USC Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute

Big Data & GIS Articles

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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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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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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Spatial Data Acquisition and GIST

It’s no secret that geographic information science (GIS) is a data-intensive discipline. The huge volumes of spatial information available today have created new challenges as well as opportunities for GIS leaders. Today, we wanted to examine spatial data acquisition more specifically, with questions such as: What techniques are available for …

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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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