World GIS Day 2023: Navigating a Smarter, Connected World

World GIS Day serves as an annual celebration acknowledging the transformative impact of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) on our global landscape. This day, observed on November 15th, provides a momentous occasion to recognise GIS’s significance and its contributions to diverse fields. The president and co-founder of Esri, Jack Dangermond, emphasises collaboration and extending the language of GIS as essential components of this celebration.

Understanding GIS
GIS has become the unsung heroes of our interconnected world, shaping the way we understand and interact with our environment, providing a moment to celebrate the transformative impact of GIS technology and its crucial role in diverse fields.

It is like a super-smart technology that helps people understand where things are. It can take information about places, show it on maps, and help us figure out complicated problems.

To understand better- GIS empowers the creation of location-based services (LBS) in IT applications, enhances the effective planning and management of IT networks, and plays a critical role in disaster recovery and planning within the IT sector. Additionally, it proves advantageous in IT asset management, assisting organisations in mapping and monitoring the locations of their physical assets. This encompasses servers, network infrastructure, and various IT resources, contributing to streamlined resource planning and maintenance processes.

Evolution of GIS
GIS has come a long way since its inception, evolving into a transformative force that shapes how we perceive and interact with our world. The journey of GIS reflects not just technological advancements but a profound shift in how we gather, analyse, and utilise spatial information.

In 1999, when GIS Day was first celebrated by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), few were familiar with GIS technology. Today, GIS has evolved into a crucial tool, impacting city planning, healthcare, agriculture, and environmental conservation. It has shifted from obscurity to indispensability, playing a vital role in our lives.

Today, GIS goes beyond simple mapping; it integrates geographical data, spatial analysis, and mapping to provide profound insights. This empowers professionals in decision-making across various fields by visualising, interpreting, and analysing data within a spatial context, making GIS an integral part of our complex and interconnected world.

Real-world applications of GIS are widespread. In real estate, GIS integration has transformed property searches, providing interactive maps, customised filters, and insightful neighborhood data. Homebuyers can now make informed decisions by virtually exploring landscapes and evaluating proximity to amenities, simplifying the complex process of finding the perfect property.

Beyond real estate, GIS has left a significant mark, predicting disaster-prone regions and revolutionising urban planning. Its precision in providing location-based information empowers decision-makers to optimise transportation routes and strategically place renewable energy sources like wind farms.

The journey of GIS from obscurity to indispensability is a testament to its transformative power, highlighting its pivotal role in solving complex challenges and shaping a more informed and connected future.

GIS in real estate

GIS, with its unparalleled capability to capture, display, and analyse location data, plays a pivotal role in spatial decision-making. From determining optimal locations for wind farms to revolutionising urban planning, GIS has reshaped how we navigate and understand the world. The words of Subodh Kumar, CTO of Magicbricks, underscore how GIS has evolved from relative obscurity to a driving force in various sectors, particularly revolutionising property searches in the Indian real estate market.

GIS in Education

Prof. Chiranjoy Chattopadhyay, Associate Professor of Computer Science at FLAME University, says, “World GIS Day is a global celebration of the power and potential of geographic information systems (GIS) technology. GIS is a scientific framework that allows us to capture, analyse, and visualise spatial data to solve problems and make better decisions. GIS can be used for various applications, such as mapping natural disasters, tracking wildlife, planning urban development, and more. GIS Day is held on the third Wednesday of November every year, which falls on November 15, 2023, this year. On this day, GIS professionals, educators, students, and enthusiasts come together to share their stories, achievements, and innovations with GIS. They also organise events, workshops, webinars, and contests to raise awareness and inspire others to learn more about GIS. GIS Day is a great opportunity to explore the fascinating world of geography and geospatial technology, and to appreciate how GIS helps us understand and improve our planet.”

“Implementing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in education is pivotal for educators and learners. This technology enables the analysis and visualisation of spatial data across various subjects, fostering technology integration in teaching. Students gain hands-on experience with sophisticated tools, preparing them for a technology-driven future. GIS exposure in education cultivates skills applicable to geography, urban planning, and environmental science, fostering a deeper understanding of global issues and cultural differences, thus enhancing the overall learning experience”, says Dinesh Kumar, CEO and CTO, Greatify

GIS in agriculture
Sat Kumar Tomar, founder and CEO of Satyukt Analytics, states, “Technological innovations and geospatial technology help in creating a dynamic and competitive agriculture which is protective of the environment and capable of providing excellent nutrition to the people. While natural inputs in farming cannot be controlled, they can be better understood and managed with GIS applications. GIS can substantially help in effective crop yield estimates, soil amendment analyses and erosion identification and remediation. More accurate and reliable crop estimates help reduce uncertainty. GIS tools and online web resources are helping farmers to conduct crop forecasting and manage their agriculture production by utilising multispectral imagery collected by satellites. The ability of GIS to analyse and visualise agricultural environments and workflows has proven to be very beneficial to those involved in the farming industry.”

In conclusion, GIS’s significance extends beyond its technical capabilities, influencing how we perceive and interact with the world. As technology continues to evolve, so does the potential of GIS. From precision farming and climate change monitoring to disaster response and smart city planning, GIS will play an increasingly significant role in addressing global challenges.

The celebration of World GIS Day is a reminder of the profound impact GIS has had on our world. It marks the evolution of GIS from relative obscurity to an indispensable force driving positive change, also marking its evolution from a niche technology to an indispensable force driving positive change on a global scale.

On GIS Day, we don’t just celebrate the technology itself. We also celebrate how people work together and come up with new ideas that help us have a world that is more connected and smarter. It’s a day to appreciate not only the growth of GIS but also the teamwork and creativity that make our world better.

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