As technology continues to move forwards, GIS professionals are in demand in an increasing array of industries. We have looked at some of the most interesting uses of GIS from the past year and some of the exciting sectors in which you could find your next GIS job.
The charity NetHope is working with IT professionals from government agencies and the private sector to enhance the ICT infrastructure in regions of Ebola outbreak. Other medical outreach charities such as MSF and The Red Cross have also utilised GIS technology in their efforts to control the outbreak by mapping previously poorly mapped rural areas. Technology has allowed for the production of specialised maps that not only featured the landmarks and villages but were updated with population density and spread of disease.
The company Wearable Experiments has combined fashion with GIS and developed a GPS enabled jacket that guides the wearer through a city. The jackets are city specific, with the range currently including Paris, New York and Sydney. Subtle vibrations in the sleeves and shoulder pads tell the wearer when to turn left/right, and integrated LED lighting also informs the wearer how far it is to the next turn and what stage of the journey they are currently at.
One example is in creating accurate virtual reality environments based on warzones and using these to help treat soldiers suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder. Early studies this year have indicated that this is a successful technique for treatment. Other popular video game franchises such as Grand Theft Auto are based on real locations which need to be geographically correct.
GIS professionals will be familiar with some drone technology, used commonly for aerial imaging and GIS data capture. Amazon has begun trialling their own drones in the UK this year for delivering their packages using GPS technology.
Google X, the research arm of Google that has previously produced self-driving cars and Google Glass, is also developing delivery drones that are fitted with comprehensive on-board technologies including GPS. The technology is being developed under the name Project Wing and is still being researched and tested.