GIS Day Data Mapping Software
November 16, 2016
Today is the annual World GIS (Geographical Information System) day. It’s great to see an increasing number of businesses and individuals embrace the use of GIS software to understand, manage, analyse and present geographical, spatial and customer data. Here you will find a basic overview of GIS capabilities and an example of how a GIS can provide solutions to everyday issues.
Here are a few examples of how businesses use GIS software:
- Delivery route planning
- Mileage calculations
- Understanding relationships between places
- Assessing environmental issues
- Location mapping
- Analysing demographic data
- Identifying new store locations
We have been providing GIS solutions for over 20 years and have seen many changes in the industry. One of the biggest is the amount of datasets that have become available. This has made finding the right type of data, with the right level of detail, one of the main industry challenges.
The main function of GIS software is managing, analysing and presenting data. This often requires the import of several different types of datasets.
Using different types of GIS datasets
There are basically two types of datasets employed in a GIS. The first is geographical data such as road networks, boundary data and postcode points. The other is user specific and can include client data and demographics. Datasets are available from a variety of sources and are generally one of the following types:
Open data sources, that are often free to use, and private sources with associated costs. Businesses and organisations can also use their own data such as store locations, regional information and customer details.
When identifying geographical datasets to use it is important to understand scale.
An example could be calculating the shortest distance or travel time between two stores in the same town. This would require a detailed road network with a greater number of junctions. If you were looking for a quick top level solution for travel between Postcode Sectors, a less detailed network would be fine.
The following geographical datasets offer this flexibility and can all be used within Prospex.
- Bartholomew’s road network (fairly simple with good road naming)
- OS Meridian road network (greater detail but requires more preparation)
- Ordnance Survey Integrated Transport layer (very detailed)
Check out our case studies for examples of how data and GIS software can be used to provide business solutions.
If you’d like to discuss a GIS solution for your business call us on 01904 701020.