Geographic Information Systems
What is GIS?
In short, it is a way to ask, acquire, examine, analyze & act upon data by allowing users to easily and effectively visualize, interpret and understand relationships, patterns and trends.

What is GIS?

GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems. With the use of computer hardware, software, and collected data, it gives the user a better understanding of that place by analyzing both the spatial data (such as the basic geography of an area) and specific features. GIS combines layers of information about a place to give you a better understanding of that location. These layers might include aerial photography, roads, streams, parcel layers, flood plains, etc.

Map Layers
Map Pictures

How do you use GIS?

With a GIS, patterns, relationships, and trends that are not otherwise readily apparent can be extracted from the data and modeled or analyzed. A GIS is a dynamic system that allows you to add or remove criteria to quickly analyze how different factors affect your model. GIS creates great flexibility, allowing quick production of a paper map that exactly meets the needs of the user. The illustration to the left is a sample of GIS data available on GeoStor for Benton County.