A showcase for some, a celebration for many – since its inception 19 years ago, GIS Day has provided a platform to promote spatial awareness and technology, whilst commending the world's innovative minds leading modern the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) industry.

And this year, GIS Day holds particular significance as the industry’s most enduring technology provider, Esri celebrates its 50th year – a milestone for the global geospatial community.

Whilst on a day like today, we most definitely could reflect on the evolution of the science of GIS technology – moving from traditional desktop solutions to web-based GIS and Cloud deployment – perhaps it is most appropriate to reflect on the efforts of groups who have not only contributed to setting new standards of best-practice work across the technology industry, but have harnessed this technology to tackle some today’s biggest global challenges.

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Coinciding with this year’s Federal election, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released a new, interactive map to inform voters about the demographics within their local electorates. The interactive map changed the game by transforming complex ABS data into a picture that could be easily understood by the culturally diverse 16 million+ voters that were enrolled to have their say in May

ACT Emergency Services Agency

Down in the country’s bushfire capital, the ACT Emergency Services Agency developed a first of its kind Auto Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) tool to help save lives and reduce the high cost of devastating bushfires on Australian communities. Officially launched at the nation’s leading emergency conference, AFAC, the tool now provides the people of Canberra the ability the make informed decisions about their property, based on their calculated risk.

University of Canberra

Another highlight from our nation’s capital, this year saw the University of Canberra develop a world-first in health research. Leveraging geospatial technology, the university have created a nation-wide geospatial health indicator framework, looking to paint a clear picture of the nation’s health landscape and better-connect research and government policy to break down chronic disease outcomes by looking at how health and place interact.

APA Group

Shining a spotlight on ever-growing technology adoption across the nation’s infrastructure and energy industry, Australian energy leader APA Group gained global recognition by receiving the Special Achievement in GIS Award for redefining industry standards via their radical digital overhaul of their entire network. The project sees the organisation seamlessly combining data from multiple stand-alone systems into one intelligent and collaborative platform to manage more than $20 billion of Australia’s energy resources assets, including more than 15,000km of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines, gas processing facilities, power generation and renewable energy assets.

GIS for schools

Looking forward towards the future of our GIS industry, the number of young Australian spatial users has also significantly grown this year. More than 700 schools across the country have now integrated GIS into education curriculum to better prepare Australia’s next generation for the jobs that are set to break boundaries for our future as a smart nation.

Looking to further ignite the imagination of these future innovators, today, Esri founder Jack Dangermond, along with hundreds of organisations worldwide will host gatherings to celebrate the significance of GIS Day, and advance global progress underpinned by the world-leading technology.

For more information on GIS Day or to find an event near you, visit gisday.com

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