Frequently Asked Questions

What is GIS? Geographic Information System
What is a Shapefile? Shapefiles are GIS files that consist of .shp, .dbf, .shx, and .prj files.
What is Metadata? Metadata is “data about data”. These are xml, txt files that describe the GIS layers.
What is ArcGIS Explorer? ArcGIS Explorer Desktop is a free GIS Data Viewer program from ESRI.
What is ArcGIS? ArcGIS is a purchasable GIS mapping software by ESRI. For more information, go to ArcGIS by ESRI.
What is ArcGIS Online? ArcGIS Online is a cloud-based GIS web mapping system.
Which version of GIS layers should I use? If you are unfamiliar with using GIS files, we recommend using the NAD83, shapefile format.
What is a .zip file? A .zip file is a compressed file consisting of one or more files with file sizes smaller than the originals. Zip files are compressed or uncompressed using Zip programs such as WinZip or PKzip.