Geographical Information System (GIS) Drafting
GIS (Geographic Information System) is a way of displaying information that has a geographic component. GIS can display very simple information much in the manner of ordinary CAD drawings. But it can just as easily display greatly complex information. It all depends on what users want to know and how detailed their data may be.
There can be a great overlap between ordinary CAD drafting and GIS and we often use both disciplines on many projects. The strength of GIS, though, is making drawings "smart." By that we mean that GIS maps can hold a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes information. The challenge is asking the right questions and making those questions appropriate to the information.
The strength of GIS is its ability to combine geographic information from widely different sources in order to answer crucial questions that may not have otherwise been apparent. We could, for example, combine land, wildlife and hydrologic information from both private and public sources. If our client company wanted to lower its annual rental payments, we could ask questions such as, "Show us all the claims that are expiring in the next six months that lie within the within the Snake River drainage basin within a crucial elk wintering area that also lie within two miles of a wilderness area." Similarly, we could ask questions such as, "Show us all the monitoring wells with a particular level of contamination that lie within a half mile of land designated as R1, R2 and R3."
Again, the ability to answer such questions depends on the extent, strength and accuracy of the geographic data. We use GIS for all types of geology- and environmental-related drafting depending on client needs. (In truth, Revit Architectural drafting is a self-contained GIS package for structures.)