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Workshop Highlights Homeland Security, Energy Applications

Workshop Highlights Homeland Security, Energy Applications


Howard University’s Continuing Education department held the 20th Annual HBCU Summer Faculty Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Workshop for more than 25 participants from around the country. Faculty, students, government and private-sector experts attended the workshop for training in the use of GIS and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technologies.

GIS is a computer mapping technology that allows users to link aerial photographs, images and data to digital street networks, buildings, sidewalks and other elements of the built environment. Building the capacity for teaching GIS at HBCUs is essential to meeting the staffing needs, such as those in the utility industry, for trained personnel, according to event organizers.

State-of-the-art GIS applications, including those for homeland security, health, environmental management and census analysis, were highlighted in the training in addition to applications used in the restoration of power during last month’s massive power outage in the United States and Canada.

“As we met to train and enhance the skills of academics and graduate students, who knew that the best presentation would be (demonstrated) as the entire country collectively witnessed critical applications of GIS technology (in) electric power restoration operations,” noted Pamela R. Bingham, the GIS Workshop Coordinator for Howard’s Continuing Education department.

The Washington Geographic Information System Consortium at the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) hosted the workshop for a third year at NCPC offices in Washington, and NCPC staff conducted workshops in 3D visualization and GIS planning applications. Patricia Gallagher, executive director of the NCPC, was the keynote speaker at the workshop. Her talk was entitled “Designing for Security in the Nation’s Capital: GIS, Homeland Security and the NCPC.”

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