A Very Cool Tool

I was looking around for some Wausau links for the site and was digging into the city website.  Well, not too deeply, the link for this was actually on the front page.  It is a link to the county GIS.  "And what is a GIS?" you might rightly ask.

GIS stands for "geographical information system" which at first sounds like a five dollar phrase for "map." In some ways that is true, but it is much more than that.  Essentially a GIS is a map combined with a database.  Information from the database can be overlayed on to a geographical map to produce all kinds of new maps.  If you want to dive into GIS, here is a Wikipedia article to get you started. 

But to see it in action you can go to the county system here.  

What you will find is that you can take a county or city map and overlay lots of interesting things such as, city council districts, school districts, parks, zip codes and even elevation.  So at a glance you can find out where the kids in your neighborhood go to school and how far up or down the bus has to go to get there.

This is a very nice way to get some baseline information about the neighborhood you live in. 


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