Literal Definition of GIS: Terminologies and Meaning of Term “Spatial” (Especially for GATE-Geospatial 2022)

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“GIS is an integrated system of computer hardware, software, and trained personnel linking topographic, demographic, utility, facility, image and other resource data that is geographically referenced.” ~NASA

GIS is also defined as, “Geographic Information Systems is a computer-based tool that analyzes, stores, manipulates and visualizes geographic information on a map.” This definition implies that one can analyzes the geospatial data or geographic data. Geospatial implies distribution entities that can be located by geographic coordinate system (latitudes and longitudes) .

Spatial Information Technology: Definitions, Types and Linka …

The GIS is a special form of information system applied to geographical data. System is a group of connected entities and activities that are set to interact for a common purpose.

For example, a car is a system whereby all the components operate together to provide transportation.

Similarly, school is a system where there are teachers, students, management, and staff which all coordinate together to run a school.


  • Geographic: Relates to the surface of the earth (describes the earth) .
  • Information: Knowledge derived from study, experience, or instruction.
  • System: Group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements forming a complex whole.

As you can see GIS makes our data more interesting and presentable, but has some crucial applications in planning & decision making

You can choose to do more from here:

  • Know more about individual GIS components.
  • Literal Definition of GIS.
  • What is the difference between GIS and Spatial?

What is Spatial?

Spatial refers to “Being tied to a location in space.” Geospatial is more broadly use to refer to all technologies and applications of geographic data. For example, popular social media sites such as Foursquare and Facebook use “check-ins” that allow their users the ability to geographically tag their statuses.

Spatial Analysis|ArcGIS for Developers

While those applications are geospatial, they do not fall underneath the stricter definition of what makes up a geographic information system

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