A Geographic Information System

The knowledge of the information about the territory has always been a fundamental factor for the society. The production of maps has come developing since time ago but traditional maps were partial, static and limited in content. At present, society demands ever faster access to reliable information about the territory, defined as both the data that describe it, and any information that could be place on it.To satisfy this need of treating the geo-referenced information (ie, capable of being located on the terrestrial surface), the called Geographic Information Systems (GIS) arise, as data processing systems capable of treating, in an integrated way, information of geographic nature (spatial situation of the elements) and alphanumeric (description of those elements). This processing includes the capture, storage, edition, analysis and data representation.

But a GIS is something more than a powerful management tool of large volumes of information. It can be defined as a complex system consisting of:
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  • A set of programs and computer applications, which allow the organized management of georeferenced data, and that can be displayed on maps and plans.
  • A scheme of work that guarantees the consistency of data.
  • An organization, which establishes the relations between the different departments that are involved in the system.
  • A set of people, each one with their knowledge and responsibilities inside the organization, who contribute to the correct functioning of the GIS.