There’s a day for everything: Sweetest Day, International Cat Day, World Water Day, International Day of Friendship, the list goes on and on. What most people don’t know is that every year, the second Wednesday of November is celebrated as International GIS Day.
What is GIS? Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are technology tools that help us to understand data in terms of location. We use GIS every day in our personal and professional lives. Whether we pull up GOOGLE Maps on our phones to get to the nearest restaurant or use that crumbled up paper map of the United States that’s stuffed into our glove-box to go on a cross country trip, we utilize maps all the time.
Here at the city our maps and location data are very important; we need to know where our assets are so that we can solve problems, perform maintenance, and create a healthy and safe infrastructure network for our residents.
This year’s International GIS Day was celebrated on November 13th. I had the pleasure to attend the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s GIS Day event, where I had the opportunity to network and collaborate with GIS professionals from all over Southeast Michigan. These professionals shared how they use GIS and why these tools are critical to the work they do. Thankfully, I was able to share my work at the DPW and represent the city with an informational table. Going to events like these is very important in order to learn, collaborate, and be a part of the professional community that is doing great work in Michigan and around the world.
Nichole Bowman, GIS Asset Management Specialist