Geographic Information System
Geospatial information system; Spatial information system
A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer application designed to perform a wide range of operations on geographic information. Geographic information is defined as information about locations on or near the surface of the Earth, and may be organized in a variety of ways. Thus a GIS includes functions to input, store, visualize, export, and analyze such information. Commercial off-the-shelf GIS software is today capable of virtually any conceivable operation on geographic information, and capable of recognizing hundreds of different formats. GISs are used in a wide range of applications, from the management of the distributed assets of utility companies to emergency response. Their scientific applications are found in any discipline that deals with phenomena distributed over the surface of the Earth, from ecology to criminology. Increasingly GIS technology is encountered by ordinary citizens, in the...
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