Maps of earthquake shaking hazards are used to create and update building codes in the U.S.

Maps of earthquake shaking hazards are used to create and update building codes in the U.S.

What is GIS?

A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.

GIS allows us to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts.

A GIS helps you answer questions and solve problems by looking at your data in a way that is quickly understood and easily shared.

GIS technology can be integrated into any enterprise information system framework.

Data Management

Kuwait University uses GIS to design and build a multibillion-dollar expansion

Top Five Benefits of GIS

GIS benefits organizations of all sizes and in almost every industry. There is a growing awareness of the economic and strategic value of GIS. The benefits of GIS generally fall into five basic categories:

What Can You Do with GIS?

GIS gives us a new way to look at the world around us. With GIS you can:


The Geographic Approach

The Geographic Approach

Geography is the science of our world. Coupled with GIS, geography is helping us to better understand the earth and apply geographic knowledge to a host of human activities. The outcome is the emergence of The Geographic Approach—a new way of thinking and problem solving that integrates geographic information into how we understand and manage our planet. This approach allows us to create geographic knowledge by measuring the earth, organizing this data, and analyzing and modeling various processes and their relationships. The Geographic Approach also allows us to apply this knowledge to the way we design, plan, and change our world.

GIS Glossaries

GIS Glossaries

There are many online glossaries of GIS terms and acronyms. We recommend you compare the definitions from three sources to get a comprehensive idea of what the term means.

The Pacific Disaster Center developed a Vulnerability-Exposure-Sensitivity-Resilience model to map people and facilities exposed to flood risk in the Lower Mekong River Basin.


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