GIS Essay

1170 Words 5 Pages
Simply put, a GIS combines layers of information about a place to give you a better understanding of that place. What layers of information you combine depends on your purpose—finding the best location for a new store, analyzing environmental damage, viewing similar crimes in a city to detect a pattern, and so on.
What is GIS?, PDF slide show, (1.89 MB)
Geography Matters, PDF white paper from ESRI (319 KB)
What do you need to use GIS?
A full GIS, or geographic information system, requires:
•     Hardware (computers and peripherals)
•     Software
•     Data
•     People
•     Training and sound analysis
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The map is used to analyze whether use of pesticides or other toxic chemicals may have contributed to the number of cases. Learn more about this study.

[1] Mapping Where Things Are
[2] Mapping Quantities
[3] Mapping Densities
[4] Finding What's Inside
[5] Finding What's Nearby
[6] Mapping Change

How to Do GIS Analysis
Frame the Question
Start your GIS analysis by figuring out what information you need. This is most often in the form of a question:
•     Where were most of the burglaries last month?
•     How much forest is in each watershed?
•     Which parcels are within 500 feet of this liquor store?
Be as specific as possible about the question you want to answer. This will help you decide how to approach the analysis, which method to use, and how to present the results.           
This map shows the potential acoustical impacts on the surrounding area of a particular type of rocket engine. The darker the blue, the higher the decibel level, to 129 decibels. 120 decibels or lower are acceptable outside the buffer zone (the jagged line surrounding the darker areas). Map courtesy of Lockheed Martin Space Operations, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi.

[1] How Do You Do

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