GIS Day isn’t so much a holiday as it is an annual event that takes place every year. It celebrates the technology of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This annual event was started by spatial analytics leader Esri, and the first one was organized toward the end of the 20th century.

The purpose of this event is to motivate people to learn more about geography and the uses of GIS. Nowadays, this event demonstrates real-world applications that are proving to be quite useful to modern society. Because this is an event day, its place on the calendar may change from one year to the next.

The History of GIS Day

GIS was originally developed by Dr. Roger Tomlinson in 1962 for the Canada Land Inventory. It would be another 37 years before GIS Day was created in 1999. It was placed during Geography Awareness Week, a holiday week that was originally created in November of 1987. GIS Day was inspired by American lawyer and activist Ralph Nader, who believed it would be great if people could learn about geography and GIS technology.

Some Fascinating Facts About GIS

Now that we’ve covered GIS Day, we think it’s time to revisit GIS technology to see what makes it so great. That’s why we decided to list some of the things that we’ve learned about GIS below. We hope that everyone reading this article finds the following bullet points informative.

  • GIS can show a ton of different data points in one place.
  • The concept of GIS was first used by Charles Picquet to create a map representing the cholera outbreak across 48 districts of Paris in 1832.
  • Public safety maps produced by GIS are used to help firefighters and police officers get to residents quickly in an emergency.

Observing GIS Day

This is a great day for people to learn more about geography and GIS technology. Fortunately, there are dozens of GIS events all around the world. It’s observed officially in several U.S. states, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. People can find an event near them by searching for the hashtag #GISDay on social media.

When is it?
This year (2024)
November 20 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
November 19 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
November 15 Wednesday
Nature & Environment