Monday, November 10, 2008

GIS Day - November 19

GIS Day this year is November 19, 2008.

GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems. What most people think of is maps. GIS features include a lot more than just maps.
  • Step by step driving directions is a common GIS feature that is not often thought of as being a GIS function. Maps are helpful, but most mapping sites include the step by step directions to help people get where they want to go.

  • Spacial anlysis is looking at data based on physical location. When it comes to business, you might want to know what areas receive lots of sales, while others are under served. Survey data may need to consider the socio-economic status of those being polled.
  • Proximity is another common GIS task. This helps people locate resources (stores, government buildings, airports) that are near their location.
  • Geolocation is identifying where something is located. Afterwhich, it can be placed on a map or you can then determine proximity.
GIS features on your web site can add an interactive aspect that is not only informative, but can be quite fun too. There are several web based GIS service providers available on the Internet. Many of them provide simple copy and paste of HTML code to add a map to your site. They also provide API's so that you can develop custom applications on your web site as well. Services are often free for limited use. It is also possible to purchase and set up in-house GIS services, which may be especially important if you have proprietary or confidential data to protect.

Think about ways that you can add a GIS feature to your web site.

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