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Julie Wernert
Office of the Vice President for Information Technology

Anna Radue
University Information Technology Services

Last modified: Tuesday, November 6, 2007

IU to celebrate geographic information advances on GIS Day

NOV. 6, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Consider an industry in the public or private sphere and it most likely utilizes advancements in geographic information and mapping technology. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the National Zoo tracks endangered pandas and Asian elephants, FEMA manages disaster operations and businesses monitor marketing trends, to name just a few examples.


To spread the word about the impact of GIS on countless scholarly and professional fields, Indiana University will celebrate GIS Day on Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the lobby of the Herman B Wells Library. GIS Day is a worldwide, annual event showcasing GIS technology and its applications.

At IU's local event, GIS professionals from the Bloomington area will give brief presentations on topics including geotagging—a practice that integrates geographical information with other media such as historical photographs—the environmental applications of GIS, and the Indiana properties database, a real estate tool. Visitors can also talk to professionals and educators about the GIS job market and training opportunities, Internet mapping, ongoing projects and other ways that GIS technologies are shaping the way we live, learn and do business.

The centerpiece of GIS Day will be a keynote address by Gilbert Rochon, associate vice president for collaborative research at Purdue University, Information Technology (ITaP), who will speak at noon on "The Evolution, Applications and Convergence of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Satellite Remote Sensing." Rochon has conducted research all over the world while working with the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and other organizations.

Another addition to this year's GIS Day events is the Earth as Art contest. Students, faculty and staff are invited to make art that draws its inspiration from the imagery made possible by GIS technology. Artwork can include, for example, satellite imagery, aerial photography, infrared data and other map features gathered from around the world. Entries will go on display in Wells Library during the event, and later in The Herron School of Art's Library at IUPUI.

What is GIS?

GIS is a multibillion-dollar industry employing hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. GIS converts the rows and columns in databases and spreadsheets to maps displaying locations for new businesses, routes for emergency responders or geological features for locating minerals, oil or gas. GIS technologies provide value to organizations of all sizes and users in almost every industry by supporting better decision making, improved communication and greater efficiency resulting in cost savings.

GIS at Indiana University

IU staff provides support for GIS technologies on all IU campuses and contributes to state efforts in building a single map for Indiana. IU's advanced computing and networking infrastructure serves as the foundation for supporting state-of-the-art GIS instructional facilities. The IU GIS community has access to enterprise GIS services, geospatial data libraries, and professional software to support academic and research excellence in diverse fields.

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