This past October marked the 10th anniversary of the beginning of my role as Indiana’s first Geographic Information Officer.  I have loved every minute of it! In fact, many of you have heard me describe this position as “my dream job”.  That is accurate. Being GIO brought together pretty much all my career experiences working in state and county government, higher education, and the private sector in an industry that I have been part of since before we called it GIS, and working with friends across the state and across the country to make a difference (trite but true – that is what we do).

But “to everything there is a season” and I feel that this is the perfect time to turn the page from what has been a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as IN GIO.  My last day will be February 23.

The Indiana GIS community accomplished a lot in the past 10 years, including two statewide orthoimagery projects, two statewide LiDAR projects, improving Indiana’s NHD layer using local data in conjunction with high-resolution orthoimagery and LiDAR, creating a statewide broadband service area map, evolving the IndianaMap into an award winning geospatial one-stop, all the great work of the Indiana Geographic Information Council, and the effort that I am most proud of – 100% voluntary participation of Indiana county partners to share land parcels, point addresses, road centerlines, and local administrative boundaries with my office.  Hoosier hospitality is a beautiful thing!

I will be continuing a high level of involvement in our GIS community as I start March 1st as the Director of Geoinformatics at the Polis Center (check out their great work at polis.iupui.edu).  This center, situated within the IUPUI campus, was “established in 1989 to link two types of expertise—academic and practical—for the benefit of communities in Indiana and elsewhere. Geospatial technologies, especially GIS, emerged as our preferred technical tools because of their unique ability to integrate and visualize information by location. This capacity and our collaborative approach mean that we can develop and analyze data for any geographic area and involve local experts in helping to understand what the results mean for local communities.”  This will not be my first time connecting with the Polis Center.  I was employed there in the early 2000’s and have partnered with Polis staff many times since, so this is a return to an academic setting to be reunited with great friends to do great work.

It has been an honor to connect with you over the past 10 years.  I suspect that the future will bring new opportunities for collaboration.  I hope so.

Starting March 1, 2018, you can reach me at jisparks@iupui.edu or 317-274-2455.


  1. Jim,

    It’s been an exciting and productive 10+ years of GIS for Indiana with you at the helm. Glad you are not going far, and will still be an integral part Indiana’s GIS community.

    Thanks so much,

    Phil Worrall

  2. Congratulations, Jim, on the successes of the past 10 years as Indiana’s first GIO. Best wishes on your future endevors at The Polis Center.
    – Jill Saligoe-Simmel

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