Commonly Used Acronyms in The GIS Industry


AAG - Association of American Geographers
ACSM - American Congress on Surveying and Mapping
AI - Artificial Intelligence
AKCLIS - Australian Key Center for Land Information Studies
AM/FM - Automated Mapping/Facilities Management
ANSI - American National Standards Institute
APA - American Planning Association
ARS - Agricultural Research Service
ASCE - American Society of Civil Engineering
ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange
ASCS - Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service
ASPRS - American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
AVHRR - Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer
BLM - Bureau of Land Management of the USDI
BM - Bureau of Mines
BOR - Bureau of Reclamation of the USDI
BPI - Bits Per Inch
CAD - Computer Aided Drafting/Drawing
CADD - Computer Aided Drafting and Design
CAE - Computer Aided Engineering
CAFM - Computer Aided Facility Management
CAG - Canadian Association of Geographers
CAM - Computer Aided Manufacturing
CAM - Computer Aided Mapping
CAT - Computer Aided Tomography
CCA - Canadian Cartographic Association
CD ROM - Compact Disk, Read-Only Memory
CERL - US Army Corps of Engineers, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory
CGA - Color Graphics Adapter
CIA - Central Intelligence Agency
CIR image - Color-Infrared Image
COE - US Army Corps of Engineers
COGO - Coordinate Geometry
CPU - Central Processing Unit
CRRL - Cold Regions Research Lab
CRT - Cathode Ray Tube
DBMS - Database Management System
DDL - Data Definition Language
DEA - Drug Enforcement Administraion
DEM - Digital Elevation Model
DIME - Dual Independent Map Encoding
DLG - Digital Line Graph
DMA - Defense Mapping Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense
DOC - Department of Commerce
DOD - Department of Defense
DOE - Department of Energy
DOS - Disk Operating System
DOT - Department of Transportation
DPI - Dots per inch
DRAM - Dynamic Random Access Memory
DTM - Digital Terrain Model
DXF - Drawing Exchange Format
EDM - Electronic Distance Measuring
EGA - Enhanced Graphics Adapter
EOSAT - Earth Satellite Corporation
EPA - Environmental Protection Agency
EPROM - Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory
EROM - Erasable Read Only Memory
FAA - Federal Aviation Administration
FCC - Federal Communications Commission
FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency
FHA - Federal Highway Administration in DOT
FIPS - Federal Information Processing Standard
FORTRAN - FORmula TRANslation
FWS - US Fish and Wildlife Service in USDI
GB – Gigabyte
GBF/DIME - Geographic Base File/Dual Independent Map Encoding
GCBD - Geographic Coordinate Data Base
GEMS - Global Environmental Monitoring System
GIS - Geographic Information System
GKS - Graphics Kernal System
GNAF – Geocoded National Address file
GPIB - General Purpose Interface Board
GPS - Global Positioning System
GRASS - Geographic Resources Analysis Support System
GRID - Global Resource Information Database
GSFC - Goddard Space Flight Center
ICA - International Cartographic Association
ICAM - Integrated Computer Automated Manufacturing
IGES - Initial Graphic Exchange Specifications
IRM - Information Resource Management
ISO - International Standards Organization
ITC - International Training Center for Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences (Netherlands)
IUFRO - International Union of Forestry Research Organizations
JPL - Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena CA
JSC - Johnson Space Center, Houston TX
KB - Kilobyte or Kbyte
KHz - Kilohertz
LAN - Local Area Network
LANDSAT - US satellite system for assessment of land resources
LIS - Land Information System
MB - Megabyte, or Mbyte
MC&G - Mapping, Charting and Geodesy
MHz - Megahertz
MIPS - Million Instructions per Second
MMS - Minerals Management Service
MODEM - MOdulator-DEModulator
MOSS - Map Overlay and Statistical System
MSS - Multi-Spectral Scanner
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASS - National Agricultural Statistics Service
NCGA - National Computer Graphics Association
NCGIA - National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis
NCIC - National Cartographic Information Center (USGS)
NGS - National Geographic Society
NHAP - National High Altitude Program
NIST - National Institute of Standards and Technology
NOAA - National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA/NESDIS - NOAA/National Environmental Satellite, Data & Information Service
NOAA/NGDC - NOAA/National Geophysical Data Center
NOAA/NMFS - NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service
NORDA - Naval Ocean Research and Development Activity (United States Navy)
NOS - National Oceanic Survey
NOSC - National Ocean Systems Center
NPS - National Park Service in USDI
NSF - National Science Foundation
NSTL - National Space Technology Laboratory, now SSC
NTSC - National Television Standards Committee
OOP - Object-Oriented Programming
ORNL - Oak Ridge National Laboratory
OS - Operating System
PC - Personal Computer
PLSS - United States Public Land Survey System
PROM - Programmable Read Only Memory
RAM - Random Access Memory
RDBMS - Relational Database Management System
ROM - Read Only Memory
RS - Remote Sensing
SCS - Soil Conservation Service
SCSI - Small Computer Systems Interface
SIF - Standard Interchange Format (Intergraph)
SMSA - Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area
SPCS - State Plane Coordinate System
SPOT - Systeme Probatoire d’Observation de la Terre (French satellite system)
SQL - Structured or Standard Query Language
SRAM - Static Random Access Memory
SSC - Stennis Space Center (formerly NSTL)
TIFF - Tagged Image File Format
TIGA - Texas Instruments Graphics Architecture
TIGER files - Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing files
TIN - Triangulated Irregular Network
TM - Thematic Mapper (on LANDSAT satellite)
TSR - Terminate and Stay Resident
TVA - Tennessee Valley Authority
UGISA - University Geographic Information System Alliance
UNEP - United Nations Environment Program
UNIX - A multi-user operating system
URISA - Urban and Regional Information System Association
USDA - United States Department of Agriculture
USDI - United States Department of the Interior
USFS - United States Forest Service of the USDA
USFWS - United States Fish and Wildlife Service of the USDI
USGS - United States Geological Survey of the USDI
UTM - Universal Transverse Mercator projection
VESA - Video Electronics Standards Association
VGA - Video Graphics Array
VHS - Video Home System
WORM - Write Once, Read Many
WRS - Worldwide Reference System
XGA - Extended Graphics Adapter


UPDATED:  July 9, 2017