Map library hosts GIS Day to recognize its impact

Olivia Young

University Libraries will celebrate Geographic Information Systems Day on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the map library at McGilvrey Hall.

GIS Day is a celebration of geospatial technology and its impact.

Edith Scarletto, the head of the map library, said GIS, in very simple terms, means pairing location information with data.

“What you’re doing is mapping data,” Scarletto said. “The easiest way to understand it is to think about it maybe as mapping the spread of invasive species or looking at the reach of a disease, or mapping demographic data, like you would get from the census.”

GIS is a science in itself, Scarletto said. Departments that mainly deal with GIS are geography, geology, architecture and environmental design because they are mapping particular locations for a certain reason.

“There is a GIS health and hazards lab, (that does) a lot with the geography department and works with natural disasters,” Scarletto said. “They might find a hurricane or a tornado-devastated area and map the destruction, or they might map where the recovery centers are in comparison to how many people need them and where they should be.”

GIS Day will have numerous displays by Kent State geographers, the map library and local businesses, according to the Kent State department of geography’s website.

“Our part in GIS Day is part of Geography Awareness week, and it’s being held in conjunction with the department of geography and with several local GIS agencies,” Scarletto said.

Two of the local businesses include Kucera International Inc., a full-service provider of professional aerial and ground surveying, and Geoshack, a front-runner of emerging technologies in geospatial technology, among many others.

The event is free and open to all Kent State students and faculty. For more information, visit

Contact Olivia Young at [email protected].