Geospatial Services
Information Resources and Technology Management
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The National Conservation Training Center is one of the world's premier conservation training facilities, created by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for natural resource managers in federal and state agencies around the country.

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Region 4 offers annual Regional GIS Training at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN, as part of an ongoing education effort for Region 4 GIS users. For any questions please contact Jason Duke at or 931-528-6481 ext. 216


Definitions of Geospatial Terms and Acronyms

Geospatial Data identifies and depicts geographic locations, boundaries and characteristics of features on the surface of the earth. Geospatial data includes geographic coordinates (e.g., Latitude and Longitude) to identify the location of earth’s features, and data associated to geographic locations; for example land survey data and land cover type data.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a system of hardware and software used for storage, retrieval, mapping, and analysis of geospatial data. Practitioners also regard the total GIS as including the operating personnel and the data that go into the system. Spatial features are stored in a coordinate system, which references a particular place on the earth. Descriptive attributes in tabular form are associated with the spatial features. Spatial data and associated attributes in the same coordinate system can then be layered together for mapping and analysis. GIS has many uses including scientific investigations, resource management, development planning, and web mapping applications.

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is a space-based global navigation satellite system developed by the Department of Defense (DOD). GPS allows land, sea, and airborne users to determine their exact location, velocity, and time 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions, anywhere in the world. This technology has been widely utilized in natural resource and conservation management including locating invasive plant species, mapping new infrastructure on public lands, monitoring the movement of wildlife and aiding fire fighters to navigate to specific location to protect valued resources

Remote Sensing is the means to capture and measure a view of the earth from above at any point in time. Aerial photography and satellite imagery are the primary methods we use to image the lands and waters. Remote sensing can be used to for numerous conservation applications including: showing impacts and changes over time, management activities and climate change research and management.

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Last updated: April 14, 2020