Maps allow interpretation of vast amounts of data visually to see the spatial component to the underlying data; for example, is the proposed school near the center of the population? At the core of this decision is data which informs stakeholders. At the RPC, data is used to inform opinions every day. Data can be in tabular format, or it can have a spatial component too. Each thing you see on a map can be related to a table that has information about that shape. GIS enables the ability to look at what the spatial component of the data means in relation to other things on the map.
The vast majority of data that the RPC uses was created and is maintained by other agencies such as GRANIT.
The following are some of the most common data sets and associated mapping applications utilized by RPC and member communities: