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 Remote Sensing Saves the Earth

Remotely gathering spatial information is a powerful means to understand and respond to urgent humanitarian and environmental problems. But, for many years, it was challenging to get the information required to take action as remote sensing data was limited and difficult to acquire. Now, with the combination of new data …

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GIST in the Military: From the Air Force to the Space Force

We’re celebrating our student and alumni veterans by sharing stories about their geospatial work in the military and experiences in the GIST programs. Jillian Combs began the online Master of Science in Human Security and Geospatial Intelligence (HSGI) in May 2019 with a mission: complete the program in just one …

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GIST in the Military: The Pervasiveness of GIS

We’re celebrating our student and alumni veterans by sharing stories about their geospatial work in the military and experiences in the GIST programs. Army veteran and Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST) program alumnus Chris Sanders completed the certificate in 2018, but he didn’t stop there. “I …

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4 Types of People Who Will Make it in GIS

Careers in geographic information science (GIS) are full of exciting problems that can be solved with state-of-the-art tools and methods. GIS professionals have opportunities to lead projects, drawing on insights from geospatial data to achieve results. By effectively applying spatial reasoning, experts can strategize for business growth, make new archaeological …

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The Top 6 Industries for GIS

Geographic Information Science can bring together large amounts of geospatial data to help professionals make strategic decisions. Widespread GIS technology has led to a growing number of examples of GIS in business. Some of the best GIS projects may be those that utilize technology to improve community infrastructure and public …

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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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3 Countries Using GIS Technologies

Geographic Information Science (GIS) has come a long way since its beginning in the 1960s. Modern uses of GIS technology include accident analysis, urban planning, disaster management and much more. Geospatial data collection and analysis can lead to amazing results for individuals, communities and entire nations. So, where is GIS …

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4 Historical GIS Projects That You Don’t Know About

Historical Geographic Information Science (GIS) projects use spatial data to discover a unique perspective on past events. Some of the best GIS projects provide insight into major developments today. There are many notable historical GIS project examples available online. Here, we’ll detail four of our favorites: Story Maps from the …

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Q&A with GIST Master’s Alumnus Devlin Howieson

How is geographic information science and technology used in the military? This is a segment of our multi-part series honoring the active service members and veterans who’ve taken or who teach USC’s Geographic Information Science and Technology graduate programs by allowing them to share some of their most memorable experiences. …

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4 Ways GIS Can Help Fight Drug Epidemics

According to statistics from the Centers of Disease Control, more than 115 Americans die each day from opioid overdoses. Additionally, the economic burden imposed by the abuse of prescription pain relievers and heroin adds up to $78.5 billion a year. As a result, the U.S. Department of Health and Human …

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