GIS is a computer-based technology composed of hardware, software and data that is used to capture, display and analyze spatial data information. Used in more than 50 countries, GIS technology can create cost-effective and accurate solutions in an expanding range of applications. These applications include land use planning and tax assessment; management of natural resources and environmental analysis; transportation and logistics planning, and emergency and dispatch services. The private sector is increasingly adopting GIS as a way to improve performance and decision-making, at the same time as the business community is using public-sector-created geographic data.
Jack Dangermond, one of the foremost pioneers in the development of GIS technology, is founder and president of ESRI, a Redlands, Ca., company which delivers GIS-based solutions to governments and businesses throughout the globe…Dangermond spoke of the growth in applications for GIS while citing business and government examples. The functionality of GIS is just beginning to be harnessed, he noted, adding that its application is limited only by the imagination of those who use it. Dangermond unveiled a new software application developed by ESRI called Whole Earth Visualization that enables the user to view the planet, including land topography and natural features of continents, augmented by satellite images, and zoom in seamlessly to view a single home as well.