GIS (Geographic Information Systems) 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 monitoring, forestry, 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.
Support For GIS at Dickinson
The GIS Lab at Dickinson, located in 188 Kaufman, provides a broad range of spatially-based services, to include:
Support to faculty for developing curriculum and course components that promote spatial literacy and the use of GIS
Support to faculty, staff and students for projects and research activities that incorporate GIS concepts
Teaching of both an introductory and an advanced GIS course, as well as occasional workshops
Management of all GIS-related software application programs throughout the college
Maintenance of hardware and other equipment to support field data collection (e.g., GPS units, Total Station, Data collectors)
Maintenance of online GIS data libraries and web-map services to support both faculty and student activities