Find out how maps get made and who makes them at this year’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day on Wednesday, Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is held in conjunction with the Geography Awareness Week, Nov. 13–19, and is hosted by the Earth Data Analysis Center (EDAC), Student Association of Geography and Environmental Studies (SAGES), and the Centennial Science and Engineering Library.

GIS Day is held the third Wednesday of November each year, during Geography Awareness Week, a geographic literacy initiative sponsored by the National Geographic Society. GIS is a system designed to capture, store, and display data associated to positions on the Earth’s surface—it’s how a variety of modern maps are made.

The open house event for GIS Day will be held in Centennial Science and Engineering Library. Activities during the event include: geography puzzles, poster competition, GIS information desk, prizes, and more. Vendors and professional associations such as Merrick & Company, Wilson & Company, ASPRS, NMGIC, MRCOG and others will be on hand to answer questions.

GIS Day provides an international forum for users of geographic information systems technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society. The first formal GIS Day took place in 1999. Environmental Systems Research Institute President and Co-Founder Jack Dangermond credits Ralph Nader with being the person who inspired the creation of GIS Day. He considered GIS Day a good initiative for people to learn about geography and the uses of GIS.

Earth Data Analysis Center (EDAC) is a repository for geographic information at UNM. The center provides students and faculty with the resources and expertise to incorporate GIS and related geospatial technology into course offerings and research across academic disciplines.

EDAC is also a resource for state, local, and tribal governments, private enterprise and social non-profit organizations, and historic societies with its extensive clearinghouse of free downloadable statewide geospatial data and historical imagery.

Students who are interested in GIS as part of a career, or who are considering taking a GIS class, are encouraged to stop by GIS Day to learn more about the programs UNM offers. 

For more information contact Sandeep Talasila at or visit the EDAC website.