What is GIS?

GIS Overlay*

GIS Diagram

A Geographic Information System allows its users to measure and display spatially-referenced data. The ability to measure data, variable over space, enables users to analyze the differences between places. For example, we can compare population across census tracts in Erie County to examine where the County's population is most dense. If we want to try to understand why clusters of high or low population exist, we can then overlay (place another layer of information on top of our information on population) another data set, such as vacant lots or highways. By overlaying another data set, we can then begin to visualize and argue for a relationship between variables--however, much more research would need to be done in order to fully understand this relationship! It is important to remember that GIS is a powerful tool for use in understanding our environment and society and is also only as wise as its user.

*Image Source: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/bmx/gislayers.jpg
The Erie County Internet Mapping Site - Making GIS Data Accessible to the Public
The OGIS serves the general public by hosting its own interactive mapping website. Similar to the Internet Mapping Consortium, this site provides users access to geographic data and technology through allowing visitors to visualize and query geographic data, including parcel boundaries, hydrology, NYS DEC and federal wetlands, floodplains, and demographics.
Launch the Internet Mapping System  
Visit the help page for some brief tutorials on some of the functions of our mapping service.
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Frequently Requested



Phone: (716) 858-8390

Office of Geographic Information Services
Edward A Rath County Office Building
95 Franklin Street, 10th Floor
Buffalo, New York 14202