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GIS Use In Urban Research Highlighted By James Pick

Scholars in a wide variety of academic disciplines are using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in their research. The Libraries initiated a GIS Brown Bag Series in 2003 so that those using this powerful tool can meet and discuss their projects.  The Series recently featured a presentation by James Pick, Visiting Researcher in the Center for Research on Immigration, Population, and Public Policy at the School of Social Sciences (summer/fall 2005), on the use of GIS to study cities.

Dr. Pick began his talk, which was titled “GIS as a Technique for Studying Cities,” by describing how GIS is both a common government planning tool and an academic technique for studying cities.  He noted that the range of applications for GIS is vast: it can be used to gain new insights into change dynamics, urban and metropolitan definitions, central place theory, neighborhoods, migration, ethnicity, poverty, gender, industrial location, urban sprawl, edge cities, environment, and planning. 

The talk illustrated these uses via recent U.S. and international examples as Dr. Pick demonstrated how the use of GIS can make the complex metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Mexico City more easily understood.  He also included information on urban spatial techniques and on opportunities in urban academic research.

Carol Ann Hughes, Associate University Librarian for Public Services, attended the program and commented that “Jim’s remarks were exceptionally valuable to both researchers and librarians.  GIS can provide new insights for researchers in a broad range of diverse subject areas, and Jim’s talk helped scholars learn how to use GIS more effectively.”

Dr. Pick is Professor of Business at the University of Redlands.  He has long studied cities and their populations and is the author of numerous research papers and nine books, including Geographic Information Systems in Business (Idea Group Publishing, 2005) and Exploring the Urban Community: A GIS Approach (Prentice Hall, 2005, co-authored with Richard Greene).

For more information about the Libraries' GIS programs, including the GIS Brown Bag Series, please contact Heather Tunender, Electronic Reference Services Librarian (tunender@uci.edu or x49266).



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