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How to Make the Most of the NSGIC Emerging Partner Program – A Perspective from makepath

Is the NSGIC Emerging Partner program right for you? If you are a new company considering whether to partner with NSGIC, this blog post was written for you.

We are makepath, a geospatial data science company focused on Open Source GISOpen Source Machine Learning, and Visualizations. We were founded in Austin Texas in February of 2020. We joined NSGIC as an Emerging Partner in mid-2020.

The bottom line is we have found our partnership with NSGIC to be a great long-term investment.

It has taken consistent follow-through and conscious engagement, and almost three years later, we are now a Bronze Level Business Partner and have many active partnerships with both individual states and with private business partners.

In this post we will share what has worked for us.


It boils down to Community, Ideas, and Access.

NSGIC provided us a unique opportunity to meet face to face with lots of decision makers at the state level, as well as to strike alliances with other business partner companies.

The bi-annual conference is a unique opportunity to meet people while sharing our work and knowledge of Open Source tools.

We have met GIS practitioners and decision makers from dozens of states, as well as influential executives from other NSGIC partner organizations.

We have also learned a lot from the webinars and talks provided by member states and business partners.

The conference has a great sense of camaraderie and a sense of possibility that’s hard to put into words.

A Bit of History

NSGIC’s first meeting was in 1991 and the organization was incorporated in 1994.

The organization then began forming partnerships with the vendor community to bring new perspectives and financial support to the group.

Initially it was mostly larger, established companies that signed on as partners.

The Emerging Partner program was introduced in 2017-18 in an effort to provide an opportunity for newer and smaller organizations to engage with NSGIC.

Our Results

As I mentioned above, we have many partnerships that have bloomed from our involvement in NSGIC. For brevity’s sake, I want to highlight one state and one private partnership that came directly from us being a NSGIC Emerging Partner.

  State of Texas

  Planet Labs


In sum, we have found that the more we invest in the relationship with NSGIC, the more we get out of it.

We look forward to continuing our long-term commitment to the NSGIC community. And if you join because of this blog post, find me at the next Conference…beers (or coffee) on me!

Pablo Fuentes is Founder and Principal at makepath, a proud NSGIC Business Partner and former Emerging Partner. Thank you to Jenna Leveille and to NSGIC leadership for their help with reading this post and for the NSGIC historical context.