Around the world, geospatial community today celebrated GIS Day, highlighting the accomplishments of the modern-day technology and deliberating on its future role through a series of virtual sessions. Recognizing the crucial role of GIS (Geographic Information System) that enables efficient and effective decision-making, this day is observed to inspire the community for creating a better world by harnessing the technology for its myriad benefits. GIS technology has been applied across sectors, from agriculture, water, disaster management, environment, healthcare, to town planning, which are many of the key priority areas identified by the Government. Programs like Direct Benefit Transfer, Swachh Bharat, Smart cities, Water & Electricity for all, Clean Ganga Mission and government initiatives in Infrastructure Development have realized the benefits of GIS technology. The critical support from GIS during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in real-time assessment of the spread and its consequent mitigation came in under special focus. GIS has contributed significantly in supporting decision-making for disaster management across the world and its role in addressing the challenges of mapping, detection, analysis, mitigation and relief and rescue operations – whether its floods, earthquakes or pandemic – has been greatly acknowledged globally.
GIS Day celebrations brought together companies from industries across segments, educational institutions and government agencies with engaging discussions on importance and usability of GIS-driven real-world applications and solutions.
Commenting on the importance of GIS day, Mr. Agendra Kumar, President, Esri India said, “GIS Day is a great opportunity for professionals from all sectors/industries and across the country to get together to share the amazing things they are doing with GIS. This year, more than ever before, the work of GIS has helped the world better understand and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. Organizations across the country are taking part in various activities and events that help celebrate geospatial science and how it impacts the real world for good.”
Esri India is part of California headquartered Esri, which is the global pioneer of GIS and has been at the forefront of spreading awareness about the vast range of technology’s applications.
GIS is a scientific framework for gathering, analyzing, and visualizing geographic data to help make better decisions. With technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Cloud Computing integrating with GIS, it makes the technology’s role even more instrumental and overarching.
Speaking on the importance of GIS technology, Peeyush Gupta, Asst. Real-Time Information Specialist, National Mission for Clean Ganga, Ministry of Jal Shakti says, “Namami Gange programme, implemented by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is an integrated mission for the conservation of Ganga and its tributaries. NMCG is a comprehensive organization with high priority for research and evidence-based decision-making and has a special place for use of hi-end technology including Geospatial technology to get authentic data and information backed by scientific research. Geospatial Technology is widely used in Ganga river basin management. Every year, GIS cell, Ganga Knowledge Centre, NMCG celebrate “GIS Day” in November. The objective of the GIS Day celebration to identify the power of the emerging technologies towards achieving the sustainable development goal to achieve the river rejuvenation at its pristine condition.”
“We are living in a society where information flows without social, economic, and political barriers. GIS enables people to know where and how things are in the real world. Specifically, in the current pandemic situation, the tracing, tracking, and mapping of the people have demonstrated the relevance of GIS in today’s world“, opines faculty of Technology at CEPT University, Ahmedabad.
GIS day gives an opportunity to learn more about geography and the real-world applications of GIS that are making a difference in the society. GIS provides location intelligence and analytics, allows users to gain deeper insights into data, solve problems, and make smarter decisions about land use, energy, water, natural hazards, biodiversity, climate, and other key issues of the twenty-first century.