Thomas Nelson Community College Geographic Information Systems link to the courses required for the certificate.

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What is GIS?

GIS (Geographic Information Systems) uses hardware, software and data to gather, measure, analyze, visualize and interpret geographically referenced material. The material is organized into maps, globes, reports and charts, making information easier to understand and distribute.

Geography and GIS help us to understand our environment and apply the knowledge to interpret relationships, patterns, and trends, which can be used to design, plan and change our world.

What is GIS used for?

  • Mapping locations, which can be used to reveal the features and patterns of an area.
  • Mapping quantities to show areas that meet criteria, areas with the greatest or least criteria, or the relationships between places.
  • Mapping densities to measure the number of features in an aerial unit. This is often used in census information for a specific area.
  • Information can be used to map change and make plans for the future. This information can be used to gain insight into behavior or to map changes before and after an event.

Who uses GIS?

  • Businesses use GIS to gather information for  banking, insurance, logistics, media, real estate and retail industries.  
  • GIS is used by various Government departments, such as the National Government, Local Government, Homeland Security, Military Defense, Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Law Enforcement, Health, and Transportation.
  • GIS is used for research in the Education and Science by Libraries and Museums, Schools, Colleges and Universities.
  • Environmental management and conservation entities use GIS to study water, oceans, land, wildlife and vegetation.
  • GIS is used to monitor and protect natural resources, by monitoring agriculture, forestry, mining operations and oil and gas operations.

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U.S. fisheries and wildlife GIS critical habitat map.