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GIS Day to further foster inventive spatial thinking

Image courtesy of Esri Australia

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – a date that not many remember but for those within the GIS industry it’s widely known and recognised as GIS Day. A day to celebrate the innovative application of spatial technology, data collection, geospatial information visualisation, and thought leadership through geographic information systems (GIS) technology.

17 years since the inception of GIS Day, the explosion of geospatial technology has expanded that idea into a global event that demonstrates how far GIS extends into people’s lives, and a forum for users to showcase their unique GIS accomplishments.

Esri Australia joins Esri founder Jack Dangermond, along with hundreds of organizations from North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia in celebrating the significance of GIS Day to ignite the imagination of future geospatial innovators who will move the planet forward using GIS.

“This is an amazing time where all our users around the world stop to appreciate each other’s work, whether it’s jumping to action as first responders in flood zones and wildfires, or finding the best place to open a new business,” said Mr Dangermond.

“We should be proud of the achievements our users make in the field of GIS, and this is a way to celebrate that. So thank you for all your work.”

Managing Director of the Esri Australia and Esri South Asia Group, Brett Bundock, said in 2017 the focus was on educating the next generation of GIS professionals through the launch of the $100 million GIS for Schools program – an activity that will see all Australian primary and secondary schools receive free access to the world renowned ArcGIS software.

“GIS is a technology of the future,” Mr Bundock said. “From designing cities to fighting crime to managing construction and roadworks, millions of Australians already work with it every day,” Mr Bundock said.

“By the time these students enter the workforce, an understanding of smart mapping will be essential. As industry leaders, we want to ensure current generations are equipped with the skills and knowledge to thrive and overcome future challenges.”

Mr Bundock said the program would give students a deeper understanding of spatial sciences through a range of ready-to-go projects linked to school curriculums.

“These allow students to use ArcGIS to tackle real-life issues that affect Australia, such as urban sprawl, the health of the Murray-Darling system and the livability of the nation’s cities,” Mr Bundock said.

“They can analyse specific datasets spatially and build up evidence to support potential solutions – just as professionals would.”

Aspley East State School Head of Curriculum Jaime Perkins said his students would gain a deeper understanding of a technology most Australians use daily without realising.

“Many of us use mapping apps to get from A to B or find the nearest restaurant,” Mr Perkins said.

“Now, rather than just viewing maps, students will be learning how to add to them with new, information-rich layers – such as population density or rainfall.

“It is an interactive process that will give them a more detailed knowledge of how the technology works and how it can be applied across a range of subjects.”

Source: Esri Australia

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