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Geographic Information System (GIS) Definition

Geographical Information is important and GIS makes it possible to harness and view it in a new and exciting manner for better decision making. In order to map, analyze and access real-world problems GIS assimilates geographical features with tabular data. To analyze and attribute geographic information, GIS uses spatial and statistical methods which ultimately obtains derivative, interpolated or prioritized information. GIS operates on many levels and one of the basic levels is computer cartography, that is for straight-forward mapping. GIS can use any information which is in the form of longitude and latitude, address or zip code.

The two major types of GIS file formats are raster and vector. Raster formats are pixels or grids of cells useful for storing GIS data that vary such as elevation or satellite imagery. Whereas vector formats are polygons that use nodes and lines useful for storing GIS data with firm borders like school districts or streets. Companies like Garmin and TomTom makes devices for cars, bicycles and for hikers which have their genesis in GIS technology, thus GIS becomes important for routing and navigation system.

The changes in the weather patterns, traffic management in crowded places to location-based services are enhanced by GIS in forming the backbone of internet of things (IoT). From the future perspective, Geologists can use the GIS technology for the more efficient study of the earth surface which can reduce the exploration time with a better accuracy of site seeing. Also in the field of medical care, more advanced spatial analysis technique allows for hot spots of infectious diseases with the help of GIS. Hence, GIS is not all about location or mapping, instead, it has a bright future ahead.

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