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GIS Management Academy™ - GIS Code of Ethics for GIS Professionals

  • January 17, 2024
  • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Webinar


  • Qualifies for CPD professional credits
  • Qualifies for GISP credits
  • GO Open Data Member Registration

Registration is closed

GIS Code of Ethics For GIS Professionals

Date: Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM 

Presenter:  Workshop will be led by Greg Babinski

Greg Babinski is a GIS management consultant and founder of GIS Management Consulting Services LLC, located in the greater Seattle area.

He holds an MA in geography from Wayne State University. Greg is a GISP – Certified GIS Professional.  

Greg is Past-President of URISA and founder and Past-Chair of URISA’s GIS Management Institute. In 2005 he founded The Summit – the Washington State GIS Newsletter. In 2019 Greg was awarded an Ethical GEO Fellowship by the American Geographical Society. In addition to GIS consulting, he is a GIS researcher, author, and instructor. He has spoken about GIS management across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Greg has taught GIS for Public Policy as an instructor with the University of Washington Evans Graduate School of Public Administration. 

In his spare time Greg likes "...hiking steep, narrow and dangerous trails that lead high above the clouds to awesome views".

Goals and objectives of this workshop

This workshop will help GIS professionals understand the GIS Code of Ethics and prepare them to apply it when circumstances warrant. During the past few years several high-profile cases related to the GIS Code of Ethics have been publicized. Are you prepared to act if placed in a situation that might require you to violate the Code? Are you able to discuss the Code with employers, colleagues, and customers to frame the ethical limits of applying geographic information science and technology?

One characteristic of any profession is an understanding of both the potential good and harm that its practitioners can cause. More than 2300 years ago the Hippocratic Oath came into use in the medical profession. Even pirates, within the perverted logic of their profession, saw the need for a pirate’s code. More recently media ethics and the meaning of the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics have been the subjects of public debate.

More than 20 years ago, URISA took the lead to convene a taskforce to develop the GIS Code of Ethics. It has since been endorsed by many professional organizations. Adherence to the Code is a requirement to become a certified GIS Professional (GISP).

We will begin this workshop by discussing the characteristics of a profession and the good and harm that professions can cause. The development and use of codes of ethics through history will be reviewed, leading to their wide use within most professions today.

The GIS Code of Ethics will be reviewed and discussed in detail. We will use case studies to understand the practical application of the various obligations defined in the Code. These include:

I. Obligations to Society

II. Obligations to Employers and Funders

III. Obligations to Colleagues and the Profession

IV. Obligations to Individuals in Society

A key challenge we will discuss is how to act when our obligations come into conflict with each other.

This workshop is intended to be very interactive. We will go into breakout sessions to discuss our understanding of our obligations and how we might react in potential real-world situations.

We will also discuss the inherent dilemma that the Code creates for anyone who uses GIS for a government agency, non-profit, or private company.

All attendees will receive copies of the workshop slides.


All GIS professionals, including those who hold GIS certification (GISP) or other certifications. Also those starting their careers in GIS and wanting to learn about the ethical application of geographic information science and technology.

Topics Covered

  • The GIS Code of Ethics in the news

  • What is a profession? Development of ‘codes of ethics’

  • Development and adoption of the GIS Code of Ethics

  • What is in the GIS Code of Ethics

  • Discussion of the four obligations

  • Interactive scenarios – applying the GIS Code of Ethics for GIS Professionals

  • Discussion of the future of the GIS Code of Ethics – are changes needed?

  • Exercise: Attendee discussion and feedback

Prerequisites and Recommendations

No prerequisites. Recommended for all GIS professionals and GISPs as well as students and those just starting their GIS careers.

What You Will Receive

  • 2 hours of instruction from Greg Babinski, who is a subject-matter expert and workshop author.

  • A copy of the workshop presentation and exercises.

  • Upon completion, a signed completion certificate which will indicate the CEUs (0.2) and GISCI points (0.05) earned.

  • An invitation to periodic GIS management Q&A sessions with the instructor and other workshop attendees.

Interested in offering a Webinar?  Contact Programs for details.

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