What is a GIS?

In brief, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a state-of-the-art computer methodology for organizing and analyzing spatial, map-based data. Unlike other cartographic tools, GIS integrates map making with database management and statistical analysis. Results can be summarized in tables or reports, and displayed as maps. With a few commands, vast amounts of data can be summarized in visual, easily understood formats. GIS is widely used to query, analyze, and map data to support decision-making. GIS has become a fundamental tool for agricultural managers, scientists, land-use planners-and analysis and problem solving. Today, GIS is a multi-billion-dollar industry employing hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.
Additional Resources are found on the Digital Atlas GIS Web Links page, and the Digital Tutorials page.