Archived News Release from 2003
For Immediate Release
Redwood City Joins Cities and States Nationwide
in Recognizing November 19, 2003 as "Geographic Information
Systems (GIS) Day"
Redwood City, CA - October 30, 2003
- As part of a national effort to recognize the
value and use of geographic information systems (GIS), the
City Council of Redwood City will consider a proclamation
at its November 3rd meeting recognizing November 19th, 2003
as National GIS Day. Each year, the week of November 16th
is the National Geographic Society’s “Geography
Awareness Week,” and GIS Day falls on the Wednesday
of that week. The purpose is to promote geographic literacy
and knowledge among the public.
GIS is an innovative computer-based mapping tool that takes
information from a database about a location – such
as streets, buildings, water features, vegetation, and terrain
– and turns it into visual layers. The ability to view
these features on a map gives users a better understanding
of a particular location, enabling planners, analysts, and
others to make informed decisions about their communities.
One key use of GIS is to view U.S. Census data superimposed
on a map, thus providing a graphic, visual representation
of demographic information in an understandable map form.
National GIS Day serves to make people aware of GIS technology
and the important contributions it’s making in the fields
of science, technology, information, and the humanities.
GIS is used throughout the world to address issues and compile
information related to the environment, health care, land
use, business efficiency, education, and public safety. The
power supply directed to homes, the patrol cars and fire trucks
that keep neighborhoods safe, and the delivery trucks on the
road all function more efficiently because of GIS. This technology
can also help businesses determine optimum locations, allow
people to pull maps off the Internet, and help farmers grow
more crops with less chemicals. Most recently we have seen
how GIS technology can be used to aid homeland security initiatives,
map the debris field following the Space Shuttle Columbia
tragedy, and monitor the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory
In Redwood City, the Planning Division of the Community Development
Services Department is working to bring GIS into all aspects
of the planning and development of our community, and it is
already becoming essential to City employees. In the near
future the public will be able to access parts of the City’s
GIS application directly, to obtain planning and zoning information,
learn the street sweeping schedule for their neighborhood,
find out the location of nearby schools or other facilities,
and more. GIS is fast becoming a crucial communications, information,
and customer service tool, and its use will only continue
to expand as people realize its potential.
The Community Development Services Department helps our
community create a vision, plan for that vision, and review
and process developments with that vision in mind. This Department’s
website is located at www.redwoodcity.org/cds.
Visit Redwood City’s website at www.redwoodcity.org
for information about the City and its services, the community,
recreation programs, education, and City government.