What is “GIS”? 

A Geographic Information System (GIS) incorporates geographical features with tabular data in order to map, analyze, and assess real-world problems.  The key word to this technology is Geography – this means that the data (or at least some portion of the data) is spatial or, in other words, the data is in some way referenced to locations on the earth. Examples of spatial data could be the geographic location of a school or a courthouse. 

Within the GIS, coupled with this spatial data is usually tabular or “attribute” data.  Attribute data is simply additional information about each of the spatial geographic features.  For a school, the physical location of the school is the spatial data.  Additional data such as the school name, level of education taught, and student capacity would make up the attribute data.  It is the partnership of these two data types that enables GIS to be such an effective problem solving tool through spatial analysis. 

GIS operates on many levels.  On the most basic level, GIS is used as computer cartography, i.e. mapping. The real power in GIS is through using spatial and statistical methods to analyze attribute and geographic information.  The end result of the analysis can be derivative information, interpolated information or prioritized information that can greatly assist in critical decision making processes at the local level. 

GIS Services 

Catawba Regional Council of Governments operates a state of the art Geographic Information System.  Our GIS is powered by Environmental Systems Research Institute’s ArcInfo software coupled with a suite of analysis and cartographic software extensions.  Our staff has over 25 years of experience in the GIS field and can provide a wide variety of mapping and analysis needs. 

GIS products and services available include: 

  • Local GIS Administration
  • Land Use / Zoning Mapping
  • Utility Mapping
  • Census and Demographic Analysis
  • Site Location Analysis
  • Topography and Terrain Modeling
  • Network Analysis
  • Density and Proximity Analysis
  • GPS Base Mapping
  • Geocoding

For additional information on the GIS Services, please contact Rob Jackson at 803-327-9041.