Most of the time GIS (Geographic Information System) is used to create maps and to print. But here is a list of 28 applications and uses you may not know about.

  1. Mapping: Geographical Information Systems store data in databases and then represent it visually in a mapped format. People from different professions use maps to communicate. e.g. Google, GPS, Here all utilise maps for common use.
  2. Telephone/Network services: GIS Data is used to incorporate geographic data into the complex network design, planning, optimisation, maintenance and activities. It provides a location based service for engineering applications and customer relationship management.
  3. Road Safety Analysis: GIS can be used as a key tool to minimise accident hazard on roads, by identifying the accident locations and providing remedial measures.
  4. Urban Growth: Analyse, locate and monitor Urban expansion on suitable sites.
  5. Transport: Manage and monitor roads, railway, waterways and logistics by using environmental and topographical data in the GIS platform.
  6. The Environment: Environmental impact statements are required to contain specific information on the magnitude and characteristics of environmental impact. The EIA can be carried out efficiently by integrating various GIS layers and assessment of natural features can be performed.
  7. Agriculture: GIS can be used to create more effective and efficient farming techniques, by analysing soil data and determining the best crop to plant.
  8. Managing Disasters: GIS systems can manage the risk of a disaster by monitoring areas prone to natural or man-made disasters.
  9. Banking: Being market driven banks need to provide customer centric services around planning of resources and marketing. GIS plays an important role providing planning, organising and decision making.
  10. Land Information: GIS based land acquisition management system will provide complete information about land assessments and tracking of land allotments.
  11. Surveying: Land survey is measuring the distance and angles between different points on the earth surface. Many organisations are now using Satellites to make these measurements. It is called a Global Navigational Satellite System (GNSS) and is used for topographic surveys where a centimetre level accuracy is provided.
  12. Geology: Geologists use GIS to study geological features, analyse soils and strata, assess seismic information, and or create three dimensional (3D) displays of geographic features. GIS can be also used to analyse rock information characteristics and identifying the best dam site location.
  13. Assets Management: GIS helps organisations to locate and store information about their assets. Operations and maintenance staff can also deploy their enterprise and mobile workforce.
  14. Planning and Community Development: GIS help us to better understand our world so we can meet global challenges. Today GIS technology is advancing rapidly, providing many new capabilities and innovations in planning.
  15. Dairy Industry: Geographic Information Systems are used in the distribution of products, production rate, location of shops and their selling rate. These can also be monitored by using a GIS system.
  16. Tourism: Tourists can get all the information they need on a click, measuring distance, finding hotels, restaurants and even navigate to their respective links. This Information plays a vital role to tourists in planning their travel from one place to another.
  17. Irrigation management: Water availability for irrigation purposes for any area is vital for crop production in that region. It needs to be properly and efficiently managed for the proper utilisation of water. To evaluate the irrigation performance, integrated use of satellite remote sensing and GIS assisted by ground information has been found to be an efficient technique in spatial and time domain for identification of major crops and their conditions.
  18. Earthquakes: There is a need to have knowledge regarding the trends in earthquake occurrence worldwide. A GIS based user interface system for querying an earthquake catalogue will be of great help to the earthquake engineers and seismologists in understanding the behaviour pattern of earthquakes
  19. Volcanoes: Potential volcanic hazard zones can be recognised by the characteristic historical records of volcanic activities, it can incorporate with GIS.
  20. Forest Fires: Forest fires caused extensive damage to our communities and environmental resource base. GIS can effectively help to capture real time monitoring of fire prone areas. This is achieved by the help of GNSS and satellite Remote Sensing.
  21. Pest Control: GIS plays an important role to map out infested areas.
  22. Utilisation of Space: GIS helps managers to organise and spatially visualise space and how it can best be used. Operational costs can be decreased by more efficiently using space including managing the moves of personnel and assets as well as the storage materials. The 3D visualisation in GIS platforms helps planners to create a feeling of experience like virtual walk inside the building and rooms before construction.
  23. Business: GIS is used for managing business information based on its location. GIS can keep track of where customers are located, site business, target marketing campaigns, and optimise sales territories and model retail spending patterns.
  24. Location Identification: This technique is used to find a location for a new retail outlet. It helps to find out what exists at a particular location. A location can be described in many ways, using, for instance, name of place, post code, or geographic reference such as longitude or latitude or X/Y.
  25. Coastal Management: The coastal zone represents varied and highly productive ecosystem such as mangrove, coral reefs, see grasses and sand dunes. GIS could be generating data required for macro and micro level planning of coastal zone management and in creating a baseline inventory of mapping and monitoring coastal resources, selecting sites for brackish water aquaculture, studying coastal land forms.
  26. Crime: Crime mapping is a key component of crime analysis. Satellite images can display important information about criminal activities. The efficiency and the speed of the GIS analysis will increase the capabilities of crime fighting.
  27. Cables: Pipe line and cable location is essential for leak detection. It can be used to understand your water network, conducting repairs and adjustments, locating leaks known distance for correlating etc. Pipelines are continually monitored, check for leak detection and avoid the problem of geo hazards.
  28. Wildlife Management: Man made destruction such as habitat loss, pollution, invasive species introduction, and climate change, are all threats to wildlife health and biodiversity. GIS technology is an effective tool for managing, analysing, and visualising wildlife data to target areas where international management practices are needed and to monitor their effectiveness. GIS helps wildlife management professionals examine and envision.

By Peter Landis, 360HR Solutions Associate (via

Based in Sydney, Peter’s network extends Australia-wide. He is a Specialist in the GIS and Geospatial sectors as well as IT. Peter has worked with Government and Commercial clients in both contract and Permanent hires and is known for his ability to handle even the most difficult roles.

Contact Peter for your GIS talent needs – Ph: 02 4225 2223 | Mob: 0414 456 301 | Email: