The Connected Nation Blog: Celebrating GIS Day at Connected Nation

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Celebrating GIS Day at Connected Nation

By Ashley Littell, Manager, GIS Services

What’s the best way to get to the game? Where’s the nearest Italian restaurant?

You may not realize it, but finding locations on a map or getting directions are just two ways everybody uses geographic information systems (GIS). But GIS is much more than just maps and locations. This rapidly evolving technology empowers professionals, researchers, and educators to visualize an issue and solve it through analysis and data visualization.  It’s a technology that makes Connected Nation’s mission of increased broadband access and adoption possible.

I’m Ashley Littell, manager of GIS Services for Connected Nation. Today we’re joining more than a million people across the world celebrating GIS Day, an annual event building awareness and understanding of our world through the power of GIS. GIS Day is part of the National Geographic Society's Geography Action, a year-long initiative encompassing key educational achievements such as GIS Day and Geography Awareness Week.

Connected Nation
has been using GIS in daily operations for several years now. It’s an essential part of the mission of Connected Nation as we strive to accelerate broadband availability in underserved areas and increase broadband use in both rural and urban areas. Connected Nation creates maps of broadband service inventories in several states, and uses GIS to analyze the markets where broadband is available, and more importantly, where it is not.

Our research ultimately helps increase access to and use of broadband, meaning stronger economic and community development, better education, new business opportunities, higher quality healthcare, more efficient public service, and improved quality of life.  

These goals would be almost impossible to achieve without GIS.
According to, “On any given day, more than two million people around the world use GIS to improve the way their organizations see customers;” Connected Nation is one of those organizations. We utilize GIS technology to increase awareness to a particular cause with practical, “real-world” implications. As the technology continues to grow and mature, Connected Nation will leverage future GIS capabilities and functionalities to achieve the mission of broadband service for all.