Mapping the Future
Two University View Academy students were among 5 in high schools across Louisiana awarded $100 each in a statewide competition involving precision geographic measurements. The UVA students are eleventh grader Hunter Gravois and ninth-grader Andre Laurent, both from Sorrento.
Geographic Information System, GIS, is a technological field to gather, manage, and analyze location-based data. GIS is used in everyday life. For example, pest control is essential to agricultural production and GIS technology plays a vital role in mapping infested areas to develop more effective pest management plans. Another use is by the government to map flood risk areas to coordinate relief efforts. It’s even used to recreate car crashes by police agencies and insurance companies.
The GIS competition was judged by professionals in the field and involved going to a location, plotting it precisely with digital mapping software, and creating a Story Map using physical properties and other data. GIS is expanding quickly and mastery of the skill with Industry Based Certification gives students job-ready marketability when they graduate.
The competition was made possible by the LSU AG Center, 4-H Youth Development, the non-profit Global Geospatial Institute based in Baton Rouge, and the international company, ESRI.
Organizers of the competition want to spread awareness about the use of GIS and hope it becomes a course that is taught in more Louisiana public schools. Gravois will attend an international gathering about GIS in San Diego, CA this summer.