Geographic Information System (GIS)

GIS stands for a geographic information system. GIS is computer technology that is used to organize, analyze and deliver data with a geographic view. A GIS delivers spatial information; for example information related to a specific space or area, etc. This technology can greatly advance the efficiency of businesses, meteorologists, educators and governments. Its applications are powerful and varied as they can provide mapping and modeling solutions for superior decision-making. GIS solutions enable you to visualize a specific situation in the future, based on current changes made to the system.

Most types of data have a geographic component to it. The job of GIS is to track and display the characteristics, patterns and trends that the data possesses. These types of things could include tree types and rainfall patterns, to crime rates and animal hibernation patterns, etc. that exist on a geographical basis. GIS can be used much the same as a traditional map and it is able to keep track of changes over specific periods of time and to map quantities and densities. It can also be used to convert digital data into map form. GIS is commonly used in areas such as scientific investigations, resource management, asset management, development planning, cartography and route planning.

The amount of computer hardware, software, and operating personnel you need will depend on how complex the job is. There are four basic types of GIS software or components that are used which include desktop, server, embedded, and mobile or field GIS. Of course none of these things will work for you unless you have the data to input into the GIS system. There are various ways to enter the data in a project such as direct manual entry, remote sensing and satellite remote scanning. A GIS system is able to analyze data from different types of standard map and graphics file formats, images, CAD files, spreadsheets, and relational databases, etc.

The data can be collected from a variety of sources and it’s important that you edit it for accuracy. The data is then used and analyzed to help you with the goals of the job at hand. When used smartly, a GIS can aid business transformation by doing such things as: solving the dilemma of deciding upon an appropriate location for an ATM machine, predicting the success of a product in a remote area, as well as analyzing the demographics of a target audience for the feasibility of a themed restaurant.

Databases, maps and workflow models are the three information sets through which you can view a GIS. The database tables overlap one another, linking with geographical maps and showing a definite location. Maps transform static data into meaningful visual representations of spatial data. Workflow models geo-process the existing data analytically to create a transformed dataset.

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