Wednesday, April 01, 2020

What is GIS?

GIS (Geographic Information System) is a collection of computer hardware, software, and geographic data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.  Data can easily be stored and manipulated in a digital format with GIS.

GIS is different than GPS (Global Positioning System).  GPS is used for navigation and surveying.  It relies on satellites for precise determination of location. 

GIS is a process rather than a thing.  In simple terms, GIS layers information like transparencies.  Layers can easily be added or taken away.  The layers we will be utilizing in the appraiser’s office are: 1) aerial photography, 2) parcels, 3) ag use, and 4) soils.

How can the Smith County Appraiser’s Office benefit from using GIS?

For beginners, we will be able to readily access information regarding parcels, soils, and ag use.  Map maintenance will be done digitally rather than “pen to paper.”  Our maps produced digitally will be more accurate and more detailed than our current paper maps.

For more information about GIS, you can visit