Kansas Association of Mappers

Metes and Bounds Newsletter

Spring 2022

Kansas Association of Mappers

Volume 36, #1

Education Committee Update
By Erika Stanley, KAM Committee Member

The KAM education committee would like to thank everyone that participated in the KAM 2022 Educational Needs Survey. The survey really helps KAM continue to provide members relevant training opportunities in a variety of formats. Here is what we have coming up this year:

Lunch and Learns 

Lunch and Learns provide a great opportunity to learn something new in a short, virtual format without much disruption to your workday. It’s a fun way to network with others in the field while munching on that PB&J. These are the Lunch and Learns we have planned this spring:

 Dates Lunch and Learn

12-1 pm, Wednesday, April 20, 2022

ArcGIS Field Maps: One App to Rule Them All 

Presenter: Nicole Grams, ESRI

Register Here

12-1 pm, Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Why pursue the GISP Designation?

Presenter: Tony Spicci, Executive Director, GIS Certification Institute

Register Here

Non- Conference Workshops 

IAAO Course 600 - Principles and Techniques of Cadastral Mapping

March 28-April 1

$800, Register Here

KAM is excited to be sponsoring IAAO Course 600 this year. IAAO is the professional membership organization of government assessment officials. This course will provide a comprehensive, interactive program to introduce entry-level map maintenance personnel and assessment technicians to the field of cadastral mapping. If all goes well and we get enough interest and enrollees, there are plans to offer IAAO 601 - Cadastral Mapping - Methods and Applications this summer.


Introduction to Arcade

May 11, 1-5pm

$75 members/ $125 non-members, Register Here

This half-day workshop will get participants started with Arcade, the proprietary expression language developed by Esri for use in ArcGIS products.

Intermediate Arcade

July 14, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

$75 members/ $125 non-members, Register Here

For those that want to take their Arcade skills to the next level. 

Graphic Design for Mapping Professionals

August 19

$125 KAM Members / $175 Non-KAM Members

Jared Tremblay and Will Trimble will provide hands-on instruction with Inkscape and Gimp, two open-source graphic design softwares. In the afternoon, Kent Smith from the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Design will share tips and tricks for sharing data in both accurate and aesthetically pleasing ways.

Pre-Conference Workshops

Pre-Conference workshops are still in the planning stages, but these are on the list of likely suspects:

  • Kansas NG911 GIS Data Maintainer Class
  • ArcGIS Dashboard
  • ArcGIS Pro Intermediate
  • ArcGIS Field Maps

As always, if you have any feedback, suggestions, or leads on interesting training topics or presenters please feel free to send that info along to any KAM education committee member. We hope you will maximize the benefits of your KAM membership and sign up for a training opportunity this year. 

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topoBuilder - Custom Topographic Maps on Demand
By Claire DeVaughan, USGS, National Map Liaison for Kansas

A new USGS web application enables the public to create free custom topographic maps on demand. The online application is called topoBuilder and the output maps are known as OnDemand Topos.

Using the topoBuilder application, users can select a location and generate customized topographic maps that are delivered via email links. Exclusive to the topoBuilder application is the ability to center maps wherever users choose. OnDemand Topo map extents do not need to align with the traditional 7.5-minute grid utilized by US Topo and other USGS topographic maps. The topographic map (OnDemand Topo) will be created from the best available National Map data, cartography, and standards. This initial public offering is a limited time pilot which is designed to support USGS evaluating user demand for custom topographic maps. USGS will use information from the pilot to develop plans for future phases.

The topoBuilder app can be accessed at https://topobuilder.nationalmap.gov/

Image depicting a custom map selection in the topoBuilder Application:

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John Cowan Scholarship Accepting Applications

The Kansas Association of Mappers (KAM) accepts applications online for the John Cowan Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship provides financial assistance to students within the State of Kansas pursuing a professional career in the field of Geography attained through a geographic-focused education.

The successful applicant must:

  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate student in a post-secondary educational institution within the State of Kansas.

  • Be enrolled in coursework that is necessary to begin a career in a Geography-based profession.

  • Be able to show the intent to make Geography or a Geography-related career the major focus of your higher education.

A maximum scholarship of $1,000 will be awarded once proof of enrollment has been received by the Treasurer of KAM.

K. John Cowan, one of KAM’s most respected members, passed away in February 2010 after a battle with cancer. John was passionate and outgoing about the importance of geographic knowledge, and this scholarship seeks to symbolically carry on John’s passion by providing financial assistance to those with a desire for a higher education in geography.

Apply Here. Application deadline is April 15, 2022. 

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President's Corner: Getting SMART for KAM in 2022
By Amy Roust, GISP

Happy Spring, fellow KAM members! This   season always conjures up metaphors of   fresh starts, new growth, and bright futures, so that’s what I’m writing about   for this   issue of Metes and Bounds.

In December, I challenged every board   member and   committee to set a SMART   goal that would contribute to the   organization in some way. For those unfamiliar, SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. This framework guides the goal setting process so that you identify a clear objective with measures for success. The emphasis for everyone was to pick something achievable. No one had to find a way to save the world with GIS (I’ll leave that to Jack Dangermond). Rather, the intent was to make incremental progress for the organization in a realistic way for each goal setter.

We will be finalizing our goals at the end of the first quarter (March 31). I invite each of you to read through our draft version, particularly focusing on the goals set by our committees. If you find a project that inspires you, please get involved as you are able! There is room for you on any committee. Please fill out the sign-up form on our website (log in required) or send an email to kamappers@gmail.com.

I also want to let everyone know that the board decided against using an outside vendor for event planning this year because it has become cost prohibitive. This was a tough decision, and we are all very sad that we won’t be seeing our good friend Jamie Schieber from Custom Meeting Planners in Manhattan this year. This means that our Program Committee chairs, Pam Dunham and Cara Mays, need as much support as we can provide! I encourage you to consider joining that committee if your schedule allows.

As a friendly reminder, membership dues run from January to December. Please make sure that you are current so that your membership doesn’t lapse after the grace period, which is April 30 this year.

As I said at the end of our time together in Topeka: no matter where you are in your career path, you are welcome in the Kansas Association of Mappers. Whether you are in your first mapping role ever or you’re counting the days to retirement, we want you to be involved. Please join us this year in whatever capacity you are able.

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KAM 2022 - Treasure Our Roots, Map The Future
By Cara Mays, KAM Program Committee Chair

Hello KAM friends!

Planning is underway for the 2022 Conference and there are so many fun and exciting things in the works!

Four pre-conference courses will be held on Tuesday that include Editing with Pro, hands-on field data collection, a dashboard class and the NG911 data steward training. Please look at the website for detailed information on all of these courses.

We will be welcoming Christopher Dunn and Brent Haden as our Keynote speakers! They will be talking about their involvement in a wrongful death court case and how geographical information was applicable as a testimony.

To make your lodging reservations using the following link:


Please continue checking back at the KAM website for schedule updates!

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Contact email: kamappers@gmail.com

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