GEOG 482
The Nature of Geographic Information

6. Databases, Mapping, and GIS

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One of our objectives in this first chapter is to be able to define a geographic information system. Here's a tentative definition: A GIS is a computer-based tool used to help people transform geographic data into geographic information.

The definition implies that a GIS is somehow different from other information systems, and that geographic data are different from non-geographic data. Let's consider the differences next.