CSU, Chico News

Careers Involving GIS and Geospatial Industry Touted at Fair

Date: 04-04-2016

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico's Geographical Information Center adn the Department of Geography and Planning will be hosting a fair for careers in geographic information systems/science (GIS) Tuesday, April 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 35 Main St. in Chico.

The GIS Fair is an open house event that offers activities and information related to geographic information systems available at CSU, Chico. Attendees can choose to sit in the parklet created for the occasion, tour a firefighting GIS trailer, see a drone, enter a Where in the World contest, or talk with GIS professionals about projects and careers.

A bike and other items will be given away as door prizes, and refreshments will be provided. Students of all majors and programs are welcome. Members of the Geography and Planning club and Geographical Information Center interns will provide a friendly atmosphere and information about the Certificate in GIS/Geospatial Technology.

Faculty and students at the fair will emphasize how all disciplines can benefit from implementing GIS in analytical projects. Since students will be giving out the information, this provides an opportunity for other students to see how GIS applies in class settings.

The geospatial industry has experienced a job growth of over 29 percent since 2012 and is expected to increase another 19 percent by 2018, according to the United States Department of Labor. An average annual salary in the geospatial industry is approximately $73,000 with opportunities in the public and private sectors.

The term “geospatial” describes data that has a spatial component, such as a GPS location. More than just making maps, this technology involves capturing, manipulating, analyzing, and interpreting all types of geospatial data to understand trends, relationships, and patterns, whether local or global.

GIS/Geospatial Technology is used in everyday life:

  • A smartphone knows your location and can find your destination using GIS technology.
  • Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat feeds utilize GPS based data to show you the location of someone’s posts, as well as advertisements within your current location. Snapchat shows you selected stories based on location.
  • The paper in a notebook and lumber in a house were provided by a wood company that used GIS to manage its complex infrastructure. This might mean finding the right trees and even figuring out the distribution and transportation routes of the logging trucks.
  • The roads you drive or bike on are safe because GIS is used by local governments to manage transportation infrastructure.
  • Enjoying eating an apple? Fruit trees are grown with water provided by an irrigation district that used GIS for its engineering and operations management.

Truly interdisciplinary, GIS is currently implemented in areas such as agriculture, business, biology, geology, environmental science, anthropology, economics, engineering, computer information systems, history, health and community services, hydrology, ecology, statistics, natural sciences, recreation administration, nutrition and food science, planning, public administration and social science.