Event highlights the revolution in location technology
In an effort to help the community discover and learn about the growing, billion-dollar Geographic Information Systems (GIS) industry, Lakeland’s Geospatial Technology program will host a free event, “GIS Day,” on Wednesday, Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the main campus, 7700 Clocktower Drive, in room A-2100. Free hot dogs, fresh fruit, cookies and popcorn will be available to GIS Day participants.
Current students and members of the public alike will be able to take a hands-on approach to learning about the industry through many displays and demonstrations from local GIS agencies, such as:
• Learning new ways to use Google Earth ®
• Making GIS maps using ArcGIS software, the same tools that the industry uses
• Seeing how GIS is used in environmental projects, planning, construction, and more
The highlight of the day will be a free outdoor geocaching scavenger hunt for both new and experienced geocachers. Using a handheld GPS (Global Positioning System) unit, people use latitude and longitude coordinates to find hidden caches, which could be a small box or tube, that contain logs with the names of other people who have also found the cache. Finders sign their name and date in the log and put it back in the cache for the next hunter to find.
Alone in the state of Ohio there are over 25,000 caches with almost 900 of those within 20 miles of Lakeland. Participants in GIS Day can check out a GPS unit the day of the event. For some, the thrill of finding a target using GPS and knowledge about geography can spark a desire to pursue GIS as a career.
“The revolution in geographic technologies is transforming the way we move, work, live and use the earth’s surface,” said Mark Guizlo, professor and chair of Lakeland’s Geospatial Technology program. “This industry is opening up new opportunities for GIS careers.”
Guizlo adds that GIS Day will showcase how businesses and government take advantage of these technologies not only locally, but also nationally and internationally.
“Layer upon layer of information is compiled for a specific geographic area. The first map layer of information might be the soil, then another layer of information could be wetlands, and another could demographics,” said Guizlo. “These details are then analyzed by people who work for cities, states, or businesses to make decisions. Once you understand it, you’ll never look at a map the same way again.”
About GIS Day GIS Day was started in 1999 by Esri, an organization that began as a nonprofit but today has grown to be the leader in digital geographic information. GIS Day is celebrated internationally for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society.