User Interaction and Its Types


We cannot ourselves communicate with the GIS but can only view system generated information (lists, maps) which can aid the decision making process! The person operating GIS only needs to have a very basic understanding of the system which is, what information it stores and what functions it can perform. They should also know how to retrieve relevant information which they need from the GIS. For example, a new restaurant evaluates how much competition it has in a ten kilometer radius.


The GIS can answer questions about the location of places and address. For example, how far is the nearest hospital from your place? And of course the GIS can navigate you to your destination, which is one of its most popular functions.

The way you utilize the GIS depends on what you usually need information for. Query and product are both different functions. For example, a pizza delivery boy will use the query function, in order to get directions to the place he has to deliver his order. However, someone doing research for a grocery store location will use the product function, where they will retrieve stored information about how many stores are within a five kilometer radius of the location in question.

Where/What is the Object?

The object is shown on screen when a specific attribute is entered, for example the address, coordinates etc. The location is then shown on screen along with its surroundings. This function usually matches addresses/coordinates. This is extensively used in a lot of instances where an address needs to be confirmed before action is taken regarding it.

Another instance maybe when a location needs to be identified. Coordinates or an address is fed into a system and the system reveals what exactly this object is, the name of the owner and other helpful information regarding the property.

Attributes of Places Nearby Location:

The census information collected and stored can be further used for specific reasons and surveys. Future businesses can thus access such information to see if the local demographic ideally suits them and whether their business will thrive in that location or not.

Attributes of a Region:

This is when the attributes of a specific highlighted area are needed. This information can be useful for people running campaigns to see whether a specific Ad will work for a specific region based on the people who live there. For example, a chocolate company might want to advertise in a region with an abundance of pre-school children.


Fig 1: Continous GIS

Best Route:

The shortest, most convenient route to a destination is also the result of an inquiry. The data can either be discrete, meaning it has distinct boundaries, like roads or lakes. This is ideal for driving, dispatching emergency service providers. Moreover, the date may be continuous which is elevation or temperature, this is ideal for deciding the layout for pipelines and such.

Use of Relationships:

If information on relationships between two objects has not been fed into the system, a sentence connecting them should be used. For example, show all links of hospitals ‘nearest to’ home. Nearest to will be the connector.

Different Aspects of Query:

GIS is a replacement for people having to remember all addresses and spending minutes working out a route to their destination. The GIS takes seconds to locate addresses and map out a route, eliminating the need to memorize all addresses by heart.

User familiarity:

In order to be familiarized with the system, a user must frequently use the system. The interface should be friendly as well as to aid the user in operating the system. User friendly icons should be employed to help users be able to easily handle the system.


Fig 2: GPS on a smartphone

The Product Characteristic:

This mode requires the same information time and again. The product can be reused for a while till the information in it gets outdated. The repetition of needing the same information can lead to the system being pre-programmed with a series of commands that yield a standardized response that is needed to be carried out.

GIS Professionals:


Conceptualize a process to collect relevant information. Design a product for which there is a need in the consumer market. Build processes for storage of data. Learn to format gained information in a way that the results are of value to the consumer.


Have a knowhow of how the software operates and about the workings of the hardware.

GIS Interface:

There are many ways a GIS can be made to function. It can be command driven, which may frustrate some users if their typing speed and precision is not fast enough. It can question the user itself but for that it must have limited functions. It can make use of a menu from where a user will navigate about what function they want to use. It can also use either icons to signify easily what a user may want or windows to show proper maps of a locality.


Fig 3



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