Geographic Information System is a mapping software designed for analyzing, displaying, managing, storing, and retrieving all kinds of spatial and geographic data. The mapping system enables urban planners to produce maps and graphs of geographic info for presentation and analysis making it a useful application to visualize spatial data and to create decision support solutions that planning organization can utilize. The GIS mapping software is leveraged in a wide range of industries including insurance, manufacturing, retail, real estate, media, etc.

The geographic information tools are used by government agencies, businesses in many industries, land use planners, health organizations, environmental scientists, research institutions, communities, indigenous people, and others.GIS mapping software helps to visualize spatial and geographic data and enables urban planners to create easy-to-understand charts and graphs. Urban Planners can use the Geographic Information System in a wide range of industries. However, it can be confusing to select the best GIS software for your specific business needs from the plethora of desktop and cloud-based GIS applications out there.

You need to do a knowledgeable comparison and make the right selection by knowing the key features and benefits to look for in your choice GIS mapping software. The best GIS software vendors offer a free trial to enable you to get acquainted with the software’s tools and find out if they match your needs. Do your homework and shortlist suitable solutions form the list of GIS mapping software in the examples below.

Geographic Information Systems

Some Geographic Information Systems Types You Need to Know

ArcGIS: This is a cloud-based mapping solution. It offers robust yet simple online mapping tools that can be utilized even by lay users to create and share attractive maps. Besides maps, you can also use ArcGIS Online for collaboration, administration, and analytics. On top of that, this platform offers unique capabilities for using location-based analysis to improve your business.

The most notable benefit of ArcGIS is the use of a geographical information system (GIS). The GIS helps organizations of all sizes to question, analyze, visualize, and interpret data to gain an understanding of relationships, trends, and patterns. The system provides improved communication, better record keeping, cost savings, and better decision-making.

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SuperGIS Desktop: A robust desktop GIS mapping software that gives you the capabilities to analyze, visualize, manage, and edit geographic data. Then, you can exhibit the results on progressional-quality maps. It is easy to customize the application’s various functions for your needs. Plus, the platform supports various data types and offers sophisticated data processing tools.

With SuperGIS Desktop’s Process Designer, an urban plan can create and automate customized geospatial workflows. It is also capable of batch processing so that complex projects and reports become less tedious to do and can be completed much faster. Users can also publish workflows online in order to make them accessible anywhere that there is a web-enabled device.

Simple GIS Client: A feature-packed GIS software platform that runs on MS Windows. Besides desktop, it is lightweight enough to be used on Windows tablets and laptops for tasks such as trip planning and field data collection. This app is recommended for editing and viewing shapefiles as it supports multi-user write and read access to shapefiles. The vendor offers a 30-day free trial.

With Simple GIS Client, city planning companies have a powerfully-built software that runs on Windows machines but still light enough to run on Windows-powered laptops and tablets for field use. This allows users to be mobile while still working with the desktop client.

Bentley Map: This is a 2D and 3D desktop mapping and GIS software. You can create, maintain, share, and analyze your business, engineering, and geospatial data in a MicroStation environment. Offers a flexible yet strong application program interface (API) to help you build custom GIS applications. Use the mobile app to enhance the productivity of your field staff.

With Bentley Map, urban planners can access multiple online spatial databases while they are working. This feature enables organizations in storing and managing a large amount of spatial data. Plus, the application connects with Oracle Spatial to allow users to modify in 2D and 3D directly. This way, rasterized and vectored data are sent straight to a central repository and then made accessible from the desktop for ease of operations and enhanced productivity.

Maptitude: A mapping software product from Caliper Corporation that allows you to view, integrate, and edit maps. It is an easy-to-use package that helps you enjoy the benefits of spatial analysis and desktop mapping. Maptitude tells you where your consumers are and find out where sales are maximum. On top of that, you can discover hidden opportunities and get answers to geographic questions that affect your operations.

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Maptitude is a GIS mapping software that helps the urban developers to discover prime locations for their research based on foot traffic, research zoning standards, property value, surrounding amenities, demographic analysis, and more. With this feature, you are able to identify locations where your business can thrive and provide high-quality service to your target demographic.

MapViewer: This is a GIS mapping software that offers powerful tools that help urban planners to create professional-grade thematic maps and allows users to take complete control over their spatial data. The mapping features along with flexible map-display, advanced analytics and instant communication make the software an attractive proposition for business professionals, GIS analysts and individuals who work with spatially distributed data.

Several map types are supported by the software, including base, pin, choropleth, contour, density, symbol, territory, vector, line graph, gradient, flow, bar, pie, prism, multi-graph and cartogram.
The geoprocessing tools of the software allow making more informed decisions and highlight areas of interest, which helps narrow down data for further analysis.

MapViewer ensures immediate access to maps and online data and is natively compatible with various file formats, including DXF, SHP and XLSX. It also makes it easier to share information and collaborate more effectively. The streamlined workflows reduce the time it takes to go from raw data to actual maps and helps achieve desired results within minutes.

All the Key Features of GIS Software Listed Above

Routing tools: These give the ability to design accurate stops and to manage, compare, and manipulate routes.
Territory tools: Urban planners need territory creation tools that help to handle data tables and to visually represent and manipulate service areas.
Reports: Top GIS software applications enable you to intuitively and quickly create top quality reports in PDF and MS Excel file formats.
Interoperability: Quality GIS platforms support the most recent data standards and a range of file formats including those for MS Excel, MS MapPoint, and Google Maps.
Data: On top of that, they provide new data sets for different countries with access to the latest available geographic information.
Logistics and Operations: A distance and drive-time feature that creates an Excel table that shows the costs of travel between any numbers of locations. You can quickly find out the nearest and backup locations ranked by distance or travel time.
Location analysis: This technique is used to identify ideal locations for new retail outlets.

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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Benefits Benefits

  • Decision making is improved because you get detailed as well as specific information about locations.
  • You can increase efficiency and reduce expenses especially regarding scheduling timetables, fleet movements, and maintenance schedules.
  • The visual format is easy to understand which helps to enhance communication between involved departments or organizations.
  • GIS software enables effortless recordkeeping as it easily records geographical changes.
  • Helps in geographic management as you can get to know what is happening in a geographic location and space, and use it to plan actions.
  • Cloud GIS software solutions facilitate instantaneous collaboration.
  • Offers enhanced transparency for citizen engagement.
  • Enables identification of underserved and at-risk populations in a community.
  • Helps in planning and allocation of resources.
  • Improves management of natural resources.
  • Enhances communication during a crisis.
  • Lastly, GIS software can be used to plan for the impact of demographic changes in a community.

In a recent survey by GIS Professional throws light on the issues faced by users of GIS software. In the survey, 32% identified data accuracy and 31% named efficient data management as the main challenges. In addition, 12% named the open source and open data as both a trend and a challenge. 8% named location privacy as an issue to be wary of. The availability of open source data and software is creating new users who understand the advantages of GIS but lack the knowledge to use the system properly.

Culled from Finances Online |Geographic Information Systems – GIS