With the availability of easy-to-understand data visualizations and easy-to-use interfaces, GIS powers apps and services for businesses and people all over the world. The benefits of GIS, its use and accessibility now extend beyond university-trained GIS professionals. These systems will be more user-friendly as time progresses, grow more popular, and fuel innovation.

You don't have to be an expert anymore to reap the benefits of GIS. Learn more here about what it is, what its not, and how it relates to GIS, and the fleet management tools you know and love. 

What is GIS?

GIS stands for geographic information system, a system of technologies and tools for organizing data and analyzing issues from a geographic perspective. It's map-making "on the computer", and nowadays usually on the cloud. It can refer to a small personal collection of files, software, and data to large organizational collections of information, software, data, and can include the hardware to make data collection and storage possible.

The power of GIS is its ability to visualize relationships, analyze changes over time, and make predictions based on trends. 

GIS enables professionals in nearly every field to create maps and investigate our world. I challenge you to find a field where geographic information is not applicable! There are countless ways to identify and solve problems using a GIS. 

You're going to want to see some examples, so keep reading.


Still not sure what exactly GIS is?

GIS provides a shared workspace for all spatial data; this includes data that is represented using different projections, raster datasets, and vector datasets. That's all the data about Earth, with its metadata. Imagine a giant spreadsheet, or a database, and each piece of information is presented as a data point, or a layer, and they are files that need to be managed and connected to other files so the geographic data lines up properly.  

A GIS requires five key components: hardware, software, data, people, and methods. And where the data meets the software, a lot of the work is to take the information and create a meaningful map and interpretation.

The geographic information is stored in discrete data layers and can be visually rendered. The data can be linked to other locations or different data layers, and the information can be presented and queried. 

There are endless applications for this type of system. 


What is GIS Day? 

GIS day is an initiative by ESRI to expand the awareness of GIS tools and technology. It is a way to celebrate the people behind this tremendously influential technology. 


Is GIS A Map?  

GIS is a visual map rendered on screen using GIS software. It uses GIS data pulled from many sources and can include free or proprietary sources. The data is a very complex aspect of the entire system, so working with it and preparing it so that it is ready to use is a great effort.

GIS refers to the total system of hardware, software, data, people, and methods, but what is most familiar to visualize are the software tools. The software used to query and analyze the data and render visual maps is where the rubber meets the road. 


Are GPS and GIS the Same Thing?

No, GPS is the Global Positioning System, and it uses satellites to triangulate an exact location. GIS is a geographic information system used to record information on maps. 

Want more detail on the difference between GPS and GIS? Here it is well explained.


GIS and Maps

The best way to understand GIS is to explore some great maps and mapping resources created using geographic information systems. 

If you like maps or are interested in GIS, then ESRI is a great place to start discovering what is possible. The Living Atlas of the World is a curated collection of base maps and information that can be downloaded from the site.

The GIS software most popular is ArcGIS, and the company that created it, ESRI, is one of the most well-known software companies for GIS. Like Adobe or Photoshop is known to the world of creatives and photographers, ESRI is known to the world of GIS professionals. 

Try their training or listen to The Science of Where Podcast to learn about ESRI and GIS. 

This one might be familiar, the Coronavirus GIS map hosted by ArcGIS and maintained by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). 

The Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress is the world's largest and most comprehensive cartographic collection and contains over six million maps. Plus, a vast array of digital data, a GIS research center, and more. Here is an extensive collection of GIS visuals on its website, including Imaginary maps and historical maps like this woodblock of Edo (Ancient Tokyo). 


So What Does GIS Have To Do With GPS Tracking and Telematics?

GPS tracking and Telematics are familiar and well-known to many, especially business owners who manage a service fleet. On the other hand, Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, can be a bit confusing if you're new to the idea. 

Think of GIS as the foundation for GPS tracking and telematics services. Behind the scenes, a geographic information system maintains the structure and logic that power the system on telematics applications and tracking systems rely upon.

You don't need to think about it if you need location-tracking benefits. And that is the beauty of GIS. It makes everything more accessible when the baseline is grounded in organized information.


The Future is Bright for GIS

GIS has gone from being a niche technology to becoming integral in many industries. The growing need to collect and analyze spatial data is the biggest driver behind the phenomenal growth of GIS in the coming years. 

As the need to collect and analyze spatial data increases, GIS becomes even more relevant to businesses and organizations. And as governments and enterprises increasingly use GIS to map and analyze geographical data, it helps to provide user-friendly information for better management of resources and services. 

GIS is essential for many industries: transportation and logistics, archeology, civil engineering, crop management, environmental engineering, hydrology, land surveying, urban planning, and many other fields. The future of GIS is bright; its growth is expected to continue.


Smartphones and GIS Technology: Supply Creating Demand

Smartphones are widespread, and many people now use maps and other location-based technologies. The ability to expedite gathering of geographic data has increased the demand for GIS software and jobs.

As smartphone manufacturers work on developing more powerful processors, they create more ability for people to access location-based technology. More businesses will develop applications based on GIS tools. Google Earth, a product of Google, is an excellent example of a GIS-like application. (So our trackers, but hey, we're not biased.)

Businesses worldwide will increasingly use GIS to map and analyze geographical data and provide user-friendly information for better management of their resources and services. 


Learn More About Linxup GPS

Want to understand the technology powering GPS trackers? Learn about GPS here. Or check our GPS tracker pricing to start your business down the path of significant savings. 

Feel free to get in touch with our friendly sales team; you can reach us by clicking here on your phone or dialing: 1-877-907-0801.

Related Articles

25 Ways to Use GPS Tracking Devices for Cars

Discover innovative ways to use GPS Tracking Devices for Cars, including monitoring fleet vehicles, improving...

Easy Ways To Prove To Customers That Work Was Done

If you’re already using GPS for other benefits to your business, it’s easy to add one more: proof of service.

GPS Telematics System for Your Fleet Management Needs

Telematics refers to telecommunications and information processing technology working together using GPS to track...