ABOUT GIS (Geographic Information System)
A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.
GIS allows us to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts.
A GIS helps you answer questions and solve problems by looking at your data in a way that is quickly understood and easily shared.
In essence, GIS is an IT Application which is spatially accurate that is used to map the real world. The power of GIS lies is its ability to attach non-spatial information to a spatial feature and to store this information in a database such as SQL Server which enables the spatial data to be queried and analysed.
A typical example of a query is: Find all properties that are vacant and larger than 1000m² or find all B&B’s in Humewood. The selected spatial data is identified in the map.
Although GIS can be used to produce high quality maps it is primarily a tool for mapping what actually exists on the ground such as roads, water pipes, sewer pipes, properties and the location of facilities thereby making it a very powerful decision-making tool. By adding an aerial photograph as a backdrop it is possible to clearly identify features on the ground.
The NMBM has an enterprise GIS that has been operating for ±10 years which is available to NMBM officials via the Intranet. Due to the improved technology the NMBM is now making some of this spatial data available to the public via the NMBM website.