The Second Year's Activities Educate Record Number

GIS Day 2000 Gains Momentum

November 15, 2000, marked the second global GIS event. For GIS Day 1999, a GIS Day demonstration in progressmore than 2.4 million children and adults in more than 90 countries learned about GIS, far surpassing the original goal of reaching one million people. For GIS Day 2000, more than three million children and adults were educated on the benefits of geography and the role GIS plays in its support of geography. The following are just a few examples of the thousands of events held around the globe as organizations in dozens of industries came together to show GIS to the world.

United States Federal Government

The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., a principal sponsor of GIS Day, held an event the evening before GIS Day for all congressional staff to view the library's extensive GIS contributions. The event included presentations from various members of congress as well as from Jack Dangermond, Esri president. There was also a demonstration of a congressional GIS application and the Geography Network. Congressmen left the event informed about the significance of GIS and the role it plays in the Library of Congress and in our everyday lives.

The U.S. Geological Survey hosted numerous events. The USGS EROS (Earth Resources Observation Systems) Data Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, demonstrated various GIS applications at the National Congress of American Indians Conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, in conjunction with Geography Awareness Week, November 13-17, 2000.

The National Park Service held many events. Among them, the Hawaiian office in Kaneohe, Hawaii, provided an introduction to GIS for a third grade session at the Upíohala Elementary School in Ke Kula Kaiapuni, conducted in the Hawaiian language, and the Wisconsin office introduced GIS to third grade classes at Cross Country Elementary School, Verona, Wisconsin.

The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) conducted at its St. Louis office demonstrations for various schools in and around the St. Louis area. The Carlsbad, California, office also held a digital mapping demonstration for Pacific Rim Elementary School.

United States
State and Local Government

The City of Las Vegas, Nevada, hosted a three-day event featuring current GIS applications used within the City. There were handouts for everyone explaining City GIS applications. There was a map gallery exhibiting land use and zoning maps and aerial photos of the City. Guest speakers from various parts of the City were present to explain how GIS has helped their day-to-day work.

The City of Dallas, Texas, conducted presentations, interactive demonstrations, videos, a map gallery, and GIS games by several City departments for 300-plus high school students (some of whom are currently taking GIS courses), teachers, and the public. Also in attendance were the Mayor and City Council members as well as representatives from the community colleges promoting GIS classes that they offer.

Missoula, Montana, the EOS Education Project at the University of Montana, held hands-on GIS K-12 student workshops with Missoula area schools during the day. This exposed more than 300 students to GIS technology centered around exploring the historic Lewis and Clark Trail with the latest in Internet GIS. GIS resources available to educators were also presented by the EOS Education Project staff, and a public panel discussion on the use of GIS in the recent wildfires of 2000 was conducted in the evening along with a community map gallery.

GIS Day Conservation Challenge 2000—a regional initiative for K-12 schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware—was developed from the partnership of the Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access (PASDA) system, the New Jersey Office of GIS, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), and Esri-Philadelphia.

Sites Around the World

Australia—AURISA, the west Australian chapter of URISA, held an all day event that began with a breakfast seminar. Site visits were then hosted by various GIS organizations in Perth that provided GIS demonstrations and exhibited a range of GIS applications for participants. There was a lunchtime BBQ followed by a local government focus group seminar, a "What is GIS?" seminar, and various GIS technical sessions. The day concluded with a GIS exhibition.

Canada—McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, held an Introduction to GIS Careers in GIS Multidisciplinary Applications presentation, a GIS hands-on workshop with ArcView GIS, a GPS poster display, and a High School GIS Poster and Research Paper competition promoting remote sensing educational partnerships. The City of Calgary, GIS Centre of Excellence, held an open house consisting of exhibits and demonstrations in the atrium of the Calgary Municipal Building.

France—Chesnais, Universite de Caen, Caen, France, presented demonstrations of GEOSYSCOM, the GIS of the Grand Caen (urban planning), and GEOSYSTRANS, the geomatic European transportation database. These demonstrations illustrated the urbanization of the French coastline and GIS technology's increasing applications in the public sector.

India—The Institute of Remote Sensing in Chennai, India, celebrated GIS Day by making GIS presentations regarding the usefulness of remote sensing and GIS technologies to various government departments and students. Presentations were also made to all of the undergraduate and postgraduate students of geoinformatics, civil engineering, and remote sensing.

Netherlands—The Second Annual GIS Day held in the Netherlands was promoted by several organizations including the Dutch Cartographic Society and the Dutch Geodetic Society. A special Web site in Dutch ( was set up with links to the Web site.

South Africa—GIMS, an Esri distributor based in Midrand, in conjunction with various clients, organizations, and schools, hosted numerous GIS Day events around South Africa. One event was held at St Stithians College in Randburg, Gauteng, where more than 500 schoolchildren were educated through presentations by GIS trainers, hands-on demos, and various fun outdoor activities. This was an open day event that other schools, teachers, and parents also attended.

GIS Day 2001 is Wednesday, November 14, 2001. Please check the GIS Day Web site ( to learn more about upcoming plans and register to host a GIS Day 2001 event.

ArcNews home page

Contact Us | Privacy | Legal | Site Map