Geographic Information Systems

Geographic Information Systems Overview

Geographic information systems (GIS) allow users to collect, manage, and analyze geospatial data. GIS can process complex geographic and demographic data to measure environmental impact, model real or hypothetical scenarios, and map landscapes in 3D. Some GIS products include collaboration tools, allowing multiple users to import data, alter maps, make annotations, and share documents.

GIS products are diverse, flexible, and powerful. They are used in a range of industries, such as environmental science, city planning, insurance, transportation, and health services. This is because GIS typically includes powerful data analysis and scenario planning tools. Additionally, the visualization tools in GIS allow users to construct maps with demographic, geospatial, and impact considerations in mind.These features allow for more thorough geospatial record-keeping.

GIS products combine elements of civil engineering software, computer-aided design (CAD) software, and oil and gas software to allow users to create accurate geospatial visualizations, measure environmental impact, and utilize demographic data. GIS products are different in that they can collect and analyze complex data sets, and thus tend to be more useful to environmental scientists and data analysts. Users who want strategic planning, automation, or robust 3D modeling features should browse products in the other listed categories.

Geographic Information Products

(1-25 of 50) Sorted by Most Reviews

The list of products below is based purely on reviews (sorted from most to least). There is no paid placement and analyst opinions do not influence their rankings. Here is our Promise to Buyers to ensure information on our site is reliable, useful, and worthy of your trust.

ArcGIS

Esri in Redlands, California offers ArcGIS, a geographic information system.

QGIS

QGIS (formerly Quantum GIS) is a free and open source geographic information system.

Google Maps API

Google Maps APIs allow developers to integrate Google Maps into a website or retrieve information from Google Maps.

Mapbox

Mapbox in Washington, DC presents a geographic information system.

Maptitude

Caliper Corporation headquartered in Newton offers Maptitude, designed to be a robust and easy-to-use professional Location Intelligence (LI) tool. Maptitude provides features that allow the user to take advantage of the geographic elements of enterprise (or government) data, and…

CARTO (formerly CartoDB)

Carto (formerly CartoDB) in Brooklyn, New York offers their location intelligence solution.

IP2Location

IP Geolocation service available as database, programming API and hosted solution.

Surfer

Surfer is a data visualization suite from Golden Software in Colorado for oil and gas companies, or other entities in other industries requiring geological or environmental data.

MapInfo Pro

Pitney Bowes offers MapInfo Pro, a Geographic Information System (GIS).

Bing Maps

Bing Maps is a geographic information and location intelligence solution, that when integrated as a data visualization dashboard for Microsoft Power BI, Excel, SharePoint and Dynamics software allows organizations to visualize multiple layers of business data on a map, such as sales,…

Precisely Trillium Geolocation (formerly Syncsort Trillium Global Locator)

Trillium Geolocation, formerly from Syncsort which is now Precisely, is a solution designed to improve the accuracy and efficiency of business applications with real-time global postal address validation and geocoding integration.

HERE Geocoding

HERE Technologies headquartered in Chicago offers HERE Geocoding, a precise geocoding solution for locations, postal codes, addresses, and other uses.

CyberSWIFT Land Acquisition and management System

CyberSWIFT Land Acquisition & Management System (LAMS) is a web-based business solution that aims to help organizations manage and monitor large areas of land.This solution is a mix of GIS (Geographic Information System) and MIS (Management Information System) which can be used…

vMAP Portal

vMAP is a powerful, accessible web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) software program providing businesses with data visualisation, analysis, route calculation, reporting and many other valuable features. According to the vendor, vMAP is a mapping option with a simple setup…

SiteZeus

SiteZeus headquartered in Tamp offers a location intelligence solution optimized for demand forecasting and demand selection.

HERE Maps

HERE Technologies headquartered in Chicago offers HERE Maps, a technology solution for generating high-resolution indoor or outdoor maps.

TransCAD

Caliper Corporation in Newton offers TransCAD as a Geographic Information System (GIS) designed specifically for use by transportation professionals to store, display, manage, and analyze transportation data. TransCAD combines GIS and transportation modeling capabilities in a single…

Yandex.Maps API

The Yandex.Maps API for Business (Commercial API) allows users to track transport, use maps in closed systems, and exceed the daily limit on requests. Suitable for high-load systems and projects with large audiences.

OpenJUMP

OpenJUMP is an open source Geographic Information System (GIS) written in the Java programming language. It is developed and maintained by a group of volunteers from around the globe.

GRASS GIS

GRASS GIS is an open source geographic analysis support system associated to OSGeo, and supported by the GRASS Development Team. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

gvSIG

gvSIG is an interoperable GIS boasting thousands of users worldwide, from OSGEO. The vendor presents the solution as easy to work in a variety of formats, vector and raster files, databases and remote services. gvSIG Desktop is designed to be an extensible solution, allowing thus…

Transect

Transect is an online tool that identifies environmental risks, explains the regulations and permits relevant to those risks, and provides site-specific insight on recommendations and timelines to move projects forward.

