GIS Day: Celebrating the technology that reveals the world around us

GIS layers
Geospatial information systems technologies gives us new insights by more easily compiling multiple layers of information about a specific area on a map. GIS is used to map crime, show land use, reveal historic trends on the land and more. Image: NOAA

Geographic information systems (GIS) — the technology that helps us see the world around us in new ways — is in the spotlight today, November 18 — also known as “GIS Day.” Among the many events bringing together GIS professionals, students, and the general public to learn about and discuss the impact of this technology is an all-day conference at the Washington State Capitol today. Washington State Joint Agency Day features technicians from more than two dozen state, county and city agencies who gather to explain how they use GIS in the public’s interest and to save time and money. DNR, for example, uses GIS to reveal geologic hazards, map streams, route trails, track the spread of invasive species, and map marine vegetation.

DNR offers its trove of GIS data about forestry, geology, wildfire, wildlife and more to the public for download at no charge.

To see a real-world application of GIS data, visit DNR’s Washington Geological Information Portal where you can toggle multi-layered maps to find locations of major earthquake faults, lahar and tsunami evacuation zones, underground geologic formations, and more.

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