GIS Basics

What is GIS? 


Before we get into the definition of “What is GIS?”, it is important to understand the term Geography.


Geography is a study that tries to understand the world through human and physical features, and understanding the relationship of place and location.  Geography is not just the study of where things are and how they got there but it looks at the connection between people, places, and the earth. 


Almost everything in the real world around you has a spatial component:


Here is an aerial photograph of Beaver Stadium in the real world.  We know that Beaver Stadium is located in State College and is the home field of Penn State University’s football team.  We also know that the campus buildings surround this area. 



Definition of a GIS:


A Geographic Information System is a system of computer software, hardware and data, and the personnel that makes it possible to enter, manipulate, analyze, and present information that is tied to a location on the earth’s surface.