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Connected Nation Celebrates GIS Day

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day is a perhaps not well known but growing celebration of a technology with global significance.

Events marking the day are scheduled across the country, from open houses hosted by university geography departments to school presentations, workshops, and technology demonstrations.

One of the national leaders in using GIS in innovative ways is located in Kentucky in a city better known as the home of the famous Corvette sports car.

Bowling Green, Kentucky-based nonprofit Connected Nation ( is leading broadband mapping efforts in 12 states and Puerto Rico and is the largest single mapping entity through the NTIA’s State Broadband Data & Development Program contributing to the creation of a national broadband map slated for release in 2011.

In partnership with ESRI, Connected Nation developed BroadbandStat, a cutting-edge mapping application that uses GIS technology to provide unprecedented views of a state’s broadband landscape.

“GIS is an amazing tool because it can be applied in almost any aspect of life that can be spatially represented,” said Ashley Littell, manager of GIS services for Connected Nation. “Connected Nation has been able to use GIS to map broadband services and analyze areas that are currently unserved with the Census Bureau’s demographic data to help lead policymaking and expansion efforts to increase broadband availability in several states across the country.”

GIS Day is held in the third week of November, on the Wednesday during Geography Awareness Week, a geographic literacy campaign sponsored by the National Geographic Society, and is also sponsored by the Association of American Geographers, University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, the United States Geological Survey, The Library of Congress, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, and ESRI.