A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information*.
By organizing geographic information into thematic layers, such as roads, soils, and land use data, GIS allows us to overlay these discrete layers, see relationships between them and discover patterns across broad areas the landscape.
More than just hardware, software, and data, a GIS includes the people who use it and the methods employed to leverage its capabilities. As with any tool, the more knowledgeable its operators are about GIS, the more effectively it can be used.
The CCEDC GIS lab provides a wide range of GIS services and education to municipal leaders, members of watershed organizations, research and academic institutions, conservation organizations, and residents using GIS to inform local conservation and planning decisions.
*Kenneth E. Foote and Margaret Lynch, The Geographer’s Craft Project, Department of Geography, University of Colorado at Boulder. http://www.colorado.edu/geography/gcraft/notes/intro/intro.html