Geographic information systems and rural data

Steven D. Shultz, Robert MacArthur

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer-based spatial database system that can capture, store, edit, manipulate, and display geographically referenced information. The most significant constraints delaying the adoption and use of GIS technology for rural data applications are the high start-up costs and the technical complexities of the technology, which are simply examples of the "rural-urban continuum." With the spread of GIS use among different government agencies has come the discerned need to share data and other resources. Many states have already adopted leadership roles by embarking on organized programs to coordinate and enhance GIS use in their own environments. A GIS is often mistakenly thought ofas a tool for creating and displaying appealing and colorful maps. Many federal, state, and local agencies responsible for land-use management have used a GIS for years because it improves the efficiency of storing, retrieving, and updating natural resource data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRural Data, People, and Policy
Subtitle of host publicationInformation Systems for the 21st Century
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781000238464
ISBN (Print)0813387973, 9780367286262
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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