November 17th is GIS Day, a day to celebrate the uses and benefits GIS technology brings to our world every day.
But you might be asking yourself – what is GIS? How does it affect my work? Read on to learn about how GIS applications surround us, and how it’s an essential component to any engineering project.
So what is GIS, exactly?
GIS, or Geographic Information Systems, isn’t so much a physical thing as it is a framework for understanding data. Broadly, it’s a system for capturing, analyzing, and presenting data related to geographic location. From basic infrastructure and resource mapping, to mapping out voting patterns, COVID cases, and shipping routes, GIS is a crucial tool in every industry, even if we don’t know the name for it.
How does ECI use GIS?
Engineering doesn’t exist in a vacuum – our work has to take into account the physical space we’re putting our projects in to create effective designs. ECI’s five in-house GIS professionals provide valuable data about our work sites to create successful engineering designs. Every project’s a little different when it comes to GIS – from asset, permitting, and constraint mapping, to siting analysis, to federal and state environmental resource mapping, our GIS professionals analyze and present any pertinent geographic information that may affect our engineering designs. Our engineering and land resource staff take this data and use it for site planning, right-of-way management, and environment assessments.
GIS is an often behind-the-scenes element of engineering, but it’s an absolutely vital part of the design process. So today, we’d like to extend a huge THANK YOU to ECI’s Heather Bottelberghe, Christopher Carter, Eamon Clancy, Jay Hanson, and Mari Hohn and all other GIS professionals for the work that you do.
If you want to explore some examples of how GIS helps us understand our world, check out some of the most innovative maps made by ArcGIS users here!