NASA Participates in "GIS Day"

Geographic information systems, known as GIS, is a standardized data framework that allows for gathering, analyzing and visualizing geographic data of all types.

GIS Day is November 18, 2020 and it's an international celebration of GIS technology. Going beyond mapping, GIS provides powerful capabilities to visualize, analyze, and interact with big data.

At a GIS Day event hosted by the international GIS company Esri, Disasters Program Manager David Green presented the keynote address. It is part of a day-long international event hosted by European Esri/Bulgaria with the theme of "How GIS Supports Society." Esri notes that Disasters demonstrates that modern GIS improves collaboration, mitigation and response to natural and social disasters.

NASA uses GIS to enhance our awareness/intelligence of our world. GIS plays a crucial role with managing, understanding, and sharing Earth observations. The standardized format of GIS enables easier sharing of knowledge between organizations, and lets users combine multiple datasets to reveal deeper insights, such as patterns, relationships, and situations – ultimately allowing them to make smarter decisions. By participating in GIS day, NASA raises awareness of the value of GIS technology for solving society’s most pressing issues.


NASA Disasters Portal

The Disasters program area has pioneered the use of GIS technology for NASA Earth observing data with its Disasters Mapping Portal, making the data easier to access for local disaster management agencies, and processing, analyzing and visualizing the data to inform risk reduction, resilience and recovery efforts for disasters around the world.   

GIS Day NASA storymap

To help celebrate GIS day, the Disasters GIS team has assembled a Story Map titled GIS at NASA. It highlights some of the most unique and notable usages of GIS data from across the NASA Earth Science Division. These include a 3D visualization of Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) smoke plume data from the 2019 / 2020 Australian fires, and a damage proxy map (DPM) of Beirut, Lebanon showing regions likely damaged by the August 2020 explosion, combined with photographs taken from the International Space Station (ISS).

In addition to the keynote address to the European Esri/Bulgaria event by the lead of the Disasters program area, Laura Phoebus, a GIS Specialist with Disasters is presenting to an internal NASA audience during a "Lunch and Learn" event on the Disasters Mapping Portal.