Information referring to places and events relative to their location on the earth's surface is often referred to as geographic or spatial data. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are computer systems designed to store, retrieve, and display geographic data.
Fundamental to the design of GIS is the integration of geographic features with information about those features. The features are generally modeled as point, line, or polygon layers while the information is stored in linked tables.
A wealth of geographic information about our community is stored in distinct map layers. City facilities and school locations are stored as points. Roads, water mains, and rivers are stored as lines. Parcels, zoning districts, and zip codes are stored as polygons.
Using GIS tools, we can create graphical displays of the geographic data and perform spatial analysis. These "intelligent maps" provide information such as where people live and work, where growth and development occur, locations of utilities and public facilities and much more.