Next Steps: Seemingly Independent Things You Need to Know

Before we launch into the theory and application of GIS, let’s look ahead at the remaining text in the Overview of this chapter. You may know some or all of this material already, depending on your background. To use GIS effectively, you should know something about several topics that may seem unrelated at first glance. The next few sections briefly review the relevant aspects of the following:

  • Determining where something is: coordinate systems
  • Determining where something is: latitude and longitude
  • Geodesy, coordinate systems, geographic projections, and scale
  • Projected coordinate systems
  • Geographic vs. projected coordinates: which should you use?
  • Two projected coordinate systems: UTM and state plane
  • Physical dimensionality
  • Global positioning systems
  • Remote sensing
  • Relational databases
  • Another definition of GIS
  • Computer software: in general
  • Computer software: ArcGIS in particular

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