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Map making is an event that we perform everyday. Whether we try to figure out the best route to a neighborhood park or travel cross-country, all of us "make maps." The process of creating maps for academic research is very much the same.

Data is gathered about a specific place, verified by theoretical or applied means and analysis is rendered. The ability of applied research to create sophisticated "maps" has been profoundly enhanced by using geographic information systems (GIS).

GIS allows users to create, collect, analyze and visualize data in a integrated database for use in a wide array of disciplines. Community based planners can utilize GIS along with contemporary data and local knowledge for capacity-building and long-term sustainability. The use of parcel information and census data as a 'data package' will be explored in this study room.

This video is part 1 of 8 in the Applied GIS: Turning Data into Information series.