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    On June 30th, 1998, an ad-hoc committee of GIS professionals held a meeting to discuss the formation of an organization for Nebraska GIS users. At the time, the Nebraska GIS Steering Committee felt it was limited in its authority to address certain issues in GIS. Additionally, the Professional Surveyors Association of Nebraska (PSAN) was including a GIS component in their annual meetings. These two major factors inspired the ad-hoc committee to form a new organization to specifically serve the needs of GIS users throughout the state. With the financial backing of PSAN, the ad-hoc committee decided it was relevant to include Land Information Systems (LIS) in the association name, thus culminating in the official title “Nebraska GIS/LIS Association.”

    The primary goal of the Association was to host biennial GIS Symposiums to facilitate GIS education and professional networking in Nebraska. The reason for the biennial symposium is to avoid conflict with the biennial Mid-America Geospatial Information Consortium (MAGIC) symposium. Although smaller GIS symposiums had previously occurred, the official launch of the Nebraska GIS/LIS Association took place at the 1999 Symposium. Several members of the ad-hoc committee were also installed as the interim board at that time.

    To keep members involved between biennial symposiums and off-year annual meetings, regional user groups were established to promote regular communication among GIS professionals in localized areas. There are 4 regions in the state, Southeast, Northeast, Central, and Western. These groups have hosted forums, training, speakers, GIS Day activities, and board meetings. These groups are headed by volunteers located in their respective regions.

    From 1999 through 2005 the Nebraska GIS Symposium was held at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln. In 2005 an orienteering challenge was added to the agenda. After the 2005 Symposium, the board felt it was time to change the location. Therefore, the 2007 event was held at the Qwest Center in Omaha. In 2009, the group held their first Symposium outside of the major metro area of Omaha and Lincoln at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Kearney. 2011 saw a return to the metro area when the Symposium was held at the then recently completed La Vista Convention Center in La Vista. For 2013, the group decided to try another brand new venue, the Younes Convention Center in Kearney. The 2013 and 2015 Symposiums were held in La Vista as well. 2019 will again be held in La Vista. We hope to see you there!

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