A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.
GIS allows us to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts. Multiple layers have basic attribute information tied to them and can be viewed and queried by themselves or in conjunction with any other layers.
GIS helps us answer questions and solve problems by looking at data in a way that is quickly understood and easily shared.
GIS has evolved from a long tradition of map making. In many respects, modern GIS dramatically increases the amount of information that can be contained and manipulated in a map. GIS also gives us the capability to store and manage information in a very efficient manner. The uses of GIS are limited primarily by our own imagination.