This Quick Study Guide tells the story of our Geo- graphic Information System (GIS) Community. Within our community, we have a successful and rewarding process for sharing local data. Collaboration enhances our GIS programs and conserves time and resources at multiple levels: the county, towns, university, and public utility. Practical examples dem- onstrate that individual and collective productivity increases because we share ideas, methods, and, most importantly, data. We explain methods to find avail- able local data, to search for data through the Web, and to use data from long-range planning studies. We offer ideas about updating and storing shared data. We discuss data standards and explore metadata as an extraordinary resource. Our data sharing creates opportunities for sound decision making and for planning community services across multiple organizations and jurisdictions.
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