A geographic information system is a computer-based tool for mapping and analyzing things that exist and events that happen on earth. GIS technology integrates common database operations such as query and statistical analysis with the unique visualization and geographic analysis benefits offered by maps. These abilities distinguish GIS from other information systems and make it valuable to a wide range of public and private enterprises for explaining events, predicting outcomes, and planning strategies.
The Monroe County Planning Department uses the Michigan Geographic Framework, a series of data sets combining MGF (Michigan Geographic Framework) and the Census Bureau’s TIGER (Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing system). These geographic information data sets allow the user to create maps of Monroe County or portions thereof, depicting a wide variety of features such as hydrology, roads, address ranges, bodies of water, municipal and school district boundaries, Census tracts and blocks, etc., individually or in combination.