Discovering The World Through GIS
Several events have been organised through out Asia during GIS day to communicate the importance of GIS
GIS Day is a grassroots event that formalises the practice of geographic information systems (GIS) users and vendors of opening their doors to schools, businesses, and the general public to showcase real-world applications of GIS technology. The event is principally sponsored by the National Geographic Society, the Association of American Geographers, University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, the United States Geological Survey, The Library of Congress, and ESRI. GIS day is being organised since last year. Although, the National Geographic Society has sponsored Geography Awareness week to promote geographic literacy in schools, communities and organisations with a focus on the education of children, since 1987.
There are currently about half a million GIS users around the world. Over the last decade, GIS use has rapidly grown in the world, especially in Asia. The demand for GIS training and education is also on the rise. Every year GIS Day is organised to help the public at large realise its potentials. The GIS Day celebration is a public event to familiarise schools, business, and the general public of this important technology. Last year, more than 2,400 organisations (GIS users and vendors) hosted GIS Day events in more than 91 different countries and over 2.4 million children and adults were familiarised with GIS.
Again this year, users of GIS technology worldwide had opened their doors to educate their communities, local schools, and business affiliates on how GIS technology, through geography, affects our everyday lives. This year, 15 November 2000 was celebrated as the Second Annual International – GIS Day and 12-18 November was observed as the Geography Awareness Week around the world. With over 1,600 events held throughout the world and over 1.5 million children and adults educated in the use of GIS, GIS Day 2000 was a huge success! With the combined efforts more than 850,000 children and 690,000 adults were made aware of the substantial contributions that GIS technology is making in their communities every day.
There was a live Web conference on GIS Day for any middle and high school classrooms around the world. It was organised by KanCRN community, USA, for those who were interested in using GIS tools for data analysis in a project-based learning environment. The web conference features the use of static and interactive Internet-based mapping, real-time video feeds from the GIS division of KanCRN, and text-based chat to facilitates school-to-school and expert-to-school questions and discussions. Though in Asia, this web conference has benefited very few students, as still the internet among children is only limited to metropolitan cities. Along with this there were so many events which were effective ways of communicating the importance of geography and GIS. Here are just a few great examples of the different events in India and rest of Asia.
GISdevelopment.net has launched a GIS Education section as an addition to its web site. An online counseling on the prospect of GIS and benefits of map use will be initiated on GIS Day. This will be done in parallel to the launch of new section on GIS Education (www.GISdevelopment.net/edu) for the young graduates looking for basic information on what are GIS and the career prospect of GIS. This section will have the listing of Institutes imparting training and higher education in GIS in Asia Pacific region.
Centre for Spatial Information Technology (CSIT) JNT University, Hyderabad organised a GIS Quiz along with the different programmes. This includes Poster display of GIS applications, Video presentation of GIS concepts, applications with reference to Arc / Info, Demonstration of GIS and Photogrammetry software packages. All these programmes were jointly organised with GIS India and supported by Global Info Sciences.
Scanpoint Graphics Ltd. based at Ahmedabad has demonstrated Map Gallery and hosted an Open House discussion workshop on GIS. Center for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, educated public on the importance of remote sensing and GIS in environment decision making also a Seminar and a Poster Session was organised by Energy Research Group Members. Anna University, Chennai celebrate GIS Day by educating GIS to the students, adults and officials from user department.
Tata Infotech Limited, Chennai, had conducted an event where School Children and Teachers were given education on the GIS Technology. Institute of Remote Sensing Chennai has invited experts from Educational Institution, User Department and Industry Dr. N. Sivagnanam Dr. Mohmed Ghouse Dr. Nirmal Kumar Senapati respectively to deliver lectures. Apart from this all the Undergraduate and postgraduate students of Geoinformatics, Civil Engineering and Remote Sensing were also invited beside selected school children. Research and Development, Institute of Remote sensing, Chennai organised a workshop on application of Remote Sensing and GIS for Coastal Zone Management
Landmark, a Pondicherry based company has organised a workshop to educate the importance of GIS in school, and college level education and to bring about awareness in GIS, geography. They gave a demonstration to college level students on the importance of GIS in French.
Apart from this, many more institutes and organisations have celebrated the GIS day in their own way.
University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh promoted higher education through demonstration and map gallery. Natural Resources Planners Ltd., a Dhaka based company gave a training on map production, demonstration of GIS customisation in the field of Environmental Management, Forestry, Planning and Transportation. CARE Bangladesh is based at Dhanmondi, Bangladesh organised a colourful rally in the capital, Dhaka and also organised a workshop on GIS applications in the field of Environmental Management, Health, Planning and Transportation for celebrating the GIS Day.
Institute of Geography, Beijing organised an evening workshop in a computerised classroom held in Beijing Normal University. Two activities were implemented, first a vivid introduction to What is GIS, What can a GIS do for you and How to undertake, in general, a GIS project or What should be considered or planed in carrying a GIS project? Second, prepared a contour coverage representing typical terrain in Western China, then teaches attendees to made their own demonstration and displayed draped images or other themes in a 3D view.
