GIS… Geographic Information System… A simple three letter phrase that describes a system that has come to affect every aspect of our lives. From our GPS systems to Google Maps, GIS systems are integrated in everything and serve to make our lives easier every single day. Thanks to this amazing science, we are able to have our deliveries made on time, and get straight to the house of a new friend without getting lost, even though we’ve never been there before. GIS is a truly amazing thing!
History of GIS Day
A Geographic Information System is specifically designed to manage all of the information involved with interpreting and present geographical data. While this involves a broad number of technologies, they all come down to one thing. Storing and processing data about the world around us and making it available to be used in a format able to be interpreted and used by other systems.
GIS Day was established in 1999 by Esri President and Co-Founder Jack Dangermond after he had been inspired by Ralph Nader to do so. Recognizing the importance and implication of this system, and that it was important that the people of the modern age be familiar with the effect it had on their lives, this holiday was established with the distinct purpose of raising awareness.
While currently primarily used terrestrially, you can bet that when we start putting permanent satellites into orbit around other planets, this technology is going to be vital in driving the study and colonization of the solar system, mining of resources within it, and observing the unique traits of distant planets.
How to celebrate GIS Day
There’s a lot of fun ways to celebrate GIS day, starting with researching all the ways this incredibly technology has affected our lives. Take a trip to somewhere you’ve never been, using a GPS system to guide you, research the topography of campgrounds and mountains around your area, or see how an area has changed over the years.
Even better, if you’re the adventurous sort, you can participate in a past-time known as geo-caching. Geo-caching involves hunting down little caches of secrets stored by fellow geo-cachers. Whether it’s a secret message scrawled on a piece of wood hidden under a rock, or a weather-sealed container stuffed inside a hollow trunk, geo-caching is a fun activity made possible by GIS technology.