What is GIS?
GIS stands for Geographic Information System. This type of system maintains location information for all types of features. For example, it can represent a road with a line, sort of like a paper map; however, since it is digital, this line can be attached to an endless amount of information such as the name of the road and address range. The background or "paper" the line is drawn on is attached to a geographic coordinate system. With this system the line inherently locates itself accurately on the earth's surface.
What county departments use GIS?
Currently several county departments utilize the benefits of GIS. The Elections office uses GIS to create and analyze maps. The Fire Marshal uses GIS for emergency preparedness. The Sheriff's office has the ability to analyze crime with GIS. Public Works uses it for right-of-way information.
What types of industry use GIS?
Government is not the only group who uses GIS. Environmentalists use GIS for various studies like tracking animals, habitats and water data, to name a few. Trucking companies use GIS to route their paths to destinations as well as tracking their trucks using the Global Positioning System (GPS). Anybody who can benefit from an informative map or spatial analysis can benefit from GIS.
How can I learn more about GIS?
There are two major universities within close proximity that offer excellent courses on GIS. They are the
University of North Texas in Denton and the
University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson.