Date: 21 November 2013
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is hosting an expo-style event for school groups to celebrate International Geographic Information Systems Day (GIS) in Wellington today.
The event is aimed at young and new users and to raise their awareness of GIS or digital ground mapping techniques being used by government agencies to provide better services to the public.
Duane Wilkins, DOC’s GeoSpatial Information Team Leader said, “We want to make GIS fun and relevant for kids, and get them using the technology and data that’s available to them.”
With his children’s help they’ve built a life size LandSat 8 Satellite replica for the event using information provided by NASA scientists, which will orbit inside the Conservation House foyer.
Landsat 8 satellite
Also on display will be a copy of the 4 story high Atlas V Rocket that launched LandSat 8 earlier this year.
Over 400 year 5 to year 10 students from all over the Wellington region are expected to attend the event. DOC will have a very special collection of youth related maps, computers, GPS devices and other interactive mapping activities on site.
“GIS is about creating digital maps by layering information which we can look at to show relationships between people, places, and the environment,” he said. “Using DOC data and apps the public can find campgrounds, plan great walks and even check out hunting areas.”
The Ministry for the Environment, The Ministry of Primary Industries, The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and Land Information New Zealand will also have stalls on location and GIS information available for event participants.
“I am really excited about this. This is an excellent example of collaboration in the Natural Resources group,” says Ashley Mudford, DOC’s Chief Information Officer.
The event is also being supported by Eagle Technology and in collaboration with Squad, developers of Kerbal Space Program, the popular indie space agency sim game. Squad is also providing competition prizes and give-aways for students.
The DOC GIS Day will be 9 am to 3 pm at Conservation House, 18-32 Manners Street, Wellington.
Duane Wilkins, Department of Conservation, National Lead for Geospatial Information, +64 27 706 7733