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Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative Newsletter

Fall 2021


The New Normal


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic now stretching into its 19th month here in the United States, the Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative has continued to operate with our trademark quality, creativity and responsiveness to our partners. When the team went to fully remote work, we quickly adopted new online collaboration tools like Basecamp in order to better communicate and keep our complex projects on track. That way of working has been maintained as we returned to our office on the Downtown Plaza in Salisbury, with team members alternating between remote and in-office workspaces. As the director of this amazing group, I have been so impressed and proud of their resilience and flexibility as they never lost sight of the importance of delivering for partners even when new challenges presented themselves.


In many ways, the impact of a pandemic was a net positive for the ESRGC. It not only allowed our GIS technicians, analysts, programmers and managers to establish a better work/life balance, but it gave us the opportunity to expand our capabilities on new projects. The need for data visualization became readily apparent in the early days of the crisis, so the ESRGC quickly stood up COVID-19 data dashboards for tracking positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Maryland. We partnered with TidalHealth to track and visualize the need for respiratory care at the height of the initial wave. We then embarked on a major economic recovery and resilience project that is still ongoing. The Eastern Shore Economic Recovery project ( has created multiple dashboards, web maps, infographics and a website to give our county economic development offices the information they need to track both the ongoing shock of the pandemic on our local businesses but also to assist in the recovery that is already underway. With funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and working in partnership with the MidShore Regional Council, the Tri-County Council of the Lower Eastern Shore and each of the economic development directors, we have been proud to develop innovative tools that should serve our region now and into the future.


COVID-19 is on its way to becoming endemic, rather than a pandemic, so we are learning to live with this new normal. But the staff at the ESRGC are working hard every day to make that “normal” on the Eastern Shore be even better than what came before!


Michael Scott, Ph.D., GISP

Director, Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative
Dean, Henson School of Science and Technology




StoryMaps is a modern, digital storytelling platform that combines text, maps and other multimedia content to engage and inform audiences. The ESRGC has been working with partners to develop StoryMaps with economic, cultural and historic themes. The Hill Community Walking Tour StoryMap, for example, tells the story of Easton’s Hill Community, which has been home to free African Americans since the 1780s. The Maryland Forest Industry StoryMap tells the story of the forest industry in Maryland and uses narrative, embedded dashboards and images to communicate the economic importance of this industry to our state and local economy.

Read More

SU COVID-19 Dashboard Updates


The ESRGC continues to support Salisbury University’s commitment to keeping our community safe, healthy and informed with updates and maintenance to the SU COVID-19 Dashboard. Originally developed to display SU’s COVID-19 testing results for the fall 2020 semester, the dashboard now includes SU’s on-campus vaccination rates of faculty, staff and students. The information reported in this dashboard provides up-to-date testing results and vaccination rates to campus decision-makers, the campus community and the public.

SU Arboretum Mobile App


The ESRGC is proud to announce its first native mobile application available on the App Store and Google Play – the Salisbury University Arboretum! The ESRGC recently worked with SU’s Horticulture Department to streamline the SU Interactive Arboretum, and the Horticulture Department soon wanted a mobile-friendly format of the application. Developed using data collected by SU’s Horticulture Department and interns from the Department of Geography and Geosciences, the mobile app allows users to explore the over 3,000 trees and flora collections. The Arboretum app is SU’s first map-based mobile application available for download. Once downloaded, users can learn about SU, explore mapped features, and navigate campus using bookmarked buildings. Search “Salisbury University Arboretum” on the App Store or Google Play to explore and enjoy SU’s arboretum virtually or on campus and discover why SU is named among our nation’s “50 Most Amazing University Arboretums.”

Housing Study Continues in 2021


In fall 2016, SU collaborated with the City of Cambridge to identify factors contributing to property degradation. SU Department of Geography and Geosciences student interns walked the streets of Cambridge collecting property condition data using a custom digital survey. The City of Cambridge has since been awarded over $1.7 million in rehabilitation and housing initiatives. The grant proposals and applications that led to this funding were heavily reliant on the data collected, and results analyzed, confirming the need for assistance in the city.


The Mid-Shore Regional Council and the Tri County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore quickly saw the value in this data and partnered with the ESRGC to continue and expand the data collection efforts across the region. Supported through the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund and Rural Maryland Council, the ESRGC has employed SU student interns each summer.


This summer the ESRGC hired eight student interns to continue the data collection efforts in our region, completing the collection of 20 towns in the Mid and Lower Shore counties. Once the data has been reviewed and proceed, the ESRGC will use Power BI to display the housing study results in a visually pleasing and easy to understand report for each town surveyed. The reports will be distributed to leaders and decision-makers in the towns in an effort to spur discussion and further analysis of the results. To date, the ESRGC has collected data for 37 unique towns, surveyed two towns twice and has plans for more data collection in 2022!

Intern Spotlight: Kevin Bedwell

Congratulations to Kevin Bedwell, our fall 2021 Intern Spotlight


The ESRGC works directly with Salisbury University to help provide valuable internship opportunities for students in the GIS field. Internships range from field data collection to database analyses for local government agencies, and everything in between! On a quarterly basis, the ESRGC highlights a current or former intern to call attention to their experience and see how it has helped them learn real-world skills that prepare them for a direct transition to the workforce.


Meet Kevin Bedwell

Adjunct Faculty Offerings

This semester, our own Anastassiya Suprunova is teaching GEOG 320: Cartographic Visualization GIS. This course covers design principles and techniques for creating maps with modern mapping tools, including ArcGIS Pro. Anastassiya hopes that with this the students will be introduced to interactive geo-visualization and (geo)visual analytics.

ESRGC Notable Achievements

We are excited to reveal Anastassiya Supranova and her family have welcomed baby Alexsandra into the world.


The ESRGC is thrilled to announce Logan Hall has completed the Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems Management (GISM) program here at Salisbury University.


Tim Lanzi has begun the online Master of Computer Science program with Arizona State University and we congratulate him on his recent engagement to be married.


Ryan Mello was re-elected Education Subcommittee chair on the Maryland State Geographic Information Committee (MSGIC) Executive Committee for 2021-2022.

GIS Day Is Wednesday, November 17

Follow our socials to find out how we will be celebrating


Where to find ESRGC

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Give to ESRGC

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A copy of the current financial statement of the Salisbury University Foundation, Inc. is available by writing 1308 Camden Avenue, Salisbury MD 21801 or on its website, Documents and information submitted under the Maryland Solicitations Act are also available, for the cost of postage and copies, from the Maryland Secretary of State, State House, Annapolis MD 21401, 410-974-5534.


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