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USC Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute

Big Data & GIS Articles

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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Mapping America’s Future: 4 Ways GIS Data Impacts Elections

On an election night, many voters stay glued to their TV or phone as they wait for the results. They watch districts on the electoral map change color and the balance of political power shift as votes are tallied. That visual representation shows us how powerfully citizens’ choices can affect …

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How GIS and Big Data are Creating Big Change for the World

The big data trend has dramatically impacted every industry, so it is little surprise that big data in GIS has significant implications for how we acquire and leverage spatial information. As we consider the way organizations are using geographic information science and technology, one of the clearest themes is that …

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GIS and Cybersecurity

High-profile incidents like the Equifax data breach and WannaCry ransomware attack have ensured that cybersecurity is a top priority for organizations of all kinds. Retailers that process payments, hospitals entrusted with confidential patient information and local governments conducting elections are all highly conscious of the threats posed by phishing scams, …

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The Fundamentals of Cartography

At its core, cartography is about the visual representation of a space or place. While this may seem like a simple concept at first glance, it can become infinitely complex when you consider the number of choices that have to be made when creating a map. In addition, modern mapmakers …

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How GIS Has Evolved in the Digital Age

Digital cartography and GIS have had an impactful history in developing our understanding of the world; as GPS World editor Janice Partyka noted, some of the first digital maps were created by the U.S. Census Bureau, which used GIS and digital mapping to better understand population trends within specific Census …

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How Mapping Is Used by NASA & Applications of GIS in Space

When we think of the tools involved in exploring outer space, images of astronauts collecting mineral samples on the moon may come to mind. However, scientists also depend on more remote methods to deepen our knowledge of the solar system and the universe beyond, like those offered by geographic information …

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GIS and the Cloud: How They Work Together

Cloud computing has been one of the dominant trends regarding accessing computing resources such as processing, storage and software. While some have considered that geographic information science (GIS) as a discipline was a late adopter of the cloud, the convergence of GIS technology with cloud computing has had a profound …

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The State of Modern Cartography

The application of Geographic Information Sciences (GIS) continues to grow as a global research tool for understanding the world around us. Cartography, the process of making maps, has benefited greatly from advancements in GIS technology in recent years. The number of students earning degrees in cartography has risen 40% in …

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