GIS Software - Use Cases and Applications

Saksham Bhutani

Saksham Bhutani , Marketing Head at Indshine

May 03, 2020

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What is a GIS Software?

Geographic Information System, also known as GIS software is a system created to achieve, preserve, shape, interpret, maintain, and present all kinds of geographic data. The most crucial keyword of this technology is Geography - this implies that a few pieces of the data are spatial. In other words - it includes information or data that is in some way associated with the location on the earth.

It is the combination of these two data standards - raster and vector along with their attributes that facilitates GIS software to be an efficient and effective problem-solving mechanism by spatial analysis.

Different types of data in a GIS software

GIS (Spatial) data is one with location information vis-à-vis Non-GIS (Non-Spatial) data is without any geographical information. The location information is commonly stored in the form of coordinates. Both spatial and non-spatial datasets are used together in industries in different formats (which can be referred at GIS Geography). We shall cover this by examples from the next section.

GIS Software - Types of GIS and Non GIS data

Raster (Spatial Data)

Raster data (also known as grid data) in GIS software represents the fourth type of feature: surfaces. Raster data is cell-based and this data category also includes aerial and satellite imagery. There are two types of raster data that can be represented in a GIS software: continuous and discrete. An example of discrete raster data is population density. Continuous data examples are temperature and elevation measurements.

GIS Software - Formats of Raster File

Vector (Spatial Data)

Vector data in GIS software is split into three types: polygon, line (or arc), and point data. Polygons are used to represent areas such as the boundary of a city (on a large scale map), lake, or forest. Line (or arc) data is used to represent linear features. Common examples would be rivers, trails, and streets. Points have zero dimensions, therefore you can measure neither length or area with this dataset. Examples would be schools, points of interest, and in the example below, bridge and culvert locations.

Summarizing, vector data is not made up of a grid of pixels. Instead, vector graphics are comprised of vertices and paths. The common types of vectors formats used in GIS software are : .kml, .shp and .dwg which are well interconvertible.

GIS Software - Vector file data formats

Attribute (Non-Spatial Data)

Attribute data in a GIS software can be commonly described as supplementary knowledge about each one of the spatial characteristics. Say, for instance, let's take up a school as an example. The spatial data here refers to the exact location of the school. The supplementary information will be - the name of the school, the maximum level of education taught, student potential would make up the attribute data.

This information is populated generally with tabular data identified as attribute data. In a GIS software, the attributes are generally saved as .xls, .csv, and .txt formats.

Real example of different GIS formats Here is an image showing different types of GIS Software data formats in an orthomosaic

What all can we do with GIS software?

GIS Software can be employed as a medium for both - in decision-making processes and problem-solving as well as in for the visualization of information in a spatial setting. Geospatial information can be examined to ascertain.

  • The exact position of features and its relations to other features,
  • Where the maximum and/or least of any feature endures,
  • The mass/ weight/ quantity/ depth of the features in a provided space,
  • What is occurring in the area of interest (AOI),
  • What is taking place nearby some feature or aspect, and
  • How a particular area has evolved with time (and in what all forms).

GIS Software - Examination of Geo-spatial information

Here is an image showing how Geo-spatial information was used to plan rescuse operation in area of flood with help of GIS software.

Also, GIS software is way more than other of its kind. Individuals and techniques are linked together with geospatial software and tools, to facilitate spatial study, manage massive datasets, and display information in a map/graphical style.

GIS software allows you to design maps and other visual displays of geographic data for the purpose of examination and exhibition. With these abilities, a GIS software is a trustworthy tool to envision spatial information for use in an organization.

Applications of Indshine as GIS Software in various industries:

1. Surveying/Geodesy GIS Software Applications

Servicios de Ingeniería adopted Indshine GIS software to ensure there were no gaps in the design throughout the construction of a gas station. It helped them save 6 months from the scheduled timeline. Aurelio Acosta, founder at Servicios de Ingeniería, is happy to share his learnings.

Here's an interactive map showing the surveying maps.

We have covered the case study in a separate article which can be referred at Indshine Blog

2. Energy GIS Software Applications

GIS software helps in thermographic inspection and GIS mapping to detect errors before yield reduction or serious material damage in Solar Farms. While SCADA systems help in real-time monitoring thermal imaging can help in predictive maintenance of PV modules.

Here's an interactive map showing the potentially damaged cells of modules on thermal maps.

We have covered the case study in a separate article which can be referred at Indshine Blog

3. Engineering GIS Software Applications

Indian Railways also took advantage of Indshine GIS Software for engineering applications including asset management, cut/fill estimation, slope, and distances of major buildings with respect to track to find clearances.

