What is a GIS?
In general, a Geographic
Information System (GIS) combines layers of information
about a geographic region to give a better understanding of
that region. Layers of information can be combined depending
on the purpose of the study. For instance, the location of
fire stations can be layered on a jurisdiction’s geography,
including the road network, water features, building
footprints, or any other feature that has been digitized and
assigned a location. These layers form a computer model of a
jurisdiction, on which many types of analysis can be made.
What isn't a GIS?
A Global Positioning System
(GPS) is not a geographic information system, though a GPS
may be used in GIS data collection. A static map, paper or
digital, is also not a GIS. Maps are a "product" of a GIS
system, a way of visualizing the analysis.
A full GIS requires
hardware, software, data, trained users, and sound analysis
methods for interpreting the results generated by the GIS.
The IAFF uses a state-of-the-art PC-based GIS system,
ArcView from ESRI, Inc. All GIS analysts at the IAFF receive
training from an ESRI certified ArcView instructor, and
follow established analysis routines developed by both IAFF
staff and GIS industry experts.
What do we need from you?
Each local that is approved
Geographic Information System (GIS) Custom Technical
Assistance completes a comprehensive questionnaire. To view the GIS Questionnaire, visit the
section "GIS, What we need from