What is GIS-Definition, Introduction, and Important Terms

GIS Definition and Important terms

Geographic Information System, more popularly known as GIS, is a computer based database management system that is used for capturing, storing, analyzing, retrieving, and displaying geographic data. The processed geographic data is known as geographic information.

There are many GIS tools used world wide to process various types of geographic data. Some of the popular tools/software related to GIS include – ArcGIS, QGIS, ERDAS Imagine, etc.

To develop an important understanding and knowledge about GIS, it is very much essential to know the different terms that are often used in GIS. Here in this article, some of the important terms related to GIS and their meanings are discussed.

Important terms in GIS – GIS glossary


Vector is a dataformat in GIS used for representing geographic features in a discrete manner. Points, lines and polygons are commonly used vector data formats.


Raster is a dataformat used in GIS for representing spatially continuous features. Rasters are composed of pixels.

Spatial Data:

It is also called as geographic data. Any data that is attributed to a specific location can be termed spatial data.


The spatial relationship that exists among various spatial data elements is termed as topology.

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