geographic information system


(GIS) A set of computer-based tools used to collect, store, analyze, and map data that has a location-based or spatial component, such as latitude and longitude. The term GIS usually includes computer software and hardware, data collectors, and the data itself.

These systems allow researchers and decision makers to compile information from many different sources. By gathering and mapping a wide variety of data, we can see new trends and relationships. Satellite images, records of soil type or vegetation cover, census data, locations of roads and schools, and many other types of data can be compiled in a GIS.

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