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A geographic information system (GIS) is a conceptualized framework that provides the ability to capture and analyze spatial and geographic data. GIS applications (or GIS apps) are computer-based tools that allow the user to create interactive queries (user-created searches), store and edit spatial and non-spatial data, analyze spatial information output, and visually share the results of these operations by presenting them as maps.[1][2][3]

Geographic information science (or, GIScience)—the scientific study of geographic concepts, applications, and systems—is commonly initialized as GIS, as well.[4]

Geographic information systems are utilized in multiple technologies, processes, techniques and methods. It is attached to various operations and numerous applications, that relate to: engineering, planning, management, transport/logistics, insurance, telecommunications, and business.[2] For this reason, GIS and location intelligence applications are at the foundation of location-enabled services, that rely on geographic analysis and visualization.

GIS provides the capability to relate previously unrelated information, through the use of location as the "key index variable". Locations and extents that are found in the Earth's spacetime, are able to be recorded through the date and time of occurrence, along with x, y, and z coordinates; representing, longitude (x), latitude (y), and elevation (z). All Earth-based, spatial–temporal, location and extent references, should be relatable to one another, and ultimately, to a "real" physical location or extent. This key characteristic of GIS, has begun to open new avenues of scientific inquiry and studies.