GIS Basics




What is NOT a GIS:


GPS, which stands for Global Positioning System, is a device that enables you to show your exact position on Earth.  There are 24 GPS satellites that orbit 11,000 nautical miles above the earth.  The satellites are monitored by ground stations that are located throughout the world.  Satellites transmit signals that can be picked up by the GPS receiver and determine your location.


A GPS can be used to record location, which is represented in Latitude and Longitude coordinates.  Coordinates are stored in the GPS, and can be uploaded to a GIS to create thematic layers.


A static map, paper or digital



A software package is NOT a GIS


It is the way a person manipulates the software, not the software alone.  The user must be able to manipulate the data in order for it to be considered a complete GIS.