GIS-Pro 2016: URISA's 54th Annual Conference

October 31-November 3, 2016
Toronto, Ontario

URISA is pleased to announce GIS-Pro 2016 in Toronto, Ontario! The conference will take place October 31-November 3, 2016 at the Westin Harbour Castle on the beautiful shores of Lake Ontario. GIS-Pro 2016 is the place to spark inspiration. It is an environment where the GIS Community seeks innovative ideas and new approaches to be more effective and efficient at work.

Professional Planners... please note: URISA's GIS-Pro 2016 Conference Approved for 49.5 AICP-CM Credits!

Photo Credit: Tourism Toronto

Click here or on the Program banner to the right for complete details about sessions, workshops, speakers and events. Start planning your participation!

Click here or on the Registration banner to the right to register for the conference and to make your hotel reservations at the Westin Harbour Castle. Feel free to use this Employer Conference Justification letter to facilitate approvals. 

Click here or on the Sponsors banner to the right for information about sponsoring and exhibiting at the conference.

Click here for information on the GIS-Pro 2016 Student Competition (deadline has passed) and Student Volunteer Opportunities.

We learned that Wednesday, November 2  is Take Our Kids To Work Day in Canada.  GIS-Pro 2016 would be pleased to welcome your grade 9 kids for the day! 

Our Canadian Chapters (URISA Ontario, URISA Alberta, and URISA British Columbia) are all thriving and active chapters. We're excited to work with the chapters and their members to present GIS-Pro 2016 in Toronto!


URISA Celebrates 50 Years as an Organization

URISA emanated from a conference held on August 28, 1963 on the campus of the University of Southern California, organized by Edgar Horwood and attended by 48 people to trade information on developments in regional information systems. This was billed as the ‘First Annual Conference on Urban Planning Information Systems and Programs.’ Additional annual conferences were held from 1964 through 1966 in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Berkeley. At the 1966 Berkeley Conference, attendees approved a Constitution establishing the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA). 2016 is URISA’s 50th anniversary!

Geospatial information is everywhere, at everyone’s fingertips and URISA as an organization has been at the forefront for the past 50 years, through global technology and social shifts. In the time it took you to pull up the description of this conference, perhaps on your phone, tablet or laptop, you have already considered the conference location, investigated the good eats and conference events, and mapped all of your indoor and outside activities. URISA connects members and partners with the educational, networking and collaboration resources that professionals need to evolve geospatial tools and solutions that respond to real places in real time. Join us in Toronto for our 50th anniversary event and be where amazing things are happening!


Photo Credit: Tourism Toronto

Call for PresentationsShare your technology solutions; dazzle with your management strategies;receive valuable feedback and suggestions. The conference program was developed, in large part, through abstract submissions received through the call for presentations. The initial deadline passed, however there may still be opportunities to present, particularly for luncheon presentations.  Learn more and submit your abstract today to be considered.

Student Competition sponsored by the URISA Vanguard Cabinet: Entry deadline September 30

Venue: Westin Harbour Castle

The conference will take place at the Westin Harbour Castle on the shores of Lake Ontario... perfectly situated for all that downtown Toronto has to offer.

Photo Credit: Tourism Toronto

The URISA conference negotiated a $199 CDN room rate for conference attendees. (Check this easy currency converter to see how far your money will go in Canada. Recently $199 CDN was $150 US.) 

For US attendees who need to meet US government per diem rates, see the  2016 rate schedules, the maximum lodging rate in Toronto is $193 US (our hotel rate at the Westin Harbour Castle is well under that amount). 

Group rate available until September 29, 2016 and is subject to availability after that date. Book your room immediately!

Reserve your room for GIS-Pro 2016:

  • Online Reservations Form
  • Or call the Reservations Center at 1 800 937 8461 and give the  group code ‘GJ29AA’.  

Note: If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Westin Harbour Castle saying that there is now a cheaper rate... just hang up. It is a scam.  

About Toronto & Travel to Canada

United States Citizens: Remember you need a valid passport to enter Canada!  Don't wait until the last minute.

Non-US citizens coming to GIS-Pro in Toronto will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). The policy goes into effect on September 29.

Click here for an abundance of information about Toronto  (getting around, transportation, border and customs info)

  • Did you know that Buffalo, New York is only 90 miles from Toronto? Perhaps fly to Buffalo as an alternative?
  • At immigration, you may be asked for proof that you are attending a meeting or convention and it may be useful to have a copy of the meeting agenda and/or registration on hand. This may also be useful when returning to the U.S. should a similar question be asked.
  • Tips for using your smartphone/mobile device out of the country.

