An ADGIS student guest blog post by Lauren Maluta

It was in my third “Intro to GIS” class that I actually discovered what GIS was, or rather what it meant. GIS had fallen into my lap as a requirement for the Environmental Planning program I was taking at Selkirk College.

Like most people with the right combination of outdoorsy and computer illiterate, it was a battle to wrap my head around and I didn’t understand the purpose or desire of such a discipline before this third class.

It wasn’t my new found ability to digitize, extract selected features, or import XY data that made it all clear. It was the fact that my instructor came to our 1:00 pm class after spending the morning ski touring. An epic discovery.

This was the trigger that turned the mandatory class into something to be sought after. I was enamored by the idea of working from home doing what I love or working far away from home while traveling:

a love for GIS came shortly afterwards. I understood what studying GIS could mean and it got me thinking, where can this field take you?

With a little Internet research I determined the deep, complex, multi-layered answer to this question: everywhere. GIS is a difficult profession to explain to those who aren’t aware of it because it’s applicable to most industries. Basically covering everything from environmental to industrial to social and back again.

Here are some examples of GIS:

GIS is used to map the spread and control of Chagas disease in South America ChagasDisease

It’s used to track Reindeer in the Kamchatka region of Russia, and to monitor sensitive ecosystems in West Africa. We use it to visualize the oceanic spread of radiation from Japan:NOAA



It’s also used to find the nearest MacDonald’s on your next trip to Nepal:

So whatever aNepalspect of GIS your skills and desires are geared towards, know that the opportunities are global and expansive, and if you’re having trouble finding the internal guidance to get you there – check out these links:

~ by Lauren Maluta