Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, are systems that gather, organize and analyze data in terms of its geographical location. GIS mapping uses computer software to register data from land surveys, aerial and satellite photography, as well as a wide variety of other sources. This data is then combined and represented in map form.
By layer data in geographical form, Geographic Information Systems mapping can tell us a lot about a particular location that we didn’t know before. The data input can include things like, rivers, mountains, streams, roads, gas stations, highways, bus stops, etc. Statistical data like census figures and other demographical information can also be fed into a GIS to produce different geographical analyses. The kind of data you input into a GIS depends on the type of analysis you are trying to acquire about a given location. For example, you can input a city’s crime stats onto a geographic information system and come up with a map the gives you a visual of where the areas with most crime in the city are and so forth. From this data mapping we can identify patterns and perhaps even find out their cause.
The thing that GIS mapping depends on is the fact that most data sets contain some form of geographical reference. That is, a zip code, a city, country, or an address. GIS maps are dynamic, meaning they change according to what data goes into them or what data is taken out. This makes them incredibly useful in a variety of fields, and the full potential of Geographic Information Systems mapping remains yet to be seen.
Until recently, GIS mapping was primarily used by governments and large corporations to analyze data pertinent to them. However, as cellphones, iPods, laptops and other mobile computer devices continue to improve exponentially, Geographic Information Systems mapping become more and more used in the field of consumer electronics. Location based services is the name of the game. People can now use their GPS devices to pinpoint their exact location on the map. GIS mapping allows them to find nearby points of interest, like restaurants or bus stations, and calculate routes, arrival times and many other things.
As the mobile technology products rise, GIS mapping becomes integrated more and more in consumer electronics. Find out what GIS Maps are when looking for a mobile phone or laptop on your next purchase.
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