USC Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute


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.

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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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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Top GIS Technologies in 2019 & 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. Experts make the most of these opportunities by …

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Why Pursue a GIS Career

Careers in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST) have become increasingly varied with the evolution of the field. This is in part due to the rise of accessible geospatial databases and the availability of APIs for platforms like Google Maps; these trends have made it possible for businesses, non-profit organizations …

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How Geographic Information Science Can Help Business

Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST)—focused on capturing, analyzing, and leveraging spatial information—is blossoming with opportunities for prospective students and career seekers as organizations around the globe continue to utlize GIS. From the outer reaches of space, back down to earth for agricultural land plotting, urban planning, and even in …

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3D GIS and Mapping Will Be Crucial in Restoring the Notre Dame Cathedral

The fire that engulfed the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15, 2019 is tragic, with early estimates putting the cost of rebuilding in the billions. While the event led to catastrophic damage, restoration efforts have a unique advantage in the digital age. The use of 3D GIS modeling …

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Predicting and Managing Chaos: How GIS Has Transformed Natural Disaster Relief

Hurricanes, wildfires, mudslides and other natural disasters can cause considerable chaos — damaging the environment, affecting communities and complicating rescue/relief efforts. But thanks to GIS, emergency management professionals are better equipped than ever to help communities prepare and recover. From tracking and predicting disasters to assisting in rescue, recovery and …

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Geospatial Information and National Security

For thousands of years, societies have recognized the importance of geographic data as a means of tracking the unknown through maps. However, in the modern age, this important information is used for more than navigating your way to the nearest coffee house. Today, private companies and governmental agencies combine this …

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The Relationship Between GIS and Marketing

Location has always played an important role in marketing; however, the spatial component of marketing and advertising has grown even more critical in the digital age. As we become more discerning consumers and more adept researchers, advertising and promotion strategies will need to become more precise and more relevant to …

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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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