M@IN - Accessing Spatial Data Tutorial


Introduction / Use Statement

Use statement

A citizen of western North Carolina, perhaps a homeowner or student, poses the following question:

"I am concerned about hazardous waste sites in Henderson County, NC, especially ones near my water supply. I have access to computer mapping software. Where do I find information or data that I can use?"

The answer is the North Carolina Geographic Data Clearinghouse, which is now accessible through the Mountain Area Information Network. The North Carolina Geographic Data Clearinghouse (NCGDC) is a comprehensive directory of North Carolina digital geographic data produced by government agencies, lead regional organizations, universities, and other organizations throughout the state. Anyone looking for digital geographic information on streams, highways, Census TIGER files, municipal boundaries, water supply, watersheds, waste sites, or other geographic features can browse the NCGDC data listings through the M@IN Internet link.

It is important to remember two things when responding to requests about geographic data.

Before we attempt to answer the question posed above, the tutorial will introduce the user to the concepts of GIS, spatial data, GIS software, the NSDI and geographic data clearinghouses.

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