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What is GIS?

I find myself trying to explain GIS every time I meet someone new or extended family. It's quite difficult to remove the stereotyped thinking of a common man over GIS. Hopefully, I’m not the one alone who has faced the below conversation.

Me: (With full excitement and Passion) A system of integrated computer-based tools for end-to-end processing (capture, storage, retrieval, analysis, display) of data using location on the earth’s surface for interrelation in support of operations management, decision making, and science.

Others: (Clueless) What?

Me: (Still with excitement) mmmm.... It's like Map making and analyzing them to understand the real world

Others: (With the same excitement which I had) Oooo !!! So like pretty maps..... Google Earth right?

Me: (No more reaction to make) ugh!!!! Yeah .... the pretty maps and of course like google earth !!!!!.

Hope most of you have faced the same situation.

Esri says, "A framework to organize, communicate, and understand the science of our world".

Esri’s statement raises many questions as it answers. Does GIS really answers a “science of our world”? It’s a thoughtful and useful resource, but the question still remains what is GIS, and What GIS can do or work with?

Image echos more than words. Hope this image helps a common man to understand that it's not only google earth but the technology for a smarter world

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