GIS Day Reflection

GIS Day came and went here at SJSU. Thousands across the world celebrated the growth and impact geographical information systems (GIS) have on our everyday lives. The first-ever GIS Day was taken place in 1999 celebrated and founded by Jack Dangermond (President and co-founder of ESRI) who says he was inspired by Ralph Nader to come up with the day.

We often don’t think how much GISĀ  impacts our daily lives. Whether we are using GPS, using social media ‘check-ins’ or using it for scientific reasons, GIS plays a pivotal role in how we understand geographical epidemics and how we express ourselves. SJSU celebrated GIS Day by collaborating with eCampus, the geography and geology departments to hold an informational conference where students and faculty spoke about research conducted, programs used and next steps for GIS. The event was held in the conference rooms on the second floor of the student union. The event started with the students who won the ESRI Story Map Competition that many students competed in but only 3 lucky students were selected as winners.

While I was there many undergrad and graduate students briefly spoke about the research they conducted all over San Jose and California. It was a very welcoming and friendly atmosphere and I can tell everyone was there for the same reason which was seeing the data these future leaders had conducted. When I was speaking with the student presenters, they stated that the opportunity to show their work to faculty and staff meant so much to them as it validated and made their work seem real. As student researchers, its often we feel like the research we conduct doesn’t have any real significance but they in that time and space felt confident and proud of what they have done. Lastly, eCampus Director, Jennifer Redd also spoke about the new Adobe programs that have an emphasis on GIS and how to utilize them to their fullest extent.

The event was full of promise, hope for the future and a unique togetherness. Those that showed out definitely had an amazing time and learned from each other’s work. We hope next year, even more, people will show up and look forward to seeing all the new research and work being done with the use of GIS.

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