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  • Alison Hall

It's World GIS Day

When was the last time you used a map to get somewhere or learn about a place? Google Maps has changed how we all interact with geography and maps and brought GIS (Geographical Information Systems) into everyone’s home. The science of spatial analysis has, however, been around for centuries. The concept was first applied in Paris in 1832 to understand the spread of Cholera across the city. And today, we are all becoming familiar with mapping the spread of Coronavirus across the world.

However, geospatial science goes a lot further than just mapping diseases. As well as knowing where things are happening, it helps us understand why things are happening. Just have a look at the multitude of Coronavirus dashboards and reports that are available to all of us, wherever we are.

The key is converting the data into information and, using skills and expertise, converting that information into valuable insights and that is where GIS comes in. GIS has come such a long way that we even have a World GIS day – which is today!

We apply this science to international development, peace and security projects, helping our clients understand fragile and complex environments – often in places where people just can’t get to. Using AI and machine learning we can use satellite imagery to accurately count solar panels and refugee tents. We can measure the health of crops, the distribution of populations and understand the critical food security for the world’s most vulnerable people.

Since 2004 our clients have challenged us with some of their biggest problems, bringing peace, food and hope to millions of people who need it today more than ever.


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