GIS-based Missouri History App to be Showcased at Esri Education GIS Conference

May 8, 2014, ST. LOUIS — Missouri is emerging as an innovator in a new tourism approach that marries travel with technology. Application developer John Deis is presenting his work in this area at the Esri Education GIS Conference in San Diego, Calif., July, 2014. Deis will display his advancements on a Missouri heritage tourism smartphone app, commissioned by the Missouri Humanities Council.

The app, named Missouri Expeditions, uses geographic information systems (GIS) technology to present cultural, historical, geographical and geological information about Missouri. Users’ locations unlock specific content, such as maps, games, videos and photos to their cellphones. Missouri Expeditions is an aspect of heritage tourism, a new, more comprehensive approach to tourism planning that shares the history and places of a unique community.

Esri, the company hosting the conference, is an international supplier of GIS software, web GIS and geodatabase management headquartered in California. The Esri Education GIS Conference, held July 12-15 in San Diego, Calif., provides unique learning opportunities to help educational institutions maximize GIS investment through plenary sessions, user presentations and hands-on workshops. Deis’s paper, “Heritage Tourism – GIS on Smartphones to Drive Economic Development,” will be presented as part of the “Exploring the Human Experience with Geotechnologies” session.

The Missouri Humanities Council’s involvement with heritage tourism will serve to increase awareness of Missouri’s stories within the state and nationwide, improve the cultural quality of life for Missourians in general and will maximize collaboration among regional stakeholders. The app will effectively use technology to highlight the significance of the humanities and their role in our communities. Preserving and sharing stories can help us better understand what makes each Missouri community unique, help build community pride and generate economic activity that will enhance the vitality and viability of communities of all sizes.

About the Missouri Humanities Council

The Missouri Humanities Council was founded in 1971 as an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It works to foster connections between cultural organizations and humanities scholars, helping them to engage public audiences in dynamic ways that spark enthusiasm for learning that builds character, intellect and understanding. The Council supports the humanities in Missouri through a variety of means, including grants and support for local museum and libraries, traveling exhibit programs and early reading initiatives for families with young children. More information about the many projects of MHC can be found on the Council’s website at or by calling 1-800-357-0909.

Published Saturday, May 10th, 2014

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