Demystifying the GIS: all companies require it, although geologists may be the GIS pioneers

Walter By Walter, 19th May 2018 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Sales & Marketing

Geographic information system uses computational techniques to gather data on a precise location and create "maps" from information overlay. These models or maps can display myriads of data types and information on that area. GIS is a necessity for several industries including geology, climatology, environmental science, and mining. The web has supported the growth of this expansive information system that powers several research projects and commercial endeavors around the world.

Demystifying the GIS: all companies require it, although geologists may be the GIS pioneers

Geographic information system uses computational techniques to gather data on a precise location and create "maps" from information overlay. These models or maps can display myriads of data types and information on that area. GIS is a necessity for several industries including geology, climatology, environmental science, and mining. The web has supported the growth of this expansive information system that powers several research projects and commercial endeavors around the world. Engineers and technicians involved in urban planning and resource planning, often depend on GIS tools for its multifaceted nature. It even finds use in medicine, zoology, conservation sciences and botany!

Who uses GIS?

Understanding the concept of GIS is not that simple. You can probably understand how the multidimensional nature of the system makes it complicated for novices and untrained individuals. Therefore, almost all engineers and technicians, who can leverage the potential of this information system for any field have professional training. Several certificate programs offer GIS operational training as well. Among all professionals, geologists are currently leading in the GIS operations. Some of the courses that aid GIS skills include spatial data analysis, remote sensing of the environment, digital (aerial) image processing, community and ecosystem distribution, geostatistics and cartographic design. As you can see almost all the degree courses involve some version of geology or allied subjects.

People with certification and training in GIS can work and are consultants, support and database managers depending on the need. There are a plethora of jobs that require geographic information system operators to guide clients in the field. While some GIS professionals choose to work on the contemporary set of technologies available for the information system maintenance and updating, there are others who choose to teach the subject to students in college or university levels. The job openings for GIS certificate holders are increasing in number on a daily basis. This is greatly due to the constant evolution of tech that contributes to the GIS trends. Additionally, several software programmes and applications are also coming up that enable clients and consultants to connect to a central data software for real-time data access.

Which GIS software and hardware choices are ideal for you?

Usually, there are hundreds of software choices for any company or organization. Geographic information system packages are many, and you can choose one depending on a number of factors. Here are a few things you must keep in mind while choosing a package or software for your project –

i. What is your project/organization’s objective?
ii. What are the leading issues your organization faces right now – including resource limitations, management structures, and staff training?
iii. What are your base map requirements?
iv. What is the cost of the software or package implementation? What is the difference of the real cost from the estimated cost of implementation?
v. What is the strategic implementation plan for your GIS package in the next 4 to 5 years?

There are several hardware necessities for running GIS applications. The requirements vary depending on the project or task at hand, but the average application demands at least –

i. A dual-core processor
ii. 1 GB RAM
iii. 8008600 SVGA display
iv. 250 GB of hard disk drive
v. Windows OSx
vi. IE or a recent search engine version

Several high-end GIS applications require multiple processors and high power. Many of them have large memory requirements as well. The actual GIS software choice will depend largely upon the availability of the resources we have mentioned above in combination with the requirements of the project.

What is the job prospect of a future GIS technician?

In the US, there are currently over 60,000 GIS professionals. Technicians, specialists, and administrators are all part of the population who use GIS for their daily job necessities. The technicians use them for updating, inserting and digitizing available data. They maintain the integrity of the data system. GIS specialists take part in data manipulation and report creation. However, the GIS users consume data and do not take part in any form of administrative process. The GIS users are not a part of the professional information system population. They extract data from the database, but usually for other people to use them. In contrary to administrators and technicians that handle more complicated vector and raster data formats, the users access simpler data in the form of aerial images, satellite photos, and environmental readings.

The GIS certification and degree holders often find work in scientific and technical consulting fields. They are also parts of government services that deal with geology, mining, resource mapping, environmental protection, and healthcare. Specialist departments within the scientific and technical fields are plenty that caters to niche industries like telecommunications, digital marketing, and even fashion. The kind of field a professional works in depends solely on their specialization and choice. There are a few federal, state and local government positions open for GIS technicians and analysts as well. These include transportation planning, construction planning, urban planning and natural resource management. The demand for specialists is going up every day. By 2024 the job demand for GIS technicians and administrators will increase by at least 29%, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, USA. The demand for digitizing all data in the nearing future will drive the demands for the profession in almost every field.

Why should all companies include geographic information system in their market planning and business ops?
Here are a few reasons you should consider using GIS as a part of your company’s planning strategy –

It improves budget efficiency

GIS can help improve the budgeting of any marketing plan and its implementation. Especially if your company is dealing with resource management, community planning, construction work or even shipment logistics, you will find the inclusion of GIS profitable. Reputed companies like Sears have utilized geographic information system to analyze the shortest routes of product delivery and reduce the delivery time for each dispatcher. This reduced their product delivery time by over 75% and saved them about 15% of the entire shipment budget. Cutting the transportation budget down by 15%, for a conglomerate like Sears can represent over a million dollars per week! Your company can also improve its services, efficiency and reduce the operational costs by utilizing the multidimensional nature of GIS. Geologists, mining companies, and resource management companies use such kind of information systems to increase the accuracy of distance calculation, cost estimation, and spatial positioning since the advanced technologies can improve the mapping and 3D modeling.

Better communication with the team

The improvement of the accuracy of the maps by data overlaying can increase the efficiency of communication between team members. Engineers can pinpoint the location of the feature of interest and they can suggest the best ways to leverage or exploit it. For example – mining engineers can create a realistic map of the potential mine by analyzing the location of the highest core density. They can also plan the boring site and commission the equipment in advance. A properly planned project faces fewer hiccups on the way. The geographic information system has been helping bridge the communication gap between authorities and team members for the last several decades by enhancing the maps to create almost realistic representations.

Efficient record keeping

Updating geographic information and maintaining the same over the years becomes impossible with the bulk of data geologists, climatologists, conservationists, and environmentalists are introducing every minute. There are several organizations around the world, which have the primary responsibility of changing the geography. Population census, administrative boundaries, zoning and land ownership are among the few maps that keep changing almost every year. There are specific organizations that take responsibility for updating the respective databases periodically. GIS provides a robust network of data users, contributors, editors and manipulators. You can think of the information system as a framework that manages a plethora of systems that deal with a variety of data types. Each of these systems is conceptually identical to each other, but they vary drastically in their utilization. The difference in data models contributes to their fundamental difference.

Offers better management chances

Several large organizations, governmental organizations, and federal departments require the GIS to stay updated with the latest from the country and the rest of the world. Several senior executives and senior government officials use GIS as an instrument of communication between different teams. Even the UN uses the information from information systems as a visual reference in their presentations, reports, and conferences. Although GIS seems a lot like another company DBMS, it is more of a centralized database that holds all sorts of information you can imagine, from all corners of the world, in all sorts of formats. The highly heterogeneous nature makes it necessary for all GIS technicians to have the necessary training, but at the same time, it offers tremendous power to governments and non-governmental organization. Private sectors like oil companies, retail businesses, and even fast food franchises can utilize GIS on a daily basis to improve their resource management, customer management, and market management.

The geographic information system or GIS involves a lot more than geography or geology. It is a complex network of data from all possible fields that can change the way each and every private sector company, as well as the government organization, runs right now. With the change in digital technology, the GIS has changed as well. What was once a tool for creating more intuitive geographic maps of locations, is now a tool that gives immense power to all potential users, technicians, and scientists to change the world.


Business, Gis, Market Planning, Technologies

Meet the author

author avatar Walter
Walter Moore is a well-established digital marketer with one of the leading mobile application development companies. He has extensive knowledge in social marketing.

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