Geographic Information Systems

What is GIS?

GIS is an industry short form for "Geographic Information System", a computerized system comprised of hardware, software, data, specialized personnel and training. This system uses location information as the common key to tie together other types and sources of information, enabling users to retrieve, manipulate, analyze and report on information from a geographic perspective.

GIS answers three main questions:

  • What is it?
  • Where is it located?
  • How does it relate to other features?

A GIS is not simply a computer system for map creation. It is an analysis tool that can enable deeper understanding of relationships and patterns in data. It is used in most sectors of government as a decision support tool.