Graphic interface system

GIS Software

A Geographic Information System (GIS Software) is designed to store, retrieve, manage, display, and analyze all types of geographic and spatial data. GIS software lets you produce maps and other graphic displays of geographic information for analysis and presentation.

What is GIS Mapping Software?

GIS software lets you produce maps and other graphic displays of geographic information for analysis and presentation. With these capabilities a GIS is a valuable tool to visualize spatial data or to build decision support systems for use in your organization.

A GIS stores data on geographical features and their characteristics. The features are typically classified as points, lines, or areas, or as raster images. On a map city data could be stored as points, road data could be stored as lines, and boundaries could be stored as areas, while aerial photos or scanned maps could be stored as raster images.

Geographic Information Systems store information using spatial indices that make it possible to identify the features located in any arbitrary region of a map. For example, a GIS can quickly identify and map all of the locations within a specified radius of a point, or all of the streets that run through a territory.

In addition to the above capabilities, Maptitude implements a professional-strength relational database, a feature critical for GIS software. Attribute data may be freely joined to and detached from geographic layers and tables. Relational data manipulation is integrated with robust and powerful geoprocessing for spatial queries, polygon overlay, and other location-based analyzes. This is supported seamlessly so that data are moved easily to and from relational tables and geographic databases. In addition, the Maptitude fixed-format binary table supports 32,767 fields and 1 billion records, and has unlimited character field widths.

List of GIS Software – List of Geographic Information Systems Software – Developed by Caliper:


Geographic Information System Software Features

GIS Software Case Study

Maptitude is one of the most popular GIS software packages, and has extensive functionality. A list of typical GIS capabilities is presented below, and these are available in Maptitude:

Maps and Layers

  • The Create-a-Map Wizard allows users to easily create presentation-ready maps using their own data or the default maps
  • The Display Manager allows a map to be customized on-the-fly
  • User-defined preferences for map units, left/right side-of-road routing, file permissions, geocoding parameters, and many other settings
  • Toolbox and mouse-based map navigation is supported and includes panning, zooming, and magnifying
  • Map bookmark management allows the retrieval of custom map views
  • Multi-layer map feature query tools allow direct interrogation of spatial locations
  • A map librarian/manager allows the organization of various saved maps and comes with a library of pre-styled demographic maps 
  • Geographic database layering controls allow customization of layer visibility and drawing order
  • Multiple maps can be open simultaneously, and can be duplicated, combined, synchronized, tiled, cascaded, and minimized/maximized
  • There is explicit map scale control including undo
  • Layer autoscaling allows customization of the scale at which layers are visible
  • An interactive map overview window provides perspective as you work and the ability to zoom anywhere in the study region

GIS Map Software


  • Extensive layer style control includes font/style/opacity settings for points/lines/areas/labels/legends/drawings; point and area styles can use most image formats and their resolution can be controlled via scaling
  • Thematic visualizations include color, pattern/icon, dot-density, chart, scaled-symbol, and 3D prism themes
  • A drawing toolbox is provided, the drawing items are customizable, and there is a selection of north-oriented arrows
  • Each map has an editable legend that automatically lists displayed features and has a live scale bar
  • Stand-alone charting capabilities include pie, bar, line, area, scatter, and function charts
  • Advanced text label placement and management tools include live label manipulation en-masse or individually, automated positioning, callouts/rotation, font control, multi-line, framing, hiding, styling, prioritizing, stretching, spacing, autoscaling, and additional text manipulation settings
  • Maps and graphics can be copy/pasted or saved as pictures/bitmaps (with optional quality/resolution settings) for insertion into MS Office and other external applications
  • Printing to any printer/paper size is supported, with a wide variety of spatial print options including using fixed scale, with actual point sizes, and as pre-rendered images
  • Report/layout creation can utilize settings for snap grids, rulers, paper size/orientation, dimensions, margins, alignment, print options, automated district printing, and a variety of other graphics software oriented options
  • Map interaction can be recorded to video
  • Layer style/label/autoscale override is provided through the Feature Display tool
  • Cartographic coloring uses Brelaz’s Dsatur algorithm to assign colors that ensure that no two adjacent regions have the same color


  • The tabular and geographic find tool can identify locations anywhere on earth 
  • Robust and flexible pin-mapping tools support geocoding by address, postal code, city/town, join, coordinate, longitude/latitude, by any populated place in the world (village, town, city), and also manually  
  • Custom geocodable indexes can be created to pin-map based on external datasets
  • Geotagged images from smart phones, tablets, or GPS-enabled devices can be mapped

GIS Mapping Tools and Geographic Analysis

Geographic analysis tools are the most valuable component of GIS software because they let you analyze the geographic components of your data. Below are some of the geographic analysis tools that are standard in Maptitude:

Territory Building Tools

Districts/Territories can be created using map-based filters or via tabular groupings


Maptitude GIS map of buffers around hospitals

Circular buffers/bands for analyzing proximity

Areas of Influence

Areas-of-Influence (also known as Thiessen Polygons or Voronoi Diagrams) are a powerful GIS tool that divide the study area using a triangulated irregular network (TIN)

Geographic Overlay

Geographic overlay/aggregation is supported and allows attribute assignment between layers based on percentage overlap for estimating demographics of territories, buffers, areas of influence, and more

