Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tech4U Event at Ball State University Libraries Spotlights GIS

Ball State University Faculty Members to Talk GIS at the October 15 Tech4U Event in Bracken Library

By: Angela Gibson, GIS Specialist, GIS Research and Map Collection

Geographic Information Systems, better known as GIS, will be in the spotlight at the Tech4U event at Ball State University Libraries on October 15. The event will showcase three Ball State University faculty members who are using GIS for special projects in their individual areas of interest and incorporating GIS science into their classroom curriculum. Information on how to obtain GIS software, data, and training through the University Libraries will also be presented. The event lasts from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. in the Helen B. and Martin D. Schwartz Special Collections and Digital Complex in Bracken Library, with the keynote presentation starting at 1:00 P.M.

The individual topics and speakers included in the keynote presentation include:

A Brief Introduction to GIS Resources at Ball State University: Angela Gibson, GIS Specialist for the University Libraries: Access to GIS software, data, and learning resources available to faculty staff and students at Ball State University will be presented.

GIS in the Classroom and Beyond: Petra Zimmermann, Associate Professor of Geography: Zimmermann will discuss her experiences teaching GIS to students from disciplines ranging from biology to journalism, as well as sharing some examples of her students’ work. Additionally, Zimmermann will explain her current social media project, which will entail a GIS component. The social media project is an Emerging Media Innovation Grant project. Students are currently gathering meteorological data and transmitting it via Twitter, which results in a digital archive of data. Later this semester, results will be compared with existing meteorological records. Results will be mapped and analyzed using ArcGIS software.

Web GIS for Economic Development: David Schoen, Professor of Urban Planning: Web-based GIS is a cost-effective strategy to deliver data and data analysis to local and state governments. This project involves the use of input/output analysis to make better decisions about development strategies at the county level. Developed by Dr. Nalitra Thaiprasert and Prof. David Schoen, this Web-based program allows users to obtain economic sector linkage data in order to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the local economy.

GIS Projects and Curriculum in Landscape Architecture: Chris Baas, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture: This presentation will share observations of teaching GIS to landscape architecture students in the studio setting. It will include a discussion of the student’s mental shift from the design to the planning process, GIS and the accreditation of the Department of Landscape Architecture, and the University’s GIS assets and technical support. Several examples of student work will be shown.

Tech4U is open to the entire Ball State University community, and anyone interested in GIS is encouraged to attend. For more information contact Angela Gibson, GIS Specialist, at

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