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GIS(1) (Geographic Information System) An information system that deals with spatial information. Also called "mapping software," it links attributes and characteristics of an area to its geographic location. A GIS is used in a variety of applications, including exploration, demographics, dispatching, tracking and map making. Using satellites and aerial photography, the U.S. Geological Survey and other organizations have developed digital maps of most of the world and continue to update them. Unlike paper maps, digital maps can be combined with layers of information. See digital elevation model and GIS glossary.
(2) (Generalized Information System) An early IBM mainframe query and data manipulation language.