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What is GIS?

GIS stands for Geographic Information System, a means of storing, displaying, and analyzing data that can be referenced geographically. Maps are a common GIS product. A GIS consists of data, computer hardware and software, and of course, operating personnel.

A GIS takes data stored in traditional tabular format databases (i.e. rows and columns), and gives it geographic references so that it can be displayed graphically. A GIS can also organize data by subject matter or theme, via data sub-sets called layers. A GIS can combine many layers of information.