GIS: Definition, Introduction to GIS Software Geography YouTube Lecture Handouts

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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 3 D scenes

Introduction to GIS Software

What is GIS Software?

Geographic information systems, better known as GIS software, capture, analyze, and display geospatial data to make 2 D or 3 D maps. These tools act as asset management platforms for the geographic data they capture, meaning GIS technology has the ability to understand patterns and improve operations in land-based operations. Desktop GIS mapping software typically integrates with a number of drafting and design tools, such as BIM or CAD solutions, to take its analytics capabilities to the next level. These tools also allow users to analyze valuable data such as land use and location of geographic features, including rivers or mountains, right from their desktop.

GIS Software՚s

  • ArcGIS
  • Google Earth Pro
  • ArcGIS Online
  • Google Maps
  • QGIS
  • Global Maper
  • AutoCAD

ArcGIS Desktop is a foundational piece for GIS professionals to create, analyze, manage, and share geographic information so decision-makers can make intelligent, informed decisions. It allows you to create maps, perform spatial analysis, and manage data. You can import multiple data formats and use powerful analytical tools and workflows to identify spatial patterns, trends, and non-obvious relationships.

Applications of ArcGIS

It is used for creating and using maps, compiling geographic data, analyzing mapped information, sharing and discovering geographic information, using maps and geographic information in a range of applications, and managing geographic information in a database.

Google Earth Pro

Google Earth Pro has all the easy-to-use features, and detailed imagery of Google Earth, along with advanced tools that help you measure area, radius, length, and 3 D buildings, print high-resolution images, import spreadsheets of addresses and instantly see mapped points with batch geocoding and create custom videos

ArcGIS Online

ArcGIS Online is a complete cloud-based GIS mapping software that connects people, locations, and data using interactive maps

ArcGIS Online enables you to connect people, locations, and data using interactive maps. Work with smart, data-driven styles and intuitive analysis tools that deliver location intelligence. Share your insights with the world or specific groups.

Google Maps

Google Maps is a web mapping service developed by Google. It offers satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, 360° interactive panoramic views of streets, real-time traffic conditions, and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bicycle, air, and public transportation


Geographic Resources Analysis Support System is a geographic information system software suite used for geospatial data management and analysis, image processing, producing graphics and maps, spatial and temporal modeling, and visualizing. It can handle raster, topological vector, image processing, and graphic data

QGIS (Or Quantum GIS)

It is an open source geographic information system, meaning that it can be downloaded and installed on your desktop free of charge. It runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. There are also numerous plug-ins that extend the functionality of QGIS

QGIS Functions

QGIS functions as geographic information system (GIS) software, allowing users to analyze and edit spatial information, in addition to composing and exporting graphical maps. QGIS supports both raster and vector layers; vector data is stored as either point, line, or polygon features.


System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses (SAGA GIS) is a geographic information system (GIS) computer programme used to edit spatial data. It is free and open-source software developed originally by a small team at the Department of Physical Geography, University of Gottingen Germany, and is now being maintained and extended by an international developer community.

Global Mapper

Global Mapper provides tools for editing both the geometry and physical appearance of vector objects as well as the attributes or information that is associated with each feature. Edits can be applied to features created in Global Mapper or to features from an imported vector layer

AutoCAD Map

AutoCAD Map 3 D toolset is the leading engineering solution for creating and managing spatial data. AutoCAD Map 3 D toolset bridges the gap between Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) . AutoCAD Map 3 D toolset provides direct access to the leading data formats used in design and GIS.

Applications of AutoCAD Map
  • Draw to Scale. One of the main benefits of AutoCAD is that it allows you to draw to scale.
  • Easy Layout and Viewing.
  • Draw Accurately.
  • Make Changes Easily and Reduce Risk of Error.
  • Identify Design Problems.
  • Calculate Material Quantities for Production.
  • Store and Transfer Data Safely.
  • Save Time and Money.