Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about GIS

What is GIS?
A geographic information system (GIS) is a combination of hardware, software, and data that enables analysis of the location and characteristics of geographic phenomena. 

Why is GIS Important?
There are a number of reasons why GIS is important, here are a few. GIS is important because it provides decision makers with the tools necessary to answer complex geospatial questions. It integrates spatial and tabular information in a single consistent framework and it provides insight into patterns and spatial relationships within data that might not be obvious outside of a GIS.

Who is using GIS at Iowa State University?
GIS is being used by a wide variety of students, staff, and faculty in a number departments and organizations associated with the university, including geography, anthropology, civil engineering, economics, forestry, geology, medicine, and zoology.

What is ArcGIS?
ArcGIS is a collection of GIS software products that provide the necessary tools to capture, manage, analyze, and displaying geographically referenced information. For a more complete explanation, vist www.esri.com

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