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The City of Bakersfield Geographic Information Services is a dynamic and unique team of individuals that provides GIS and Mapping services to the City of Bakersfield Departments, the online GIS user community, the Citizens of Bakersfield, Local and National Land Developers, private companies (ie. engineering firms, trucking companies, etc.).

What is GIS?

Information referring to places and events relative to their location on the earth's surface is often defined as geographic or spatial data. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are computer systems designed to store, retrieve, analyze, and display geographic data.

Fundamental to the design of GIS is the integration of geographic data with information about the geographic feature. Many types of information about our community are stored in distinct map layers. These layers contain point, line and polygon map features.

An incident of a crime or a permit location may be stored as a point. Roads, water mains, and rivers are stored as lines. Using GIS tools, we can create graphical displays of this data and perform spatial analysis. These "intelligent maps" provide information about a region such as where people live and work, where growth and development occur, locations of utilities and public facilities, locations of environmentally sensitive lands and much more.

What makes up a GIS?

A working GIS integrates five key components: hardware, software, data, people, and methods. Hardware is the computer on which a GIS operates. GIS software provides the functions and tools needed to store, analyze, and display geographic information. Geographic data (layers) and related tabular data are necessary in order to perform work in a GIS software. GIS technology is of limited value without the people who manage the system and develop plans for applying it to real-world problems.

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