Since GIS is a tool not commonly understood or used by the public, it is important to explain the purposes and benefits of GIS.

GIS is a computer system technology designed to assemble, store, manipulate, and display geographically referenced information. The key components of GIS are data, people, and hardware/software. While people usually associate GIS more narrowly with printed map products, the true power of GIS technology lies in its versatility and wide-range of applications. The GIS-user can assimilate data from many different sources and in different forms and link these datasets together. The user can then query geo-referenced spatial data in three dimensions and explore interrelationships of various natural, social, and man-made resources to aid in decision-making purposes.


The Susquehanna River Basin Commission’s GIS Section assists in the planning, water supply allocation and management of the water resources of the Susquehanna River Basin by providing mapping support, data management, and information analysis support to Commission programs.

Mapping support is a large component of the GIS Section. The Commission uses GIS mapping capabilities for publications, presentations, outreach events, web-based applications, field studies and more. The Map & Data Atlas provides a sample of commmonly used maps. We also provide mapping support to non-profit organizations when and where applicable. Some of the new interactive web-based mapping applications include the Water Resource Portal, the Remote Water Quality Monitoring Network (RWQMN), and the Susquehanna Inundation Mapping Viewer (SIMV).

The GIS Section has a unique role in data management, we strive to build consistency between New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland datasets in order to create uniform data for the entire extent of the Susquehanna River Basin. This work is coordinated through our partnerships with regional groups, universities, watershed organizations, state agencies and others.

The information analysis functions of GIS are used in various Commission projects, such as water budget analysis, source water assessments, environmental screening and acid mine drainage studies.