Tuesday, August 30, 2005


What little I know I like. I admit I'm completely new to this, so please take everything I say with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, learning about GIS is like learning about the Internet for the first time and thinking, "Wow, that's really cool. Why didn't I know about it sooner?"

It's more than just maps and pretty pictures, geographic information science (or systems, depending on who you talk to) puts spatial information to use.

Take the 2004 election results. (Yes, Balloon Pirate, you inspired me.)
It's not just red and blue states, it's this.

Want something more relevant? GIS makes it possible to do live tracking of hurricanes across the Gulf coast (photo from ESRI) and enables rescue workers to work accurately and efficiently. Remember how 9/11 knocked out the emergency routing information for New York City? GIS put it back together again.

Department stores use it to track customers, historians use it to discuss changes in segregation policies, and people in forestry use it to track everything from logging to endangered species. The first documented use of what would become GIS was in 1854 when John Snow mapped a cholera epidemic and tracked it to local water supplies.

So like I said, "Wow this is really cool. Why didn't I know about it sooner?"


Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

It's nice to be someone's inspiration...


8:20 PM  
Blogger mal said...

it is kind of cool. I have seen it used to track petroleum formations...surprisingly informative

3:49 AM  
Blogger Old Man Rich said...

I love maps. I remember there was a huge map of the world in my primary school classroom. I loved the magic in the names. The Solomon Islands. Ulan Bator. Ontario. Even today, I can't resist an atlas. I've not had much to do with the GIS stuff, but it looks great. When my boss asks me why I'm missing deadlines I'll point him your way.

4:06 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

You guys make me very happy.

5:46 AM  
Blogger Anna Pet said...

Wow jessica that is really cool stuff

6:38 AM  
Blogger fatrobot said...

i am a hurricane

9:09 AM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Great post. I especially like the picture of the US. Purple is much more comforting than red.

9:56 AM  

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