Businesses are collecting market data linked to maps to help them chose where to place stores, analyze sales territories and target promotional campaigns based. Business professors David Bradbard and Bobbie Fuller spent the past three years studying this emerging technology, called geographic information systems (GIS).
The first result of their efforts was an award-winning paper in the Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education. This paper demonstrates how GIS can assist an entrepreneur in site selection for a business. Based on recognition from this paper, Bradbard and Fuller have been invited to present a workshop in San Diego, Calif., on teaching GIS at the annual meeting of the Decision Sciences Institute.
In spring of 2009, the two received a Winthrop Research Grant to study how cities and counties in the Carolinas use GIS. With the grant, they have completed 19 in-site interviews about how governments use the applications in tax collections, emergency response and in other operations. Fuller also traveled to Turkey in July to present a paper on how GIS can support small business growth. This paper is the first of several papers that will result from the research grant.
In December 2009, the two were recognized as Thompson Scholars for the 2010-11 academic year for their proposal to create courses on GIS applications. Fuller will offer an experimental GIS module in an existing course this fall. The ultimate goal is to develop a two-course sequence that will enable students to employ GIS in a wide variety of applications and disciplines. In their Thompson Scholar proposal, Bradbard and Fuller identified several other areas, besides business, that could use GIS applications.
The two envision their initiative will lead to a campus wide working group to promote cooperative efforts for instruction and research using GIS. So far, about 30 faculty and staff have indicated interest in such a working group.
During 2009-10, Bradbard and Fuller enrolled in a course at Central Piedmont Community College to learn how to employ GIS instruction in college courses. The community college course, which has yielded two modules for the experimental GIS courses to be taught at Winthrop, was sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Both Bradbard and Fuller used their $800 stipends to purchase 30 licenses for GIS software for Winthrop business students.
Last updated: 04/07/2011