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Local Communities benefit from High School GIS projects

USA, 15 May 2007: The Enterprise for Innovative Geospatial Solutions (EIGS) and the Geospatial Council of the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) have announced the results of Mississippi Area Remapping Strategies (MARS), the geospatial high school adoption program with schools.

MARS was funded through EIGS in cooperation with the IHL Geospatial Council. Northwest Mississippi Community College served as the statewide coordinator for the MARS pilot program.

“When we started the process of establishing this program, we had no idea how great the results would be,” stated Lisa Stone, Acting Director for EIGS. “We knew we had the resources and manpower to jumpstart activities at the secondary level, but it was really the response and enthusiasm we got from the participating high schools that has made this endeavor such a success.”

The participating high schools, from Water Valley, Batesville, Cleveland, Enterprise, and Claiborne County, worked with university and community college partners to design and complete a community based geospatial information science and technology (GIS&T) project. The results from the projects were presented on May 4, 2007, at the Mississippi ETV Auditorium in Jackson, Mississippi.

The projects included using GIS technology to track school buses in order to determine more efficient routing; using GIS and GPS technology to map out all the fire hydrants in the City of Water Valley; to help the Mississippi Forestry Commission on re-mapping efforts for Section 16 land in Clark County; to use geospatial technologies and digital recordings to create enhanced audio and video content for an Internet-based interactive experience focused on local sites of interest for tourism and recreation in the City of Cleveland/Bolivar County; and finally to GIS Code fire hydrants in Port Gibson.

The Enterprise for Innovative Geospatial Solutions (EIGS) is the program that coordinates the activities of the cluster of companies in the geospatial industry. EIGS works with private companies as well as university research programs, state agencies, and other related organizations to support geospatial business development and research with the primary mission of bringing growth in the research based geospatial technology industry in Mississippi. For more information, visit www.eigs.olemiss.edu.