JIS News

The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands will be celebrating Geography Information System (GIS) Week from November 12 to 16 and has planned a series of activities to mark the observance. GIS Training Manager in the Ministry, Ian Wilmot Brown, told a recent JIS Think Tank that the week-long commemoration would offer a variety of activities, including presentations and exhibitions as well as a quiz competition.
The celebration will commence tomorrow (Nov.12) with a church service at the St. Andrew Parish Church where Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Roger Clarke, will deliver a message on behalf of the Governor-General. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Donovan Stanberry will also participate.
On Monday (Nov. 13), persons in Montego Bay will be given an opportunity to view a GIS exhibition at the Montego Bay Civic Centre. There will be displays from a number of organizations including the National Land Agency, Spatial Innovation, Cable and Wireless, Earthquake Unit, Caribbean Institute of Technology and the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) Computer Centre.
Corporate Jamaica is also being targeted, as a presentation designed specifically for businesses titled ‘Facilitating wealth through GIS’ will be held on Tuesday (Nov.14) at the Hilton Kingston, commencing at 12:30 p.m.
The highlight of the week will be GIS Day, which will be celebrated on November 15 under the theme: ‘GIS: Beyond the Click – Making Better Decisions’.
An opening ceremony will be held at the Assembly Hall at the University of the West Indies, Mona starting at 9:00 a.m. Chair of the Land Information Council of Jamaica, Jacqueline DaCosta will guide the day’s proceedings while Director of Disease Prevention and Control in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Elizabeth Ward, will deliver the opening address. Events for the day will include a GIS exhibition, a GIS bee competition for schools, a fashion show, GPS treasure hunt and presentations from technical persons within the Ministry. GIS represents computer software, data and solutions used by a plethora of agencies, businesses and governments. It takes any information that is related to land and allows the user to put it in a data form. Locations such as streets, buildings and water features are transformed into visual layers, and users have the ability to see the geographic features on a map.
“It gives users a better understanding of a particular location and it enables users such as planners and analysts to make more informed decisions. It really provides the ability to combine different data,” explained National GIS Coordinator, Cecille Blake. Commenting on the significance of GIS Day, Ms. Blake said it was to observe the formalization of the use of the technology in all countries. GIS Day is observed globally by users and vendors of GIS technology to educate and showcase real-world applications of this important technology to schools, businesses and the general public.

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