Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is the use of computers to manage, analyze, and display geographic data. It is an interdisciplinary technology closely tied to cartography and remote sensing. GIS is rooted in geography by virtue of its primary functions in spatial data analysis and cartographic design. Training in GIS involves practice with data collection, database development, the transformation of data into maps and information sources, and the use of computer modeling to assess, plan, and predict in real-world situations.
Our students have done class projects on topics like land use analysis, historic preservation, bicycle path development, and hospital service areas. Some students work in internships using their GIS and geographic skills. We also offer workshop training on the Global Positioning System (GPS) with GIS applications.
GIS mapping technologies are highly useful to a wide range of professional specialty groups and have become the backbone of many public and private information and security systems. Geography is the spatial component to every activity. As such, GIS can be used in a vast array of fields, including biology, forestry, wildlife management, engineering, surveying, public administration, safety and security, emergency services, urban planning, criminal justice, sociology, economics, environmental science, agriculture, archeology, geology, marketing, and land use analysis. GIS is a powerful tool and its possibilities for use are endless and ever changing.