LEWISTON – A course in GIS applications will be offered during the spring semester at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn campus. GIS, which stands for Geographic Information Systems, is a computer-based technology that allows the user to display, manipulate and analyze information from a map.

GIS allows for the storage, retrieval, mapping and analysis of geographic data, often to support decision-making for planning and management of land use, natural resources, environment, transportation, urban facilities and other administrative records.

The technology is utilized by many people working in town or city planning, public health, environmental sciences, geology and watershed analysis.

The GIS course to be offered at USM/L-A will stress the practical applications of popular graphical user interface (GUI) software packages such as ArcView. Topics covered will include displaying, downloading, editing, analyzing and printing public domain and user-created geographical data sets.

The main emphasis of the course will be on the acquisition of system operation skills. David Harris, PhD, assistant professor at USM/L-A, will serve as the instructor.

The course (GEO 108, GIS Applications) will meet from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 17. Registration is open through the first class meeting.

While there are no formal prerequisites, students should have some experience using the basic functions of the Windows operating system to find and manage files. For more information or to register, call 753-6500. The complete spring semester USM/L-A course schedule is online at www.usm.maine.edu/lac/schedules/.

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