Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is GIS?
    A geographic information system (GIS) is a technology that makes it possible to make a map in minutes. Maps access mounds of useful information with just a simple click of the mouse.

    GIS has been around for many years, but the digital revolution has created and will continue to create many applications for the new technology. GIS is used around the world in unimaginable ways ranging from private businesses, to industries, and to the government agencies.

    A GIS is a kind of supermap, computer software that links geographic information (where things are) with descriptive information (what things are like). Unlike a paper map, where "what you see is what you get," a GIS can have many different layers of information underneath its surface.
  2. What is GPS?
    "The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system that was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in the early 1970's as the next generation replacement to the Transit system. Initially, GPS was developed as a military system to fulfill U.S. military needs. However, it was later made available to civilians, and is now a duel-use system that can be accessed by both military and civilian users." (El-Rabbany-Ahmed, 2006)

    El-Rabbany-Ahmed. (2006). Introduction to GPS: The Global Positioning system (Second ed.). Norwood, MA, USA: 2006 Artech House, Inc.

    For more detailed information on GPS, visit Trimble's GPS Tutorial.
  3. How does GIS help me?
    Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is used quite often in everyday experiences. If you have ever used MapQuest, Google Maps, or Bing Maps, you have utilized a form of GIS. It can be helpful when creating custom maps, delineating boundaries, analyzing data, gathering geographical data, measuring areas and distances, showing change over time, and many other uses.

    There are many datasets in our county GIS that may be useful to you. Here are just some of the layer sets available for use: roads, trails, parcels, land ownership, soils, hydrology, vegetation, boundaries, utilities, floodplains, etc.

    Feel free to contact us anytime to see how we can help make GIS useful for you.
  4. How can I get a map?
    You can contact us by phone, email, or in person. Our business hours are from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday-Friday.

    There are maps available for download on this site. Also, the county's on-line mapping application has a print option. If you can't find what you want, you can contact the GIS Department and request a custom map. Maps are available for a fee.
  5. How can I access GIS data?
    You can access our data by going to our Data Download Page and downloading our shapefiles or KML's.
    You can use the shapefiles in any GIS program. If you do not have the appropriate application to use the shapefiles, click here for a free GIS data browser.
    To view the KML files you must have Google Earth installed. If you do not, click here! for a free version.
  6. What coordinate system does Carbon County GIS use for their data?
    Carbon County maintains all data in NAD 83, State Plane, Utah Central Zone, Meters
  7. How do I connect to Carbon County's Aerial Imagery?
    Please enter the below information in your mapping program to connect to and view our high resolution aerial photography. You will also be able to view our historic aerial photographs. You will need to change the version number from 1.3.0 to 1.1.1.

    Enter the following URL into your program to connect to our WMS (2013 Aerial Imagery):

    To connect to our historic aerial photographs you will enter the following URL:
  8. Where do I find historical imagery for Utah?
    For high resolution aerial imagery of Carbon County (1997-2013), connect to our WMS, otherwise aerial imagery from 1935 to the present can be found at the Utah Geological Survey.
  9. Where do I find instruction about how to use the online maps (IMS)?
    If you are having trouble with our county IMS, visit our IMS Help page by clicking here.