Geographic Information Systems
A geographic information system (GIS) lets us visualize, question, analyze, and interpret data to understand relationships, patterns, and trends. GIS benefits organizations of all sizes and in almost every industry. There is a growing interest in and awareness of the economic and strategic value of GIS.
GIS integrates hardware, software and data for capturing, managing, analyzing and displaying the data geographically with spatial referenced information. Spatial information is collected via Global Positioning System (GPS).
Geography plays a role in nearly every decision we make. Choosing sites, targeting market segments, planning distribution networks, responding to emergencies or redrawing city boundaries-all of these problems involve questions of geography. GIS allows us to view, understand, question, interpret and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports and charts. In short, a GIS helps you answer questions and solve problems by looking at your data in a way that is quickly understood and easily shared.
Top Five Benefits of GIS
GIS benefits organizations of all sizes and in almost every industry. There is a growing awareness of the economic and strategic value of GIS. The benefits of GIS generally fall into five basic categories:
1. Cost Savings from Greater Efficiency
GIS is widely used to optimize maintenance schedules and daily fleet movements. Typical implementations can result in a savings of 10 to 30% in operational expenses through reduction in fuel use and staff time, improved customer service, and more efficient scheduling.
GIS helped the City of Woodland refine its fleet scheduling, saving fuel and labor. Read more about Cost Savings.
2. Better Decision Making
GIS is the go-to technology for making better decisions about location. Common examples include real estate site selection, route/corridor selection, evacuation planning, conservation, natural resource extraction, etc. Making correct decisions about location is critical to the success of an organization.
This GIS-based disaster decision support system helps Taiwan plan for and respond to typhoons. Read more about Decision Making.
3. Improved Communication
GIS-based maps and visualizations greatly assist in understanding situations and in storytelling. They are a type of language that improves communication between different teams, departments, disciplines, professional fields, organizations, and the public. Michels Corporation improved collaboration and communication with GIS. Read more about Communication.
4. Better Record Keeping
Many organizations have a primary responsibility of maintaining authoritative records about the status and change of geography. GIS provides a strong framework for managing these types of records with full transaction support and reporting tools. ROI on Montana's GIS-based statewide cadastral system is more than $9 million annually. Read more about Record Keeping.
5. Managing Geographically
GIS is becoming essential to understanding what is happening and what will happen in geographic space. Once we understand, we can prescribe action. This new approach to management-managing geographically-is transforming the way organizations operate. Read more about GIS.
The City's Parcel Viewer
The online GIS Parcel Viewer offers a collection of maps to help residents better understand the city where they live. As the system grows, more maps and layers are added. Some examples of what information the system can provide are: finding out what ward you're in; determining who your City Councilor is, learning your voting location and discovering tax and assessing data for all properties in the City of Malden. View the online GIS Parcel Viewer.
For more information please view "What Is GIS and How Does It Work".