What are Geographic Information Systems (GIS)?

No seriously… what is it?

Data layers in a sample GIS system

What is it used for?

  • Real Estate — Land parcels, Market prices by region
  • Education — Academic performance by region
  • Health — Tracking the spread of a deadly virus 🙄
  • Insurance — Risk probability by region
  • Public Safety — Real-time situational data for first responders
  • Transportation — Traffic patterns, Mapping your commute routes
  • Government — Population, mapping of congressional districts
  • Sustainability — Display areas where humanitarian assistance is needed
GIS system tracking confirmed COVID-19 Cases

How did it come about?

John Snow’s Cholera Map

How does it work?

Tech’s role in GIS

  • OpenLayers — Open source Javascript library for displaying map data in web browsers.
  • Leaflet.js — Open source Javascript library used to build web mapping applications.
  • PostGIS — Open source software that adds support for geographic objects to a PostgreSQL database.
  • SpatiaLite — Open source extension that provides vector geodatabase functionality for SQLite databases.

The Wrap-Up

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Hi, I’m Stephen! I’m a Software Engineer just trying to help people through applications that make the world better. Check me out at stephenanderson.dev.

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Stephen Anderson

Stephen Anderson

Hi, I’m Stephen! I’m a Software Engineer just trying to help people through applications that make the world better. Check me out at stephenanderson.dev.

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