Introduction to GIS

Web-based maps have many similarities to traditional paper maps, with some important differences. Instead of just looking at the map, you can explore vast amounts of information for a geographic area far-out or close-up, and learn more about specific features, and (most importantly) get answers to your questions.

This short tutorial will provide you with the knowledge you need to successfully work with web-based maps; even if you have no prior knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Once you’ve read through the introduction, you’ll be able to start exploring the web-based mapping application. Spend a few minutes reading through the Tools and Tasks section to familiarize yourself with some of the more advanced operations at your fingertips. You’ll quickly see how easily these tools can get you answers to some surprisingly sophisticated geographic questions.

Next > Two GIS Concepts You Need to Know

For the techie: In case you’re wondering how it all works, the Geocortex & Compass Informatics software provides the user experience and interface for your web-based map, while ArcGIS Server provides the mapping engine. Together, they translate complicated GIS technology into a form that can be used by ordinary people around the world to explore geographic information like never before.