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This information is intended to convey the underlying concepts for Reclamation's decision processes. It is not mandatory.
See the Reclamation Manual for official Reclamation-wide requirements.

Reclamation's Decision Process Guide

toolboxGeographic Information Systems (GIS)

go through pageWhat / How / Go On

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navigate in the page--What Is It Good For?

Geography deeply influences almost every decision we make. We need to answer which options would affect what areas in what ways, and what issues are tied to what areas. GIS helps examine spatial relationships between issues and options so we can fully understand the impacts.

With GIS, you can analyze certain complex operations, scenarios, and relationships that would otherwise be very difficult, time consuming, or impractical. This technology is a useful tool to:

  • Conduct scientific investigations
  • Monitor and manage resources
  • Identify needs and problems
  • Determine relationships between vectors (e.g., levels of economic need contrasted with levels of water quality)
  • Evaluate alternatives
  • Perform "what if" (scenario) analysis by projecting data over time and space

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navigate in the page--How Do I Use It?

Track indicators with GIS to simplify analysis.

GIS is a computer system capable of assembling, storing, manipulating, displaying, and analyzing geographically referenced data. A GIS integrates satellite data, aerial photographs, digital maps, and other data that can be linked to a location to analyze relationships and identify spatial patterns.

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navigate in the page--Go On


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Please contact Deena Larsen 303-445-2584 with questions or comments on this material.