What is GIS software? - Mapping and location intelligence

Ultimately, GIS software is a problem-solving toolkit

Geographical Information System (GIS), such as our Prospex GIS mapping software, is a tool for managing, visualising, analysing and presenting data that is related to a physical, geographical location.

That link to geography is the key difference between GIS and other data visualisation techniques. For instance, if you import your business location you will see it in a spatial context alongside other information such as road or rail networks, surrounding landscape, other important locations or demographic data.

If you have captured appropriate data about your customers, a GIS can highlight who they are, where they have come from, and where new customers may be within that area. Mapping locations in such a way highlights patterns, trends, relationships and ultimately opportunities. Users are often surprised by the results!

You’ll find two types of data in GIS software such as Prospex

The first is raster data which provides a background for maps. Rasters are in simple terms large images i.e. a collection of coloured dots and will be familiar to anyone who has used a road atlas.

The second type of data is vector. Vectors contain geographical locations and can be used to analyse details on maps such as road and rail networks, postcode or administrative boundaries and coastlines.

Map displays raster with postcode areas, districts and sectors

What can GIS be used for?

GIS software, such as Prospex, delivers problem-solving and decision-making capability covering a broad range of challenges. After all, most business challenges contain a geographical element.

  • Mapping locations. Simply visualising locations and points of interest in a spatial context highlights patterns and trends plus the relationship between them
  • Understanding quantities. Mapping quantities has a range of benefits for businesses and helps them to find locations which contain more/less/some of their potential customers
  • Visualising densities. Analysing the density contained within an area facilitates the evaluation of factors such as market penetration and percentages of required customers
  • Map characteristics of a region. Businesses often need to investigate characteristics of a region such as demographic types, topography, network data (such as road and rail) or socio-economic data
  • Inspect a location. Look at it’s surroundings and what is nearby
  • Analyse distance or time. How long will it take to travel between locations for customers or sales team
  • Monitor change in a geographic region. How is an area being developed or how has the population has changed

Ultimately Prospex GIS software is a problem-solving toolkit that manages large datasets e.g. your customer database, understands locations and presents information through the medium of maps, data charts and spreadsheets.

GIS mapping continues to grow due to the strategic value and cost saving opportunities it provides for both public and private sector organisations.

Prospex is a feature-packed GIS mapping application that delivers solutions for a wide range of industries. The 3 key benefits of using Prospex:

  • Cost savings through efficiency
  • Enhanced decision making
  • Improved communication

Learn more about Prospex GIS solutions in our case studies.

Map displays postcode sector with postcode units

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