Defining Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
GIS, or Geographic Information System, is a computerized mapping and database program that allows for the capture, storage, display, analysis, and management of any data linked to a location. Or, as we prefer to suggest, "GIS is a smart map"!
Ask the GIS system a question and it quickly provides an answer in the form of a map or report:
- Want to know the zoning designation of a property?
- Present that question to the GIS and it quickly provides a text and graphical answer.
- How many people live within 1 mile of a shopping center? With GIS you quickly can find this answer.
- Where is the closest Park in relation to where I live?
These are all simple questions that the GIS can readily answer. Of course information such as population, streets, properties, zoning, and parks need to be present within the GIS for it to provide these answers. Fortunately, that is why Modesto has this information within its GIS and is continually developing and managing additional GIS data.