The World GIS Day, celebrated on 14th November every year, offers everyone a chance to learn more about the fascinating field of Geographic Information Systems and how GIS is part of our everyday lives today.
"Many young people are using GIS technology every day without even realising it. Many smart phone applications and social media tools combine data with maps to deliver unique services to consumers and Google Earth is known by most of us" advised Dr Wulf Killmann Team Leader of the SPC/GIZ project “Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region” and Dr Russell Howorth, Director of the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in a joint statement released to recognise World GIS Day.
GIS (Geographic Information Systems) are a set of computer-based tools used to collect, combine and overlay information in the form of easily understood maps constructed from up-to-date satellite images and field data, while remote sensing is the collection of information about the earth from a distance.
In the Pacific, GIS is now being used as a tool to map landslides, detect vegetation change, map town boundaries, map impacts of sea level rise and many more. GIS is quite useful in the area of utility, transportation, and might become a tool to model climate change.
Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) of Secretariat of the Pacific Community is the leading agency for GIS in the Pacific and hold images and GIS Data for its member countries and territories. SOPAC's primary goal is to apply geoscientific data and technology to realise new opportunities for improving the livelihoods of Pacific communities. SOPAC's work in GIS and remote sensing is supported by many partners including the German Government through the SPC/GIZ, Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island region.
While GIS practitioners around the world celebrates this day by holding workshops, seminars. The SOPAC division of SPC, supported by many partners, is working tirelessly to organise a conference held each year for all Pacific island countries and territories.