What is GIS?
Information Systems (GIS) has taken map making to a whole new level.
Before the advent of computers, what you saw is what you got on
static paper maps. Yet look around you and think of all the information
you can capture. It's much more than can be represented on paper
maps. Today this collection of information can be stored within
a computer: as map layers, individual features, accurate locations,
and different map scales & projections. Furthermore, a GIS can
maintain attributes about map features, such as a road's
width, surface and condition. The list is huge. Finally you can
plot maps to reveal patterns or solve spatial problems, such as
tracking criminal activity or deciding where to build a subdivision
that avoids sensitive lands. The sky is the limit for GIS uses.
Who does this?
policemen, emergency rescuers, land developers, realtors, land conservationist,
land-use planners, transportation dispatchers, hazardous material
personnel, telephone and utility planners, public health officials,
biologist, geologist, geographers, journalist, meteorologist, engineers....
You name it. If a map or database is needed, you'll need a person
with the skills to use GIS.
What should I do?
College currently has seven (7) GIS classes and the possibility
for an internship. You can start by taking Geography 85 - "Applications
of GIS and Related Technology." This class introduces you to the
people who do GIS in the real world using case studies. You'll also
learn about Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology in the field
as well as Remote Sensing. Or take Geography 90 - "Introduction
to GIS," which teaches you the nuts & bolts of GIS in a semester.
Or finally take a short weekend course to learn the GIS software
used throughout the industry (Geography 91A & B). Intermediate
& Advanced GIS now offered.
# (916) 781-0437