GIS and Today’s Technology: A Beneficial Duo

Note: This is the last post by our Spring intern Aleigha. A big thanks to Aleigha and good luck after graduation.

The significance of location services, prominence of maps, and apps that allow us to familiarize ourselves with geographic locations is on a steady rise. Where we used to depend on paper, or some form of tangible maps or listed directions, technology has drastically increased the demand to have those exact same directions or maps accessible to mobile phones, and other electronic devices such as tablets, and portable GPS gadgets. Location based technologies are always evolving. A perfect example of this would be Mapquest, which was extremely popular at one time but is now a thing of the past. In its place, LBS like Google Maps for Android, Foursquare, and Geoloqi have cropped up – for now.

Geographic Information Systems, otherwise known as GIS, can be described as the computer systems that allow information from maps, objects and routes, and other related subjects such as cartograms, charts, and 3D diagrams to be stored and accessed on a regular basis. The technology used in today’s mapping processes has made the ease of access more readily available and demanding. The Internet and other technological advances had a dramatic impact of all GIS related activities, and also on those who use the product. Termed Web 2.0 in 2005, the second stage of Internet development was characterized by the growth of dynamic user-generated content. Undoubtedly, it is becoming more common for EVERYONE to do or desire to do EVERYTHING electronically, not just GIS professionals.
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Heading to AAG in Chicago

It is time, once again, for the annual meeting of the AAG. This year Sue, Barb, Frank, and I will all be wandering the halls to present, view presentations, interview, and just enjoy interacting with great geo-minded people. A few points I want to highlight:

  • If you would like to tell us about your project or product, contact us and we can schedule to meet at the conference hotel.
  • Our presentation schedule is
  • Hope to see you Chicago!

    Remote Sensing in a Nutshell

    According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), remote sensing is a science that obtains information regarding objects or areas from a distance,  typically using aircraft or satellites to take radar or infrared photography. In 1972, a joint initiative between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA launched the first earth resource satellite (Landsat-1). The Landsat Project is the world’s longest continuously acquired collection of space-based moderate-resolution, land remote sensing data.  The remote sensing data collected has been used by agriculture, commercial, education,  emergency response geology, government, forestry, industry, and military and many other communities.

    According to the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS), satellite observation has several advantages. It allows users to observe a broad area for a long period, including change detection and invisible information on the electromagnetic spectrum without visiting the area.
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    GIS and California: The Alarming Revelation

    Another guest post by this semester’s journalism intern.

    Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, are computer systems that allow individuals to map, model, and analyze large amounts of data through a single database. Recently, through the help of GIS maps, significant data have turned up some alarming realizations in regards to a very crucial and life-changing matter: water supply. This new information shows how important the use of GIS is, and how it is utilized in a matter that can effect everyday living.

    Californians have a lot to worry about nowadays on top of the mudslides, wildfires, and battles with oil companies. The state referred to by some as “unsustainable” has always had issues with water supply. Now, with new information brought forth by NASA scientists, a strict and frightening op-ed has been released to Californians regarding their water: The state only has about one year of water supply left.

    Other information also found by NASA satellites indicate that water basins in Sacramento and San Joaquin are 34 million acre-feet below normal compared to the 2014 year, which started October 1, 2013 and ended September 30, 2014. With it being the hottest year yet for California, water gages from The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California indicate that last year was mostly responsible for damage to the water supply for the state, and the lack of snowfall and overall precipitation didn’t help the drought. The Sierra Nevada (Sacramento) is responsible for more than 60 percent of water supply to the state. It sources drinking water for 23 million people, and irrigation water for agricultural land.
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