Earlier this month, I attended TUgis, Maryland’s annual GIS conference. It was my first time attending since I gave the keynote address in 2017. That was due primarily to the conference being moved to early August – a reasonable adjustment due to the fact that the venue is always Towson University and the new timeframe takes advantage of the fact that students are still away on break. That timeframe also happens to usually coincide with my family’s annual vacation. The other reason for my long absence was the pandemic.
This year, the conference occurred right before our vacation, so I was able to squeeze it in – though I had to leave halfway through the second day to finish travel preparations. For me, the conference was a chance to catch up with a number of people I hadn’t seen in quite a while – all of whom I mentioned over on LinkedIn. I especially enjoyed catching up with a couple of my former Fulcrum co-workers whom I had worked with for my entire tenure there. Those were exceptionally meaningful years for me and I feel like we grew a lot together.
As for the conference itself, I attended the public safety special interest group and a few other sessions. As a recovering programmer, it’s always interesting to see the software solutions people develop – either from scratch or customizing some other software. At TUgis, that other software tends to be some form of Esri application, though there were a few mentions of open-source tools as well.