Preview: GIS Day

The Pierce College Meteorology Department will be hosting its annual GIS Day at the Great Hall on Wednesday Nov. 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Geographic Information System is a tool that it is used in the field of meteorology. It is used on local news stations when a weather report is given.

The main purpose of using a GIS device is that it is designed to capture, store and manipulate, analyze, manage, and present spatial or geographical data. Santa Clarita, San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles County, Ventura County and Orange County use GIS for scientific investigations, development planning or to calculate emergency response time in the event of a natural disaster.

According to Meteorology professor Jason Finley, GIS is throughout November and hosting events like this would help students get informed about what the Geographic Information System is and how it works.

“What we will have on Wednesday is a series of people from the industry in the real world coming to talk about different things at GIS,” Finley said. “Anyone that has a smartphone or any cellphone with GPS has GIS to locate a restaurant or whatever. GIS is everywhere.”

According to Program Specialist Ngan Mork, GIS Day is an event where students will have the opportunity to learn about Geographic Information System technology and how involved it is in different career fields today.

“My role in this whole thing is that, as a specialist, I manage a grant which is LA High Tech. Our goal is to prepare our students in the workforce by connecting them with people in the industry,” Mork said. “GIS happens to be one of the programs that I am working with along with media arts, computer science, computer applications, office technology and graphic design. Those are the programs LA High Tech works with.”

Mork said one of the reasons that LA High Tech is focusing on GIS is because they are recognizing it is as an up and coming trend in the work force. GIS technology can be generalized to any area and, according to Mork, it will be one of the most in high demand jobs coming out in the next 10 years.

“We are bringing out several individuals who are experts in the GIS field who work with our fire department and local city planning,” Mork said. “We have some GIS consultants who are sharing their experiences and their projects with the students to get them pumped up and spread the word.”

According to Mork, GIS is technology that helps create a more efficient and effective system general to provide tools to gather and analyze data so that it is understandable. It’s a power tool that can be generalized in different arenas.

Pierce College student Austin Phillips is taking professor Finley’s meteorology and geography class and will be working at GIS Day presenting GIS maps and his project that demonstrates a view of how GIS operates around the globe.

“The importance of GIS is it just basically shows cases on what you want to tell people geographically wise on different locations,” Phillips said. “For example, an average population density, average income and to locate fire hazards and earthquakes or any activity that is going on.”