A GIS lets you visualise map data
Geographic information (GI) is data about something's location and includes features such as buildings, roads, railways, population density, height and flooding data. GI can also be used to tell you about the people in a particular location, for example their age profiles, crime levels or movement patterns.
You need a geographic information system (GIS) to read and analyse map data. For example, insurers use GIS to visualise and predict flood patterns so they can set the right premiums; retailers use GIS to site the most suitable new store location (perhaps based on population size), and emergency services use it to position their vehicles in the best locations at any given time of day, based on historic patterns of where they're most likely to be needed.
All about GIS
You need a geographic information system to help you read map data successfully, whatever type of organisation you belong to. Read more about why GIS is so important:
Raster and vector map data
Here's an introduction to the different format types of maps to be used within a geographical information system (GIS) available from OS.
GIS in action
Many businesses, individuals and the public sector use a GIS to view map data, and from this they can make decisions that improve performance and save time, effort and cost.
How to load OS data into a GIS
Once you've received your OS data (either as a download or a DVD) you then need to be able to view and use it within a GIS.
Delve into GIS data
GIS for schools
We provide a number of GIS resources that can be used by schools, along with information on the GI software packages available.