[ASC-media] Media Release: Kids map hazards in space for GIS Day

Leharne.Fountain at ga.gov.au Leharne.Fountain at ga.gov.au
Thu Nov 6 14:28:23 EST 2003

Australian Government
Geoscience Australia

Kids map hazards in space for GIS Day

For immediate release Thursday 6 November 2003

Swapping their school books for palmtop computers and GPS units, students
from Caroline Chisholm High School today assessed the potential impact of
geohazards at their school to celebrate International GIS Day.

The students worked with urban-risk researchers from Geoscience Australia and
spatial information staff & students from the Canberra Institute of
Technology. They recorded a range of information including the construction
type of buildings, construction materials used and vegetation types.

The information was spatially located using satellite GPS (global positioning
system). It was then stored in an ESRI geographic information system (GIS),
allowing information to be retrieved at the click of a mouse.

"GIS allows you to store many types of information for a single point in
space. So for a school building you could record whether it was single or
multi-story, what it's made from, together with a photo of the building. Then
you can access all of the information with a single click", Geoscience
Australia scientist, Greg Scott said. 

GIS can be used in a wide range of areas, from the mitigation of geohazards
and emergency management, to property location in real estate. 

"GIS Day is about raising awareness of the use of spatial data. GIS allows us
to capture important information about our natural and built-up environment,
and then look at their many relationships and interactions. For example, in
assessing risk from geohazards, the information we record about building
structures helps us understand how they might be affected by hazards like
earthquakes, floods or landslides", Mr Scott said.

GIS is taught in schools and universities throughout the world, and its
popularity is steadily increasing in Australian schools.

Karen Tuhen, Geography Teacher at Caroline Chisholm High School, said about
the event, "It's been a great opportunity for the kids to work with GIS
experts from government and the tertiary sector. The event has really
introduced these kids to GIS in action."

This GIS Day event was a collaboration between Caroline Chisholm High School,
Geoscience Australia, Canberra Institute of Technology and ESRI, with
assistance from ACT Planning and Land Authority.

For more information or to arrange an interview, call
Geoscience Australia Media Hotline (24 hour) 1800 882 035

Leharne Fountain | Science Communicator

Geoscience Australia

ph: +61 (0)2 6249 9800 | fx: +61 (0)2 6249 9990
24 hour media hotline: 1800 882 035

email: leharne.fountain at ga.gov.au
web: www.ga.gov.au

Postal: GPO Box 378 Canberra ACT 2601 AUSTRALIA
Physical: Cnr Jerrabomberra Avenue & Hindmarsh Drive Symonston ACT 2609

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