Geographic Information Systems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Before addressing the diverse functionalities that can be found in geographic information systems (GISs) today, this chapter defines what a geographic information system is, its purpose, and its general architecture. In Sect. 6.1, the different forms of GISs that are found in the ever-expanding range of information technology tools are discussed. Dedicated GIS systems in the strictest sense are more and more being complemented by geographically aware applications embedded in diverse environments such as mobile. Interoperability in structure and semantics has become a central issue, bridging the gaps between traditional GIS services, social media, user-driven information supply, and the upcoming Internet of Things. The term GIS therefore serves as a conceptual headline for an ever-increasing scope of tools. The core of each GIS is constituted by analysis functions. They are the reason why a GIS is created in the first place. The second part of this chapter (Sect. 6.2) contains a list of the most common GIS functionality categories. A few typical examples of such analysis functions are described in more detail to explain what geographic information (GI) is and how its digital form can be utilized to solve problems of a geospatial nature efficiently, to gain insight into the processes of a geospatial nature that influence many aspects of our life, and to arrive at decisions that are sound, explainable, and repeatable.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Handbook of Geographic Information
EditorsDavid Danko, Wolfgang Kresse
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-53125-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-53124-9
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameSpringer Handbook Series


  • Geographic Information Science
  • GIS
  • database
  • modeling
  • geospatial
  • geographic information
  • Linked Data
  • analysis functions
  • interoperability
  • Internet of Things

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • General

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems


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