UP Express (Train from Airport to City): Union Pearson Express (UP Express) connects Canada’s two busiest transportation hubs: Toronto Pearson International Airport and Union Station in downtown Toronto. UP Express trains depart every 15 minutes and the journey takes just 25 minutes. First train departs Pearson Station at 05:27 and last train at 00:57. The UP Pearson Station is located right beside the blue Link Train at Terminal 1, connecting travelers to Terminal 3. For more information, visit  

Group Rate for GIS-Pro 2016: URISA’s 54th Annual Conference:  UP Express tickets may be purchased from an UP Express Guest Services Representative at UP Pearson Station at time of travel for only $9.00 CDN (credit card only) for a one-way adult fare when you show confirmation of conference registration (print or digital). Your ticket to return to Pearson Airport can be purchased at UP Express Union Station at time of travel (registration confirmation required). Alternatively, you can purchase tickets in advance online or using the UP Mobile App (note that regular rates apply for advance purchases).  


Getting around Toronto is a piece of cake! Ample public transit, a bicycle friendly and extremely walkable city! 
Photo credit: Tourism Toronto 

  • With a population of 5.5 million, Toronto is Canada's largest city
  • Toronto is the fourth-largest city in North America, after Mexico City, New York, and Los Angeles
  • More than 60% of the population of the United States is within a 90-minute flight


Special offer for GIS-Pro attendees!  Explore Toronto by bike! Toronto Bicycle Tours offers fun and memorable city sightseeing tours of Toronto. For the past three years, this activity has been ranked by TripAdvisor as the #1 Outdoor Activity in Toronto. Their guided tours roll at an easy, safe pace and they welcome guests of all ages and abilities, including children and those who haven’t ridden a bike in a while! This is a great way to experience the city’s neighbourhoods, culture, people, and history.

GIS-Pro 2016 attendees and accompanying persons are eligible to receive 20% off the price of any bicycle tour! This includes bicycle, helmet, water, snack, and a knowledgeable tour guide. For more information and to register please visit .

Get to Toronto - it's a breeze!

Toronto is a city that wholeheartedly celebrates its diversity, creativity and keen sense of humour ― everyone enjoys the warmest of welcomes in Toronto, Ontario. As the largest city in Canada, and the fourth largest in North America, Toronto is an ideal destination for collaboration and innovation, and offers some of the best shopping, dining, art and culture experiences you'll find anywhere in the world.Toronto is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world; a place where international ideas intersect with Canadian culture. A centre of rare openness, warmth, energy and style, Toronto is enriched by the fusion of traditions, passions and perspectives on life of the more than 100 cultures found here.

A city of contrasts, Toronto’s skyline includes the CN Tower, one of the Modern Wonders of the World and glass skyscrapers juxtaposed with historic limestone facades. Miles of waterfront, boardwalks, parks and trails nestle together with urban delights like cafés, artisans’ exhibits and one-of-a-kind shops.

Beyond the city limits are breathtaking attractions within bucolic countryside. Experience the wonder of Niagara Falls, a renowned wine region, outstanding theatres and outdoor adventures—all within a short drive.


Photo Credit: Tourism Toronto

Nightlife abounds with some 200 dance and theatre companies offering everything from mega-musicals to avant-garde works, Toronto rivals New York and London with its live theatre offerings. Clubs offer enticing distractions including hot jazz, side-splitting comedy, acoustic artistry and celebrities taking in the latest DJs.

Toronto is sports-crazy! The NBA Toronto Raptors made it to the NBA Playoffs this season; the Toronto Maple Leafs are a beloved hockey team; and the Toronto Blue Jays were so close to making it to the World Series last year! The best part... each sports stadium is within walking distance of the Westin Harbour Castle. Hopefully there will be some home games when we're there!


Photo Credit: Tourism Toronto

 The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association: Founded in 1963, URISA is an international geospatial organization that provides geographic information system (GIS) education and training, advocacy for the profession, and essential resources to foster excellence in GIS.

Mark your Calendar:

GIS-Pro 2017: URISA's 55th Annual Conference
October 23-26, 2017
Jacksonville, Florida

Conference History

Annual Conference Site History

URISA and the Northwest GIS User Group were proud to present GIS-Pro & NWGIS 2015, October 18-22, 2015 in Spokane, Washington, in cooperation with the Northern Rockies and Washington URISA Chapters. Nearly 450 GIS professionals attended the conference. There was a lot of interaction and discussion and excellent reviews of the educational program. A very positive conference experience!  What a fabulous conference! See what you missed: Online Conference Program 

GIS-Pro & NWGIS 2015
October 18-22, 2015
Spokane, Washington

GIS-Pro 2014: Leveraging Spatial Technology to Support Sustainable and Resilient Communities
September 8-11, 2014
New Orleans, Louisiana

Check out the Video Re-cap of the Conference from GeoSpatial Stream

Click on the logo below for all of the details about GIS-Pro 2014:

Onsite Program Brochure (PDF)

GIS-Pro 2013: Videos... see what you missed!

eGIS Associates, Inc.
GeoTech Vision
Hexagon Geospatial
North West Geomatics
Planning Communities
TGA inc.