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Definition of GIS

Definition of GIS

Definition



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A GIS is an information system embedded in a geographic setting, equipped with an advanced toolset. On a very basic level, you might look at it as a database (information system) that stores information about location (or: spatial reference), with tools to write queries and perform calculations that make use of that information. This information about location, or, spatial information, can be stored in a table together with other descriptions and in a GIS be visualized as points, lines and areas, so called vector data (for which the technical terms are points, polylines and polygons). Another approach of storing spatial data is using raster data (datagrids) that can represent information that gradually changes over the landscape, such as elevation. If you combine all types of spatial data with a relational database that stores the relationships between the different elements, you arrive at a complex and encompassing view on your information. On a more advanced level therefore, you could say that GIS, always taking into account a certain degree of abstraction, allows a digital reconstruction of our environment, which enables us to store and visualize our information, and ask intelligent questions about our information.
Research topics: Software & Technology