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MN.IT @ DNR Receives Special Achievement Award for Exceptional Application of Geospatial Technology

July 12, 2013

MN.IT @ DNR’s GIS program was presented with a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award at the Esri International User Conference (Esri UC) in San Diego on July 10. This award acknowledges vision, leadership, hard work and innovative use of Esri's geographic information system (GIS) technology.

“This award recognizes an amazing body of work by many individuals to elevate the MN.IT @ DNR GIS program to world-class status,” said Robert Maki, Chief Information Officer for MN.IT @ DNR. “It is great to see the program recognized through this prestigious award. We seldom stop and take stock of our accomplishments. This is a great opportunity to do so.”

The Department of Natural Resources uses Esri ArcGIS technology as an essential tool in fulfilling its three-part mission of providing outdoor recreational opportunities, conserving natural resources and contributing to the economic vitality of the State of Minnesota. MN.IT @ DNR staff oversee all ArcGIS deployments within the department, providing comprehensive geospatial data management services, software development, user technical support and classroom training.

During the GIS program’s 20-year history, the DNR GIS user community has expanded from 20 specialists, to over 800 natural resource scientists and managers, plus millions of citizens making use of mapping functionality on the DNR website. Program staff members have always placed a high value on external collaboration, and championed “no-fee” distribution of public data and software resources within Minnesota and beyond.

Organizations from around the world honored at the Esri UC range across various industries, including agriculture, cartography, climate change, defense and intelligence, economic development, education, government, health and human services, telecommunications, and utilities.

"The SAG Awards identify the organizations and people that are using the power of geography to improve our world and drive change," says Esri president Jack Dangermond. "At Esri, we are always deeply inspired by the passion and innovation of our users. They deserve recognition for both solving their communities’ greatest challenges and for their invaluable contributions to the continued evolution of geographic science.”

For more information about the 2013 Special Achievement in GIS Award winners, including project information and photos, please visit