GIS is a computer system capable of capturing, storing, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced information. Its power comes from the ability to relate different information in a spatial context and to reach a conclusion about this relationship.
Most of the information we have about our world contains a location reference, placing that information at some point on the globe. When rainfall information is collected, it is important to know where the rainfall has occurred. This is done by using a location reference system, such as longitude and latitude, and maybe elevation. Comparing the rainfall information with other information, such as the location of marshes across the landscape, may show that certain marshes receive little rainfall. This fact may indicate that these marshes are likely to dry up, and this inference can help us make the most appropriate decisions about how humans should interact with the marsh. GIS can reveal important new information that leads to better decision-making.
Many computer databases that can be directly entered into GIS are being produced by federal, state, tribal, and local governments, private companies, academia, and nonprofit organizations. Different kinds of data in map form can be entered into a database. GIS can also convert existing digital information, which may not yet be in map form, into forms it can recognize and use.
GIS technology can be used for scientific investigations, resource management, and development planning. For example, it might allow emergency planners to easily calculate emergency response times in the event of a natural disaster, or it might be used to find wetlands or vulnerable natural areas that should be protected when city administrators are planning developments.
Uses of GIS
- Site locations
- Delivery systems
- Oil & Gas pipelines
- Fishery & Wildlife
- Park & Recreation
- Emergency Services
- Teaching tools
||How is LSSU's program different from others?
Lake Superior State University's program in applied geographic information science is unique in the way it is offered and expands on the GIS minor.
Only a few Michigan universities currently offer a bachelor's degree in geography or GIS and those that do offer it have planning-oriented or geography-focused programs, or computer-science oriented programs. The LSSU program is unique in requiring an internship, a capstone thesis and 36 hours in geography and GIS.
Here is a sample of the courses you will be taking:
- Introduction to GIS
- Intermediate GIS
- Advanced Raster Analysis
- Web/Databases GIS
- Digital Terrain Analysis
- Remote Sensing
- Medical Geography & GIS
- Environmental Health & GIS
The Dept. of Labor predicts the need for GIS-trained graduates will grow 15% by 2014 and some fields that employ GIS experts, including marketing, environmental science, planning, and engineering, are expected to grow even more.
- BS Applied Geographic Information Science
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