A new computer program may simplify and make homework assignments easier to complete, fulfilling the wish of students of all disciplines.
The program, named Geographical Information System (GIS), is geared toward helping students of all majors and minors.
A seminar was held last Wednesday to discuss the potential benefits of the program.
GIS is a computer-based technology designed to answer questions in science, natural resource management, community planning and many other areas.
Patrick Meola, GIS and Information Technology Coordinator, who has been working with the system for the past 14 years, said, “(GIS) can be used in every field that is available at the College, including math, health, science, and political science. It has a broad range of uses.”
GIS is unique in that it combines digitized maps, tabular data, and statistical analysis into an integrated software solution.
The combination enables GIS users to think about research questions in visual and spatial terms.
Spatial analysis provides a powerful way to describe information beyond simply using words or mathematical expressions.
The seminar featured representatives from Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. (ESRI), the world leader in GIS software.
Seth Van Aken, a senior account representative at ESRI, demonstrated through a PowerPoint presentation how important GIS is in the world and what the program has the opportunity of becoming if implemented by more organizations and colleges.
“ESRI software is present in 3,000 colleges and universities in the United States and is used in over 70 departments,” Van Aken said.
He also said it is used by dozens of industries, including the government to increase defense intelligence and to make decisions easier.
“(It) has many benefits, including saving money, increasing productivity, generate revenues, and serve the public,” Van Aken said.
After Van Aken’s presentation, another representative from ESRI demonstrated practical applications of this new technology.
As an example, he used the program to map out the correct placement of fire hydrants to ensure the safety of all members of the town.
He showed the distance fire hydrants in a town would be capable of reaching, and the parts of the town in danger according to the program.
The seminar was organized by the Municipal Land Use Center, which has an office at the College.