For Immediate Release
All Zones
December 21, 1999
For More Information Contact:
Office of Marketing and Communications
Computer-Based Mapping Gives Geographical and “Real Time” Information  

The future is now, when it comes to making maps or producing data where a particular location is an essential part of the solution. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is computer-based mapping combined with database applications that allows an individual to make maps and work with geographical features found on, above and below the earth. 

In its new state-of-the-art lab, Indiana University Northwest offers a new GIS course that is “much more than efficiently producing maps or compiling statistics about transportation, land use, ecological units, or consumer statistics and purchasing patterns,” says Joe Miller, department of geoscience instructor. He adds that the need for GIS applications is becoming increasing popular – and job opportunities with this skill are excellent. 

There are a variety of ways GIS mapping can be used in the workplace and include: performing marketing studies and choosing facility sites; drawing up plans for real estate development or construction projects; planning and evaluating social programs; planning delivery routes; mapping crime sites; performing demographic studies; managing geological, biological, and environmental data; and dispatching emergency vehicles.

 “For example, real time systems make it possible for a dispatcher to see the location of each police car on his screen,” says Tim Fisher, professor and chair of the department of geoscience. “In one case, a bus was hijacked, and the dispatcher was able to tell police where the bus was from moment to moment.” 

The class, Computer Methods in Geography, will be offered through the IU Northwest department of geoscience during the Spring 2000, semester and will include hands-on lab settings and lectures covering the essentials of the entire system. Spring semester classes begin January 8.

For more information on the class or the department of geoscience, contact Dr. Timothy Fisher at 219-980-7122 or at

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