UT Dallas 10th Annual GIS Day Recap

November 19, 2019

Experts and students gathered to understand the importance of geographic information systems on UT Dallas’ 10th annual GIS Day on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. Events featured a speakers from Dallas Fire-Rescue, Google, and more.

  • Guangchun Cheng, Senior Software Engineer at Google, highlighted how GIS helps Google users explore the world with Google Images, Google Street View, Google Earth, and Google Arts & Culture.
  • Ariana Giorgi, Senior Computational Journalist at The Dallas Morning News, showcased GIS in journalism and explained the difference between writing data journalism versus conducting business analytics.
  • Lieutenant Ronald Vaughn, EMT Paramedic and GIS Supervisor at Dallas Fire-Rescue, explained how GIS plays a key role in water rescue.
  • Nicolas Valcik BA’94, MPA’96, PhD’05, Director of Institutional Research and Business Intelligence for The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, demonstrated how GIS helps universities plan things like parking and class schedules.

Local high school students were also in attendance and got the opportunity to interact with experts and learn more about the Geospatial Information Sciences program at the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS) at UT Dallas. EPPS Geospatial Information Sciences students then participated in a poster competition showcasing their research. 

Event organizers across the globe consider GIS Day an ideal time to demonstrate the benefits of GIS, promote new opportunities in the field, and share information about GIS with the general public. GIS Day at UT Dallas was sponsored by Pioneer Natural Resources, Emsi, and EPPS Lecturer of Geospatial Information Sciences Dr. Wayne Gearey, Senior Vice President and Chief Analytics Officer at Emsi. 


The GIS Student Organization (GISSO) at UT Dallas is dedicated to the promotion of scientific knowledge in the various disciplines of geography and remote sensing. GISSO organizes GIS Day with the help of volunteers all over the UT Dallas campus.

UT Dallas has a many opportunities available to students interested in GIS. EPPS offers a minor, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and PhD in GIS as well as graduate certification in three GIS-related fields.