Quantitative Skills > Community > Workshop 2006 > Breakout Session: GIS

Breakout Session: GIS


  • Rob Benson (participant) has been ESRI Instructor for years.
  • No need for a GIS degree - it has gotten integrated - he is trying to get GIS components into each course.
  • GIS has gotten easier to use,
  • 2 ½ week course learning to use GIS and apply it.
  • Example: census data and query data shifts
  • CA is great at providing GIS data.
  • Northwestern University "My World" contains good geology modules, separate from their Environmental package.
  • Free GIS is available—no saving or manipulating
  • What is the future for GIS? Answer: a very marketable skill, cartography is high growth position
  • About half of the EOS job listings mention GIS, not to mention the many applications in other fields.
  • GIS is not the same as ESRI, but they almost have a monopoly
  • Mastering Arc GIS, Meribeth Price 2006- has a good set of data
  • UC Santa Barbara Geography department may be willing to share data
  • GIS may be too easy to "plug and chug" bringing the process of triple integral interpolation. Shouldn't blindly apply the results to the physical world, since it can create interpretations that are mathematically accurate, but not realistic.
  • Does GIS increase QL? Consensus that it does.
  • Aida is using 3 GIS activities now and sees students more motivated than when they did the same with maps. She says that they can move further toward quantitative literacy using GIS than with maps
  • GIS takes the drudgery out of plotting, which give more time to do more computational work.
  • Good transfer of GIS skills to other areas.
  • Aida wants to give her school tech department assurances that GIS is applicable to other areas- talk to University geography depts., bureau of labor statistics, local geologic survey, local water boards, (but she found that local community colleges were not supporting it)
  • Spreadsheet -> PDF-> arcview easy form of access
  • Rob showed pocket pc that attaches to GPS for field work
  • Check out http://cio.ca.gov/Government/Governance/gis.html, the California Geographic Information Systems (GIS) web portal.