Nearly 80% of the informational needs of local government policymakers are related to geographic location. As a result, the techniques of analytic mapping (the study of the dynamic diffusion and distribution of any variable across area and over time) and of geographic information systems (GIS) have become increasingly important tools for analyzing census, crime, environmental and consumer data. The authors of this significant little volume discuss data access, transformation and preparation issues, and how to select the appropriate analytic graphics techniques through a review of various GIS and common data sources: census products, TIGER files, and CD-ROM access. Garson and Biggs describe each procedure, review its assumptions and requirements, and provide illustrative output for sample data using selected software. Researchers and administrators who need to manage data of geographic locations will find Analytic Mapping and Geographic Databases a useful guide for systems storing, retrieving, analyzing, and displaying this information.

Conclusion

If a social science graduate student were to attend the annual computer expositions sponsored by Government Computer News and other organizations in Washington each year, or visit the annual meetings of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association, some conclusions would be strikingly self-evident. First, geographic information systems constitute a billion-dollar business, not an obscure methodological sidelight. Second, GIS infuses every aspect of local, state, and federal government, from ...

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