The basic pioperties of γ-ray bursts are reviewed. Many of these properties have been known for over two decades, although new and more detailed observations have been made by Compton Observatory in the past three years. The new observation with the greatest impact has been the observed isotropic distribution of bursts along with a deficiency of weak bursts. This is not compatible with any known Galactic population of objects.
The observation of a γ-ray burst counterpart in another wavelength region has yet to be made, even though there have been substantial efforts in this pursuit from a wide variety of observations in many wavelength regions. Perhaps the greatest chance for a simultaneous or rapid observation of a γ-ray burst counterpart lies with the newly-developed BAtse Coordinates Distribution NEtwork (BACODINE) system. The objectives and characteristics of this system are described.