What are the Key Functions of Geographic Information Systems?

Organizations in virtually every industry use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to capture, store, check, and display geographic data. By analyzing this powerful data, businesses can make better, more informed decisions.

How Geographic Information Systems Are Used

Although there are a variety of ways to use GIS data, some of the most common applications include mapping, urban planning, land surveying, and transportation planning.


Familiar with Google Maps? This platform is a free, web-based GIS mapping solution that uses the visual interpretation of data for navigation purposes. Google Maps dissects geographic system data and maps various landmarks and topographic features. With each day and advancement of technology, this online mapping system continually gets more precise.  

Urban Planning

GIS data identifies and analyzes the potential for urban growth within specific areas. This includes but is not limited to land suitability analysis, site selection, and impact assessments.

At ETM, we partner with a variety of private sector clients to help them plan their next project by determining where and if a site location is suitable. This data ranges from population to a site’s distance from major roadways.

Land Surveying

While GIS technology provides exceptional information in itself, there are numerous additional benefits that come with using it alongside surveying. GIS solutions help land surveyors make better decisions through its accurately collected, analyzed, and mapped data. Generally, this data includes zoning restriction, the location of existing utilities, accesses, easements, and more. In addition, GIS technology provides a unique way to reliably record and store valuable information. This information can vary from historic data to as-built drawings post-project completion.

Our surveying and geospatial technologies team works together to deliver highly accurate information. Our GIS data enables our surveying crews to collect and store data more efficiently and efficiently to help our clients better plan, design, construct, and manage resources.

Transportation Planning

Another common use of Geographic Information Systems data is for transportation planning. This data helps users visualize and understand their current assets to determine the need for new roadways or necessary safety improvements. In addition to our transportation team, many large organizations, such as the Florida Department of Transportation, also use GIS technology.

About ETM’s GIS Team

At England-Thims & Miller, Inc. (ETM), our team of GIS professionals understands that limited budgets and the rapid pace of digital transformation make it difficult for organizations to stay on top of the important work that needs to be done for a community.

ETM Geospatial Technologies maintains partnerships with industry-leading GIS and Asset Management companies (Esri, Cartegraph) to multiply the effectiveness of systems without the need for integration work. The result is a comprehensive, interactive, web-based mapping system that improves data-driven problem solving by connecting people, processes, and products, resulting in a better experience. 

To learn more about ETM Geospatial Technologies, visit their website at www.etmgeo.com

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