A Geographic Information System (GIS) is computer software that links geographic information (where things are) with descriptive information (what things are).
GIS can help you answer questions and solve problems by giving you a way of looking at your data that is quickly understood and easily shared.
Why Use GIS?
As on a paper map, a digital map contains dots or points that represent features such as addresses, lines that represent features such as roads, and polygons that represent features such as rivers.
However, a digital map can also contain information about these features. How has the population changed in Charles Town over the years? How does the water level change seasonally in the Potomac River? Any information you need can be stored with the relating feature.
Digital maps are also interactive. Features can be turned on or off depending on what the user wishes to view. This allows for easier analysis of areas. Does the location of roads on the Blue Ridge Mountain affect the stability of the slope? How many houses are located in the floodplain of Bullskin Run?
GIS can help with many different types of questions.
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