MAST Dec 2020 General Meeting

The December General Meeting will be held virtually tomorrow, December 11th at 12PM. You can join us via Zoom. When you join, you will be placed in a waiting room before being admitted to the meeting. This is to prevent bots or random spam from joining the meeting.

The agenda is as follows:

  • – MGC Conference Recap
  • – Updates from the Board
  • – Member Announcements
  • – General Discussion

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Mississippi Geospatial Conference 2020 Agenda

Click here to view the agenda for MGC8

Mississippi Geospatial Conference 2020

Greetings, All –

The time has come again for the Mississippi Geospatial Conference. This year will be a bit different, as the conference will be held virtually as opposed to in-person. Here’s what you’ll need to know:

Who: Geospatial professionals, vendors, students, and enthusiasts. Come one, come all!
What: Gather together to discuss research, updates, best practices, new technology, and more, all with a geospatial focus.
When: October 15th and 16th
Where: Virtual! 🙂

Why: The MGC serves to connect geospatial professionals and interested parties across Mississippi and into the surrounding areas. This conference is our annual gathering to share our work with each other, connect with new individuals interested in the field, and discuss research, best practices, and any upcoming news.

How: You can register here.

*** Sponsorship covers a table and four attendees. For questions about how virtual sponsorship can work, contact Karen Clark

Additional Information for Students:

  • College and High School students interested in attending the conference are encouraged to contact Dr. David Holt about potentially having their registration covered.
  • Students are welcomed to attend, participate, and even present at the conference. This is a great opportunity to meet industry professionals in the area, learn about the work they do, ask about internships, and more.

For additional questions, please contact:
General Questions – Karen Clark
Presentation / Poster / Student Questions – Dr. David Holt

August 2020 Meeting Minutes


  • Paul Barnes
  • Jim Steil
  • David Holt
  • Karen Clark
  • George Heleine
  • Jonathan Simon
  • Mike Miller

MGC Announcements

  • The Mississippi Geospatial Conference is scheduled for October 15th and 16th with virtual and in-person attendance options.
    • USM will be open for the Fall semester with health protocols in place.
    • Research is being done into Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and WebEx to determine what the best options are for virtual MGC attendance.
    • [ Action Item | Courtney Kirkham ] E-mail MAST mailing list to invite people to attend the MGC
    • [ Action Item | Jim Steil ] E-mail MARIS mailing list to invite people to attend the MGC

MAST Non-Profit Status

  • Required information has been submitted and received by the IRS. Additional communications are being monitored.

Atlas of Mississippi

  • There is an effort being made to produce a Volume 3 for the Atlas of Mississippi.
    • There should be an Editorial and Cartography Board to review the project.
    • Several team members will be required to complete the project.
    • Atlas is expected to be printed as well as available digitally.
    • Dr. Holt says USM legal is reviewing the project for approval.
    • When the atlas is ready for publication, the expectation is to go through University Press.

Mississippi Department of Marine Resources

  • In July, the 2021 fiscal year began without allocating funds for MDMR. Note: This has been resolved. MDMR staff are still working.

University of Southern Mississippi

  • Introduction to GIS classes at USM in Hattiesburg will now use QGIS.


  • USGS, specifically George Heleine, is creating a fact sheet regarding the 3DEP LiDAR work in Mississippi, at the request of Senator Wicker.
    • If anyone has examples of LiDAR use for projects, please share them with George.
    • There will be complete statewide coverage of QL2 data by mid-October.
    • There is hop to complete QL1 coverage for the MS Gulf Coast and the Delta in the future.

Mississippi Department of Transportation

  • Mike Cresap, Director of MDOT, has retired.
  • There is an effort to ensure the work done under his chairmanship with MSCCRSGIS will be well defined and in place for when MSCCRSGIS reconvenes.


  • CMPDD is diligently working on converting to HTTPS.
  • Expect the grand opening of their new building to be in November 2020.
    • Jonathan Simon has offered the CMPDD conference space as a possible location for future MAST meetings.

City of Gulfport

  • The City of Gulfport is moving to Enterprise.
  • There is an effort toward upgrading many GIS users to ArcGIS Pro.
  • There is a surprise twenty-year archive of utility data that is now being integrated into the geospatial utility network.

Presentation: Difference Between the Political Handbook of the World and the CIA Factbook

  • This presentation was presented by Dr. David Holt.
  • The Political Handbook of the World is updated annually
  • The team maintaining the Political Handbook of the world is primarily composed of academic members.
  • The World Factbook is out-of-date.
  • The World Factbook is maintained by the CIA.

Closing Comments

  • Jim Steil thanks USM / Dr. Holt for providing the meeting service, and to all attendees.
  • Meeting is Adjourned.

Action Items

  • Courtney Kirkham
    • E-mail MAST listserve to invite attendees to register for the MGC.
    • Schedule September Board Meeting.
  • Jim Steil
    • E-mail MARIS listserve to invite attendees to register for the MGC.

MAST August 2020 Virtual Meeting

The time for the August 2020 MAST meeting has come! Please join us this Friday, August 14th for our meeting. The agenda will be as follows:

  • Presentation on the World Political Handbook versus the CIA World Factbook by Dr. David Holt
  • Announcements from the Board
  • General Discussion.

This meeting will be held virtually at 11:00 AM CST via Microsoft Teams. To join, you can click this link. 

If you do not have Microsoft Teams downloaded, you can continue in the browser.
If this is your first time using the software, you may be prompted for permission to use your microphone and camera. Approve it in order to use the software. You will be able to choose if you want your camera and microphone on or off before joining the meeting.

Upon joining, you may be placed in a waiting room before you can enter the meeting. This has to do with security settings for virtual meetings from the hosting organization. If you wait just a moment, we will let you in.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to Dr. David Holt at

Thank you, and see you all Friday!

MAST June 2020 Virtual Meeting

Due to current events, the June 2020 MAST meeting will be held virtually. The meeting will commence at 12:30 PM CST on this Friday, June 12th. You can join the meeting directly by clicking on this link.

The agenda will be as follows:

Presentation by Talbot Brooks: How Cognitive Biases Sneak Into Geographic Analysis and Cartography
Updates and Announcements from the Board

Thank you, and we’ll see you all there!

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