National GIS Day

During “normal” years, on the third Wednesday of each November, Pima County holds an annual celebration called Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day. Unfortunately, for the second year in a row now, the event has been cancelled due to concerns about the coronavirus and an inability to provide adequate social distancing in the venue, the basement of the Public Works Building. 

It’s still important, though, to recognize what GIS is, and what it does for us. One of the primary uses of GIS within Pima County is to assist Public Works departments in automating and streamlining operations. GIS information allows users of a computer-based GIS system to retrieve, modify, and analyze geographic data as useful information. Geographic information can be used to locate addresses, parcels, district boundaries, roads, washes, buildings, and utility locations.  

A sewer manhole, for example, displayed on a computer screen may be pointed at electronically and used to display all the attributes contained in the computer’s database regarding that feature - the year it was installed, the material it is constructed of, its diameter, capacity, etc. 

Pima County normally holds an event with booths, give-away items, prizes, and food.  Exhibitors include GIS Departments and teams representing local governments and municipalities, the University of Arizona, local companies, and the GIS industry. 

RWRD’s GIS Department is led by Program Coordinator Robert Shay.  Shay works closely with Program Manager Eddie Heredia and Program Specialists Kurt Bottger and Thomas Voelkel who all look forward to an in-person event next year!
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