As we know, GIS is used in many ways. One of those uses includes city planning for urban areas. Here are some of the benefits of using GIS for urban planning.

  • Improved mapping – With a single repository for current and historical data and maps, GIS can improve map currency (whether or not a map is up-to-date), increase the efficacy of thematic mapping, and lower expenditures for data storage.

  • Increased access to vital information – Desktop GIS makes it easier to store, manage, and access data from a variety of sources. Cloud GIS offers that same benefit, while enabling access from any device.

  • Improved communication – With a unified system for data storage and management, internal parties can access the information they need immediately – rather than sifting through documents, hard drives, or trying to track down data across departments.

  • Increased quality and efficiency for public services – GIS can be used to create a public facing portal (like this one), opening the flow of information between government organizations and the public. Government officials can share information quickly, while members of the public have self-serve access to the information they need.

  • Increased support for strategic decision making – With speedier access to a wider range of important geographic information, planners can create informed strategies more effectively. More than that, they can explore a wider range of ‘what-if’ scenarios – ideally leading to stronger, more effective long-term strategies.

GIS uses many tools to help create cities, these tools being database management, visualization, and spatial analysis and modeling. Database management is an important tool for GIS because it is the creation, import and maintenance of the data that is going in and out of the GIS platform. As you can imagine a city holds a lot of data from environmental data to land use maps and plans, there is a lot, and GIS provides a single database where all of that can be stored and organized. Visualization is just as equally important, its function is to enable planners to create maps using the desktop GIS. Creating digital maps makes it easier to make decisions for a city’s layout. Spatial analysis and modeling aid in site selection, land use and modeling, and impact assessments. These tools essentially make up how a city is planned and designed, and all with the help of GIS.