Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
What is GIS?
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) consists of users, hardware and software used for creating, mapping, analyzing and managing geographic data. A GIS centrally stores information about the world in a collection of map layers. Rather than having information in many formats stored in multiple places like filing cabinets, different computer systems, large binders or static paper maps, a GIS pulls together very different pieces of information into one system. These map layers may be overlaid and linked together to create maps, integrate information, visualize and compare scenarios, solve problems and more effectively manage resources.
For local governments, a GIS is a computer technology that combines geographic data and other types of information (names, classifications, addresses and much more) to generate visual maps, reports, answer important questions and solve problems. A GIS uses geographic location to relate otherwise disparate data and provides a systematic way to collect and mange location-based information crucial to local government.
To learn more about GIS, click here: http://www.esri.com/what-is-gis/index.html