Location, Location, Location

GPS MapIn the world of real estate, the mantra is “location, location, location.” You might say the same of Geospatial Technology.

Almost every aspect of our daily lives has some kind of location component. As Phillip Davis, director of the National Geospatial Technology Center recently noted in an article in U.S. News & World Report, everything from navigating an unfamiliar neighborhood to locating the world’s most wanted terrorist involves Geospatial Technology.

“They couldn’t have found Osama bin Laden without it,” Davis told U.S. News & World Report, referring to the recent U.S. Navy SEALs raid on bin Laden’s compound hideout in Pakistan. “The world is so interconnected today, and everything is based on spatial relationships. It is one of our nation’s essential core tools.”

The article goes on to note that Geospatial Technology specifically refers to equipment used in visualization, measurement, and analysis of the earth’s features, typically involving such systems as GPS (global positioning systems), GIS (geographical information systems), and RS (remote sensing). It is widely used in military applications and homeland security, but is also pervasive in the fields of land use, flood plain mapping and environmental protection.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Geospatial Technology is a high-growth industry in both the public and private sectors (including the telecommunications, utilities and transportation industries as well as federal, state and local governments). There are approximately 600,000 U.S. workers in Geospatial Technology today, a number that is expected to reach more than 850,000 by 2018, according to Davis, a professor of computer science at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas, where the National Geospatial Technology Center is based.

And, as he told U.S. News & World Report, the career possibilities are wide-ranging. “You have people who work in surveying, who map out where a shopping center or street is going to be, and those involved in your local property appraisals. [Geospatial Technology] is also used in law enforcement to locate crimes and for fire response and in disaster management – before, during and after. It is used to locate water resources, or in public health to track the spread of disease. It’s used by the guys who drive around for Google Earth. It’s very high impact.”

You can find more information about Geo Tech careers and educational opportunities at the GeoTech website.

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