USC Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute

Big Data & GIS Articles

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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Top GIS Technologies in 2020 & Beyond

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 exciting possibilities for urban planning, retail, space exploration, and more. In 2020, experts make the most of these …

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3 GIS Technology Advancements in the Last 5 Years

Government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private companies all benefit from innovations in Geographic Information Science (GIS). Researchers and entrepreneurs have found a variety of creative ways to use GIS to advance business and technology. The latest GIS technology developments make way for new applications and for the convergence of GIS …

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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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How Local and Federal Government Use GIS

Geographic information science and technology have a long history with both federal and regional government. In fact, the Library of Congress contains the world’s most comprehensive collection of maps, and geospatial intelligence has played a vital role in resolving numerous historical conflicts between nations. But how does the government use …

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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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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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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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4 Uses of 3D GIS

Geographic Information Science (GIS) offers powerful tools for performing detailed analysis of spatial information and solving complex problems. Traditional GIS data is based on mapping in two dimensions, an x and y-value, which can be limiting in some applications. Utilizing 3D GIS software lets users engage with data from a …

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