In a GIS, the actual appearance of the supply system - where the lines run, where the connections are - can be duplicated or modeled on the computer, as can most of the other things, like streets, buildings, and land ownership boundaries, that have a bearing on the distribution system. Utilities need the benefits of a true enterprise geographic information system to map and manage facilities and to implement cross-cutting applications for streamlining operations, driving down costs, and improving customer service