Here's an interactive map showing the assets like Level Crossings, Rail over Bridges, Station Buildings and various more mapped through Indshine GIS Software.

Here's an interactive map showing cut/fill estimation around the railway line mapped through Indshine GIS Software.

We have covered the case study in a separate article which can be referred at Indshine Blog

4. Agriculture GIS Software Applications

Velbrax Agro, a company operating in São Paulo, Brazil in the Agri-Tech business used Indshine GIS software to recognize and quantify plant collapse in sugar cane fields saving their client around half a million dollars in 250 hectares. Carlos Orion, co-founder at Velbrax Agro, is happy to share his learnings.

Here's an interactive map showing the gaps in sugarcane farm by visual information from RGB maps mapped using Indshine GIS Software.

We have covered the case study in a separate article which can be referred at Indshine Blog

5. Forestry GIS Software Applications

GIS software aid in finding out about the number of trees, wildlife, and villages in the forest. Information about the total tree count in a forest is a very important dataset for forest management.

Here's an interactive map showing the encroachments and change detection of houses nearby forests mapped using Indshine GIS Software.

We have covered the case study in a separate article which can be referred at Indshine Blog.

6. Humanitarian GIS Software Applications

Aerial maps built using GIS Software are helping police departments to enable Social Distancing for COVID Hotspot Management. Maps overlayed with population data becomes an effective tool for police workforce planning.

Here's an interactive map showing nearby police stations, markets, hospitals, and barricades for streamlining movements in COVID hotspot regions mapped using Indshine GIS Software.

We have covered the case study in a separate article which can be referred at Indshine Blog.

7. Real Estate GIS Software Applications

GIS Software is allowing monitoring of construction progress from office resulting in mitigating risk. With this in place, construction sites can be managed with high precision resulting in reducing time delays in construction. Troy Willmon, founder at GM6 Solutions, is happy to share his learnings.

Here's an interactive map showing progress monitoring of construction project for 18 months by various time-lined orthomosaics created using Indshine GIS Software.

We have covered the case study in a separate article which can be referred at Indshine Blog.

8. Mining GIS Software Applications

GIS Software aids mine planning, operations and closure. It helps in tracking mining assets, rehabilitation, slope assessment and volumetric estimations. Rehabilitation and mine closure are well decided using maps.

Here's an interactive map showing slopes of mine site with its contour boundaries mapped using Indshine GIS Software.

9. Transportation GIS Software Applications

In India, the GIS Software by Indshine turned out to be a great help during the Narmada Darshan Project. It was used for the post-analysis of drone maps and assisted Jabalpur City administrators in finalizing and reviewing the road alignment.

Here's an interactive map showing the finalized alignment of the road - Narmada Darshan Path mapped using Indshine GIS Software.

We have covered the case study in a separate article which can be referred at Indshine Blog.

10. Insurance GIS Software Applications

Maps created using GIS Software help in classifying the damages in weather impact, mechanical impact, or some other, which would help the insurance companies to decide claims. GIS Software also aids in deciding Actual Cash Value; Replacement Cost Value and Operations Planning Cost & Depreciation. Rut Patel, president at Voyager Industries, is happy to share his learnings.

Here's an interactive map showing the inspection reports built using Indshine GIS Software to every household (with comment feature) which will be utilized for roof claim in hurricanes.

We have covered the case study in a separate article which can be referred at Indshine Blog.

11. GIS Software in Land Use Planning

Land Use Land Classification (LULC) is the base step of every city planning. Various revenue sources for government including Tax Collection are dependent on LULC which is done through GIS Software. Other planning activities including Landfill Site Selection, major technology hubs, market areas are done on LULC.

Here's an interactive map showing Land Use classification of the university for planning various upcoming developments drawn using Indshine GIS Software.

12. Municipality/Urban GIS Software Applications

GIS Software technology is utilized to investigate the urban growth and its path of development and to determine proper sites for more urban development. In order to distinguish the sites fitting for urban growth, several factors have to examine which is: land should have decent approachability, the land must be more or less even, and it must have a regular supply of water.

Here's an interactive map showing all the relevant urban assets which are crucial for managing lighting, utilities, and water management system in the city mapped using Indshine GIS Software.

13. Disaster GIS Software Applications

Indian Flying Labs, a non-profit organization, working in humanitarian use-cases of UAVs, used to Indshine as a GIS Software to highlight key points of interests like hospitals, fire station on orthomosaics equipped us to plan rescue operations in landslide-prone areas. Ruchi Saxena, director at India Flying Labs, is happy to share her learnings.

Here's an interactive map showing hospitals, crowd gathering areas, and the shortcut paths mapped using Indshine GIS Software to reach the assembly points in case of emergency situations .

We have covered the case study in a separate article.


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