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History Map Collection Featured at UNH's Fifth Annual GIS Day
DURHAM, N.H. -- If you're an enthusiast of geography, geology, cartography and old maps, this year's Geographical Information System (GIS) Day at the University of New Hampshire will have plenty to offer.

The Fifth Annual Geo-Spatial Science Conference and College Fair (GIS Day 2003) takes place Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2003, at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) in Morse Hall on the Durham campus. Admission is free and the public is welcome for the afternoon session beginning at 2 p.m.

This year's featured attraction is a collection of historic New Hampshire maps from the Library of Congress. The collection of antique reproductions includes more than 40 circa 1890 panoramic maps of cities and towns throughout the state ?- from Alton to Wolfeboro - a large selection of major U.S. city maps, world maps and Civil War era maps.

Hosted by the New Hampshire Space Grant Consortium and the Institute's Complex Systems Research Center (CSRC), GIS Day is an event focused on educating professionals, students and the public about geo-spatial science technologies -- such as computerized mapping and ?remote sensing? of the earth's surface with satellite imagery -- and promoting career and educational opportunities within the field. Attendees will be given the opportunity to tour CSRC's state-of-the-art GIS and remote sensing laboratory and visit dozens of displays from professional companies, organizations and colleges from within the field. Simply put, GIS combines layers of information about a place to give you a better understanding of that landscape. What layers of information you combine depends on your purpose - analyzing environmental damage, finding the best location for a new store, viewing similar crimes in a city to detect a pattern, and so on.

GIS Day is a day set aside during National Geography Awareness Week for geo-spatial science professionals to reach out and educate people of all ages about the important contributions that geo-spatial science related technologies make in our lives. Invited guests to this year's GIS Day conference include hundreds of high school juniors and seniors and home schooled students from around the state from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and geo-spatial science professionals, university level students and the general public during the open sessions from 2 to 5 p.m.

The Library of Congress Historic Map Collection on display at this year's GIS Day is a subset of the full Library of Congress collection with a focus on New Hampshire maps. These maps record the evolution of these cities and towns by illustrating the development and nature of economic activities, educational and religious facilities, parks, street patterns and widths, and transportation systems. A full listing of all New Hampshire city and town maps from this year's exhibition, as well as further information on GIS Day, can be viewed at

For further information, call 603-862-1792.

David Sims
Science Writer
Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space