Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

GIS: Resources, in print and online, from the Shasta College Library, including information on GPS, satellite imagery and mapping

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GIS

The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines Geographic Information System or GIS as:

a computer system that allows you to map, model, query, and analyze large quantities of data within a single database according to their location. GIS gives you the power to:

  • create maps
  • integrate information
  • visualize scenarios
  • present powerful ideas, and
  • develop effective solutions

GIS is a tool used by individuals and organizations, schools, governments, and businesses seeking innovative ways to solve their problems. GIS stores information about the world as a collection of layers that can be linked together by a common locational component such as latitude and longitude, a postal zip code, census tract name, or road name. These geographic references allow you to locate features on the earth's surface for analysis of patterns and trends. Dozens of map layers can be arrayed to display information about transportation networks, hydrography, population characteristics, economic activity, and political jurisdictions.

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