GIS computers are used in map analysis. The software is used to compare many different types of data over a wide area and combine sets of information to see patterns in a city, state or country. GIS is gaining popularity as a field of science and has widespread applications in many fields. It uses complex computer programs to help spot links and display information in readable formats.
GIS stands for geographic information systems. Technically, GIS is a branch of computer science that deals with assembling data about a physical location. The data can reveal many different types of scientific or political information, including types of soil, locations of certain types of voters, and tax brackets of property. This information is then used by trained analyzers to produce useful answers about the area being examined.
GIS is used primarily by large businesses and government organizations to track a specific statistic or type of information. Businesses, for instance, may be able to use GIS to see where different types of soil are in a city, and use this information to market certain fertilizers to only clients who live in that area. A government agency may analyze what areas house fires are more likely to occur in, and arrange fire department responses accordingly.
On the analytical side, GIS software uses complex formulas to track information and assign variables to different sectors of a digital map. This software works to separate different types of data in sets, and catalog the sets according to their usefulness. Trained GIS experts work with the software to choose what types of data are important, and how it should be organized. For instance, some data sets may be organized by color, while other types may be organized by markers or shapes.
GIS mapping software takes all the data sets that the GIS experts and the analytical software have created, and applies them to a real map. This map can be viewed by anyone with access to the GIS--it shows the end result of all the work that went into the GIS project. Many map interfaces have the option to search for specific points on the map, or compare specific data sets for analysis purposes.
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