GIS Day 2014 to celebrate utility of ubiquitous geospatial tool

Texas A&M event expands to three days with lectures, workshops, career fair, exhibits . . .

GIS Day, the annual worldwide salute to geospatial technology and its power to transform and enhance lives, is going to be extra “spatial” this year in Aggieland, where the Texas A&M [celebration] ( , one of the world’s largest, is expanding to encompass three event-packed days, Nov. 17–19.

“Geographic information systems are a big deal at Texas A&M, so we’re expanding our annual GIS Day to showcase the utility, diversity and universal impact of this essential technology that informs research campuswide,” said Andrew Klein, associate professor of geography. “The event also underscores the increasing need to prepare growing numbers of students who will be using geospatial technologies throughout their careers.”

Simply put, GIS links locations (where things are) to information (what things are), allowing us to visualize, question, analyze and interpret data and better understand relationships, patterns and trends. GIS applications, virtually limitless, are increasingly requisite to science, industry and government and are quickly becoming indispensable in everyday life for everyday people.

“So much is spatial today,” said Klein. “Just think about smartphones and the number of apps utilizing location — Google Maps, Yelp, Uber — the list is endless. GIS and other geospatial technologies underpin the spatial infrastructure that makes all these apps work,” he said. “Without it, your friends wouldn't know where you took that selfie on Instagram.”

The three days of GIS Day 2014 at Texas A&M are designed to appeal to GIS novices and pros, with fun and informative events focused on education, innovation and collaboration. Among the flurry of fanfare and spatial events in the three-day lineup —detailed on the Aggie GIS Day [website] ( — are seminars, workshops, demonstrations, a poster competition, exhibitions, notable speakers, networking opportunities with GIS professionals, a GIS career fair and a special third-day focus on GIS applications in the oil and gas industry.

“This year,” said Klein, “we are reaching out to connect our students and faculty with former students in industry and government who are using geospatial technology to shape the world.”

Though offered at no cost, participants are urged to [register] ( for the event and special sessions on the GIS Day [website] ( , as seating is limited at most venues and lunch, served at the noontime panel events, will be available only to registrants.

GIS Day 2014 festivities at Texas A&M University are sponsored by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Architecture, Geosciences, Texas A&M University Libraries and Texas A&M Career Center.

For developing news on GIS Day festivities, the speaker lineup, information on poster competitions or to register for GIS Day lectures and sessions, visit [] ( .

For more information on geographic information systems and international GIS Day 2014 activities on Nov. 19, visit [] ( .

posted October 28, 2014