Map of Devastating 2003 Heat Wave in the Netherlands Observed from MODIS Satellite. Mehdi Aminipouri (PhD Candidate in Geography at SFU)

GIS Day is an annual worldwide celebration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology.

About the day

Mark your calendar: this year's celebrations will take place on November 13, 2019.

GIS Day 2019 at SFU will feature a hands-on GIS workshop and a student map competition/presentations.

This is a public event, and anyone with an interest in GIS is welcome to attend. Everything is free, but registration is required. (Registration details in workshop descriptions below).


10:00 to 12:00  workshop: Intro to Geospatial Data with R

12:00 to 1:00  Lunch (on your own)

1:00 to 3:00  workshop: Intro to Geospatial Data with R (continuation)

3:00 to 3:30  refreshment break

3:30 to 5:00  student map competition announcement and presentations

UPDATE: A team of SFU students, Alysha van Duynhoven and Chris Yee, who won the 2018 Esri App Challenge, a nationwide competition, will give a speech to kick off the Student Map Competition Presentation session! 

Curious about how a web map app is put together?

Come and listen to their talk! For more details please see below. 

Featured workshop: Intro to Geospatial Data with R 

R is a free, open-source programming language primarily for statistics and graphics. This powerful language and its ever increasing packages allow you to read, visualize and analyze geospatial data without resorting to proprietary GIS software.

Student Map Competition/Presentations: Deadline extended!

GIS Day 2019 Student Map Competition

Also available as a printable poster

Competition instructions

Undergraduate and graduate students from any program at SFU are invited to submit digital or web maps to the SFU GIS Day Student Map Competition. Maps may be made specifically for this competition or may be previously produced for another purpose (such as a conference or coursework) using any method. Maps will be publicly displayed on the SFU Library website, on screens in public areas of SFU Library, and via projector at GIS Day on November 13th. Students must make sure they own the copyright or have permission to share the maps in these ways. This competition is only open to students currently registered at SFU. 

How to enter

Send your map to Sarah Zhang, GIS & Map Librarian / Librarian for Geography, at with “GIS Day Student Map Competition” as the subject line. Your submission should include an attached JPEG or TIFF (if the file size is too big to email, please send a link to the file on Vault), or a link to a web map, and the following information in the body of the email: the title of your map, your name, SFU program, and a short paragraph description of the purpose of your map, methods, and software and data used. The attachment should be only the map; no larger documents containing a map (such as research posters) will be accepted. 


Thursday, October 31, 2019 at 9:00am.  Now extended to Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 4:00pm. 


  • The best map prize ($100 Bookstore gift card) will be awarded.
  • Winners will be announced at GIS Day on November 13, 2019


Judges will assess:

  1. Ability to communicate a message/illustrate a research question
  2. Aesthetic and/or cartographic value

Student Map presentations

Everyone who submits a map will be invited to make a 5-10 minute presentation during the Student Map Presentation Session (3:30 to 5pm) at GIS Day on November 13, 2019.

New: At the beginning of the session, a team of SFU students, Alysha van Duynhoven and Chris Yee, who won the 2018 Esri App Challenge will give a speech. They will provide an overview of skills they acquired leading up to the App Challenge, an overview of goElectric--the app they created, and resources they suggest for new web map developers and for students aiming to participate in future Esri App Challenges. 

About goElectric: Within a 7-day timeframe of the ESRI App Challenge, the team developed goElectric, an interactive web mapping toolkit, to support users in exploring and comparing electric vehicles (EVs) for their daily commute in Vancouver and beyond the city extent. The toolkit provides a means to compare against fuel-powered vehicles in annual fuel and electricity costs, to view charging stations located within the city, and to calculate EV driving ranges.

Student Map Competition Winner! 

This year's Student Map Competition winner is Danielle H. Derrick from Biology.  This visually appealing map shows "the global distributions of all Chondrichthyans (Sharks, Rays, and Chimaeras) in the marine realm, where areas with the highest congregation of species are shown in the brighter colors. "

Register now

Register for Intro to Geospatial Data with R.

Register for Student Map Presentations