Event to Showcase Geographic Info Sciences Program

UT Dallas will celebrate its first GIS Day on Nov. 17 by showcasing its own growing geospatial science program and demonstrating real-world applications for geographic information systems.

GIS Day was launched in 1988 as a grassroots effort to educate the public about geographic information systems, also called GIS. Organizations around the world that use GIS, or are interested in it, have sponsored events in past years. In 2005, more than 700 GIS Day events took place in 74 countries.

The special day of activities occurs during the third week of November each year, on the Wednesday during Geography Awareness Week, a geographic literacy initiative sponsored by the National Geographic Society.

The School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences has scheduled several activities for UT Dallas’ first GIS Day, including organized discussions of real-world advances in GIS, a poster competition and a logo contest. Refreshments and prizes will be provided.

Geographic information science (or GISci) incorporates many innovative new technologies that have emerged in recent years. These technologies  improve people’s ability to collect, store, manage, analyze and use information regarding the features of the earth’s surface and to combine this data with other types of economic, social and environmental information.

The technologies include computerized mapping and analysis systems called GISs, the global positioning system (GPS), and aircraft- and satellite-based remote sensing. They now penetrate many aspects of daily life, from digital maps in vehicles to the management and maintenance of city infrastructure, regional agriculture and forest lands.

GISci has revolutionized many traditional disciplines such as geography and brought together scientists and practitioners from a variety of fields. UT Dallas offers a wide range of courses in spatial sciences and has been a leader in GIS education and research for more than a decade. It offered the region’s first certificate in GIS (1994); the first master’s degree in GISci (1998); and the first PhD (2005).

“UT Dallas is leading the way in this field,” said Dr. Denis Dean, head of the UT Dallas GISci program. “Now our students have become involved and are taking the lead in organizing UT Dallas’ first GIS Day event.  This will be a good chance for us to tell everyone about the exciting advances that are being made and to celebrate the potential for great opportunities for future careers and new uses for this technology.”

The UT Dallas GIS Day events are scheduled for 1-4:30 p.m. on Nov. 17 in Cecil Green Hall. If you wish to attend the GIS Day event, RSVP to [email protected] Learn more about the GIS program at UT Dallas by visiting the GIS program website.


Dr. Denis Dean, head of the geographic information science program, says UT Dallas is leading the way in the field.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].