November 19, 2014 at 6:30 pm

GIS Open House Features Experts in GIS Research and Mapping, Nov. 19

By Taylor Smith
From Compass

On Nov. 19, Ohio University will join the worldwide celebration of International GIS Day and Global Entrepreneurship Week with the“Where in the World is OU? GIS Open House.”

Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, is more than its best-known application — mapping — and has a vast range of capabilities. According to Esri, an industry GIS leader and creator of the well-known ArcGIS software, GIS allows users to visualize, question, analyze, and interpret data to see and understand geographic relationships, patterns and trends.

GIS is being used in many fields today with rapidly growing interest. The first GIS Day took place in 1999 when political activist, attorney, and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader inspired Esri to collaborate with the National Geographic Society in order to increase awareness of GIS. Nader envisioned a day where everyone could participate while learning about geography and the many uses of GIS.

Scott Miller, director of the Consortium for Energy, Economics & the Environment (CE3) says OHIO’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs and its partners are pleased to expand awareness of GIS across campus.

“Here at Ohio University, GIS is being used in many ways,” he said. “The Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, the Department of Geography, and many other departments, centers, and institutes across campus use GIS to visualize and analyze spatial information daily.”

CE3 regularly applies GIS in its work to develop sustainable and economically-viable solutions to multifaceted energy and environmental problems across Ohio and internationally. Using GIS provides CE3 and its partners the capability to visualize and interpret data from different disciplines in order to develop comprehensive, holistic solutions to complex issues.

OHIO Department of Geography GIS Professor Gaurav Sinha said that “21st-Century GIS is fast becoming seamlessly integrated into our daily and professional lives, empowering individuals to not just be consumers of, but also active participants in, the creation and interpretation of geographic information.”

The Center for Entrepreneurship, a successful partnership between the Voinovich School and the College of Business, also values the many applications of GIS.

Center Director and Professor Luke Pittaway said, “GIS crosses many industries and applications. Like many critical technologies, it offers significant opportunities for the development of new ventures for the alert entrepreneur.”

The GIS Open House will take place in the Amanda J. Cunningham Leadership Center in Baker University Center 366 from noon to 4 p.m. Four hour-long sessions will showcase speakers discussing how they use GIS in government, health and health analytics, energy and the environment, and entrepreneurship.

“Where in the World is OU? GIS Open House” is hosted by the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs’ Consortium for Energy, Economics & the Environment, the Department of Geography and the Center for Entrepreneurship, in partnership with TechGROWTH Ohio.

This event also is part of the slate of events for OHIO’S Global Entrepreneurship Week celebration. GEW was founded in 2008 by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and this November marks the seventh year of celebration that has grown to include more than 25,000 events, activities, and competitions.

A record 150 countries are expected to take part in the week-long event that, “supports the emergence of a new class of global entrepreneurs with access to research, programs and networks they need to succeed,” according to president of GEW, Jonathan Ortmans.

Click here for more information about the GEW events at OHIO.

Learn how GIS can be applied to various fields of study, research and business at the GIS Open House. Light refreshments will be served. No pre-registration is required. For event updates, visit and follow @OhioGISDay on Twitter and track the event on #OhioGISDay. For more information, contact Elissa Welch at

This story was submitted by the Voinovich Center of Leadership and Public Affairs.

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