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Utah becomes third U.S. state to implement statewide GIS for education

The state of Utah has selected ESRI, to supply a comprehensive statewide K–12 software licenses.

The license will allow the state to use GIS software with every instructional computer in all of Utah’s K–12 schools. Specifically, Utah has licensed ArcView for Windows as well as Macintosh, ArcView Image Analysis extension for Windows (from ERDAS/Leica Geosystems), and the ArcAtlas data set. The data layers in ArcAtlas provide information on political boundaries, population density, natural landscapes, transportation networks, elevation zones, bioclimatic soils, earthquakes and faults, vegetation, and precipitation.

The contract makes Utah the third U.S. state to implement GIS for use in all of its schools. Montana announced its statewide instructional license in November 2000, followed by South Dakota in July 2002.

In October and November of 2002, the Technology Education Department of USOE is offering software training to teams of teachers at five locations across Utah. At these training sessions, teachers will also receive a CD of data for their individual county compiled by Utah’s Automated Geographic Reference Center (AGRC).

To develop the curriculum, USOE is collaborating with the AGRC, Utah State University, and the Utah Geographic Alliance as well as district specialists and professionals from across the state. This partnership has been the driving force for this new GIS program.