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Types of GIS Output

By Michael N. DeMers

Part of GIS For Dummies Cheat Sheet

You know that your GIS (geographic information system) provides maps — that’s its basic function and probably the reason you bought it. But a GIS offers more than maps, and the following list includes other outputs:

  • Maps: Everyone recognizes this most common output from a GIS.

  • Cartograms: These special maps that distort geographic features based on their output values rather than their size.

  • Charts: GIS can produce pie charts, histograms (bar charts), line charts, and even pictures in addition to maps.

  • Directions: Another common output, directions show you how to get from one place to another.

  • Customer lists: Business GIS applications often produce customer lists, sometimes with printed mailing labels.

  • 3D diagrams and movies: These forms of GIS output help you see the results of your work realistically and dramatically.