The use of Artificial Intelligence in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Abto Software
6 min readNov 3, 2022

Originally, this post was published on Abto Software blog.

GIS (or Geographic Information Systems) are computer systems, which help to work with geographical data (to capture, collect, store, check, process, analyze, and manage it). The information GIS displays include streets, buildings, vegetation, and more. Many organizations all around the globe use GIS to create detailed maps, share information, identify problems, and more. Some GIS apps include epidemic control, climate forecasting, the assessment of renewable energy potential, logistics management, etc. Just consider Uber, Lyft, Bolt, FlightRadar...

Looking back at the recent years, advanced GIS with implemented artificial intelligence has become crucial in geoscience research.

AI is used in GIS for:

  • Data cleansing
  • Image interpretation
  • Semantic classification and segmentation
  • Digital mapping, and more.

How GIS is doing in 2022?

It is on its highest peak of popularity, thanks to the growing availability of valuable spatial data and the use of cloud technology. Another great influential factor is the growing demand for custom enterprise geographic information systems. Relying on the above listed factors, experts predict the industry to generate $24,607.7 million in 2030.

GIS tools are a powerful means of analyzing and understanding humanitarian and environmental problems. An example of the practical application of modern GIS software is the active implementation of nanosatellites, utilized to gather information through so-called radio occultation, a technique for measuring temperature, etc. For instance, in 2010, the researchers at the University of Southern California built and launched nanosatellites, including CAERUS, which was a component of the 2010 MAYFLOWER NASA satellite.

How GIS can be used?

How GIS is being used across businesses, according to G2. By Abto Software
  1. Urban planning. Advanced software provides accurate oversight over urban sprawl, land use, affordability and transport issues for thought-out planning, extension, and development.
  2. Public transport. By implementing GIS solutions, today’s software allows to efficiently analyze city traffic, plan routes, notify users about delays or breakdowns, and optimize road construction.
  3. Environment protection. Gathered data about the human influence on the nature might include relevant information on deforestation, landscape and climate change, and help determine the actions needed to mitigate the damage.
  4. Resource management. To monitor and control natural resources, the regularly collected data includes information about the most loaded mining sites, the condition of sites, water distribution, and more.

Using AI in geographic information systems for urban development

Technological solutions should help construction companies use the available resources more efficiently and improve information management. Unreasoned planning and construction provide for unsustainable urbanization and disfigured public services.

Smart, thoughtful urban development is essential for improving:

  • City traffic
  • Public services
  • Environmental protection
  • Domestic and foreign tourism

There are many efficient GIS solutions already increasing economic growth and facilitating affordable services, which must constantly process the increasing volumes of the information gathered.

Integrated into GIS software, AI can change the game providing valuable real-time insights:

  • urban monitoring and management;
  • predictive modeling;
  • insight-driven decision-making, and more.

Most popular GIS mobile applications

  1. MapIt is an Android GIS application allowing users to design survey forms, organize data and use GPS tracking.
  2. Mappt is an Android GIS solution allowing users to create, edit, store and share location-based information.
  3. SW Maps is a completely free-to-use mapping application for gathering and sharing geographical information.
  4. Locus GIS is a professional application for convenient offline fieldwork with gathered geographical information.

What to expect from GIS in the next decade?

Wider applicability

Experts predict that the growing demand for modern GIS systems will notably expand their application scope. Some future application areas of advanced GIS tools might include efficient city architecture planning, community development, and streamlined indoor mapping for improved fire safety, and more.

Real-time data

Although spatiotemporal real-time data is generated almost everywhere and its many applications in business are widespread and evolving, the ability to seamlessly, continuously interact with it is a recent phenomenon. This innovation is an important driver of change in areas like geography, cartography, mapping, and related geospatial fields. This trend remains today the main underlying driver of geographic research initiatives and the wide utilization of mobile geospatial applications in government, public services, and business.

Big Data

The ability to access crazy huge data arrays that provide valuable insight into environment, natural resources, and the current state of development of certain world regions, has changed the way organizations function. Today, both small startups and enterprises can access geographical observations and images from spacecraft and change the way they interact with available information and configure their workflows.

Geospatial AI

Geospatial AI can be used to seamlessly collect real-time feedback about locations and conditions. Such information might include insightful data about current traffic details, popular routes, transport delays, and more geospatial information, which can be used to improve public life.

How AI benefits GIS?

Let’s have a look at the advantages AI might provide if implemented in GIS:

Data cleansing

When multiple information sources and types (vector and raster files, drawings, images, web files, and more) are combined, the possibility of duplication or omission of the gathered information increases significantly. Geodata cleaning means removing incorrect, corrupted, improperly formatted, duplicated or incomplete data to avoid possible discrepancies, which affect GIS software.

Remote sensing

Remote sensing of objects from satellites or aircraft is one of the key elements of accurate image interpretation. By implementing remote sensing, engineers detect and monitor the important physical characteristics of the desired area.

Remote sensing has several useful applications:

  • Mapping large forest fires
  • Tracking clouds for accurate weather forecasting
  • Monitoring cities, towns, forests, or farmland for the better understanding of trends
  • Discovering huge mountain ranges, deep canyons, and other geographical phenomena

Semantic segmentation and classification

Image segmentation and classification are other important components of GIS. These facilitate geospatial observation, in particular infrastructure planning, network extraction, land cover, and more. Deep learning applied with computer vision can help to examine pixels, group them into segments by similar spectral features, group segments into objects, group objects into classes.

Digital mapping

This useful deep learning GIS application can help create maps containing every single road of the desired area. Developed maps can be then used to create thought-out routes and obtain updated information about local public transport, and more.

Who can develop a GIS solution using AI?

Designing reliable GIS solutions does require thorough understanding of involved data models and technology. Speaking about collecting, migrating, organizing and updating gathered geospatial information, Abto Software has expertise in streamlining this process and ensuring data safety.

We deliver GIS applications for retail & distribution, logistics, transportation, governmental agencies and other. Abto Software’s engineers cover data capturing and conversion, data processing, database design, GIS services and modeling, as well as consulting.

Our expertise:

  • Computer Vision (image and video recognition for more accurate estimation)
  • Machine Learning (insight extraction from voluminous, unstructured data)
  • Natural Language Processing (data analysis for better insight uncovering)
  • Blockchain (capability expansion by introducing currency exchange, smart contacts, and more)
  • Data Capture & Extraction (document processing for reduced human error)
  • Predictive Analytics (custom models for efficient pricing strategies, churn prediction, fraud detection)

Our services

Our GIS technology stack

Spatial databases:

  • PostgreSQL (with database PostGIS extension)
  • MSSQL (with spatial types support)
  • Tile38

Maps and location services:

  • OpenStreetMap
  • Google Maps
  • Mapbox

Client libraries for displaying and interacting with maps:

  • Leaflet
  • OpenLayers

Tile servers:

  • GeoServer

Tools for editing/viewing maps:

  • QGIS
  • ArcGIS

Engage professional software developers from Abto to create your custom GIS solution!



Abto Software

We empower customers business with innovative software by applying science, R&D, and own IP at