GIS Day is an annual event celebrating geographic information systems (GIS) based technologies. The event first took place in 1999. It was initiated by spatial analytics software provider Esri. Esri president and co-founder Jack Dangermond credits Ralph Nader with being the person who inspired the creation of GIS Day. He considered the event a good initiative for people to learn about geography and the many uses of GIS. He wanted GIS Day to be a grassroots effort and open to everyone to participate.
Today, the event provides an international forum for users of GIS technology from across the GIS industry to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in society. Originally the Canada Geographic Information System developed in the 1960s by Roger Tomlinson, it is now used worldwide.
Original sponsors of GIS Day included the following organizations:
- National Geographic Society
- American Association of Geographers (AAG), formerly Association of American Geographers
- University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS)
- United States Geological Survey (USGS)
- Library of Congress
- Sun Microsystems
- King Saud University
GIS Day is celebrated on the third Wednesday in November; upcoming dates:
- Wednesday, November 15, 2023