Common Use Cases of Geographic Information Systems

Applied Tech Review | Thursday, October 28, 2021

GIS can be used to support a city’s utilities like water management and sanitation and make cities smarter.

Fremont, CA:Some or all of these services are available in a typical city. To make the city smarter, its utilities must be supplemented by real-time and near-real-time data and analytics that can provide decision-making options to support the administration of the utilities' facilities. Geospatial systems are already a feature of AM/FM systems, but they may be utilized to enable real-time monitoring and control of utilities and services by integrating other data sources and services, in addition to mapping the city and its network of on-ground and underground facilities and assets.

Some of the common use cases of GIS are:

Water supply

A city's water management goal is to provide a reliable supply of high-quality drinkable water with little waste. Installation of sensors to monitor water usage, water flow and water loss in real-time is one of the approaches employed. Water usage is optimized, and leaks are addressed using systems. The city of Long Beach, California, employs intelligent water meters to detect unlawful water consumption and optimize overall usage - customers can save up to 80 percent on their water bills.

Urban mobility

Traffic slowdowns, pollution, and inefficiency have resulted from cities' fast growth and the popularity of privately owned vehicles. Intelligent and multifunctional public transportation systems and smart traffic signals, and pollution monitors are required in today's public transportation systems. Los Angeles employs magnetic sensors and video cameras to monitor traffic and synchronize 4,500 automatic lights, resulting in a 16 percent reduction in traffic congestion.


Sewage water and solid waste management are the two most important aspects of sanitation. Many communities are implementing a decentralized wastewater treatment system to ensure that water can be reused for non-potable applications, thereby conserving a valuable resource. Monitoring the effluent quality where treated wastewater flows into water bodies is vital to guarantee that the effluent is safe. IoT sensors are utilized in Porto, Portugal, to track the load in dumpsters and schedule trucks to replace loaded dumpsters with empty ones on a regular basis.

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