Meetup.com is a social networking website designed for anyone in search of something to do, learn, interact with, and get involved in the community with like-minded people. You can find a meetup in just about any major metropolitan city including Washington, D.C., one of the leading utilizers of the site.
You can find anything from hiking and rock climbing to speed dating to national park tours to Python programming workshops. Other popular meetup topics include happy hours, single-mom coffee meetings, running clubs, and seminars and conferences.
There are several GIS/geography meetup groups that tailor to the working DC professional, including Esri DC Meet Ups and Geo DC. The former is a group put on by staff at the local Esri R&D center in Arlington, Virginia which showcases new cloud, web, and mobile technologies related to Esri products. To those interested, these meetups consist of talks, lectures, and hands-on learning sessions. Recent topics have included, “Drones and GIS – a Powerful Combination”, “Maps Bring Your Story to Life”, and “Geospatial Technology for Fraud Analytics”.
The second GIS related DC meetup group is called Geo DC. This group is for GIS professionals of all levels and interests and meets once a month for lightning talks and networking. Unlike the Esri DC Meet Ups group, Geo DC tends to cover open source technologies as well as Esri products. The monthly meetings are held at a local bar for a few hours and host an average of 90+ participants. The meetings start with introductions, and then lead into several lightning talks and demonstrations. Afterwards, it turns into a networking social. Recent meeting topics have covered “#Maps: social media and mapping”, “OpenStreetMap: June GeoDC”, and “November GeoDC: Geo Policy”.