Iowa State University

ITInformation Technology

GIS Day 2007

This news item expired November 14, 2007. It may contain out-of-date information.
Iowa State University‘s GIS Facility, along with the City of Ames and Story County, will host Central Iowa GIS Day with an open house Wednesday, November 14, 2007. Beginning at 9:00 a.m., the event will include speakers on current local and statewide GIS topics and a poster session showcasing GIS projects of students, staff, and faculty at Iowa State University along with projects from across central Iowa.

Held each year on the Wednesday of National Geographic Society‘s Geography Awareness Week (November 12–16), GIS Day is a global event that celebrates geographic information system (GIS) technology. The central Iowa GIS open house provides an opportunity for those curious about GIS to see its applications in action.

A 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. 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 less chemicals.

Most recently we have seen how GIS technology can be used to aid Homeland Security initiatives, map the recent fires in southern California, and monitor the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

This year, GIS Day activities will also be webcast using Adobe Connect technology. For more information on how to view the stream or to find out more about the day's events, visit the GIS Day webpage at www.gis.iastate.edu/gisday.