Students pursuing degrees in geographic information science (GIS) use data to map, model, and analyze various problems related to geography and meteorology. Integrating advanced computer technologies, people, and detailed information about location, geographic information science reveals spatial relationships, patterns and trends in maps that lead to better decision making in dozens of professional fields, including agriculture, defense and intelligence, environmental sustainability, forestry, law enforcement, and health and human services.
Location-based data are central to 80 to 90 percent of all governmental information and to a wide range of business endeavors. Students who major in geographic information science study the science and technology of gathering, analyzing, interpreting, distributing and using geographic information. The U.S. Department of Labor declared geospatial technology as one of the twelve targeted industries that are high growth, high demand, and economically vital for the nation. Lending itself to both physical and social sciences, geospatial technology is applied across a broad range of sectors. Career opportunities span academia, government, industry and non-governmental organizations and include careers in agriculture, forestry, urban planning, land use, soil mapping, energy & utilities, redistricting, identifying and monitoring surface and ground water, flood damage assessment and relief measures, and consumer industries like in-car navigation systems.