Utilities join together to celebrate GIS Day 2001

On Wednesday, November 14, dozens of utilities will be celebrating GIS Day 2001, a global event that celebrates geographic information system (GIS) technology.

Redlands, California, Nov. 13, 2001 — On Wednesday, November 14, dozens of utilities will be celebrating GIS Day 2001, a global event that celebrates geographic information system (GIS) technology.

GIS Day serves to make people aware of mapping technology and the vital contributions it is making in the fields of science, technology, information, and the humanities, ESRI said.

A group of agencies and businesses have been working to encourage utilities to use the day to show individuals and organizations how to apply geographic information in their own communities, businesses, and environments and experience the amazing benefits of GIS technology.

One of these agencies, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Bay Area Automated Mapping Association (BAMA) are sponsoring a poster/map contest and learning event for students in California's bay area, and a four-hour learning event at USGS' mapping center.

GIS is a computer-based tool for mapping and understanding objects and events and is rapidly changing the face of information technology.

It combines the power of a database with the visualization capabilities offered by maps.

GIS has become so pervasive that consumers now benefit from GIS technology when they receive a delivery, purchase a product at a store, use an automated teller machine, pull a map off the Internet, or stop at a fast-food restaurant.

Last year's GIS Day was widely successful, ESRI said. Nearly 81countries sponsored GIS Day events, and 20 United States governors, as well as public officials in 18 cities and counties, made GIS Day proclamations for their jurisdictions.

"GIS is being used today in thousands of unique applications, which touch each and every one of us," said Jack Dangermond, ESRI president. "GIS Day has become an eagerly anticipated event throughout our entire user community because it allows those people directly involved with the technology to share their knowledge, experiences, and excitement with other members of their organizations and the general public."

This year GIS Day is part of the National Geographic Society's new initiative, Geography Action 2001, a yearlong program encompassing key educational achievements such as GIS Day and Geography Awareness Week. Each year this initiative will have a different focus; this year's focus is geography and the health of our nation's rivers.

"Not only is GIS revolutionizing mapmaking, but it is vastly enriching our understanding of the earth," said Allen Carroll, National Geographic Society's chief cartographer. "National Geographic is pleased to join with ESRI, our GIS partners, and people around the globe to celebrate technology that allows us to explore the world, appreciate its richness, and preserve its precious resources."

Users of GIS technology are invited to be a part of this worldwide educational mission and register to host an event. Participating organizations will receive support in promoting their event to local schools, newspapers, and other organizations. For event registration, support, and ideas, or to find a GIS Day 2001 event near you, log on to www.gisday.com.

GIS Day is principally sponsored by ESRI, the National Geographic Society, the Association of American Geographers, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Library of Congress, and the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science.

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