Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

What is GIS?

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer-based technology for integrating, synthesizing, and analyzing spatial data. Geographic information systems and applications are tools used to capture, store, update, manipulate, analyze, and display all forms of geographically referenced information.  

The acronym GIS is also used for Geographical Information Science, referring to the study or career of working with geographic information systems, applications and concepts.

More information about GIS can be found at

What is GPS?

A Global Positioning System (GPS) unit uses a network of 24 satellites to determine the receiver's position within an accuracy of 2-5 meters, using triangulation and differential corrections. At TPWD, GPS is used to develop GIS thematic layers (such as roads or rivers on a map) for geographic analysis. GPS can be useful for collecting many different types of thematic layers including cultural features, facilities, flora/fauna, and physiography of a given region. Once collected, these thematic layers can be exported to different GIS formats for analysis.

More information on the technology of GPS can be found at

Back to Top
Back to Top