Let Freedom Ring...and Be Mapped July 1, 2014 1:37 PMSubscribe
Esri Enables Federal Agencies To Open GIS Mapping Data To The Public ESRI is the world's leading maker of GIS software. Their initiative is incredibly important in making mapped/mappable data available to the world. They are basically giving government agencies an Easy Button for opening this up to the public. GIS (Geographic Information System) is kind of like SimCity for the real world: It is basically a database with a mappable component. But, to be a true GIS, it needs to be tied into some larger data gathering system and often is for government agencies like urban planning offices. Most data can be tied to a physical location (like a street address or lat-long coordinates) and certain types of "normal" databases (such as Excel) are readily compatible and importable to some GIS software packages. So, if you have data and the right software, you can powerfully visualize that data in a map.