What is GIS?
Over 80% of a water utility’s data is geographically referenced, that is, it has geographic coordinates. Examples of a utility’s geographic data are: treatment plants, pumping stations, storage tanks, water mains, valves, hydrants, and meters. GIS is an information system to manage geographically referenced data like this.
What are GIS Applications?
GIS application is applied use of GIS technology to improve workflow efficiency and worker productivity. GIS technology greatly expedites the process of accessing, displaying, and analyzing spatial information. This increased efficiency saves time thereby saving money due to an increased productivity. GIS integrates all kinds of information and applications with a geographic component into one, manageable system. GIS also allows disparate data sets to be brought together to create a complete picture of a situation. GIS has the ability to integrate and analyze all spatial data to support a decision making process. GIS also provides the uniformity of data usage and the flexibility to test and evaluate multiple scenarios. Simple GIS applications are developed by customizing existing GIS software programs. Complex applications require software development to interface with the existing GIS software programs. GIS can be used to communicate with different audiences using visually different views of the same data.
Sample GIS Applications
- Comprehensive planning
- Hydrologic and hydraulic modeling
- Example: InfoWater from Innovyze (MWHSoft) Inc.
- Asset management
- Facility management
- Maintenance management
- Work order management
- Example: Cityworks from Azteca Systems Inc.
- Customer complaint tracking
- Meter reader routing
- Environmental testing
- Regulatory compliance
- Public information
- … and many more
GIS Applications Books
- Tools for Building GIS Applications for Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Systems
GIS Applications Papers
- GIS-Based Flood Plain Management 1
- GIS-based work order management
- GPS-Based Waste Water Management
- ArcView Applications in Storm Water Management (AWRA's most visited online paper)