Get involved: it’s World GIS Day

By on 15 November, 2017

Alice Springs Airport, NT. Image provided by Nearmap.

Today is World GIS Day — a day to celebrate and promote spatial awareness and technology, marked with a global series of mapping events and geospatial celebrations.

Today’s event will be the 18th in the series, a day to celebrate the innovative application of spatial technology, data collection, geospatial information visualisation, and thought leadership through geographic information systems (GIS) technology.

Twenty-three registered events are occurring around Australia and New Zealand today, out of over 1,200 events worldwide registered on Some are internal events run by leading geospatial practitioners, such as PSMA’s GIS Morning Tea, which is backed up by a social media campaign touting spatial achievements and insights under the hashtag #GISDay.

Nearmap CEO Rob Newman said that the event was an occasion to reflect on the rapidly growing accessibility of GIS, and the vast opportunities they have afford a range of industries.

“Not that long ago, high-resolution aerial imagery was available mainly to a privileged few: large companies and governments that could afford to hire an aerial photographer, engage a fleet of planes, and wait weeks, if not months, for a bird’s-eye map to be constructed,” he said, in a statement provided to Spatial Source.

“It was only a matter of time before that out-dated model was completely changed. We saw a movement towards a subscription service that allowed anyone, at anytime to access massive libraries of 2D images and it completely changed the way most industries did their jobs.”

Newman said that a similar turning point of technology and access was on the horizon that would open a new spectrum of potential applications and insights.

“Now we’re on the cusp of a new era as we move toward 3D imagery. Imagine how the nature of work can be transformed with easy user access to a 3D model, reconstructed from data that is captured continuously. A variety of industries will be able to exploit a new mapping reality to plan, design, and communicate better, make faster estimates and more effective decisions about how to execute their projects,” he said.

“We’re just at the beginning of a dynamic new age for aerial imaging technology and GIS services, where future uses lie somewhere beyond our imaginations.”

Image provided by Esri Australia.

Brett Bundock, Managing Director of the Esri Australia and Esri South Asia Group, said that industry groups and users alike should take the opportunity reflect on the massive proliferation of GIS applications across industries and use cases.

“GIS is a technology of the future. From designing cities to fighting crime to managing construction and roadworks, millions of Australians already work with it every day,” Mr Bundock said.

Mr. Bundock said that for Esri Australia, the focus for the upcoming year was on educating the next generation of GIS professionals through the launch of their $100 million GIS for Schools program – an activity that will see all Australian primary and secondary schools eligible to receive free access to Esri’s ArcGIS software.

“By the time these students enter the workforce, an understanding of smart mapping will be essential. As industry leaders, we want to ensure current generations are equipped with the skills and knowledge to thrive and overcome future challenges,” Bundock said.

“They can analyse specific datasets spatially and build up evidence to support potential solutions – just as professionals would.”

Explore World GIS Day events around AUstralia and the world at Esri’s GIS Day map below.

Happy GIS Day!


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