GIS Touches All Our Lives, Everyday

Posted: July 9, 2009 by rohitgarg83 in GIS

p34p1 During the past three decades, a powerful technology has quietly changed the way people view and live in their neighborhoods, towns, and cities. This technology is GIS, and ESRI has been involved in the field since its beginnings. For nearly 30 years ESRI has made GIS available to be used by people to solve real problems.

As is the case with many technologies, most people remain unaware of GIS and its impact-an impact that is as far-ranging as it is useful-despite GIS having grown immensely in the last 15 years, despite hundreds of thousands of people now using the technology, and despite it affecting the daily lives of millions.

To prove this, let’s follow your daily routine(in developed countries) and see how GIS helps you in ways that you never suspected.

1. The clock radio rings at 6:00 a.m. You get up and turn on the lights.

The radio and lights are powered with household electricity. A typical electric utility company serving millions of customers uses GIS to manage its complex infrastructure consisting of tens of thousands of miles of transmission and distribution lines and hundreds of thousands of utility poles, as well as thousands of employees maintaining optimal service at hundreds of sites.

2. You go outside, pick up the morning newspaper, and head back into your house.

The wood that was the source for the paper and for the lumber of the house was provided by wood product companies that use GIS for sound forest management practices. GIS makes easily available for analysis property boundaries, vegetation, soil analysis, roads, streams, public land survey, contours, watershed, and sensitive areas, allowing forest managers to make the best informed decisions.

The newspaper circulation department uses GIS to understand the dynamics and demographics of carrier routes, the basic unit used to report and study circulation. After finding areas where actual subscriptions were low but potential was high, those areas were targeted with subscription sales efforts, doubling the new subscriptions of the previous year.

3. You pile the kids into the car and stop at the gas station.

GIS technology integrates all kinds of petroleum information and applications into a common system and lets the oil companies view that information in context on a map for exploration, operation and maintenance, production, environment, land lease management, and data management.

Before the oil becomes gasoline it needs to move from the oil fields to the processing plant via pipelines. The pipeline industry uses GIS for assisting route planning and construction, operations, supply market analysis, and reporting functions.

4. You drive to work.

The roads are safer because of GIS. The community uses GIS for managing its transportation infrastructure. GIS is used to support planning, inventory, design, construction, operations, and maintenance. More than 80 percent of the information used to manage road, rail, and port facilities have a spatial component. GIS can be used to determine the location of an event or asset and its relationship or proximity to another event or asset, which may be the critical factor leading to a decision about design, construction, or maintenance.

5. When you leave, your car is still in the parking lot, right where you left it!

Communities are showing that GIS is helping to reduce crime, providing an intelligence tool that plots and tracks all crimes. This system gives officers and investigators the ability to track crimes on a real-time basis and correlate crime statistics in a measurable fashion. The vast majority of information used in law enforcement is map based. Agencies need to display the location of incidents and be able to view incidents by categories, time, or date. Incidents can be displayed by beat, reporting district, or zone. Advanced GIS capabilities can generate incident density and contour maps that can be used to predict the probability of crimes occurring. Law enforcement agencies also use GIS in communications, operations, and records management.

It’s been a long day, but you are finally home safe and sound. GIS has been there nearly every step of the way, helping make life more comfortable and safe. All through the power of geography and GIS !

Geography matters to all of us, and GIS technology is the way to gain the advantage.

To learn more about how GIS affects you and us, visit

The application of GIS is limited only by the imagination of those who use it." —Jack Dangermond,President of ESRI

  1. bruh bruh says:

    omg this is cool

  2. Vivek says:

    This is just awesome. Thanks for sharing and please do keep writing.

  3. rohan says:

    Thanks Joseph Kerski (from ESRI Blog)

  4. ESRI Blog says:

    […] begin with selected videos and essays to foster discussion, including the Geospatial Revolution, GIS Touches our everyday lives, my ArcWatch article Spatial Thinking: Habits of Mind, and my video Why Geography Education […]

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