A nuts-and-bolts introduction to geographic information systems (GIS), this book outlines the basic concepts and diverse uses of this technology in a local government environment. Emphasizing the value of integrating data from various sources, the book provides a set of tools for improving the way public services are delivered, resources are managed, and policy decisions are made. Rather than stressing the computer technology that is so rapidly changing in the GIS industry, this book concentrates on the concepts upon which this technology is based: information systems design, computer-aided mapping, topological data structures, geographic base files, and land records systems. It also provides the latest information on the U.S. Census Bureau's TIGER files and the Global Positioning Satellite System established by the U.S. Department of Defense. Special features include fourteen case studies, a chapter describing the enormous effort required to set up and manage a typical GIS project, and an appendix on who is using GIS technology and how it is being used. Whether they run the GIS or help run the government, readers of An Introduction to Urban Geographic Information Systems will learn efficient and effective methods for improving the impact that local government has on its citizens.