What is GIS?

Geographical Information System (GIS) is a technical system, which is based on the Geospatial Database and adopts the method of geographic model analysis to provide various spatial and dynamic geographic information in time, and serves for geographic research and geographic decision-making.GIS has three features:

  1. 1)

    Has the ability to collect, manage, analyze and output a variety of geographic information, with spatial and dynamic characteristics;

  2. 2)

    Has computer systems that support spatial geographic data management, and computer programs simulate conventional or specialized geographic analysis methods to act on spatial data;

  3. 3)

    Enables quick, accurate, and comprehensive perform spatial positioning and dynamic analysis of processes for complex geographic systems.

What can GIS Do?

GIS technology can be applied to scientific investigation, resource management, property management, development planning, mapping and route planning. For example, GIS can make emergency planners easily calculate the emergency response time in the case of natural disasters, or use GIS system to find those wetlands that need to be protected from pollution.

Function Overview

Data collection, monitoring and editing

Data processing

Data storage and analysis

Graphics and
interactive display

GIS Development Trends

Since the late 1980s, especially with the rapid development of computer technology and the advancement of geographic information processing and analysis methods, GIS technology has become more and more mature and it has been widely used in urban planning, environment, resources, transportation, public safety, disaster prediction and other fields related to geographic information.

The development of IT technology is a powerful driving force for GIS software technology, and service-oriented architecture has become the current main software engineering method. Therefore, the most important trend of GIS technology is "serviceization", that is, to provide comprehensive GIS functions in the form of services, and build GIS applications for enterprises or the public around the services provided by the GIS platform.

Three-dimensionalization is another important trend in the current development of GIS technology. The projection of real-world digitization onto computers has given modern people almost unlimited imagination. Based on the important achievements of modern Computer Graphics,3D and virtual reality (VR) technologies can already accomplish many tasks that were impossible before. Geographic information is information about space, and the use of 3D technology has injected strong vitality into the development of geographic information technology. The current development of 3D GIS is also at an important moment. The development of 3D technology has better solved the problem of "3D visualization" on a global scale, but with the deepening of applications, it is inevitable that 3D GIS can be used for management, that is, it can be used to explore the built-in rules of geographic space and business systems decision support.

Cutting-edge GIS Technologies


With the continuous development of various theories and technologies of GIS technology, computer technology, Computer Graphics, VR technology, surveying and mapping technology and etc., 3D GIS has gradually become one of the mainstream directions of GIS research.

Based on the accumulation of technology in the past decade, there are currently very rich and comprehensive 3D data models in the market. It also integrates more multi-source 3D data types, such as Oblique Photogrammetry, BIM, Point Cloud, etc., and combines with advanced IT technologies such as WebGL, VR/AR, 3D Printing technology, etc.


Artificial Intelligence GIS (AI GIS) is the general term for the integration of artificial intelligence technology and GIS technology. The system includes four parts: data, domain library, framework and function.

It includes three core contents: GeoAI, AI for GIS and GIS for AI. GeoAI is the spatial analysis and processing of integrating with AI; AI for GIS is based on AI technology to enhance and optimize the functions of GIS software; GIS for AI is based on GIS technology to further process and analyze, and spatial visualize AI analysis results.

Big data GIS

Focuses on solving two types of problems: the management of emerging spatial big data and the computational performance of traditional (classical) spatial data.

At present, the big data GIS technology system includes storage management of spatial big data, spatial analysis, streaming data processing and visualization technologies. At the same time, the traditional GIS is reconstructed based on IT big data technology to support the distributed storage, processing, analysis and rendering of massive classic spatial data to achieve orders of magnitude performance improvement.

Cloud GIS

In recent years, cloud computing technology has played an increasingly important role in the development of geographic information technology. With the development of cloud computing technology, GIS applications continue to evolve and the integration with cloud computing has become closer and closer. Cloud Native GIS (Cloud Native GIS) refers to GIS-related technologies designed and optimized for cloud environments. It is based on the concept of microservice architecture and uses containers as a deployment carrier. Also, it can conduct orchestration, operation and maintenance management automatically, and make better use of the cloud, which makes better use of the platform capability, and makes the GIS system more efficient, flexible, updated in real time, and stable in operation.

Cross-platform GIS

Refers to the same set of GIS basic kernels, which supports multiple hardware devices and operations at the same time By providing a unified data structure, analysis algorithm, visual display, access and development interface, and user operation method, cross-platform GIS can run consistently on a variety of terminals, including mobile terminals and even some professional devices, to process and perform data. At the same time, it can be connected to the upstream and downstream system environment friendly.

GitHub - https://github.com/SuperMap