Celebrate GIS Day at Honnold/Mudd Library

Join the celebration and participate in a faculty forum on GIS on Wednesday, November 19, at 4:00pm, in the Founders Room, Honnold/Mudd Library.

Held each year on Wednesday of the National Geographic Society's Geography Awareness Week (November 17-21 in 2008), GIS Day is a global event that celebrates geographic information system (GIS) technology, the innovative technology that uses geography to bring countless benefits to the world. GIS Day provides an opportunity for those curious about GIS to see its applications in action. GIS is a computer-based mapping tool that takes information from a database about a location, such as streets, buildings, water features, and terrain, and turns it into visual layers. The ability to see geographic features on a map gives users a better understanding of a particular location, enabling planners, analysts, and others to make informed decisions about their communities.

Although you may not be aware of it, GIS touches our lives daily. It is used throughout the world to solve problems related to the environment, health care, land use, business efficiency, education, and public safety. The power supply directed to homes, the patrol cars and fire trucks that keep neighborhoods safe, and the delivery trucks on the road all function more efficiently because of GIS. This technology can also help businesses place ATMs and restaurants at more convenient locations, allow people to pull maps off the Internet, and help farmers grow more crops with fewer chemicals.

Most recently we have seen how GIS technology can be used to aid Homeland Security initiatives, map the debris field following the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, and monitor the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The applications of GIS technology are endless, limited only by the imagination of its users. From border patrol agents to doctors, and from federal agency employees to local city planners, people in nearly every profession all over the world are reaping the benefits of this extraordinary technology.

GIS Day serves to make people aware of GIS technology and the important contributions it is making in the fields of science, technology, information, and the humanities. It is a grassroots event and a reflection of the enthusiasm and commitment of individual GIS users everywhere.

This year marks GIS Day's tenth year, so be sure to join the celebration and become a part of this annual tradition.

For more information, visit the GIS Day web site, or contact Sheree Fu, Data Services Librarian.

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