Annual GIS Poster Expo Highlights Student Research

Randolph Pfaff
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 12:00pm

What do aircraft noise in Denali National Park, economic development in Colombia, public housing challenges in Chicago, and the California drought have in common?

They are all issues that stand to benefit from the application of geographic information systems. GIS uses large-scale data analysis and visualization to help researchers see patterns and trends, and provides the general public with clear insights into complex challenges.

Juan Taborda's GIS Poster Expo entry
Poster created by Juan Taborda

GIS also plays a role in many everyday tasks. When you use your phone to get directions or locate the nearest Starbucks, you see the well-designed maps on your screen almost instantaneously. What’s less obvious is the behind-the-scenes work that makes this possible. These tools are the result of researchers and designers analyzing data and presenting it in a way that everyone can understand.

Every day at Tufts, there are students, faculty, and staff who use GIS to address problems across a range of disciplines, from environmental studies and urban planning to public health and international relations.

A sampling of this work was on display at the Tufts GIS Poster Expo, held on May 6th in the Aidekman Arts Center. This annual event brings together scholars from the three campuses, raising awareness of the many GIS projects underway at Tufts and fostering interdisciplinary research.

The Expo provides a forum for presenters to share their work, discuss research methods and results, and participate in an open dialogue about advances in this rapidly developing field.

Joseph Gabe's GIS Poster Expo entry
Poster created by Gabe Joseph

During the event, an award ceremony was held to honor the best student work on display. This year’s “Best in Show” went to Gabe Joseph (“Buzzkill: Minimizing Aircraft Noise over Denali National Park”) and Juan Taborda (“Linking Decentralization and Economic Development in Colombia”). Their work was selected from more than 130 student entriesand exemplified the spatial analysis, data visualization, and communication skills that are vital to successful, effective GIS work.

If you are interested in learning more about GIS, taking a class, or attending a workshop, please visit the Tufts GIS Center.