National GIS Day and a Map Exhibit

On top of it being Geo Week, it was also GIS Day yesterday and my university had a map exhibit.  Yep, the excitement never ends with geography!

So what’s GIS?  It stands for Geographic Information Systems and is used to help understand, analyze, interpret and view patterns in data.  Software programs such as ArcGIS developed by the company Esri are used to make maps and view your data in multiple ways.

Image from Church of Geography's facebook page.

Image from Church of Geography’s Facebook page.

GIS comes from the discipline of cartography (making maps).  As computers became more available and powerful, the process of map making also made the jump to computers and further developed into GIS.  You can read more about the history at GIS Lounge.

GIS Day started in 1999 and Esri president and co-founder Jack Dangermond said the creation was inspired by Ralph Nader, who thought GIS Day would be a good way for people to learn more about geography.

In honor of Geo Week and GIS Day my university held a map exhibit to show off the diversity within geography.  We are more than just naming state capitols!

I also created my first map using ArcGIS  (I had no GIS experience beforehand), which I displayed  at the exhibit.  It paled in comparison to the other maps there though, which had far more interesting things to show.  These maps came from students and faculty as well as professors from other universities.

Behold the maps!

Did you do anything interesting for Geo Week or GIS Day?  Let me know and I might post it on here!


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