You didn’t need a GPS to find the GIS Fair. Booths at the Herman B Wells Library featured information and activities showing off work that Indiana researchers are doing to support a geographic approach to problem-solving.
Philip Worrall is the Executive Director of the Indiana Geographic Information Council. He said his biggest challenge is finding the funding to help the engineering needs of communities across the state.
“A lot of people see these large price tags on geographic information data and think it cost a lot but the return on investment we’ve been able to document is huge.”
A single statewide map generated more than 200-times its value in projects and operations. Worrall cites the new Honda plant in Greensburg as an example of how the map has been beneficial. Other states were also competing for the plant but didn’t have the advantage of GIS technology that allowed Honda to see the geographic location of a potential plant in Indiana.
Department of Geography Professor Tom Evans said the benefits also trickle down to the average citizen.
“The citizen can access this data and access online what the property sales values were in their house they are looking to buy or houses around them, they are able to look at where school locations are and school districts are.”