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GIS Resource Page

GIS is an acronym for Geographic Information Systems. Basically, GIS is a compilation of data that can be used to make maps. Through months of research and data construction, we have compiled a collection of free temporal GIS data for anybody to download to make their own historic maps. Using our data, anyone can customize their own maps of historic periods. This is especially useful for teachers who want to make their own overheads or test materials. We caution teachers to read our disclaimer before relying on our data for such uses.

Aside from the potentially confusing technical terms, using GIS data is not very difficult. Most of the work is already done for you by the creator(s) of the GIS data being used. To get started, all you need is a copy of ArcExplorer, which can be downloaded from ESRI. Version 2 is a 12.8 MB download, while the new Java Version (Version 4) is 15.7 MB. Either version will function with our data, but we recommend the smaller file for those with slow internet connections or limited harddrive space. There is also a web version, but we haven't tested it yet.

Once you have downloaded ArcExplorer, you should proceed to our GIS download page. To use the data, unzip it into any folder on your computer. Then, when running ArcExplorer, simply select "Add Theme" or hit the button icon that looks like a plus sign. If you navigate to the correct folder on your system, you should see a file by the name of the year of the data set you downloaded. Select it and you are ready to customize your own map! Remember, hitting F1 will always bring up a help menu, but you may also contact us with any major problems you may be experiencing.

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