Aziza Baan, Water Resources Scientist/GIS Analyst tells us how GIS can help us innovate to improve and streamline our projects and decision-making processes.

Today, people all around the world are celebrating Geographic Information Systems Day, or GIS Day, as a way to educate, promote and demonstrate how GIS are used in real-life applications affecting our world today.

This event reaches out to many people, including students, the public and professionals through schools, government and businesses. Educating and inspiring the next generation of engineers and scientists begins with events like GIS Day, and using GIS in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education engages students to analyse, question and improve critical thinking and problem solving in real life concepts.

Amec Foster Wheeler proudly sponsors several GIS Day events annually. For example, our Lakeland Florida office, in conjunction with other government agencies, participates in GIS Day with the Florida Polytechnic University. Our employees volunteer their time to help plan a fun event to educate the students on GIS with presentations, hands-on activities and exhibits.

Many people think GIS is just a map-making tool but it has the capability to do much more! It is very powerful analytical modelling software that is being applied to many disciplines such as engineering, environmental science, transportation, defence, emergency management, public health, urban planning, business and economics.

At Amec Foster Wheeler, GIS is used as a tool to integrate different types of information for 2D & 3D visual displays, mapping, analyses and problem-solving purposes. We use GIS on many different types of projects such as environmental permitting and planning, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) floodplain generation and mapping, database applications and data management.

GIS has the ability to seamlessly cross over from the office desktop to online web platforms and mobile devices. Data collection and analysis on mobile devices can be saved offline or shared through the Cloud. GIS mobile apps can also be custom created for any specific field inventory activity. Linking data geospatially helps us to perform analyses, manipulate data, understand relationships and automate processes. Applying this technology across our work helps us to innovate and streamline our projects and decision-making processes.