In the last year, Stanford unveiled an interactive map of the Roman Empire called Orbis and an interactive Stanford Election Map Atlas. Both got a lot of national attention. And both are products of Geographic Information Systems, otherwise known as GIS, one of the signature technologies of modern research.
From 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, Stanford Libraries will host its annual “GIS Day” open house at the Mitchell Earth Sciences Building’s Hartley Conference Center. The event will feature an interactive showcase of research using GIS and other geospatial technologies.
Stanford is a national leader in GIS, with training and technology headquartered at the Branner Earth Sciences Library. Its services, closely aligned with the libraries’ social sciences services in statistics and demographics, are in heavy demand across campus. Stanford Libraries also plays a major role in the National Geospatial Digital Archive, funded by the Library of Congress.
Institutions in 45 countries around the world are sponsoring GIS Day events.
The Stanford event will include a series of talks by Stanford professors and GIS professionals from Silicon Valley, a map gallery featuring some of the best work by students across many disciplines, a “Where in the World Am I?” contest with prizes and a Stanford GeoCache challenge. The event will include refreshments and a table for children.
GIS is used in everything from epidemiology to urban planning, from archaeology to marketing studies. Thousands of Stanford researchers will be using this technology in the course of their careers. Students and faculty at all levels and in all schools are currently exploring and exploiting this technology for mapping and data correlation.
“We live and breathe geospatial technologies every day, from the maps we consult on our phones to highly specialized disaster relief mapping that is used to help first responders,” said PATRICIA CARBAJALES, geospatial manager for the Branner Earth Sciences Library. “Because nearly everything can be tagged to location, these technologies provide a powerful tool for research at Stanford.”
—Cynthia Haven, Stanford University Libraries