By Greg Rienzi, The Johns Hopkins University Gazette
What started as a relatively small group expressing interest in the expanded use of the technology has grown into a broader initiative for the formation of a Geospatial Sciences Teaching and Research Facility. The first two components of this initiative, a geospatial analysis teaching lab and a foundation GIS course, were implemented this fall. Darryn Waugh, the Morton K. Blaustein Professor and Chairman of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said that geospatial-related activities are becoming increasingly important for many disciplines, including engineering, social sciences and humanities. “A growing number of Johns Hopkins faculty, postdocs and students use geospatial analysis as part of their research,” Waugh said. “There was an immediate need for the teaching lab and introductory course, and once we have shown the need and success of these efforts, I hope there will be further discussion on the formation of the broader facility.” GIS, which traces its roots to the early 1960s, is roughly speaking a system for managing and analyzing spatial information. GIS merges cartography, statistical analysis and database technology to allow the user to capture, store, manipulate, analyze and manage and then visually display all manner of geographically referenced data.
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