A Geographic Information System (GIS Software) is designed to store, retrieve, manage, display, and analyze all types of geographic and spatial data. GIS software lets you produce maps and other graphic displays of geographic information for analysis and presentation.

With GIS technology, people can compare the locations of different things in order to discover how they relate to each other. For example, using GIS, the same map could include sites that produce pollution, such as gas stations, and sites that are sensitive to pollution, such as wetlands. Such a map would help people determine which wetlands are most at risk.

GIS can use any information that includes location. The location can be expressed in many different ways, such as latitude and longitude, address, or ZIP code. Many different types of information can be compared and contrasted using GIS. The system can include data about people, such as population, income, or education level. It can include information about the land, such as the location of streams, different kinds of vegetation, and different kinds of soil. It can include information about the sites of factories, farms, and schools, or storm drains, roads, and electric power lines.


The Create-a-Map Wizard allows users to easily create presentation-ready maps using their own data or the default maps
The Display Manager allows a map to be customized on-the-fly
Multi-layer map feature query tools allow direct interrogation of spatial locations
A map librarian/manager allows the organization of various saved maps and comes with a library of pre-styled demographic maps
Multiple maps can be open simultaneously, and can be duplicated, combined, synchronized, tiled, cascaded, and minimized/maximized
An interactive map overview window provides perspective as you work and the ability to zoom anywhere in the study region


Extensive layer style control includes font/style/opacity settings for data point and area styles can use most image formats and their resolution can be controlled via scaling
Thematic visualizations include color, pattern/icon, dot-density, chart, scaled-symbol, and 3D prism themes
A drawing toolbox is provided, the drawing items are customizable, and there is a selection of north-oriented arrows
Each map has an editable legend that automatically lists displayed features and has a live scale bar
Stand-alone charting capabilities include pie, bar, line, area, scatter, and function charts
Printing to any printer/paper size is supported, with a wide variety of spatial print options including using fixed scale, with actual point sizes, and as pre-rendered images


The tabular and geographic find tool can identify locations anywhere on earth
Robust and flexible pin-mapping tools support geocoding by address, postal code, city/town, join, coordinate, longitude/latitude, by any populated place in the world (village, town, city), and also manually
Custom geocodable indexes can be created to pin-map based on external datasets
Geotagged images from smart phones, tablets, or GPS-enabled devices can be mapped