GIS Frequently Asked Questions
What is GIS?
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a combination of applications that allows the creation, maintenance analysis, and display of geospatial data. Information referring to places and events relative to their location on the earth's surface is often defined as geographic or spatial 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.
How does GIS help me?
GIS appears in many aspects of today's technological world. When purchasing items at the store you may be asked for your zip code. This information is stored in a database and mapped to help determine things like distance of customer travel and the best location to build a new store. Planning a trip you may consult a search engine such as MapQuest or Google Maps for directions. All of these are GIS applications. Bakersfield's local Geo Web can be accessed by city residents, visitors and newcomers to find street addresses, parks, local fire stations or find their City Council representative and ward information.
How can I get a map?
There are many ways to get maps of the city. There are maps available for download on this site. Also, the city's on-line mapping application, Geo Web, has a print option. If you can't find what you want you can contact the GIS Department and request a custom map. Maps are available for a fee.