“It’s Not Just Maps, It’s Geography”

wsj…from the Wall Street Journal

“Thanks to the Web, geographic information systems, or GIS, which can build maps out of all sorts of data, are moving from the world of cartographic professionals to just about everyone else, says Mr. Dangermond, founder of ESRI, a GIS software firm. One big beneficiary is government transparency; putting important public information on user-friendly maps makes it easier for citizens to track spending, monitor crime activity and tell whether there’s enough sunlight to make solar power pay. For instance, www.Recovery.gov, a site created to track the flow of federal stimulus funds, features several interactive maps that show spending by state and by recipient.”