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Georgia Southern University students will celebrate GIS Day Savannah 2007

A geographic information system is a collection of computer hardware and software used to collect, analyze and manage information that is related to a specific geographic location.

More commonly known as GIS, this technology is utilized by national, state and local governments as well as many segments of the private business sector.

A group of eight students from the Department of Geology and Geography at Georgia Southern University will be taking part in a special event that is designed to increase public awareness of GIS.

The first-ever GIS Day Savannah will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 14, in the ballroom of the Savannah Civic Center. The event is part of International GIS Day, which is held in conjunction with the National Geographic Society’s annual Geography Awareness Week.

‘GIS technology has become an extensive tool for both government and business,” said Thomas Chapman, an assistant professor of geography at Georgia Southern. ‘For example, it is used by local governments in southeast Georgia to improve delivery of public services, such as fighting crime, managing 911 emergency facilities, and maintaining water, sewer and road systems.

‘Private sector uses for GIS in this region include a variety of urban planning, engineering and financial services applications. Specific uses include real estate developer site planning, infrastructure and natural resource management, and demographic target marketing.

‘The list of applications is endless.”

GIS takes geographic information  such as street, building, water and terrain locations and turns it into three-dimensional visual layers on a map. This information helps planners, officials and business people make informed, accurate decisions about their communities.

Georgia Southern offers a minor degree program in GIS. In fact, most of the University students who will be participating in GIS Day Savannah are GIS minors.

GIS Day Savannah will give the general public a chance to explore GIS via hands-on demonstrations, a map gallery and other activities that show how the technology is used by government agencies, businesses and educational institutions.

In the morning, eighth-grade students from Chatham County’s public and private schools will receive an introduction to GIS. Area business people will attend the afternoon session, which will run from 1 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.
Chapman and the Georgia Southern students will be on hand to promote the University’s GIS program, talk shop with the various GIS users, and network with potential employers.

For more information on the GIS program at Georgia Southern, visit http://cost.georgiasouthern.edu/geo/ or call the University’s Department of Geology and Geography at (912) 681-5361.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University, offers more than 120 degree programs serving nearly 17,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. The University, one of Georgia’s largest, is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars and is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu

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