Last week I attended the GIS Colorado’s winter meeting. During this daylong event, a number of organizations presented on a wide variety of GIS software applications. The Colorado Department of Transportation presented on tracking and analyzing snow plow performance, a topic that hits close to home as we are currently buried in over a foot of snow here in Golden, Colorado. Another presenting government agency was the US Census Bureau as they prepare for the upcoming 2020 US Census. From the private sector, Astadia gave a demonstration on their augmented reality tool for locating assets, AECOM described their use of Hazus to prevent dam breaks, and Critigen showed how they visualize fish habitats. We also heard from the Colorado Geographic Alliance who is working to bring a Giant Traveling Map of Colorado to kids here in our home state
GIS has such a wide range of applications. As such, it has become a key component within any organization. GIS allows us to visualize and analyze our data to better understand trends and relationships. Where should a transmitter be constructed with the least visible impact to the surrounding community? What is the best way to evacuate a town in case of an emergency? What will happen to the river biology if a kayak park is constructed upstream? These are a few of the many questions GIS can help answer.