KU Fellow Receives National Award for Geospatial Technology

Lawrence, Kan. (WIBW) – A University of Kansas researcher has won a national award for his work in geospatial technology.

Eileen Battles, manager of the Kansas Geological Survey’s Kansas Data Access and Support Center, has been named the recipient of the 2022 Geospatial Excellence Award – Catalyst by the National Geographic Information Council, the University of Kansas said.

KU noted that Battles received the Catalyst Award at the NSGIC annual meeting in Portland, Oregon in September. The award recognizes an individual or organization that has played an important role in promoting and improving geospatial technology.

“Eileen is an effective manager and communicator who strives to build and maintain good relationships with the Kansas GIS community. The relationships she builds at the state and local level are critical to the success of our GIS program,” Kansas State Geographic Information said Ken Nelson, Director and Director of the DASC.

KU said that Battles is involved in various initiatives that facilitate the adoption and use of geospatial data and technologies embedded in the many applications that are used in a variety of ways every day. It says data visualizes resources and infrastructure to analyze patterns, people and events to more efficiently navigate day-to-day activities.

In 2021, DASC began efforts to implement Esri’s Hub technology as the state’s primary clearinghouse site for geospatial data, the university said. Battles led technical and planning meetings and coordinated with state agencies to develop the site, which went live in the spring. It said the site brings together public domain GIS data from sources such as state agencies, Kansas state board agencies, federal agencies, and more.

“While the development of the new site represented a team effort, Eileen’s exceptional leadership ensured that the project was successfully completed,” Nelson said.

KU notes that users can explore data in categories such as water, health and environment, imagery and elevation, and transportation. It said the interactive maps created using the data ranged from Kansas motor vehicle crash data over the past decade to the extent of the High Plains aquifer in western Kansas to the locations of all champion trees in the state.

“Eileen Battles has been invaluable in the effort to move Kansas to NG911,” said Scott Ekberg, Kansas 911 administrator.

The university said Battles also played a role in Kansas’ Next-Generation 911 program — a national effort to replace the decades-old analog 911 foundation with a new, more efficient and accurate digital system facility. She serves on the Kansas State NG911 Executive Committee and GIS Committee, and leads the state’s user group, overseeing data aggregation, quality assurance, and publishing activities.

“I work with an amazing, dedicated team dedicated to building and fostering relationships across the state,” Bartels said. “We work with all levels of government, as well as our private partners, to foster geospatial partnerships and coordination, and to promote the efficient use of geospatial resources across the state. I am honored to receive this award and see it as a direct result of the entire DASC staff reflect.”

According to KU, the NSGIC is a country-led forum for the development, exchange and endorsement of best practices in geospatial technology and policy. Its members come from every state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

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