GIS: The maverick global language

“The ArcGIS Book” by ESRI begins with the chapter “GIS provides a common visual language: Transforming our Understanding of the World” which says, GIS is a visual language that has the potency to connect people and organizations round the globe. Now, what do we understand by language? According to Oxford Languages, a leading dictionary publisher, language is a system of communication used by a particular country or community. In context to this definition, is the aforementioned claim of ESRI really up to snuff?

The co-founder and president of ESRI, Jack Dangermond says,” GIS technology has evolved to help us process information about place and put it in a context that allows us to act, create and maintain—data, imagery, models, maps, and apps. It is facilitating a systematic framework for knowing, and our shared work is leading to a collective understanding”

Maps are made with layers of dynamic geographic datasets that depict any spatial phenomenon like virtual objects, boundaries or events. These maps can easily present any event, or occurrence in a wordless, but viewable manner. The capability of being seen is what makes a map unrivaled to words, that leaves us to our individual imaginary competence.

ESRI. (2017). The ArcGIS Book, California: ESRI
Press [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 12
February 2021).
Dangermond, J. (2011). GIS: A Language for
Understanding, ArcNews [Online]. Available at:
/gis-a-language-for-understanding.html (Accessed:
10 February 2021)

Article Written By:

Tayeba Tahsin Nawar
Student, University of Dhaka

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Graduate Student, Department of Geography & Environment, University of Dhaka.
Core Expert Member, GroupMappers.

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