What are some uses for GIS?

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be used to display spatial data and to solve problems that involve spatial factors. GIS is particularly useful for relating, integrating, and analyzing information from these different themes (or layers) of spatial information. Therefore, anything that can be placed on a map is a candidate for GIS, and so the variety of uses are quite extensive.
Common uses of GIS include inventory and management of resources, crime mapping, establishing and monitoring routes, managing networks, monitoring …

Where can I find free aerial imagery?

Aerial imagery can be very useful in the classroom, public meetings, and land management planning and for general historical purposes. Aerial photography is one type of geospatial data that may require a large monetary investment. However, there are sources from which you may be able obtain aerial imagery for your area free of charge.
Most states have participated in national and statewide imagery programs since the middle 1990s (some have been involved even longer). Many of these states provide free …

What is the difference between land use and land cover?

Land use and land cover are classification systems that describe what is on the Earth’s surface at a given location. Often, land use and land cover are confused as interchangeable terms, but in actuality, they can describe very different characteristics of the landscape.
Land use describes activities, often associated with people, that take place on the land and represent the current use of property. Examples include multi-family residential homes, shopping centers, row crops, tree nurseries, state parks, reservoirs, etc.
Land …

How can I obtain an aerial or satellite image for my area?

Historic aerial photography (in some cases dating back to the 1930s) is often available from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) regional/local office or the Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. Recently acquired aerial photography can often be obtained from your local government (city/county government) office. Contact the local government GIS coordinator. Most cities and larger towns have someone responsible for GIS. If not, then often the planning department, assessor’s office, or engineering department is a good place to get started.…

Modeling Downtown Parking Requirements With Planning Support Systems in Sheridan, Wyoming


Sometimes the goal of preserving and enhancing a community’s historical downtown character isn’t compatible with a community’s minimum parking requirements as dictated by zoning regulations. The town of Sheridan, Wyoming used sophisticated GIS-based planning support systems to assess the city’s parking requirements and show how these would support or impact their community’s goal of a pedestrian-friendly downtown.

Find out what they found – [1]

Reprinted with permission from Western Planner Resources