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  • Caitlin McGlothlin, Arizona State University

Banking and GIS

As a student of Geography I have been amazed at the different applications of GIS. Partaking in the USAID Youthmappers internship has been a great experience and introduction into the humanitarian effort served by mapping. I have always held an empathy for people in need and previously had not been sure how I could serve. Interning with Youthmappers has provided a way to give my time to causes I believe in and opened doors to what is out there.

As I continue my studies in the field of Geographic Information Sciences I also maintain a job outside the realm of GIS or so I thought. I was thinking that my current position working in the banking world was simply an avenue to support myself through schooling but has now become another window of opportunity. As I looked into the use of computer mapping to network and market, I began to see the intersection of my schooling and current reality of work.

One would think that banking is all numbers and financials which in large part it is but also about customers and market growth. In essence, GIS is able to capture spatially what financial institutions quantify in numbers. It is an exciting time to see the infiltration of geospatial analysis into every career field out there. It makes sense that this information can be adjusted and utilized in so many different ways. I believe that is what is so alluring about this field to me because it encapsulates a variety of different areas and merges analysis with people input.

I think by now everyone has had the experience of researching a certain item or service and finding themselves then baraged by adds pertaining to that recent search. At first, I can see how this can be seen as a potential invasion of privacy or simply anything. I realize that this is tied directly to the idea of targeted marketing. As banking utilizes GIS to source out customer needs I can see the upside of creating an atmosphere of availability. I am by no means a sales person and want to sell 0% of what someone doesn’t need but on the flipside 100% of what they do. GIS allows a more informed decision for both consumer and producer.

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