by Andrei P. Kirilenko – University of Florida
A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a theoretical framework and software for gathering, storing, managing, analyzing, and visualizing spatially distributed data. The GIS approach is especially beneficial when the analysis uses spatial data collected from different sources, requires understanding of a spatial relationship between the data points (distance, time to travel, etc.), deals with spatial patterns (e.g., hot spot analysis), extensively involves mapping, and other similar applications. This chapter thus provides a short introduction to geospatial data, typical GIS problems, and software applications.