taught by Randall McMillen.
January 22-23
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Government Enrollment
Non-Government Enrollment

Introduction to GIS with ArcGIS for Desktop

In this 2-day course learn to make thematic maps and analyze geospatial data with ESRI ArcGIS for Desktop. It will be taught by Gunnar Olson.
January 29-30
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Government Enrollment
Non-Government Enrollment

Intermediate GIS with ArcGIS for Desktop

In this 2-day course learn about advanced ArcGIS for Desktop software functionality to build upon basic skills. In this course, you will explore geodatabase attribute domains, georeferencing, advanced labeling, geodatabase annotation, geodatabase topology, and data analysis. It will be taught by Gunnar Olson.
March 11-12
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Government Enrollment
Non-Government Enrollment

Intermediate GIS with QGIS

In this 2-day course learn about advanced QGIS functionality to build upon basic skills. In this course you will learn data analysis, georeferencing, advanced labeling, and topology. This course is intended for individuals who have taken Introduction to GIS using QGIS or have a good fundamental working knowledge of QGIS. It will be taught by Randall McMillen.
April 28-29
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Government Enrollment
Non-Government Enrollment

Introduction to ArcGIS Online

In this 2-day course participants will learn about the basic functionality of Esri’s ArcGIS Online. Students will learn to create web maps, publish data layers, and share their work with web applications. This course uses Esri’s ArcGIS Pro as the desktop software to integrate with ArcGIS Online. This course is intended for individuals with some experience using ArcGIS for Desktop or ArcGIS Pro. It will be taught by Gunnar Olson.
May 6-7
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Government Enrollment
Non-Government Enrollment

Introduction to Python for GIS

This 2-day course introduces the basics of the Python programming language as it applies to spatial data. Students will use Esri’s ArcGIS Pro and open-source QGIS software to create and execute scripts for GIS applications. This course is intended for individuals who have experience with GIS and offers a basic introduction to geospatial python programming. It will be taught by Randall McMillen.
June 9-10
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Government Enrollment
Non-Government Enrollment

Meeting Minutes: Dec 13th, 2019

This meeting took place in Biloxi, MS. There were fifteen attendees.

Presentation: Planet

Lisa Gallagher and Pedro Rodriguez
Attendees were engaged and interested throughout the presentation, with many following up with questions afterward.
Lisa requested information on presenting at MGC 2020.
Those interested in Planet’s services can request a two – week trial.

MGC 2019 Conference Recap

Having a key note was well received, as was the selection for the inaugural presenter.
Ian Stewart won the Poster Competition and Scholarship. Mike Miller and Paul Barnes both volunteered to print posters for free in the future, in an effort to drive up student participation.

Board Updates

Digital Coast Partnership Meeting Report

Paul Barnes attended this event in the first week of Dec 2019.
NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management is a primary sponsor for Digital Coast. Digital Coast is a centralized website for accessing imagery from several organizations in one place.

Digital Coast Act

The Digital Coast Act, H. R. 2189, is a bill in the House of Representatives that, among other things, would allow NOAA to establish a “Best Practices” document for collecting and managing coastal geospatial data. More information on this bill can be accessed by viewing the public congressional data for it.

Open Forum

The City of Hattiesburg now has a Federated Portal for ArcGIS Enterprise.
The Department of Marine Resources will start tracking officers for their safety while they are in the field.
The next meeting will be on February 14th in Jackson, MS.

Upcoming December MAST Meeting in Biloxi

There will be an upcoming MAST meeting on Friday, December 13th, 2019.

MAST will meet in Conference Room 1 at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

  • Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
  • Bolton Building
  • Conference Room 1
  • 1141 Bayview Avenue
  • Biloxi, MS 39530

The agenda will be as follows:

  • Presentation (by Lisa Gallagher from Planet)
  • Mississippi Geospatial Conference 2019 Debrief
  • Updates from the Board
  • Open Forum

If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Courtney Kirkham at

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you all there!

MGC 2019 Wrap Up and Thanks

This year saw the 7th annual Mississippi Geospatial Conference take place in Long Beach, MS. The conference was a success, with over a hundred registrants. It was also the first year we had a keynote. Thank you, Bill Johnson, for your wonderful and inspiring presentation.

Congratulations to Ian Stewart for winning the student Poster Competition and Scholarship! His work tracking the locations referenced throughout Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was an excellent example of how GIS can be used across multiple disciplines to provide more context.

While next year’s conference will take place in October, the specific dates have not yet been determined. Stay tuned, as we will put out an update when the dates for the conference are confirmed. We look forward to seeing you all there!

Finally, a big thank you to everyone who attended, presented, or sponsored at this year’s MGC. Without your hard work and participation, the conference wouldn’t be the success that it is.

Mississippi Geospatial Conference – Agenda

General Schedule


10:00 AM – Vendor Check-in

11:00 AM – Registration

12:00 PM – Lunch

1:00 PM-5:00 PM – Presentations

5:30 PM – TBD – Social


8:30 AM – Breakfast

9:30 Keynote

10:00 AM-12:30 PM – Presentations

Click here for a detailed agenda


Please register early so we can count you in! You have the option to be sent an invoice which can be paid later, and or pay with a check at the conference.

October 3rd and 4th 2019 (Thursday and Friday) in the FEC Auditorium at the Gulf Park Campus of University of Southern Mississippi in Long Beach. Mississippi Geospatial Professionals, Students, and Enthusiasts will convene for two of Learning, Sharing, and Camaraderie.

Registration is $75 for a single individual and covers conference attendance, breakfast on Friday, and 1 year of membership to MAST (sponsorships available for students). If you would like to be a conference sponsor or vendor, use the sponsors form to register attendees as sponsorship includes up to 4 attendees.

Poster and Presentations

Format: 15 minute presentations with 5 minutes for questions, sponsor booths, poster display, one meal and snacks provided each day of the conference. Contact David Holt ( with any questions. To submit a presentation, click here.