An Introduction to GIS

So what is GIS? And how does it work?

Geographic Information Systems, or simply “GIS” as it is known, is a geotechnology that connects geospatial information and informational databases. The key to this technology is it understands the concept of location. Via hardware and software, datasets can be geospatially analysed and presented over a map. This helps the end-user to better understand the relationships between people, patterns and place.  

Can GIS be used as a management tool?

Absolutely! Geographical Information Systems are considered to be an integral function of management in a wide range of industries across the globe. Many people however go about their daily lives having never heard of this technology – most remain unaware how GIS silently operates in the background of society enabling populations to thrive. Consider for a moment the following scenarios where location data and geospatial information technology are working hand in hand together in real time:

  • from the minute your alarm clock goes off (GPS controlled)
  • to the next minute when you hit the shower or switch the kettle on (utility services rely on GIS software to run their networks)
  • from the moment you jump into your car and drive the daily commute to work (satnav and traffic updates)

What is the benefit of location data?

80% of all data created in the 21st century contains a key component: location. Typically embedded as a coordinate value, this type of data can be very quickly visualised, questioned and analysed. Interpreting the data allows us to better understand relationships, to recognise patterns and to react swiftly to trends. Geographic Information Specialists can view, edit, extrapolate and present geospatial data and location intelligence via the application of digital mapping and hard copy cartographic outputs.

How does GIS solve problems?

GIS can assist many businesses and organisations regardless of size in almost any industry. Geographic information management allows for better decision making. This is because it increases business efficiency, streamlines operations, makes savings on business expenditure and shortens response times. With these benefits to business its easy to see why there is an increasing interest in the benefits of GIS. For a greater insight into GIS please visit the following Wikipedia link: here that provides further information on GIS and geospatial technology.

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