A geographic information or geographical information system (GIS) is a system for creating, storing, analyzing and managing spatial data and associated attributes. In the strictest sense, it is a computer system capable of integrating, storing, editing, analyzing, sharing, and displaying geographically-referenced information. In a more generic sense, GIS is a tool that allows users to create interactive queries (user created searches), analyze the spatial information, and edit data. Geographical Information Science is the science underlying the applications and systems, taught as a degree programme by several universities.


Geographic information systems technology can be used for scientific investigations, resource management, asset management, Environmental Impact Assessment development planning, cartography, and route planning. For example, a GIS might allow emergency planners to easily calculate emergency response times in the event of a natural disaster, or a GIS might be used to find wetlands that need protection from pollution.