Hot Spots

Kernel-based density grids can be created using the quartic, triangular, uniform, or count methods, and allow “hot-spot” mapping

Weighted Center

Weighted center calculations allow the identification of centers of “gravity” among points

Shortest Path

Maptitude GIS map of shortest path delivery route returning to origin

The shortest path calculations allow for minimizing the cost of the path as an ordered/unordered route with options to produce directions and to return to the origin

Drive-time Bands

Drive time/distance bands allow you to visualize the extent to which locations can be accessed within a certain drive time or distance

Drive-time Territories

Drive time partitions allow regions across a line layer to be defined based on network cost

Measuring Tools

Length/area measurement tools allow map-based calculations

Desire Lines

Desire lines (also known as spider diagrams) allow the visualization of flows

Surface Analysis

Surface analysis tools include spot height data querying, surface profiling, viewsheds, contouring, 3D terrain visualization, DEM/TIN creation, and the calculation of terrain shortest paths

Data Classification

Data classification methods include: quantiles, equal weight, equal interval, standard deviation, nested means, arithmetic or geometric progression, Fisher-Jenks/optimal breaks, categories, and manual classification (by range, counts, or percentages)

GPS Support

GPS support includes the ability to read/animate/import GPS data, overlay tracks with aerial photos and topographic or vector maps, track real time GPS locations, create vector line/point layers from GPS playback files, and import/export formats such as GPX (the GPS Exchange Format)

Internet Mapping

Map server products such as Maptitude for the Web and Cloud and SaaS location-based applications allow you to share your geographic data as device independent and mobile-friendly interactive maps. You can also add mapping functions to your web site or web-based solutions, such as providing the public with access to assessor parcel maps and valuation data.


  • Image layer and aerial photo tools include registration, a manager/librarian, contrast control, smoothing (from 2×2 to 10×10) and interpolation (nearest neighbor, bilinear, high quality bilinear, bicubic, high quality bicubic)
  • The image servers supported are Google Earth and OGC Web Map Services (WMS)


  • Maptitude has a powerful proprietary relational database
  • Support is provided for over 50 file types and more than 100 GIS and CAD formats, some natively including Excel, MS Access, ODBC, dBase, CSV, ASCII, ArcGIS platform formats (Esri Shapefile and Personal Geodatabase), MapInfo TAB, Oracle Spatial, and SQL Server Spatial
  • Support is provided for exporting to many formats including Excel, dBase, CSV, ASCII, Lotus, Google KML, ArcGIS platform formats (Esri Shapefile and ArcMap Document), MapInfo MIF, Oracle Spatial, SQL Server Spatial and AutoCAD DXF
  • Table tools include the ability to transpose, group/aggregate, identify duplicates, calculate statistics, convert longitude/latitude to XY coordinates, print mailing labels, copy/paste values, and perform undo/redo of edits
  • Regression and binary logit models can be estimated  on any map layer or table
  • Table field tools include the ability to hide, show, filter, lock, format, multi-field sort, create live expression/formula fields, and perform multi-cell fills
  • Database modify tools include the ability to add/delete records/fields, delete filtered records, set aggregation rules, apply look-up table coding, and define field header balloon pop-up text
  • Database joins can be aggregate/non-aggregate and as one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-one joins
  • Multiple filters per layer or database can be created using SQL type queries, spatial queries (coincident, adjacent, within, and many more), and data classification methods
  • Topological/non-topological spatial databases can be created for points, lines, areas, or grids
  • Topological/non-topological layer (line/point/area) editing tools include the ability to use digitizers, create one-way streets, copy and paste lines, merge/split features/attributes, add/delete/move features, line/area conversion, point-to-line conversion, merging layers, clipping/masking geography by region/area, and undo/redo of edits
  • There is comprehensive projection, datum, and coordinate system support both natively and via import/export, and this operates in conjunction with tools such as vector rubbersheeting and on-the-fly raster layer reprojection 
  • Any record can be linked to multiple files including photos, documents, web pages, and slide-shows



Development Platform

  • The Geographic Information System Developer’s Kit (GISDK™) has 850+ Caliper Script functions that can be called to create add-ins, build custom applications, and to access Maptitude from .NET or as a COM Object


Maptitude supports the latest Windows operating systems, file types, and common design elements. Maptitude runs as a 32-bit or 64-bit application on 32-bit or 64-bit Windows. Advantages of a 64-bit Maptitude include:

  • Save to much higher resolution images
  • Use more memory than the previous 4GB 32-bit limit
  • Open/import files via 64-bit Microsoft Office (e.g. Excel and Access).

Learn More

What is GIS software?
Examples of GIS software applications
US Census GIS Geography
GIS Data
Learn more about Maptitude

Maptitude mapping software solutions:

Banking Business Mapping Census Data Mapping Enterprise GIS Franchise Mapping GIS Mapping GPS Mapping Health Care Insurance Law Enforcement Location Intelligence MapPoint Alternative Marketing & Sales Real Estate Redistricting Retail Mapping Route Planning Satellite & Aerial Imagery Site & Facility Location Street Mapping Territory Mapping 3-D Mapping Web Mapping World Mapping


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