UTC Open House For GIS Day Is On Wednesday

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The UTC Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences announced an open house to celebrate GIS Day, a global event to celebrate geographic information system (GIS), the innovative technology that uses geography to bring countless benefits to the world.

The public is welcome from 2-4 p.m. on Wednesday, at the UTC Engineering, Math and Computer Science Building Room 236. The building is located at the corner of Vine and Palmetto Streets.

"The event is intended to showcase the utility of GIS and all that UTC
is doing with this rapidly growing technology," said Dr. Thomas Wilson,
assistant professor of Biological and Environmental Science. "Anyone
who comes may view maps, aerial photographs, PowerPoint slides and GPS
units."

The sponsors of this event are the Department of Biological and
Environmental Science and ARCS.

GIS Day has been held annually for eight years during National
Geographic Society's Geography Awareness Week.

"GIS is one of those emerging technologies that intrigues people and at the same time develops their inductive and deductive reasoning skills," said Dr. John Tucker, head of the UTC Biological and Environmental
Sciences Department. "UTC's GIS day is an excellent opportunity for our
students and the general public to see how this research tool is applied. Students will also get an opportunity to learn about the UTC Geographic Information Science Minor and learn about what jobs use GIS."

The UTC open house provides an opportunity for those curious about GIS to see its applications in action. A GIS is a computer-based mapping tool that takes information from a database about a location, such as streets, buildings, water features, and terrain, and turns it into visual layers. The ability to see geographic features on a map gives users a better understanding of a particular location, enabling planners, analysts, and others to make informed decisions about their communities.

GIS touches our lives daily. It is used throughout the world to solve
problems related to the environment, health care, land use, business
efficiency, education, and public safety. The power supply directed to
homes, the patrol cars and fire trucks that keep neighborhoods safe, and
the delivery trucks on the road all function more efficiently because of
GIS. This technology can also help businesses place ATMs and restaurants
at more convenient locations, allow people to pull maps off the Internet, and help farmers grow more crops with less chemicals.

Most recently GIS technology has been used to aid Homeland Security initiatives, map the debris field following the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, and monitor the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The applications of GIS technology are endless, limited only by the imagination of its users. From border patrol agents to doctors, and from federal agency employees to local
city planners, people in nearly every profession all over the world are
reaping the benefits of this extraordinary technology.

GIS Day serves to make people aware of GIS technology and the important
contributions it is making in the fields of science, technology,
information, and the humanities. It is a grassroots event and a reflection of the enthusiasm and commitment of individual GIS users everywhere.

Please contact Dr. Wilson at Thomas-wilson@utc.edu for more information. Call 423 425-4713.

For more information about GIS Day, log on to www.gisday.com.


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