In aerial drone surveying and data processing, you may have heard about GIS. What is it anyway?

GIS is abbreviated from the entire term Geographic Information System. It is a computer and software that are used to gather and analyze data connected to geographic locations and human activity on Earth. The GIS data are used to collect all the geological data and create layered maps, charts, and 3D models of features like rivers, forests, mountains, buildings, etc. GIS tools are used mainly by governments and industries to better understand town/city planning and gauge climate changes.

With the meaning of GIS established, Let’s look at how it works and helps drone surveying. Here’s a list of common questions you may find useful:

01. How does GIS work?

Before understanding how GIS works, we need to understand what it consists of.  A typical GIS model includes:

  1. Sharable maps containing geographic data layers
  2. Data containing spreadsheets, tables, and various images with a geographical component covered while surveying a particular location.
  3. Spatial analysis that enhances the decision-making process by providing insights and predictions
  4. Apps to use GIS data anytime.

Okay, so how does it work? Generally, Geographic Information Systems perform the task in 3 divided ways. 

  1. By using geographic data like imagery and models and compile them in a visualize data
  2. GIS then combines layers of data and form maps.
  3. Searching geographic queries for values in the layered data to form query data.

02. What is the Purpose of Geographic Information Systems?

Geographic Information System’s sole purpose is to overlay all the data and information regarding a particular location on a map. By connecting data with the location, GIS programming helps surveyors understand how the data correlates to specific areas. The visual demographic can help people identify patterns that would be difficult or nearly impossible to detect in spreadsheets. Speaking of which, it also saves a lot of time and human errors.

What is the Purpose of Geographic Information Systems

GIS maps can be used to track climate change, analyzing crime patterns, surveying a location, etc. Governments and companies use GIS technology to keep track of all the geological landmarks, buildings, and other mega projects. Military and police forces use GIS for predicting investigative analysis, managing logistics and location intelligence, and satellite data. Nowadays, the agricultural industry relies on GIS to map crop and soil types.

03. What are the benefits of using GIS?

  1. Implementing GIS in surveying tasks has been reported to make much more improvements. Companies that used GIS in logistic operations have seen massive improvements. For example, efficient data collection without costing much, reducing the drive time, etc.
  2. Using GIS helps in better decision making which relates to location. Better decisions are made in the past on real estate site selection, route/corridor selection, zoning, conservation, planning, etc. The full-on comprehensive data gives the absolute error-free report, which helps to take a strategic decision.
  3. GIS-based maps and visual reports help in helping people understand the situations and the locations. This improves communication between teams, departments, locals, disciplines, various organizations, and companies.
  4. Organizations are entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining authoritative records about geographic accounting. GIS helps with providing a solid framework for managing zoning, land ownership, administrative boundaries, environmental measurements, water flows, and geographic accountancy systems with their reporting tools. The systems are similar to other informative systems in that they deal with data management and transactions. 

04. What are the types of GIS?

Types of Geographic Information Systems

There are 4 types of data in Geographic Information Systems.

  • Numeric data: Statistical data collected using a geographic component and displayed as a layer on a map. 
  • Vector data: Data that describe points, lines, or angles connected to a geographic space.
  • Linear network: A layered line representing multiple elements, for example, a road, boundary of a city, or district.
  • Raster data: Raster data contains images in formats like JPEG, GIF, and TIF format. Satellite uses raster data for the imagery we get.

05. Do you need a GIS?

If you work with the environment, agricultural industry, real estate, geological structures, UAV aerial survey, etc., GIS can help you out a lot. How so? Reading the benefits of GIS will help you understand. If geological data-keeping is what you do, then you do need GIS. Tracking the location using the data helps you cut down the cost and time you are working in the departments. So, why not?

06. Is GIS Expensive?

With so many great free and open-source tools available, the phase “GIS is expensive” sounds like a myth. Yes, to get premium quality and features of the software, you do need to pay a little extra, but if your profession revolves around surveying work and data processing, getting yourself a good GIS is a must. As stated above, there are many free tools available; you can use them to explore your options and later buy the one you find suitable. Note that you need to spend more time on software licensing than actually buying it. 


One more thing that gets asked that frequently is whether GIS is easy to operate and handle. Honestly, it doesn’t feel easy for first-time users. However, with sheer practice and experience, you will learn how to skillfully use it. But first, you need to know how to use a drone because, without that, GIS can’t function at all. Speaking of drones, do you need an aerial survey aircraft service for commercial uses? Let us know at GeoDrones; we are here to help you with our best service.