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Chapter 42: Geographical Information Systems
Geographical information systems (GIS) are software packages based on a crossing of digitalized cartography and relational databases. Many marketing applications face complex decision processes that involve a great variety and volume of information, in addition to an important subjective component. In such cases, spatial analysis and visualization methods, as provided by GIS technologies, are extremely useful.
A GIS is a system that is able to efficiently capture, store, check, update, manipulate, analyse and display all forms of geographically referenced (or georeferenced) information. It combines layers of information about a location to give the user a better understanding of that location (Grimshaw, 1999). Traditionally, GIS have been used to help solve problems in the environment domain. However, marketing decisions and their outcomes ...