GIS Mapping 101 – An Introduction to Geospatical Data and Mapping

Feb 22, 2023

This article will teach you the fundamentals of GIS mapping and geospatial analysis. You will also learn about cutting-edge ideas like geocoding and 3D mapping, as well as an introduction to current GIS software and tools.

By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll be well-versed in the basics of GIS mapping and prepared to go into the world of geospatial analysis. So, let’s get going!


GIS mapping, also known as geographic information systems mapping, is a technology that is used to store, analyze, and visualize data that is associated with a specific area. To better comprehend patterns, trends, and relationships within the data, it enables users to generate interactive maps and carry out spatial analysis. The process of using computers and geographic data to comprehend and make decisions is known as geospatial analysis, a more general phrase that covers GIS mapping.

You cannot overestimate the value of GIS mapping. It is employed in several industries, including business, public health, urban planning, and environmental science. GIS mapping, for instance, can be used to monitor the spread of disease, plan the most effective delivery routes for a business, or evaluate the effects of proposed construction on the environment.

GIS Mapping Basics

Prior to getting started with GIS mapping, it’s crucial to comprehend several fundamental ideas.

To depict the surface of the planet on a flat map, coordinate systems and map projections are used. A map projection transfers points from the curving surface of the planet to a flat map, whereas a coordinate system uses numerical coordinates to define a position on the earth. The most appropriate coordinate system and map projection will rely on the unique requirements of your project. There are numerous coordinate systems and map projections available. Map layers are an integral component of GIS mapping. They are employed to depict several forms of data on a map, including highways, structures, and geographical features. A map’s layers can be added or removed as needed, and they can be shown in a variety of ways to draw attention to particular elements. A few data sources, including satellite images, geographic databases, and field surveys, can be used to construct map layers.

GIS Software and Tools

There are numerous GIS programs and tools on the market, ranging from affordable, feature-rich software packages to cost-free, open-source alternatives. ArcGIS, QGIS, and Mapbox are a few examples of well-known GIS applications.

It’s critical to take your unique requirements and financial situation into account when selecting a GIS tool or program. The kind of data you’ll be using, the difficulty of your project, and the degree of assistance and instruction you need are a few things to think about.

GIS Data Collections and Analysis

The process of GIS mapping entails gathering and importing data into a GIS system, processing and interpreting the data, and producing maps and visualizations to show the outcomes of your investigation.

Data can be gathered and imported into a GIS system using a variety of methods, such as field surveys, buying data from a vendor, or using satellite images. The quality of your analysis and maps will be impacted by the accuracy of the data you use; thus, it is crucial to make sure it is correct and current.

You can start analyzing and understanding your data once it has been gathered and imported. In order to better understand patterns and trends in the data, this may involve constructing map layers, conducting spatial analysis, and making visualizations.

Advanced GIS Concepts

Geocoding is the process of transforming addresses or other place descriptors into geographic coordinates that can be shown on a map. On a map, it is frequently used to locate places of interest like shops or restaurants. However, geocoding can be prone to mistakes, particularly when using outdated or insufficient data.

The term “geoprocessing” refers to a group of tools used to do spatial analysis, such as calculating distances or finding regions that are within a specific radius of a place. Users are given the ability to edit and examine map layers in order to draw fresh insights from the data.

3D Mapping and visualization, a more recent advancement in the field of GIS mapping, enables users to produce 3D images of the earth’s surface and view data in a more lifelike manner. Applications like assessing how a proposed development will affect the neighborhood or building virtual tours of historical sites can both benefit greatly from this.

Case Studies

A wide range of businesses and applications employ GIS mapping. Several instances of GIS mapping in use include:

Environmental science: GIS mapping is frequently used to examine and comprehend how environmental issues, such as pollution or climate change, affect the surface of the globe.

Urban Planning: GIS mapping can be used for urban planning and design, including choosing the best sites for new construction, examining traffic patterns, and controlling resources like water and electricity.

Public health: GIS mapping can be used to monitor the spread of illnesses, spot areas with high air pollution levels, and map out the most effective routes for emergency vehicles.


Geospatial analysis and GIS mapping are effective tools for understanding and visualizing datasets. GIS mapping has many real-world uses in fields like business, urban planning, and environmental science. Future applications for GIS mapping are likely to be even more creative as the field develops.


Summit Geomatics, Inc. is a professional land surveying firm headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. Summit Geomatics, Inc. is a small business created to serve Central and South Texas by providing quality land surveying to our clientele.


We are here to serve your project’s specific needs from rush real estate closings to GIS mapping solutions. Our experience and unique skill set allows us to serve you by providing geospatial solutions tailor made for your needs.