A GIS (Geographic Information System) is a series of layers containing information about a location, or place. Each "layer" in the system represents a unique type of information. Layers could be: roads, valves, fire hydrants, water meters, buildings, manholes, etc. Taken collectively, these layers provide a great deal of information about a place.
More specifically, a GIS is a combination of computer software, hardware, and people. The system allows its users to analyze, manipulate, and display geographic information in many ways. How a GIS is used to collect, analyze, and display information is highly dependent on the needs of the organization using it.
The Northstar Community Services District uses GIS (geographic information systems) technology in many areas of its business. The Utilities department uses it to locate meters, manholes, and buried pipes. The Engineering department uses GIS to track the condition of District infrastructure, to help in the planning of capital improvements, and to store large amounts of "as built" information.
The District is pleased to provide GIS services to its constituents as well. Our GIS program is responsible for the trails map, which is a wonderful guide to the Tomkins Memorial Trail. Find out more about what's happening with trails and trail systems on our Trails Page.