John B. (J.B.) Churchill, GIS Specialist for the Garrett County Department of Planning & Land Management, has won the Esri Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award for the creation of Garrett County’s web mapping interface. This award recognizes vision, leadership and innovative use of GIS technology. Esri, the world leader in GIS software, presents the SAG award to recognize organizations around the world that make extraordinary use of GIS technology and set new precedents for the GIS community. Jack Dangermond, president of Esri, solicited nominations for outstanding users from vertical industry managers, U.S. regional offices, and international distributors. JB’s work was one of 175 chosen from more than 100,000 Esri clients worldwide.
“We created the Special Achievement in GIS Award to recognize our users' extraordinary contributions to global society,” said Jack Dangermond. “Each year, I look forward to being part of this ceremony; it's a tradition that has gained great meaning and importance for professionals in the GIS industry.”
The County recognized the need for both internal and external accessibility to data, while also acknowledging that often the best way to present that data is in a visual way. To that end, one of JB’s first tasks when he was hired in 2014 was to create a web mapping presence that was user friendly and expandable. JB’s technical expertise in not only the GIS field but the field of programming, allowed him to create a user interface that built on software already being used by the County, did not require any additional purchase or maintenance costs, and provided the opportunity for custom edits to the system as necessary.
“I am not surprised that JB has been internationally recognized for his work,” stated Deborah Carpenter, Director of the Department of Planning & Land Management. “JB has a unique skill set that he works hard to maintain and improve upon. When given the freedom to create a product for the people of this County, he extended his maximum effort and expertise to the task. While others try to find a solution to purchase and hope it fits their needs, JB uses his talent to create a solution that capitalizes on the resources at hand, is customizable to the needs, and flexible enough to be expanded upon to meet future needs as they arise. JB deserves this recognition and much more.”
JB will be receiving his award from Jack Dangermond himself at the annual Esri Users Conference in June. To view Garrett County’s web mapping application go to maps.garrettcounty.org