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

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

  • Spring 2015 GIS Courses

    Spatial Literacy Across the Curriculum – 2430 – ENST 311 – 05 MR 3:00-4:30pm Stern 11 Understanding how to think about problems and concepts in a spatial context is a fundamental skill that is not well taught in the current Dickinson College curriculum. Alternatively referred to as “Spatial Literacy” or “Spatial Reasoning”, this type of thinking generally focuses on understanding the importance of geographic space and the relationships formed by this space. Spatial literacy, like writing and quantitative analysis, is not a stand-alone subject, but rather it is a way of thinking that is applicable to many fields of studies, and is becoming increasingly important as a valuable competency for liberal arts students throughout all divisions. This course will examine the importance of geographic space as a learning construct and explore the value of spatial literacy for problem solving, creative expression, and communication across the humanities, social science and scientific disciplines. In ...

Latest Student Projects

  • Congratulations to GIS students, Chloe and Tabea

      Advancing Sustainability   Photo by Carl Socolow ’77. 2014-15 Baird Sustainability Fellows announced Now in its third year, the Baird Sustainability Fellows program recognizes Dickinson seniors who have advanced sustainability goals through their scholarship, leadership and service efforts. Named for Spencer Fullerton Baird, a prominent 19th-century naturalist and Dickinson alumnus, the program this year brings together 12 students for collaborative projects and research to help create a sustainable world. Read about Chloe and Tabea’s missions below. Chloe Miller, Archeology and Anthropology Major Chloe Miller ’15   Chloé Miller is double majoring in archaeology and anthropology. Sustainability not only plays an important role in her academic fields, but also in her personal life. Raised in a Catholic and Native American household, she believes it is her responsibility to help return balance to the Earth for the sake of future generations. Chloé’s unique upbringing has guided her academic pursuits to understanding the dynamic, synergetic relationship between anthropogenic forces, human biology, ...