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Welcome to our geographic information science (GIS) and technology blog. We feature a mixture of GIS academic articles, news, USC student stories and interesting GIS application articles. We recommend visiting frequently if you want to find out more about what excites us as GIS practitioners and academics — we aim to provide a mixture of interesting GIS news articles, career information and highlights from the GIS programs at the University of Southern California. Some of the key topics you can expect to find within our blog include:

  • Profiles of cutting-edge GIS research from USC faculty and students
  • Innovative use of GIS technologies and forward-thinking analysis
  • Careers in GIS and key skills to advance in the field
  • GIS applications in specific industries and sectors, like urban planning, environmental science and more
If you’re interested in receiving updates about the GIS graduate degree and certificate programs at the University of Southern California, request information to reach an enrollment advisor; you’ll also receive emails with important program updates and when we publish a new blog article.

Why GIS Is Important in Urban Planning

Cities are systems of tremendous, ever-evolving complexity. Responsibly guiding an area’s development requires spatial information that’s robust, nuanced and constantly updated, as well as the problem-solving skills to apply that information. This challenge has made geographic information science and technology (GIST) invaluable to urban planners. Spatial data points the way …

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Emerging GIS Technologies

Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST) includes a versatile range of tools and techniques for capturing, analyzing and leveraging spatial information. With each passing year, advances in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) reveal new applications in urban planning, retail, space exploration, and more. Experts make the most of these opportunities by …

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Your Guide to Professional Graduate GIS Certifications

GIS certifications validate an individual’s knowledge and skills within specific areas of GIS such as the applications of GIS or geospatial intelligence. Given the number of different options, it can be difficult to determine which provide the most benefit to you— especially when you start to examine both graduate certificates …

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4 Reasons GIS Careers May be the Best Careers

It is a great time for geographic information systems (GIS) careers. Geographic tools are more accessible and more powerful than ever. Cloud-based applications allow users to work nearly anywhere, while crowd-sourced information has fueled a massive global dataset. Drones can create nearly instantaneous maps, while LiDAR sensors are building remarkable …

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4 Careers in GIS With Great Job Outlooks

Geographic Information Science (GIS) is a fascinating field of study that allows us to gather valuable insights from the world around us. But is GIS a growing field? Market research firm Prescient & Strategic Intelligence predicted the global GIS market will reach $17.5 billion by 2023. This growth will be …

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A Coast-to-Coast Q&A with Michele Fong: From a Certificate to a Master’s in GIST

Michele Fong (she/her) is a GIS analyst at engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services firm HDR. Living in Richmond, VA, Michele completed her online Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST) from the USC Spatial Sciences Institute in 2022. She tells us all, particularly on how this graduate …

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The Ultimate Guide to Navigating the Job Market as a GIS Professional

Building your professional network, maximizing your resume and researching market roles are important steps to take throughout your graduate education. Whether you’ve just begun researching online GIS programs or are approaching your final months at the USC Spatial Sciences Institute, understanding how to navigate the job market prepares you to …

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Managing Your Time As an Online Student

Time management is the ability to organize responsibilities and allocate the appropriate time to complete tasks. When you’re effective at managing your time, you’re able to meet deadlines, increase your productivity, combat procrastination and reduce stress. As a student and professional, time management also helps you produce higher-quality work more …

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Q&A with U.S. Marine Corps Imagery Analyst Jacob Spear

We’re honoring the active service members and veterans in Master of Science in Human Security and Geospatial Intelligence student Jacob Spear has served in the United States Marine Corps for over eight years. Seeking a new challenge and the opportunity to give back to others, Spear began the HSGI graduate …

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Student Interview with Cole Heap

Student Experience: Uniting the Geosciences and Spatial Analytics Cole Heap is a geologist at Aera Energy with 10 years of experience working in the geosciences. Realizing the benefits that would come from tackling projects and challenges with a spatial mindset, he decided to complete the online M.S. in Geographic Information …

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