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New 2002 GISQuest Activities Provide Interactive GIS Learning Opportunity 11.26.2002

ESRI, Sun Microsystems and PanaStream have combined their efforts to produce a new release of GISQuest for educators and professionals to use on GIS Day, November 20, 2002. During GIS Day activities last year, students and professionals from 91 countries used GISQuest in more than 13,000 classrooms, companies, and government agencies to learn about geographic information system (GIS) technology and get hands-on experience with powerful GIS applications.

GIS Day is a global event that is part of the National Geographic Society's Geography Awareness Week, which focuses on promoting awareness about geography education. The official date for GIS Day 2002 is November 20, but communities and organizations are encouraged to sponsor events throughout the year. National and international GIS Day events provide GIS users and vendors with an arena to showcase the applications of the technology to the public. The Association of American Geographers, University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, the United States Geological Survey, the Library of Congress, Sun Microsystems, and ESRI are principal sponsors of the event.

The new GISQuest 2002 is an ideal complement to GIS Day activities, which includes streaming multimedia segments with video and animated graphics, a GIS mapping challenge, and a variety of supplementary resources including links to popular GIS sites.

The first multimedia segment will take participants behind the scenes of ESRI's Geography Network, a powerful GIS data search and mapping engine that supports National Geographic's Map Machine, the Bureau of Land Management's GeoCommunicator, and The Associated Press's MapShop, among other GIS applications. The Geography Network generates more than one million maps each day, and GISQuest participants will be able to explore the unique network, software programs, and processes that make this possible.

The second multimedia segment will provide participants with a set of clues and instructions that they can use to find the best location to build a solar-powered house. Using the Geography Network, participants will map precipitation levels, average temperatures, transportation networks, and landmarks to locate the ideal construction site. Those who find the right location will receive their own, personalized GISQuest certificate.

In addition to multimedia segments, GISQuest 2002 explains ESRI and Sun Microsystems' role in developing GIS technology, and it provides links to a variety of popular online resources including educational sites and mapmaking tools.

Sun Microsystems provides the computer network, Solaris operating system, and Java programming tools that were used to create the Geography Network featured in GISQuest 2002. The ESRI-operated Geography Network is based on ArcIMS GIS software.

PanaStream was responsible for creating and producing GISQuest including game concepts, online content, and multimedia segments.

The all new GISQuest 2002 will launch in early November at For additional information on GIS Day and related activities, visit

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