4M Analytics

4M Analytics

0 reviews

4M Analytics is a geo-data company which developing infrastructure platforms for subsurface mapping.

OpenStreetMap

OpenStreetMap, found at openstreetmap.org, is a free and editable map of the world.

Optelos

Optelos is a data management and AI analytics platform that addresses the needs of large enterprises to standardize visual asset inspection data management, workflow administration, team collaboration enablement and IT security policy enforcement. Optelos transforms visual and sensor…

Learn More About Geographic Information Systems

What are Geographic Information Systems?

Geographic information systems (GIS) allow users to collect, manage, and analyze geospatial data. GIS can process complex geographic and demographic data to measure environmental impact, model real or hypothetical scenarios, and map landscapes in 3D. Some GIS products include collaboration tools, allowing multiple users to import data, alter maps, make annotations, and share documents.

GIS products are diverse, flexible, and powerful. They are used in a range of industries, such as environmental science, city planning, insurance, transportation, and health services. This is because GIS typically includes powerful data analysis and scenario planning tools. Additionally, the visualization tools in GIS allow users to construct maps with demographic, geospatial, and impact considerations in mind.These features allow for more thorough geospatial record-keeping.

GIS products combine elements of civil engineering software, computer-aided design (CAD) software, and oil and gas software to allow users to create accurate geospatial visualizations, measure environmental impact, and utilize demographic data. GIS products are different in that they can collect and analyze complex data sets, and thus tend to be more useful to environmental scientists and data analysts. Users who want strategic planning, automation, or robust 3D modeling features should browse products in the other listed categories.

Geographic Information System Features

Most geographic information systems have the following features:

  • Spatial analysis
  • Automated data collection
  • Automated GPS data mining
  • GPS tracking
  • Geocoding and reverse geocoding
  • Smart mapping
  • Survey point sharing
  • Map generation
  • Data synchronization and visualization
  • Statistical analysis
  • Environmental impact analysis
  • Transportation planning
  • Demographic variable management
  • Deed plotting and management
  • Scenario builder
  • Image and document management
  • Report generation
  • VR and AR integration
  • Third party integration
  • Cloud, web, and on-premise deployment

Geographic Information Systems Comparison

When choosing the best geographic information system (GIS) for you, consider the following:

Ease of use. GIS software typically has many visualization, data analysis, and report generation features. As such, they can be overwhelming for users who are not familiar with the features of a program. Less experienced users will find GIS products with customizable dashboards, automated data collection and importation, and report generation wizards to be helpful as they come to grips with the staggering number of features in most products. These options aren’t typically found in open source products, although there are numerous knowledge bases and community support websites that can help users learn those programs.

Operating systems. GIS software may not be accessible across all operating systems. Generally speaking, they can run on MacOS and Windows, so this won’t be a problem for most users. However, users running Linux and ChromeOS will find their software options limited. Additionally, many GIS systems don’t have support for mobile operating systems such as Android or iOS, so if these are major parts of your workflow, make sure a GIS product can work for you.

Industry: GIS is a field of products that can work with virtually any industry that utilizes demographic and geospatial information. However, some products are geared for use in specific industries, and as such have built in support for analysis techniques and common software used in those fields. For example, some GIS are geared more toward transportation and logistical concerns, and so you may find that somes products are easier to integrate based on these factors.

Hardware integrations: Drones, sensors, and devices part of the internet of things (IOT) are becoming increasingly common in fields that utilize GIS. However, not all GIS products can natively support data from these sources. If these are common parts of your data collection process, make sure that they can integrate with a GIS, either directly or through third party integrations.

Data ownership: Some GIS software have automated data collection and mining features. However, users may not have ownership of the data collected by these products. This is a problem that users who choose a subscription or cloud-based service may encounter more so than users who choose to purchase a product with a one-time licensing fee. If this is a concern for you, consult the vendors regarding this matter.

Pricing Information

There are several free GIS options, which have fewer features compared to paid options. Paid GIS software is priced using yearly subscription models or through one-time licensing fees. Subscription prices at their lowest tiers range between $150 to $2,000 per year. One-time fees range between $70 and $1,500. Free trials and demos are available from vendors.

More Resources

More resources are available on the TrustRadius blog:

Related Categories

Frequently Asked Questions

What do geographic information systems do?

Geographic information systems (GIS) are suites of tools used to collect and analyze geospatial data. GIS can generate reports, measure environmental impact, and produce visualizations.

What are the benefits of using geographic information systems?

Geographic information systems (GIS) allow users to quickly and efficiently utilize geographic, demographic, and environmental data to create complex and accurate maps. GIS can also be used to test scenarios and measure environmental impact.

How much do geographic information systems cost?

There are several free geographic information systems (GIS). Paid GIS can be purchased with either yearly subscription models ranging from $150 to $2,000, or as a one-time flat fee between $70 and $1,500. Free trials and demos are available.