GIS is a powerful technology for managing, analyzing, and visualizing spatial data.  Using these capabilities, GIS allows us to think about problems more broadly in a spatial context, and provides us with tools to answer questions such as:  Where is something?  Why is it there?  How is it related to the things around it?  Why should we care?”

The disciplines where GIS can be found are broad and varied, and include such diverse fields as Public Safety, Environmental Management, Business and Retail, Insurance and Banking, Government, and Education, just to name a few.  The subject areas that benefit from GIS are equally as varied, and include applications such as crime analysis, 9-1-1 response, emergency management services, wildlife management, water monitoringforestry, natural resource conservation, recreation, site location, delivery systems, routing, transportation, communication, mining, logistics, healthcare, election planning, agriculture, real estate, urban planning, national mapping, and military operations.

Within the environment of higher education, GIS can play a daily role in almost all aspects of campus activities, including teaching, research, admissions and student enrollment, development and fundraising, career counseling, campus operations, and public safety.  Indeed, there is perhaps no aspect of life at an academic institution – be it teaching, research, or administration – that could not benefit from incorporating some aspect of spatial thinking.


How do we use GIS at Dickinson

Well, we use GIS to answer questions, solve problems and have some fun.  GIS has applications in all of Dickinson’s departments and we are currently working in environmental studies, earth sciencearcheology, history, international business and biology. In addition, GIS is used several administrative offices, including admissions, facilities management and the office of college advancement.

GIS Lab Hours

SUN: 4:30-6:30pm
M: 8:30am-5:00pm
T: 8:30am-5:00pm
W: 8:30am-5:00pm, 8:00-10:00pm
R: 8:30am-5:00pm, 7:30-10:30pm
F: 8:30am-5:00pm 


News and Events

  • GIS Helps Produce an Animated Map of the Ebola Outbreak

    Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard’s HealthMap now includes ananimated Ebola cases/death map. The map taps official sources, but also social media. “The news reports and social media posts aren’t always reliable, but in general they provide an up-to-date sense of what’s happening,” said John Brownstein, co-founder of HealthMap and director of the Boston Children’s Hospital Informatics Program. Newsweek suggests the map identified the outbreak nine days before the WHO announced it. The website, which is run by a group of researchers, epidemiologists and software developers at Boston Children’s Hospital, noted a “mystery hemorrhagic fever” spreading in Guinea nine days before the WHO issued its first statement on the outbreak. Addressing Ebola Another one of those companies looking to provide global unique addresses (I summarized a few effortslast year) is tapping into the interest in tracking ebola to highlight its work. Addressing Homes LLC is an organization created by AIMTEC (Aerial Imagery Mapping Technology), a technology company that has been developing geospatial technology since 2004 ...

Latest Student Projects

  • Temperature- Dependent Sex Determination (TSD) of Painted Turtles, Chrysemys picta

    The project that I have been undertaking during the spring 2014 semester is based on Professor Scott Boback’s research on Painted turtle nesting at a man-made pond located in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. The specific study site is located at the Hunstsdale Fish Hatchery in Huntsdale, Pennsylvania. The sex of an embryo is temperature-dependent and has a spatially relevant factor as to where nests are located. Nest sites and attempted sites are constrained between a railroad and pond, creating a highly spatially restricted data sample. The data will be geographically and temporally organized and then displayed in relation to temperature readings from a recording device (ibuttons, Embedded Data Systems). There was a set of sixteen active nest sites, which could be correlated to ibutton data based on date and time. Furthermore, an Inverse Weighting Distribution was used within a minimum-bounding rectangle to better interpret the variation in temperature spatially ...