Sunday, September 7, 2008

In Colorado

I'm in Colorado, at a place called Keystone, for the week-long annual NSGIC Conference. NSGIC -- the National States Geographic Information Council -- is a national organization of people who, like me, work to try to facilitate the use and sharing of geospatial data (the stuff behind Google Maps and Earth) in the 50 states. We have state representatives, private sector partners, and federal partners and each fall we come together for an over-stuffed week of meetings and discussion and planning. I've been blogging these meetings for several years.

I flew in on Saturday morning, landing at about noon, local time, at Denver International. That's the main terminal in the picture at right. A very cool building. We had set up a simple Google Docs spreadsheet to track who was going to have a rental car. Those of us without cars used that to try to find rides out to Keystone, an hour or so west of Denver. I met up with my ride, a gent from Georgia, and several other sets of drivers and riders and we caravanned through the mountain passes together.

The Keystone lodge itself is quite lovely, but it is at about 9,200 feet. I live about 20 feet above sea level, so I'm taking things a bit easy to try to acclimate myself. The main recommendation we hear is to drink plenty of water. I bought a liter bottle on the ride out and have dutifully emptied and refilled it several times.

I expect to get some interesting pictures here, I'll add them to my now thin Colorado set over the week. NSGIC is famous for marathon meetings (we start, in fact, with a Board meeting in a little bit), but I will need to step out and stretch my legs from time to time. I also hope to sneak-in nine holes of golf at some point. Otherwise, we start with breakfast meetings and carry through to evening committee meetings -- sometimes until 11 at night.

I've said it before: these people are nuts. But I'm glad to have been a part of this community for the past ten years and I am proud to serve on the NSGIC Board of Directors.

It's almost 9:00 a.m. Sunday. We start in an hour. I'd best get my Board agenda out and get to work.

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