Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

2001 Edition
| Editors: Saul I. Gass, Carl M. Harris

Geographic information systems

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-0611-X_383
A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a software tool linking electronic maps and databases. The current generation of GIS products support data integration and manipulation, query, thematic and overlay analysis, and visualization in two and three dimensions. GIS is a multibillion-dollar industry encompassing hardware, software, data products and services. Geographic information technology has emerged as an important operations research tool for exploiting increasingly available amounts of valuable geographic data in a form easily comprehended by analysts and decision makers (Hanigan, 1988). Among the problems to which GIS has been applied are:
  • interactive site selection;

  • election administration and redistricting;

  • infrastructure management;

  • map and database publishing (particularly among federal mapping agencies, such as the Defense Mapping Agency, Department of the Interior, and Bureau of the Census);

  • mineral exploration;

  • public health and safety (e.g., tracking communicable...

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Claremont Graduate UniversityClaremontUSA
  2. 2.George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA