Jim Sparks is the Director of Geoinformatics for The Polis Center. A highly-experienced geospatial information professional, Jim has spent the majority of his career working with geospatial information. Prior to joining Polis, he served as Indiana’s first Geographic Information Officer which entailed coordinating the statewide geospatial efforts and integrating, creating, and distributing geospatial data.

Previously, Jim was integral to the development of the Indianapolis Mapping and Geographic Infrastructure System (IMAGIS), serving as project manager for the data conversion component. This substantial effort converted paper and digital data into GIS layers to create a geographic information system for Marion County, Indiana. Upon completion, IMAGIS was recognized as noteworthy for its size, complexity, and the level of benefit that it delivered.

He received national recognition for leading Indiana’s efforts to become a spatially-enabled state, allowing Indiana to take advantage of emerging trends like smart cites and the Internet of Things.

Jim’s professional affiliations include serving as state representative of the National States Geographic Information Council. He is a founding member of the Indiana Geographic Information Council (IGIC) and the Indiana GIS Initiative (INGISI). Jim has served as co-chair of INGISI’s Data Standards and Data Sharing committees and as vice president of the IGIC board of directors. He has contributed to the local GIS community as a frequent presenter of topics such as “GIS for Librarians,” “An Introduction to IGS,” “GIS Legal Issues,” “Implementing a County GIS,” “For Fee or Free? Access to Government Spatial Data,” and “GIS Resources in Indiana.”

He earned both a M.S. degree in management and a B.S. degree in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.