World GIS Day
Monday, 19 November 2012 09:41


GIS Day, a global event celebrated on 14 November every year, offers everyone a chance to learn more about the fascinating field of geographic information systems (GIS) and how GIS is part of our everyday lives.

‘Many young people are using GIS technology every day without realising it. Many smart phone applications and social media tools combine data with maps to deliver unique services to consumers, and Google Earth is known by most of us,’ say Dr Wulf Killmann and Dr Russell Howorth in a joint statement released to recognise GIS Day. Dr Killmann isTeam Leader of the SPC/GIZ project Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region and Dr Russell Howorth is Director of the Applied Geoscience and Technology (SOPAC) Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
GIS is a set of computer-based tools used to collect, combine and overlay information in the form of easily understood maps constructed from up-to-date satellite images and field data.

In the Pacific, GIS is now being used as a tool for a wide variety of purposes, such as to map landslides, detect vegetation change, map town boundaries, and map impacts of sea-level rise. GIS is useful in the areas of utilities and transportation, and might become a tool to model climate change.
SOPAC is the leading agency for GIS in the Pacific and holds images and GIS data for its member countries and territories. SOPAC's primary goal is to apply geoscientific data and technology to realise new opportunities for improving the livelihoods of Pacific communities. SOPAC's work in GIS and remote sensing is strongly supported by the German Government through GIZ, the German Agency for International Cooperation.

While GIS practitioners around the world celebrated GIS Day by holding workshops, seminars, SOPAC, supported by many partners including GIZ, was working tirelessly to organise the annual GIS conference for Pacific Island countries and territories. This year it will be held from 27 to 30 November at the Holiday Inn, Suva, Fiji.

With the theme Mapping Pacific Resources, participants from around the region will discuss what GIS is doing and what it can do in this field. The conference will provide a platform for Pacific government representatives, donor partner representatives and other stakeholders in non-governmental organisations and the private sector to meet scientists and GIS experts from around the world and discuss new tools and options for collecting and applying data. Experts in remote sensing, the collection of information about the earth from a distance, will also be there.

For more information, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (GIS Specialist) on + 679 3381377 and or the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .