Using GIS has all the advantages of a management information system (MIS) coupled with the visual representation of data – remember that a picture tells a thousand words. Hence, using GIS as a management and analytical system is very powerful.
The question is “who should use GIS?” The answer is simple – everyone should!
Everyone has some form of location dependence within the management and analyses of their activities – whether business or recreational. Such location dependence gives rise to spatial and attribute data to manage sales, resources, productivity and to analyse product consumption by consumers amongst many other company activities within business. In a recreational environment, GIS is useful for finding your way when coupled with GPS, analysing race routes for a marathon and identifying preferred scuba diving or fishing locations to name a few.
Basically, everyone has a need and use for GIS – its just the extent that may vary.
Some you know of and some you didn’t even suspect – but we are all influenced by GIS. Here are some examples:
1. Vehicle Tracking: this is one GIS service offered to create security and peace of mind that your car is where you left it. GIS is used for more than protecting your vehicle & is implemented by policing and security organisations worldwide to prevent crime and manage area security.
2. Courier Services: you enjoy knowing where your package is located while on route – again GIS helping you but also helping your courier company manage the logistics of moving your parcel along with all the others they handle.
3. You drive to work! Road infrastructure planning, maintenance & traffic monitoring is governed by GIS in most countries.
4. You receive your newspaper subscription – the wood used to produce the paper used for your newspaper was carefully managed by forestry companies to ensure optimum tree growth, management of environmental impact and to maintain safe forestry practices.
The uses and impact of GIS is so extensive that possible examples of our use can be related to almost all our daily activities.