What is GIS? Unless you are kicking it old school with a handwritten dead-tree map, most of the maps we use today on smartphones, computers, and even printed, are a result of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). We can use a GIS like Google Maps to find our way around, but it can do much more. Besides being a killer data visualization tool, GIS basically makes the world a complex quilt of data that can be layered, explored, analyzed, and put to good use in decision making and planning. A spectrum of users from students to journalists, firefighters, business leaders, oceanographers, and many more use GIS every day, working towards a better future.
GIS Day is an event celebrated at hundreds of locations across the globe. The field is important to Central Oregon and this year BendTECH will host MapNight for all to discover GIS and the multiple organizations, startups, and professionals here who are making great things happen.
ESRI is the global leader in GIS, and we are fortunate to call one of its executives a local Bendite. SJ Camarata, director at ESRI, will be our Keynote speaker. GIS startup founders Sam Lanier of FireWhat and Jereme Monteau of Trailhead Labs will present how they’re using the tech. Following the talks, an informal mini-expo of Central Oregon companies, professionals, and educational programs will present in three minute pitches – speed networking style. The event is free and there will be beverages, according to Bend tradition. Partners and presenters include GeoEngineers, COGIS, Ubimodo, Deschutes County, Crook County, COCC, Public Science League, Real Geographics, Spatial Sciences Institute, SOAR Oregon, and Northwest GIS Users Group.
Map nerds are welcome! But this event is for everyone, including students. GIS has applications across many fields, and there are opportunities for anyone to be a cartographer with just their smartphone or an internet connection for fun and sometimes profit. If you’re interested in checking out the BendTECH Coworking space, this is a great opportunity for that as well.