What does GIS stand for? and What Can They Tell Us

What does GIS stand for and What Can They Tell Us

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer system that analyzes and displays geographically referenced information. It uses data that’s attached to a singular location.

GIS is employed in earth sciences, biology, resource management, and plenty of other fields. The reality is that it can do lots of things, but an extremely simple answer is: A GIS allows you to visualize your data as a map.

What is GIS?

GIS gives people the power to form their own digital map layers to solve real-world problems. It has evolved into a way for data sharing and collaboration. Thousands of organizations are sharing their work and creating maps daily. These maps tell stories and reveal patterns and trends. GIS uses location to relate these seemingly unrelated data.

GIS allows us to ask complex questions. They can give us answers to questions instantly by modifying colors, shapes, or highlighting locations on the map. GIS technology allows different types of information to be overlaid on top of one another on a single map.


The field of geographic information systems (GIS) started in the 1960s alongside the computer and early concepts of quantitative and computational geography. Roger Tomlinson developed the first computerized GIS in the world in 1963. He created the Canada Geographic Information System for automated computing to store and process large amounts of data, which enabled Canada to begin its national land-use management program. He also gave GIS its name.

GIS Uses

GIS has infinite uses. The government uses GIS technology to better manage public safety, parks and recreation, public works and utilities. GIS is used to help with school analytical and demographic data, asset management, and improvement/expansion planning. Public administration for election GIS data, property records, and zoning/management also utilize GIS technology.

This mapping and analysis of different types of data can be used to advance science and help in almost every industry. GIS gives users a visual tool to help them understand patterns, relationships, and geographic context. When information is fully understood, this leads to improved communication, better management, and decision making.

An example of GIS technology in action would be a single map that includes sites that produce pollution (such as factories), and sites that are particularly sensitive to pollution (such as a body of water). The map could help determine which water supplies are at the highest risk for pollution.

GIS is a useful platform that is being integrated into our daily lives. Maps provide a visual way to communicate a large amount of information from different sources all in one place. It can be used to make connections between two seemingly unrelated data points to give researchers important insight. GIS will play an important role in how we understand and address issues such as pollution, rising sea levels, and loss of nature.


GIS gives us a way to visualize how a lot of seemingly unrelated data is interacting. It was invented as a land-use management tool and is used today in our daily lives. The government uses GIS for many of its programs including road management and water safety. The future holds infinite possibilities for GIS to improve our world.