Geographic Information System
There are numerous Geographic Information System definitions available. I prefer to use the following definitions to describe what exactly is a GIS.
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.
It is not about making maps, per se.
– It is about analyzing often large sets of data to generate information – hypotheses, conclusions, insights, new hunches – about widely varied socio-economic phenomena… It is about telling a story…
• J. T. Johson – GIS as a unifying methodology in Journalism
In other words:
- It is an important technology because “Everything Happens Somewhere“
- A Picture is worth a thousand words.
- The system’s greatest strength lies in its ability to paint a visual image of complex data in a way that is intuitively understandable