Alice Wilson, City GIS Coordinator
A GIS is a computer system capable of capturing, storing, analyzing, and
displaying geographically referenced information that is, data identified
according to location. You can also define a GIS as including the procedures,
operating personnel, and spatial data that go into the system. It reduces
redundancy, creates a mode to share and manage data, and geographically
relates a ton of maps and paper to one constant system. Thinking about
a GIS, you might simply describe it for its ability to carry out spatial
operations, i.e. linking data to physical objects in the real world using
location as a common key.
The power of a GIS comes from the ability to relate different information
in a spatial context and to reach a conclusion about this relationship. Most
of the information we have about our world contains a location reference,
placing that information at some point on the globe.