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Books and Resources

URISA Publications & Resources

Spanning decades of research and education, URISA and its members have developed thousands of papers and publications. URISA members receive The GIS Professional and URISA Digest and access to the archives of the peer-reviewed URISA Journalpublished from 1989 to 2017. 

Books and Publications: Publications and Quick Study Guides are freely available for download to URISA Members within the organization's members-only online portal.

URISA Library - Body of Knowledge: A comprehensive collection of URISA proceedings, publications and periodicals, curated by Esri.






GIS Salary Survey - How do you stack up? Is your organization offering a competitive salary package for potential hires?

URISA's GIS Salary Survey is an ideal resource for both job seekers and for those who hire GIS staff. As in the past, an Executive Summary is available below for FREE and a comprehensive analysis of the results is available for purchase.

In addition to salary data presented according to job title, employer type and geographical region, the survey delves into:

  • How have salary levels changed over the years?
  • Have GIS departments increased in size?
  • What non-technical skills are required?
  • What GIS software proficiencies are necessary?
  • What benefits do organizations typically offer?
  • How frequently do GIS professionals change jobs and are job changes within the same sector?
  • How long is the average workweek?
  • How has GIS certification impacted salaries?
  • Are GIS professionals actively pursuing continuing education?
  • ... and much more

2017 URISA GIS Salary Survey Executive Summary:  This document is a preview of the 2017 URISA GIS Salary Survey, and includes valuable summary data from the survey results.

The full electronic publication is nearly 600 pages long and includes an abundance of detailed tabular data and extensive cross-tabulations. That publication is available for purchase (only $99 for members and $150 for nonmembers).

Purchase on-line

Quick Hits from 2017:

  • The survey is based on 3,060 respondents who are employed full-time.
  • The average salary of survey respondents was $70,857 - an increase of 15% over the 2010 average of $61,540.
  • GISPs, on average, earned $10,000 more than non-GISPs.
  • A majority (57.7%) of respondents are employed within some level of government,  from local to federal agencies.
  • Most receive additional forms of compensation including health insurance, paid conference attendance, life insurance, paid training, pension/retirement plans and 401(s) plans.
  • They spend an average of 70.8% of their time performing geospatial tasks and work an average of 41.6 hours per week.
  • The minimum level of education required for their position is a Bachelor's degree.
  • They have an average of 13.5 years of professional experience and have been in their current position for an average of 6.8 years.
  • Less than half (42.5%) were GISPs.
  • Two-thirds were male and the average age of respondents was 40.5 years.
  • Most (90.4%) respondents were from the U.S. with the greatest concentration from the South Atlantic, Pacific, Mountain and West South Central regions.

 Model GIS Job Descriptions – 2nd Edition

URISA is pleased to announce the second edition of Model Job Descriptions for GIS Professionals.  This updated publication comes to the GIS community in digital (ePub*) format for easy download and flexible accessibility.  Building on the successful First Edition in 2000, this release updates the model job descriptions to take into consideration the ever-changing landscape of the geospatial industry. 

Author: J. Allison Butler
Published by: URISA, 2013
ISBN #: 978-0-916848-24-8
Format: ePub (electronic publication)

  • How do you write up job descriptions to staff your GIS department? 
  • What is the typical hierarchy of positions within a GIS department?
  • What are the essential job functions, education, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities required at each level?


Foundations of Urban and Regional Information Systems and Geographic Information Systems

Author and Editor: Dr. Barry Wellar, GISP
A special publication by URISA
ISBN: 978-0-916848-25-5

URISA is pleased to announce the publication of Foundations of Urban and Regional Information Systems and Geographic Information Systems and Science, a 300-page book assembled to celebrate URISA’s 50th anniversary conference. Sponsored by URISA past presidents, the commemorative book discusses some of the research, education, training, and applications foundations that URISA and its members have contributed to urban and regional information systems and geographic information systems and science during the past five decades. The dozens of contributors to this publication, bring their experiences from governments at all levels, private sector firms, research institutes, and universities, represent the ‘Who’s Who’ of influencers in the field.

Dr. Barry Wellar, GISP (President, Wellar Consulting Inc., retired Professor, University of Ottawa, URISA President 1977-1978 and member of URISA’s GIS Hall of Fame) served as publication Editor and coordinated the effort. “The sum of the matter as I see it, is that URISA has an amazingly rich history, and the right people were in the right place at the right time to prepare a book which delves into that record of achievement, and does considerable justice to the many individuals, agencies, ideas, initiatives, etc., that have made URISA the leading international organization in the field of urban and regional information systems and geographic information systems and science. URISA has a long and rich history of producing substantive documents, and I am optimistic that Foundations will be recognized as an important legacy of URISA’s 50th anniversary conference.”

Each of the 23 chapters in Foundations of Urban and Regional Information Systems and Geographic Information Systems and Science contains insights, ideas, suggestions, lessons learned, lessons to be learned, and recommendations regarding information system education, research, training, and application.

Foundations of Urban and Regional Information Systems and Geographic Information Systems - Free Download; Published 2012

GIS Technology Trends, Status, and Best Practices in Water and Wastewater Utility Organizations

Author: Pete Croswell, President, Croswell-Schulte IT Consultants
Published by: URISA, 2014
ISBN #: 978-0-916848-06-4

URISA is pleased to announce a new publication on the trends, technology and best practices of GIS implementation in Water and Wastewater Utility Organizations.  This special publication is designed to provide water and wastewater utility organizations with information to support planning for GIS implementation and operation.  This invaluable guide gives an overview of existing GIS implementations within Water and Wastewater Organizations while offering insight for Organizations who are looking to deploy GIS.  


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