GIS Day 2001 in more than 80 countries around the world –...

GIS Day 2001 in more than 80 countries around the world – A Report


The third annual GIS Day, held November 14, 2001, was a tremendous success with more than 80 countries hosting GIS Day events. GIS Day 2001 showcased 25 industries and the integral role that geographic information system (GIS) technology plays within each industry. Once again, millions of children and adults were introduced to GIS as organizations around the globe held events to educate people about GIS and the impact it has on their everyday lives. Examples of GIS Day events include open houses, map galleries, software demonstrations, tours, and hands-on activities. Many of these events expanded on successful activities held in 2000. Success stories have been pouring in from around the globe. GIS Day 2001 activities had a positive impact on students and the public worldwide. Here are some examples. The first GIS Day ever to be held in northern Ontario took place in Timmins, Ontario, Canada. A simple idea snowballed into a very impressive schedule of events including a special newspaper insert, a one-hour presentation by Dr. Roberta Bondar (first Canadian female astronaut) that was video conferenced live to two other major cities in northern Ontario, a poster contest for all northeastern elementary schools, and a GIS Day cake shaped like a globe. All libraries were asked to set up a “What is GIS?” display, and 18 exhibitors covered just about every industry in which GIS is used. They reached 10,000 people on November 14, 2001, with the GIS message! Port Elizabeth, South Africa, also held its first GIS Day. Geographic Information Management Systems Ltd. (GIMS) and the Port Elizabeth Technikon hosted a GIS awareness day at the PE Technikon conference, which was attended by more than 150 8th graders from various high schools around Port Elizabeth. With presentations by Propnet, Bayworld, GIMS, and the Wildlife Society of South Africa, they learned more about the many uses that GIS can have in their daily lives and realized that geography is a major component of almost every discipline they could think of.