CORVALLIS, Ore. – “Discovering the World Through GIS,” the eighth-annual GIS Day celebration, is set for Wednesday, Nov. 19, at Oregon State University, and organizers say hundreds of students are expected for the highly interactive, kid-oriented event.

Geographic Information Systems technology is the centerpiece of the day, but it is the creative uses for GIS that make it so much fun for grade-school students. Activities like a middle-schoolers’ hike around Reser Stadium that will demonstrate global positioning satellite technology and a keynote address by computer science professor Mike Bailey, an expert in scientific visualization, promise to dazzle students with the possibilities of science.

Bailey’s talk, set for 3 p.m. in Room 313 of Richardson Hall, is titled “Not Your Father’s Computer Graphics.”

GIS Day is a global event aimed at educating millions of children and adults about how geography makes a difference in everyone’s lives through GIS. More than 2,000 schools and organizations host GIS Day events in 90 countries around the world.

OSU’s version has become increasingly popular since its debut in 2000. In addition to the events listed above, it will feature a “Kids’ Keynote Address” by Matt Gregory of the GNNViZ Project, Theresa Valentine of the Corvallis Forest Science Laboratory and Taber Munro Burton of the Benton Fish Passage Improvement Program. The three speakers will focus on how GIS takes numerical data and transforms it into colorful, interactive computer “visualizations” that make learning interesting and fun.

OSU GIS Day is sponsored by the university’s departments of Geosciences and Forest Science, in conjunction with the USDA Forest Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. For more information, visit


Mark Meyers,

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