Have You Thanked a GIS Professional Today? Here’s Why You Should!
This week is National Geography Awareness Week, an important opportunity to tell everyone about how vital the field of geography is to understanding the world around us. As National Geographic puts it: “Geography isn’t just about maps and coordinates; it’s also about stories and offers different ways to learn, understand, appreciate, and embark on a journey of reflection as we experience the world in our everyday lives.”
And today, on worldwide GIS Day, we celebrate the impactful work of GIS professionals who further advance global progress using GIS. According to Jack Dangermond, the founder and president of Esri, GIS professionals are “using GIS technology to take a geographic approach in addressing unprecedented challenges, from COVID-19 to climate change.”
Since GIS Day is meant to showcase their achievements in the field, it’s a great opportunity to consider the many ways GIS professionals are leveraging GIS technology to improve our world and make our lives better. Some of these facts may surprise you! Did you know:
- GIS isn’t just for mapping; it can be used to determine trends and make connections in changing data over time. For example, researchers can look at changing ice cover in polar regions, changes in a city’s crime data, or the movement of fluid in ocean or air currents.
- GIS tools can help deliver information in real-time, which is particularly helpful during natural disasters and other emergencies.
- Scientists use GIS to compare population statistics to natural resources such as drinking water.
- Biologists use GIS data to track animal-migration patterns and monitor habitats.
- Engineers use GIS technology to design and manage communication networks and internet infrastructure, as well as develop road networks and transportation infrastructure.
- GIS is not limited to studying our earth; it is also used to analyze the surface of other planets. In fact, GIS helped map the surface of Mars and paved the way for rovers to land on and explore its surface.
- GIS supports planning and business functions, such as where to locate parks or new stores.
- Infectious disease researchers have used GIS to assess immunization campaigns globally.
GIS professionals are crucial to managing and implementing all of these GIS solutions to our everyday needs and global challenges. So, if you haven’t thanked a GIS professional today, now is your chance!
On this GIS Day, I want to take a moment to share my appreciation for the talented team of GIS professionals who work at geographIT, a division of EBA Engineering, Inc. Our backgrounds and paths to GIS are all different, but we all share the same passion for GIS and what it can do. Thank you for your hard work and dedication, your willingness to share your knowledge and experience with each other and our partners, your excitement over advances in the technology, and your constant ability to adapt to the discipline’s changing needs.
Stacey Smith, GISP, is vice president of geospatial technologies for geographIT, a division of EBA Engineering, Inc. She can be reached at 717.399.7007, email@example.com, or on LinkedIn.