KU GIS Day 2019

Student Poster Competition

Abstract submission deadline: November 1, 2019

Call for Presentations

A Student Presentation Competition will be held as part of GIS Day, Wednesday, November 13, 2019. The purpose of GIS Day is to showcase geographic information science technologies and research activities at KU and beyond. GIS Day @ KU is part of Geography Awareness Week, November 10-16. Entrants present a research project that involves GIS or other geospatial technologies. The presentation must be based on original and primarily individual research, completed as an undergraduate or graduate student, within roughly the last academic year.


The competition format is a poster accompanied by a short (up to 5‐minute) oral summary of the research problem, data, methods, and findings, followed by one‐on‐one or small group discussions at individual posters. All oral summaries will be given at the beginning of this competition before participants disperse to the poster boards around the room. Oral summaries must be given without the use of additional AV equipment (e.g., laptops and projectors). The competition will be from 1:00 to 2:30 PM on the 4th floor of the Kansas Union, in the area adjacent to the information fair. Experts from business and academia will judge, taking entrants’ academic level into account.

Abstract Example #1:
Creation of a Three-Dimensional Model of the Haskell Indian Nations University Campus

Advances in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related three-dimensional software have facilitated the creation of 3-D and virtual environments. The purpose of this project was to develop a realistic 3-D model of the Haskell Indian Nations University campus in Lawrence, Kansas. This 3-D model may prove useful in student recruitment, acquainting newcomers with the campus before arrival, as well as foresee potential site development problems. Digital photographs and blueprints were acquired for campus buildings to aid in the virtual construction process. The buildings were drawn using SketchUp Pro 5, a 3-D drawing program available from Google. The buildings were georeferenced in ArcMap on a six-inch resolution orthophoto, imported into ArcScene, then overlaid on a triangulated irregular network (TIN) created from two-foot interval contours of the campus. Additional component layers including trees, fire hydrants, storm drains, manholes, stop signs, and light poles were developed using GPS and GIS technologies. Compromises between building detail, time invested, and file size proved to be major challenges to the project. Future applications include an interactive 3-D map for online use in addition to further enhancements, which may prove useful for proposed campus development.

Abstract Example #2:
Mapping Racial and Socio-Environmental Inequalities in Birth Outcomes

A growing body of research in the medical and social sciences suggests that local environments matter for individual health.  Nonetheless, arguments regarding how much neighborhoods matter, for whom they matter, and exactly why they matter varies considerably across the literature.  Using GIS technologies to map concentrations of socio-environmental risks across geographic spaces may help us to better understand how local environments shape health inequalities.  In this analysis we use census data and information from the Wyandotte County Health Department on live births within the county from 2000-2002, to map and examine the effects of neighborhood socio-environmental characteristics (e.g. unemployment, households in poverty) on the incidence of preterm and low-weight births – a common cause of infant mortality and predictor of long-term negative social, developmental, and health outcomes – across three race categories.  Maps of socio-environmental risk show an inequitable distribution of risk factors across the county and high concentrations of race segregation.  Furthermore, the results of a statistical analysis show important differences in birth outcomes by race category.  For example, despite high economic risk, Hispanics show consistently better birth outcomes than other race groups.  Results suggest the need to examine distributions of unobserved neighborhood characteristics, like measures of social capital, in order to better understand the mechanisms that generate inequalities in health.  Understanding how neighborhood environments affect individual health has both local and national implications; by using GIS technologies, policy-makers and healthcare providers may be better able to direct programs and limited resources to areas most at risk for poor birth outcomes.


Awards $$$ - Cash prizes including a best undergraduate award! Participation prizes will be awarded to all presenters.


The competition is open to students of KU, Kansas State University, Haskell Indian Nations University, Park University, Army War College at Fort Leavenworth, Baker University, and other area colleges/universities at any academic level and from any academic department.

How to Enter

Submit a concise abstract describing your project (250 words or less) by Friday, November 1, 2019. Proposals can be submitted by email to jcoll@ku.edu.

Please include the following:
School or Institution:
Academic Level (Undergrad or Grad):
Academic Major:
Poster Title:

A limited number of presenters will be selected based on the quality and appropriateness of abstracts. You will be notified of acceptance on or before Monday, November 4th.

Judging Guidelines (PDF)

Links on this page:

  1. ipsr@ku.edu