Mason Celebrates National GIS Day

Posted: November 11, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryan Call

In April 2005, Google added satellite imagery to its Maps database and sparked a nationwide interest in the bird’s-eye view. While some call the program a distraction, Sergei Andronikov, director of Mason’s Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence (GISCE), celebrates Google’s ingenuity: “They are promoting spatial technology and geographical appreciation, and that’s wonderful.”

On Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 16-17, Andronikov and his staff will also promote geographical appreciation as George Mason University joins the world in celebrating GIS Day. GIS integrates database operations with visualization techniques and geographic analysis. By providing layers of information, GIS allows users to analyze such layers of information independently or in combinations. Still don’t understand? Stop by the Johnson Center or Fenwick Library on the Fairfax Campus and see the demonstrations.

GIS Day at Mason consists of a number of activities, demonstrations and gatherings to educate the Mason community about the benefits of GIS applications and to celebrate the grand opening of Mason’s GISCE.

On Wednesday:

  • Interactive computer demonstrations in Fenwick Library from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  • Concurrently, GIS demonstrations in Johnson Center at Kiosk H, where there will be refreshments and GIS Day prizes
  • Build your own 3D worlds in Innovation Hall, Room 320, from 1 to 4 p.m.
  • GISCE, located at 4260 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, celebrates its grand opening with several GIS demonstrations and displays at 4 p.m.

On Thursday:

  • GIS demonstrations, refreshments and prizes at Kiosk H in the Johnson Center at 11 a.m.
  • Hands-on demonstrations continue in Innovation Hall, Room 320, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Provost Peter Stearns proclaims GIS Day at Mason in the Johnson Center Cinema at 12:30 p.m., followed by student presentations titled “GIS in Our Life” continuing until 3 p.m.

GIS Day is part of the National Geographic Society’s newest educational initiative called Geography Action. Last year, GIS users registered to hold thousands of events in 73 countries around the world. GIS Day is sponsored nationally by the National Geographic Society, the Association of American Geographers, University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Library of Congress, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett–Packard and ESRI. The Mason activities are sponsored by the GISCE and the Geography Department.

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