What is GIS?

GIS stands for geographic information system and refers to the processing of information related to space and time (i.e., spatiotemporal) here on Earth. It is commonly used on maps to show the relative location of objects, either as a snapshot or over time.

A GIS software solution is designed to record, collect, manipulate, analyze and interpret all types of spatial or geographical data.

Standards for processing GIS data are developed by an open consortium known as the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). In addition to public domain GIS solutions, several commercial vendors provide GIS software to businesses, including ESRI and CARIS. Other companies offer geospatial software development kits (SDKs) that allow developers to build mapping solutions that can utilize GIS data.

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What are the key uses of GIS?

GIS solutions help to represent spatial data from a GPS or other remote sensing device in easy to understand visual formats, often as data layers over topographic maps or satellite imagery.

GIS solutions are often used to map detailed city plans, plot utilities such as power and water lines, or track changes in population density and land uses over time.

The geographic data in a GIS solution helps organizations and individuals plan for new buildings, roads and services as conditions change in the real world.

What is the difference between GIS and GPS?

GIS is often confused with GPS. Though it operates in the same stratosphere, GIS is designed to analyze and store the types of data collected through GPS and other devices.

GIS applications work to store historical spatial location data and can then interface with near real-time GPS information to provide location-relevant feedback. A great example of this would be when setting up geofences (i.e., a record of a series of latitude and longitude points to determine a virtual perimeter) to alert fleet managers if a vehicle is moved offsite without their approval.

GIS and fleet management

GIS data can be used within a telematics solution to provide additional insight when managing a mobile workforce, such as near real-time weather (considered raster data), or the location of built assets such as pipelines, substations or cabling (vector data).

Geospatial data can help fleet managers plan daily operations of their fleet, as well as assist with decision making around future changes to the business, like population modeling and land use. LIDAR information (i.e., fine grain spatial analysis data) will also likely come into play in fleet management in the future as it becomes a part of self-driving vehicle systems.

Our solutions

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GPS fleet tracking

GPS fleet tracking

Our GPS fleet tracking software monitors your entire mobile workforce with increased visibility through our easy-to-use dashboards, detailed maps and apps.

GPS asset tracking

GPS asset tracking

With GPS asset tracking software from Verizon Connect, you can monitor equipment and on-site assets while improving security, utilization and uptime.


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