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Thursday, February 26 • 1:30pm - 3:00pm
GIS and Ethics: How Society is Shaping and Being Shaped by Geospatial (AICP)

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Geospatial awareness has become an essential element of our society.  This new normal (one with an ever-present geospatial foundation) allows for the continuing and rapid enhancement of how we view our society on a macro scale and how we interact on a personal level.  This session examines the ethics and decisions behind how our geospatial data are created, managed, shared, and analyzed, and will explore provider, customer, professional, and citizen perspectives to highlight GIS uses.

  • Ethics and the Geospatial Profession
             Max Baber
    This a paradoxical time for geospatial professionals, a veritable Age of Spatial Reasoning where the majority of our nation routinely uses geospatial data and technologies but remain largely unaware a geospatial profession exists. In relative anonymity our professional community continues to expand, and a growing number of geospatial professionals pursue certifications from organizations such as GISCI, ASPRS, and USGIF. Credentialed professions maintain ethical standards to assure and sustain public faith in a diversity of fields including engineering, medicine, accounting and - most recently - geospatial. Ethical issues for the geospatial community exist across individual, institutional, and policy domains. Questions regarding legal rights to individual privacy have been raised by civil libertarians around our nation, with potential for government policy shifts that can impact commercial geospatial activities spanning everything from unmanned aerial systems to location-based applications on portable smart devices. A number of geospatial organizations serve our professional community interests by taking advocacy positions on these matters. Geospatial professionals can support these efforts by joining and volunteering with one or more of these organizations.

  • Spatial Analysis and Social Equity
             Allan Parnell
    GIS is a powerful tool for making racial inequality visible. I present materials from civil rights litigation and civil rights advocacy, and discuss my strategies for effectively addressing the issues. I review research design including scale, access to public data, and building a spatial "narrative."

  • A Wanderer’s Guide to the Data Network: Navigating our Connected World
             Garrett Shields
    Technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate and information is becoming more readily available to the average person. As new forms of information exchange come to light, our interaction with so called “Big Data” becomes more frequent. Understanding the vast and sometimes complex way that spatial, tabular and social datasets are interconnected is the key to unlocking new and innovative ways to understand our dynamic world.
    This presentation will serve as a guided tour of the world of Big Data with emphasis on the fact that there is no such thing as an “unrelated dataset”. We will see how different methods of collecting data affects not only the information itself, but begins a chain of social, business and technological interactions that ultimately changes the way we live our lives. Leveraging how we adapt to and utilize the expanding market of information will allow us to move forward with new, innovative technologies and a better understanding of our connected world.


Rob Farrell

Information and Logistics Specialist, NCSU Libraries

avatar for Dr. Max Baber

Dr. Max Baber

Director of Academic Programs, US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation
Max began his career in the 1980’s working as a commercial real estate researcher in Atlanta, Georgia, which led to his pursing a master's degree in geography at Georgia State University, and later completing his Ph.D. After completing his doctorate, Max spent a decade teaching... Read More →
avatar for Garrett Shields, GISP, CFM

Garrett Shields, GISP, CFM

GIS Production Manager, Amec Foster Wheeler
Garrett Shields works as the GIS Production Manager for Amec Foster Wheeler in Durham, NC. Mr. Shields is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a degree in Geography/GIS and is a GISP as well as a Certified Floodplain Manager and Certified HAZUS Practitioner.  During his... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Allan Parnell

Dr. Allan Parnell

Vice President, Cedar Grove Institute for Sustainable Communities
Allan Parnell, Ph.D., is demographer. He is currently Vice-President of the not-for-profit Cedar Grove Institute for Sustainable Communities and President of McMillan and Moss Research.  His AB (Geography), MA (Sociology) and PhD. (Sociology) are all from the University of North... Read More →

Thursday February 26, 2015 1:30pm - 3:00pm EST
Room 302 A

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