Defining Terminology: What are Geographical Information Systems and Who Uses Them?
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
While the field of computer-assisted mass appraisal is exciting—it’s on the cutting edge of technology that seeks bold and innovative solutions to issues that have plagued businesses for decades—it can also be frustrating. One example is the amount of technical jargon in play. When even commercial websites read like highly technical white pages, it can feel like you need a Ph.D. in information science to get through them.
One recurring term that could be stumbling block for many is GIS. Our straightforward definition should alleviate the feeling that you missed an important class or need to go back for a higher degree.
What is GIS?
(from the Wiki)
A geographic information system (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of geographical data. The acronym GIS is sometimes used for geographical information science or geospatial information studies to refer to the academic discipline or career of working with geographic information systems and is a large domain within the broader academic discipline of Geoinformatics.
Modern GIS technologies use digital information, for which various digitized data creation methods are used. The most common method of data creation is digitization, where a hard copy map or survey plan is transferred into a digital medium through the use of a CAD program, and geo-referencing capabilities.
In this day and age, when every phone in every pocket and purse is a scanner, a GPS and a video camera, we have unprecedented access to geographical data and databases. Knowing how to find and use this information can be leveraged into insight and savings for any number of businesses, not just the mass appraisal field.
Who uses GIS?
GIS is used extensively in real estate appraisal, of course. But there are plenty of other examples of using GIS as an integral tool in a profession.
Journalists use data from GIS to create images and graphics, tell compelling stories, and to discover and uncover valuable information for articles.
The banking industry uses “Big Data” drawn from GIS to enhance their understanding of risk, customer interaction and economic conditions, using spatial models based on geography and geo-demographics.
Dispatchers are using GSI to track fleets of truck and schedule maintenance, saving anywhere between 10 to 30% on operational costs.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to industries using Geographical Information Systems and big data to streamline their businesses and stay competitive.
At Lexur Appraisal, we have been innovating within the field of mass real-estate appraisal since the early 1970’s, staying on the cutting edge of the intersection of tradition and the innovation. Apart from being used to survey hundreds of thousands of properties, our VDV (http://www.lexurappraisal.com/asp/page.asp?ID=1015) technology, has been used by emergency responders in Urbana County, to help firefighters and law enforcement map the layout of a property before entering, saving money and most importantly, lives.
To find out how Lexur Appraisal could help your business, to learn more about our Virtual Data Verification system or for assistance with traditional appraisal needs, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or give us a call at 614-426-4122.
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