“Knowing where things are, and why, is essential to rational decision making”
Jack Dangermond, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)
GIS is a powerful technology for managing, analyzing, and visualizing spatial data. Using these capabilities, GIS allows us to think about problems more broadly in a spatial context, and provides us with tools to answer questions such as: Where is something? Why is it there? How is it related to the things around it? Why should we care?”
The disciplines where GIS can be found are broad and varied, and include such diverse fields as Public Safety, Environmental Management, Business and Retail, Insurance and Banking, Government, and Education, just to name a few. The subject areas that benefit from GIS are equally as varied, and include applications such as crime analysis, 9-1-1 response, emergency management services, wildlife management, water monitoring, forestry, natural resource conservation, recreation, site location, delivery systems, routing, transportation, communication, mining, logistics, healthcare, election planning, agriculture, real estate, urban planning, national mapping, and military operations.
Within the environment of higher education, GIS can play a daily role in almost all aspects of campus activities, including teaching, research, admissions and student enrollment, development and fundraising, career counseling, campus operations, and public safety. Indeed, there is perhaps no aspect of life at an academic institution – be it teaching, research, or administration – that could not benefit from incorporating some aspect of spatial thinking.
Well, we use GIS to answer questions, solve problems and have some fun. GIS has applications in all of Dickinson’s departments and we are currently working in environmental studies, earth science, archeology, history, international business and biology. In addition, GIS is used several administrative offices, including admissions, facilities management and the office of college advancement.
Check out some more student projects in the Student Work blog posts!