A geographic information system (GIS) is a framework for gathering, managing, and analyzing data. Rooted in the science of geography, GIS integrates many types of data. It analyzes spatial location and organizes layers of information into visualizations using maps and 3D scenes. With this unique capability, GIS reveals deeper insights into data, such as patterns, relationships, and situations—helping users make smarter decisions.
The word geospatial is used to indicate that data has a geographic component to it. This means that the records in a dataset have locational information tied to them such as geographic data in the form of coordinates, address, city, or ZIP code. GIS data is a form of geospatial data. Other geospatial data can originate from GPS data, satellite imagery, and geotagging.
From GIS Lounge
ArcGIS is the leading GIS software for working with maps and geographic information. It is currently available in the GIS Lab, but OWU has a campus license to the software. ArcGIS software (from ESRI) is available for installation and use by all faculty, staff, and students at OWU. To use the software, request an OWU ArcGIS Online account from John Krygier in the Department of Environment and Sustainability. OWU’s site license for all ESRI software is managed through an ArcGIS Online account. Please contact Information Services with any technical problems.
ArcGIS Online runs on any browser and provides a broad range of GIS functions without having to install any files on desktop computers. ArcGIS Online is particularly strong for developing GIS apps to share information on the web and collect spatial data in the field.
ArcGIS Pro runs on Windows desktop and can be installed from files supplied by Krygier or Information Services. ArcGIS Pro is intended for sophisticated geospatial data analysis.
QGIS: Free and open source GIS software
GRASS GIS: Free GIS software
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