Compaq, a Beijing based company has demonstrated GIS applications in the field of Banking and Insurance, Electric and Gas Utilities, Environmental Management, Higher Education, K-12 Education, Logistics/Vehicle Management, Pipeline, State and Local Government, Telecommunications, Transportation, Water and Wastewater.
Shanghai Seismological Bureau, Shanghai has organised a GIS conference and workshop in the field of Electric and Gas Utilities, Environmental Management, Pipeline, State and Local Government, Telecommunications, Transportation, Water and Wastewater.
AOG Hebron Secondary School has organised a workshop on GIS in K-12 Education.
GIS Club located at Jakartatimur, organised a GIS EXPO for children to know GIS.
Ministry of Housing, Gaza organised a Palestinian GIS 2000. Baha’i World Centre located at Haifa, presented in a very simple manner what GIS is and what beginners can do with it on the PC’s in the computer lab at school also they presented demonstrations for GIS applications. Forsoft, a company based at Ramat Gan, demonstrated with their application Telecom/Osp Network Designer Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, demonstrated the role of GIS in open landscape planning issues by conducting nature and landscape surveys, locating conflicts between development and environment Map gallery, published nature & landscape surveys and computer stations for hands-on practice & demonstration.
Tokyo Institute of Technology, located at Meguro Ku, Tokyo gave GIS Training, lectures, seminars and also presented few case studies at the occasion.
Geographic Data Technology, Inc. (GDT), in Lebanon, New Hampshire has demonstrated the importance of geography to more than 1,500 school children in the Upper Valley in celebration of GIS Day. GDT employees visited approximately 50 Upper Valley classrooms with presentations on the impact geography has on students’ everyday lives. They had also hosted an Open House to give members of the Upper Valley community an opportunity to learn more about GDT and the GIS industry.
IIUM, Kuala Lumpur gave a demonstration on introduction to GIS. ESRI South Asia Sdn Bhd, Petaling Jaya organised a seminar entitled “A Day in your life with Geography and GIS” which was Co-Sponsored by MPH Bookstores Sdn Bhd & Sri Kuala Lumpur Secondary School. Orbtech Business System based at Wilayah Persekutuan gave a demonstration on “Geography and how it affects our life”.
To mark this occasion, for the first time in Nepal, GIS Day was celebrated through the joint efforts of ICIMOD, the Institute of Engineering (IoE), and Central Department of Geography and Nepal GIS Society. A three day (12-15 November) long course `GIS for Beginners’ was organised especially for school teachers/students and interested learners. More than 120 participants from different schools, colleges, business organisations, government and non-government organisations and individuals took part in the training course. The training course provided an introductory GIS concepts and applications to a wide range of audiences.
There was the exhibition which displays various GIS applications carried out by different organisations in Nepal. The exhibition brought together the majority of GIS and mapping community in Nepal and shared their activities. More than 2500 school children, GIS/mapping professionals and the visitors observed the day. About 85 schools/campus, 30 government departments, 26 INGOs/NGOs, 30 business organisations/companies took part in the exhibition. The video shows were organised at a regular interval on the GIS and related technologies and its applications.
Also a book entitled `GIS for Beginners’ and the CD-ROM was released to mark this day. It is envisaged that the materials developed will be useful as supplementary materials to teach geography and related courses in schools and colleges.
Pakistan Society of Geographic Information Systems (PSGIS), Barki Village, Lahore, presented Demonstrations on GIS in educational institutions. Webcats, a Hyderabad, Pakistan arranged an open house to make people and children aware of GIS Technology. Byte Production, a Lahore based company, organised a open volunteer event for the young kids and GIS up coming generation, relating them the importance of GPS and GIS.
National Mapping and Resource Information Authority based at Makati organised a three-day Conference and Exhibition. Naga Air Ventures Inc., a company based at Naga, organised a seminar on role of GIS in air transportation. Naga City Government, Naga has promoted GIS the Naga City Way. Geodata Systems Technologies, Inc., based at Pasig City has also celebrated GIS day in its own way.
Joint Program of Family &Community Medicine, located at Jeddah has presented a seminar on introducing GIS technology & its potential uses in the medical field. It was presented for group of Public Health professionals and trainees.
ESRI Korea, Inc., located at Seoul organised three events: 1) Introduction to ESRI new technology and application developed by client (commercial, government and university) 2) Map Gallery and application contest 3) Demonstration the applications and ESRI products.
Environment Research Institute, Bangkok gave a seminar on GIS knowledge for students and teachers. Naresuan University, Muang also celebrated the 2nd GIS Day by giving demonstration and organising a conference. Space-Wire.com is a company based at Samuthprakarn organised a Thai GIS Exhibition
United Arab Emirates
UAE University, Al-Ain gave a demonstration on GIS and its applications.
GIS Day 2001 will be held on November 14. With this continuing and joint effort, we hope that more and more people will not only be familiarised but will also uses this important technology of GIS in the years ahead.