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Importance of GIS

Whether yours is a small business, a multinational conglomerate, a government department, or local authority, you can bank on two things: a lot of your information will be geographically referenced, and the more information you have, the harder it becomes to manage and interpret. It is a fact that up to 70% of all information in circulation possesses a common denominator: geography. In this case, GIS is important to you because it helps you make decisions based upon geographical information. Unlike any other type of information handling tool, GIS can understand the concept of location.

Examples of the Importance of GIS in Business

Consider, for example, a system which enables its user to combine and manipulate demographic, lifestyle, and other customer-related data to quite literally pinpoint areas of untapped business opportunity.

  • A supermarket chain may choose the location of a new store by modeling Shoppers’ behaviour using a GIS. This might use information obtained from the population census and from the supermarket’s experiences in other locations.
  • A local authority might store the locations of its street furniture with a GIS, and may use the GIS to select those lamp columns which need maintenance.
  • GIS techniques may be used to identify all litter bins within five minutes walk of the proposed site of a hamburger restaurant.

Growth of GIS

GIS has taken off in a big way over the past two decades. Moving from the realms of academic research, the technology was first harnessed to the needs of large, information-hungry organizations such as local authorities, environmental agencies, emergency services, and utilities providers.

More recently, GIS has leapfrogged onto the back of advances in desktop computing to find applications in every conceivable area of business activity. And it is here that the logic of GIS is impeccable, given that competitive advantage is ultimately about delivering the right product or service to the right place at the right time.

World-wide figures for GIS investment speak for themselves. Global revenues from GIS software sales alone are growing at an annual rate in excess of 13% and topped the $1.3 billion mark by 1997, according to research company

To learn more about how GIS can benefit your business, please contact us.