posted on Nov. 13: GIS Day 2001 features hands-on workshops, map gallery, poster competition


It's billed as technology that uses geography to change the world.

Geographic information systems, or GIS, will be showcased to hundreds of high school students tomorrow (Nov. 14) who will take part in GIS Day 2001.

The Faculty of Science's School of Geography & Geology sponsors the 3rd annual GIS Day celebration as part of its high school outreach program.

John Drake, acting dean of the Faculty of Science, said the outreach program serves to teach, improve, strengthen and promote GIS and science to high school teachers and their students.

“GIS Day exposes many high school students to new and interesting applications of science and assists teachers in adopting new technology to bring to their students in the classroom,” said Drake. “This also assists in fulfilling the new Ontario geography and geomatics curriculum and encourages high school students in further scientific study.” In September 1999, the Ontario Ministry of Education introduced GIS and geomatics into the geography high school curriculum.

The day's events include hands-on workshops in GIS and geomatics and a map gallery featuring GIS multidisciplinary applications in the local area. A GIS poster competition will also be held.

All of the hands-on tutorials have been filled with more than 300 local high school students and teachers participating. The map gallery will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Burke Science building, room 342.

GIS Day 2001 is a global event that celebrates geographic information systems during Geography Awareness Week, Nov. 11 to 17.

GIS Day is part of the National Geographic Society's exciting initiative, Geography Action 2001. It is a year-long initiative encompassing key educational achievements. This year's focus is geography and the health of our nation's rivers.

GIS is a computer-based tool for mapping and analyzing objects and events. It combines the power of a database with the visualization capabilities offered by maps. GIS technology is used throughout the world to solve problems in areas like environmental protection, health care, land use, business efficiency, education and social inequities.

GIS helps the police make neighborhoods safer, helps energy providers ensure a continuous power supply and health officials keep regions disease free. GIS technology is used in the use of automated teller machines, pulling a map off the internet, receiving an overnight delivery or stop at a fast food restaurant.