TAMIU Hosts GIS Day Wednesday, Nov. 19

As part of the National Geographic Society's Geography Awareness Week, Texas A&M International University will be hosting Geographic Information System Day (GIS Day) on Wednesday, Nov. 19 in the Western Hemispheric Trade Center, room 111. There will be two sessions, one beginning at 10 a.m. and one beginning at 2 p.m. In addition, there will be an exhibition of GIS products and uses throughout the day. The event is free and open to the public.

Baldomero García, associate director of the Texas Center for Border Economics and Enterprise Development, co-sponsor of the event, explained GIS is a method of taking data with a spatial component, such as lots, streets, states, counties, and representing it graphically. For example, one could create a map of Laredo and indicate the population age and income level on each street.

"Being able to take information out of a word-filled database and represent it graphically can be enormously helpful for a wide range of applications. Of course it is extremely useful to our students and professors, to aid them with research. But business professionals can analyze the best place to start a new company, or build a new facility," he explained.

Rodney Webb, director of the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, said Chris Miller, government documents librarian, was hired in part because of his familiarity with GIS.

"We have a computer dedicated to GIS work, as well as a plotter-printer which can generate maps up to three feet by three feet. This, combined with Miller's knowledge of government documents and a wealth of statistical data available electronically through the library, can help a researcher compile data in unique ways," Webb explained.

García said this is the fifth annual GIS Day nationwide.

"Last year, people all across the country, and world-wide, participated in GIS Day with events such as workshops, open houses, and Global Positioning Systems scavenger hunts. We're pleased to partner with Digital Reproductions, the City of Laredo, Webb County and the rest of the GIS Day 2003 Committee to bring this new and exciting technology not only to the University community, but to Laredoans as a whole," said García.

Persons wishing to exhibit should contact Lucy O'Barr at 722-7254 or e-mail lucy@digitalreproductions.net by Friday, Nov. 14.

For more information about GIS Day, please contact Baldomero Garcia at 326.2553, visit offices in the Western Hemispheric Trade Center, room 222 or e-mail baldogarica@tamiu.edu. More information about GIS is also available at www.gis.com and information about GIS Day is at www.gisday.com.

Miller, TAMIU government documents librarian, can be reached at 326.2119, visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 214A or e-mail cmiller@tamiu.edu.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu