Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have become an essential tool in our modern-day lives, enabling us to access and analyze spatial data in a variety of ways. From checking the news or weather on our smartphones to utilizing industry systems to ensure products reach their destinations, GIS plays a critical role in our everyday routines.
What makes GIS so powerful is its ability to organize and display layers of information about roads, topography, weather conditions, landmarks, businesses, and more on maps. This allows us to visualize complex data sets and make informed decisions based on that information.
The applications of GIS extend far beyond our daily lives, reaching various scientific fields and industries. For example, epidemiologists use GIS to map the spread of disease, while ecologists use it to understand wildlife movement. Climate scientists also rely on GIS to comprehend changes in glaciers, sea levels, and regional weather patterns. In addition, social scientists utilize GIS to study global conflict and immigration, while urban planners and engineers use it to determine the best places for new development and infrastructure.
The U.S. National Science Foundation has been instrumental in supporting research related to GIS technology and science over the past two years by awarding about 180 grants totaling more than $83 million. These grants have supported research in fields such as geography, math, computer science, geology, anthropology