Overview of GIS in the Libraries
What is GIS?
Geographic information systems are computer-based systems that facilitate the input, storage, manipulation and output of georeferenced data. Using GIS, one can relate otherwise disparate data on the basis of common geographic location, creating new information from existing data resources. GIS supports interactive query capabilities, together with graphics tools that support flexible color assignments, toggling on and off of features, and panning and zooming.
There are many websites where you can learn more about GIS and other geospatial technologies. A few are listed below:
- Wikipedia entry for GIS
- Planet Geospatial - GIS news and blog aggregator site
- Directions Magazine
- GIS Lounge
- GIS Cafe
What is GIS used for?
GIS provides a useful set of tools for planning, decision-making, operations management and inventory. GIS is now being employed in a wide range of applications including urban and regional planning, environmental risk analysis, forest management, hazard analysis, emergency response, marketing, transportation planning, wildlife management, agriculture, and health care management.
GIS in the Libraries
The NC State University Libraries provides assistance in locating, selecting, and using GIS data resources. The Libraries provide networked access to a wide variety of data resources and also makes available GIS software.
Getting Started with GIS
GIS is taught in a number of courses in various NC State University departments. Over 50 self-directed, Web-based GIS courses are available free of charge (NC State University faculty, staff and students) through ESRI Virtual Campus.
For further information about GIS resources in the NC State University Libraries, please contact Data Services.