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Introduction to GIS Tools

GIS (Geographic Information System) Tools are the tools that are present as part of the GIS framework. GIS Tools as part of the GIS framework is used for gathering, analyzing, presenting, and managing huge amount of data with science and data analysis. GIS tools have evolved with respect to science and geography into powerful platforms for understanding and deeper learning of Geographic information. GIS Tools give the end user the ability to manipulate and create their own digital map with layers of information, real-time simulations, and data for application to get created with enhanced features to reveal patterns and trends.

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Different GIS Tools

There are many GIS tools that have evolved, and some are still in the exploration phase.

1. Overlay Tools: Almost all the overlay tools are conceptually the same, with differences in features overlay.

Identity: Identity features and input features are part of overlay tools that are used for getting all the attributes of the identity feature of the tool.

Update: The update feature is also part of overlay tools which is used for getting the intersection geometrical area of the input features updated by the update feature purely into the output feature class.

Symmetrical Difference: Symmetrical difference as part of overlay tools focuses on those features or portions of features in the input and update features that don’t get clashed and overridden the output feature of the geometrical area.

Intersect: This feature is exclusively used to get the geometrical area where the area’s focus is on the common area for areas to override and overlap all the layers of information or feature classes to the output classes.

Union: All the input features computation happens using the union feature and all the related attributes will be written and will be present in the output feature class.

2. Raster Overlay Tools: Raster overlay tools are also kind of overlay tools presented by ArcGIS extension which has a separate license for spatial analysis.

Weighted Sum: This tool helps in providing raster to many overlays by multiplying each by their given weight and summing everything together.

Weighted Overlay: In this overlay, the raster gets processed and assigns the weights to each layer by adding an underweight overlay also.

Zonal Statistics: In this overlay, initially, the values in the raster get evaluated, and then the values get added to another layer with the formation of zones.

Combine: It assigns values to each of the cells to other layers based on combinations, and certain manipulations got from several layers of input.

3. Proximity Tools: There are certain proximity tools that are divided broadly into two categories like feature-based proximity tools and raster-based distance tools.

4. Table Tools: Many of the GIS data is huge and complex in nature, choosing the proper tools which support the data tables plays an important role with databases to handle lots of data and its analysis for manipulations.

5. Interpolation Tools: These tools are exclusively used for creating surfaces the way it is part of the requirement and helps in creating values which are used for calculating values and then applying them according to needs.

6. Terrain Analysis Tools: This GIS tool is used for analyzing all the surfaces used for the analysis of different surfaces related to terrain, slopes, etc.

8. Volume Tools: This tool is used to measure the volume information related to the surface.

9. Reclassification Tools: This tool is used for the classification of various surfaces and is used for collecting some useful information about the same.

There are certain tools that are used just for statistical analysis, which are present within the GIS data as information for creating a lot of information and then those attributes are used as functions for further analysis. Geo-processing tools also play an important role in maintaining these statistical analyses with a lot of data.

The tools described above are mostly ArcGIS Desktop tools with specific rules and regulations to be followed while implementation.

1. Some of the Remote GIS Accessibility of Software:

ArcGIS for Desktop: This software is used for the research of computing centers which is used for providing student copies of ArcGIS for desktops.

VirtualLab(vLab): The VirtualLab(vLab) software is used for remote accessibility of GIS and comprises of GeoDa, ArcGIS, and Google Earth Pro. There are certain steps that need to be followed for working and manipulation.

ArcGIS Online: This software is totally online-dependent software that is used for finding, exploring, and analysis of spatial data by using some enterprise login that asks to put the URL.

2. Some Remote GIS Tools which are Present as Free Desktop:

Google Earth Pro: This software comes for free and is used for creating, viewing, and display of spatial data and information.

QGIS: Open source used for same as GoogleEarthPro with basic addition that it helps to publish also.

ggmap For R: Good for learning intellectual with R programming language just need to download the package for visualization.

GeoDa: Free and open source tool for spatial analysis.

3. Many Tools are Popular with Web GIS as Popular Online Tool:

StoryMap JS: This tool is mostly used for displaying timelines over a map.

Carto: This software is specifically used for creating static maps which are used for maintaining usability.

Scribble Maps: Used for making a simple map-like image and then exporting it from that.

OpenStreetMaps: Map which is based on local knowledge and crowdsourced for editing hometown to work for.

4. Many Programming Libraries are used for Creating many Web Maps:

D3: This library is used for creating interactive, data-driven maps and charts.

Leaflet: It is a JavaScript library that is used for creating web maps.


GIS tools are useful in terms of getting the proper information regarding any geographical terrain with the blend of scientific research and usage of GIS tools which are useful in providing much information related to it. The statistical analysis and manipulation of data using these tools perform many operations that are quite useful.

Recommended Articles

This is a guide to GIS Tools. Here we discuss the introduction along with the different GIS tools for better understanding. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –

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