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November 17, 2021

Mapping the Future Through GIS and the University of Denver

November 17 marks International GIS Day, a day when professionals from around the world inspire, share, and celebrate their unique contribution to geography, spatial science, and the world. GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems, which combines the visual benefits of a map with the robust content of a database. From industries like healthcare to civil engineering and national security to business, geospatial science is an important scientific framework for collecting, analyzing, and visualizing geographic information so we may make better, more informed decisions.

And while GIS day is celebrated by those of us on Earth, it is worth noting that there is GIS going on in another space – outer space!

Nearly nine months ago, the Perseverance Rover landed on Mars and is traveling across the Martian landscape collecting data on the geology and biology of the red planet analyzing past habitability on Mars. Cameras and microphones also are on board collecting the sights and sounds of Mars. You know what else Perseverance is doing on Mars? Perseverance is carrying its own small robotic helicopter named Ingenuity. NASA is flying an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), or drone, on Mars.    

That’s no surprise because closer to home, the drone business is booming. Have you thought about learning how to fly UAS or drones and use them to collect data, map, and study parts of Earth for use in just about every industry? The GIS program at the University of Denver can help thanks to a four-course certificate in UAS and GIS technology offered through University College. Come learn about GIS, UAS, the rules and parameters of flight, learn to fly safely, and learn how to process and analyze all that data that you collect. A master’s degree in GIS is also available. Learn more at

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