Earth Science Information Center
To find out more about how GIS is used in your local community, contact your nearest Earth Science Information Center (ESIC). Staff from the US Geological Survey (USGS) answer questions about aerial photographs, maps, satellite imagery, computer programs, data formats, data standards, and digital cartographic data. To contact your local ESIC, call 1-888-ASK-USGS or visit the website.
to succeed or complete a goal.
picture of part of the Earth's surface, usually taken from an airplane.
to put in a straight line.
to evaluate or determine the amount of.
to give or distribute.
scientist who studies living organisms.
natural or artificial line separating two pieces of land.
line separating geographical areas.
having to do with maps and mapmaking.
steady, predictable flow of fluid within a larger body of that fluid.
(singular: datum) information collected during a scientific study.
process of putting information into a geographic information system (GIS).
having to do with the social characteristics and statistics of a population.
number of things of one kind in a given area.
construction or preparation of land for housing, industry, or agriculture.
having to do with numbers (or digits), often in a format used by computers.
representation that is twisted, mistaken, or false.
unmanned aircraft that can be guided remotely.
the sudden shaking of Earth's crust caused by the release of energy along fault lines or from volcanic activity.
height above or below sea level.
person who plans the building of things, such as structures (construction engineer) or substances (chemical engineer).
to enter or participate.
identity in a group sharing genetic characteristics, culture, language, religion, or history.
a building or room that serves a specific function.
one or more buildings used for the manufacture of a product.
land cultivated for crops, livestock, or both.
a crack in the Earth's crust where there has been movement.
having to do with a nation's government (as opposed to local or regional government).
overflow of a body of water onto land.
ecosystem filled with trees and underbrush.
any system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on the Earth's surface.
person who studies the physical formations of the Earth.
horizontal and vertical lines used to locate objects in relation to one another on a map.
a form of energy that is transferred by a difference in temperature
land that rises above its surroundings and has a rounded summit, usually less than 300 meters (1,000 feet).
tropical storm with wind speeds of at least 119 kilometers (74 miles) per hour. Hurricanes are the same thing as typhoons, but usually located in the Atlantic Ocean region.
wages, salary, or amount of money earned.
certain to happen, unavoidable.
structures and facilities necessary for the functioning of a society, such as roads.
measure of the cubic feet per second of water flowing in a specific area of a stream at a specific time.
vast, worldwide system of linked computers and computer networks.
the geographic features of a region.
range of purposes people put to the earth.
distance north or south of the Equator, measured in degrees.
position of a particular point on the surface of the Earth.
distance east or west of the prime meridian, measured in degrees.
to manage a complex device or situation with great skill.
symbolic representation of selected characteristics of a place, usually drawn on a flat surface.
method by which shapes on a globe are transferred to a flat surface.
art and science of selling a product.
movement of a group of people or animals from one place to another.
an event occurring naturally that has large-scale effects on the environment and people, such as a volcano, earthquake, or hurricane.
an area within a larger city or town where people live and interact with one another.
beginning or ending point of an edge, arc or network of lines.
smallest part of an image displayed on an electronic screen.
having to do with the North and/or South Pole.
introduction of harmful materials into the environment.
geometric figure having three or more straight sides. In GIS, a closed shape on a map defined by a connected sequence of x, y coordinate pairs.
total number of people or organisms in a particular area.
network of cables or other devices through which electricity is delivered to consumers. Also called an electrical grid.
cable or cord used to transfer electricity from a power plant to a population center. Also called a transmission line.
flat representation of a sphere.
vulnerable or tending to act in a certain way.
spatial information organized as collections of cells that represent groups of data, such as elevations.
methods of information-gathering about the Earth's surface from a distance.
art and science of directing or negotiating the way people interact with the natural landscape. Also called natural resource management.
having to do with the sale of finished goods to consumers.
large stream of flowing fresh water.
path, usually paved, for vehicles to travel.
path or way.
object that orbits around something else. Satellites can be natural, like moons, or made by people.
photographs of a planet taken by or from a satellite.
relationship between distances shown on a map and actual distances.
to transfer data, usually visual, on to a computer.
geographic area whose schools are managed by one administration.
electronic programs of code that tell computers what to do.
top layer of the Earth's surface where plants can grow.
information used to pose, analyze, and resolve problems about the Earth's surface that reflect environmental and human processes.
system to empty streets of excess rainwater. Storm drains flow into local creeks, rivers, or seas.
information gained from precisely measuring the surface of the land.
the science of using tools and complex machines to make human life easier or more profitable.
having the appearance of width, height, and depth.
photographing of a slow and continuous process at regular intervals, for projection at a higher speed.
study of the shape of the surface features of an area.
human settlement larger than a village and smaller than a city.
stream that feeds, or flows, into a larger stream.
to transfer electronic information from a smaller computer to a larger computer.
depression in the Earth between hills.
information representing the precise location in terms of a point, line or a shape.
all the plant life of a specific place.
general way a specific population votes in political elections.
area of land covered by shallow water or saturated by water.
(zone improvement plan) series of numbers used to help locate an address for mail delivery.