Estb. 1882

University of the Punjab

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RSGCRL-PU celebrated GIS day 2021
RSGCRL-PU celebrated GIS day 2021

Remote Sensing, GIS and Climatic Research Lab (RSGCRL), (National Center of GIS and Space Applications), University of the Punjab, Lahore has celebrated November 17th, 2021 as GIS day which is a red-letter day for the entire geospatial community. GIS Day is an opportunity for all GIS professionals, researchers, students and those in applied sectors to commemorate the legacy and utility of a system that has redefined the way we interact with the world, broadened the horizons of our minds and whetted our innovative zeal.
Despite the changes our world has recently experienced in pandemic years, GIS is still here.  In fact, GIS is more important than ever.  The pandemic has raised global awareness of the relevance of GIS as a decision making toolset that enables people to build healthy communities, resilient cities, and a more sustainable planet.  Thus, GIS can be justifiably celebrated as never before, as an essential technology for applying geography and spatial thinking. Hundreds of organizations in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia hosted GIS Day last November, gatherings that served to ignite the imagination of future geospatial innovators who will move the planet forward using GIS.
Owing to this, RSGCRL being the prestigious national lab of GIS has celebrated GIS day-2021 with an awareness lecture by Dr. Khalid Mahmood, providing a forum for users of GIS technology to demonstrate real-world applications. On the special day each year, GIS professionals get the opportunity to proudly lift the curtain on what the technology can do.
Maps and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have emerged as indispensable tools in human development strategies. From managing relief efforts in flood affected areas to planning water supply, sanitation, transportation and housing facilities, GIS-based maps have become the quite essential tool for urban and economic planners. This is the reason why development banks, municipal governments, and institutes of higher learning use maps to collect and disseminate data on human development and the environment. It would provide advanced software tools and applications for geo-education and geo-spatial data analysis in the education and health sectors in the district. In most developed economies the governments collect and make such data available for free to practitioners and academics so that the maps and other geo-referenced data could be used in development studies. The road to economic development and prosperity is difficult to navigate without maps. Making it harder to generate maps will hurt efforts to fight disease, illiteracy and poverty in Pakistan.
Some notable achievements of GIS in Pakistan are; Pakistan launched the cadastral map of Islamabad to curb land record tampering, ensure monitoring of construction through imagery and provide information about land ownership. The cadastral mapping project was conceived under the vision of the prime minister to transform the old system into a modernized digital online system. The initiative aims to control the tampering of land records and monitor ongoing construction projects through extensive imagery to provide accurate and updated information about land ownership through a single click, especially for the overseas Pakistanis. The task to digitize the old Patwar system into a modernized one was given to the Survey of Pakistan. Similarly, The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has taken steps to develop expertise and capacities of Geographic Information System (GIS) professionals in Pakistan for agricultural mapping and for land monitoring. FAO took the steps with the recent availability of ‘Google Earth Engine’, a cloud-based computing geospatial platform which has gained the attention of remote sensing based applications.
The remote sensing based applications are designed to process large data sets for global applications, analysis and ultimate decision-making. Furthermore, the frequent usage of GIS will provide the public and private sector a mechanism to devise result-oriented solutions based on analysis, leading to improved asset management, resource planning and enhanced service delivery in Punjab. Using GIS and related technologies computer scientist, has been able to check the spread of dengue fever in Lahore. National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) was also introducing a system that would help users get information about projects with just a click, terming technology as the only tool that could defeat land grabbers.
Similarly, Many European countries are developing new strategies to improve cadaster management. GIS science and technology offer cadasters a method of quickly accessing and producing maps, leveraging database information, and automating enterprise work processes.
In addition to this, developments in GIS have transformed how researchers in a variety of fields gather and analyze information about the world around us. Scientists gain valuable insights in areas such as geology and meteorology by gathering remote sensed data and implementing geospatial tools. The perspective offered by GIS science and technology and methods can be particularly important in studying global climate change.
According to NASA, the Earth’s average surface temperature has increased by approximately 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century. Scientists attribute problems like extreme weather events, rising sea levels and diminished ice sheets and glaciers to the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The Fourth National Climate Assessment, released by the U.S. Global Change Research Program in November 2018, predicted long-term consequences such as worsening air quality, decline in crop production, greater incidence of food and waterborne diseases, increase in heat-related deaths, diminished populations of underwater creatures due to ocean acidification etc.
Using GIS techniques and software, experts can closely monitor these dangers. Robust geospatial data and detailed visualizations offer guidance for organizations and government agencies as they plan for the challenges ahead. By bringing together GIS and climate change studies, spatial problem-solvers can seize opportunities to make a difference in the lives of future generations
In the nutshell, GIS technology is a growing industry and new innovations are constantly being developed. Therefore, GIS day enables the GIS users and vendors to open their doors to schools, businesses, and the general public to showcase real-world applications of GIS. The purpose of this event is to create awareness among the people about the field, knowledge and applications of GIS and Remote Sensing.