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Geospatial Thinking

Addressing the many challenges our world faces today requires having a balanced view of environmental, economic and societal needs. Understanding how all these needs interact calls for geospatial thinking, using the lens of location to understand issues at the micro and macro scale. This holistic thinking is enabled by the geographic approach and GIS technology. GIS supports collaboration and helps transform workflows and decision-making–creating an intelligent nervous system for a sustainable world.


Rebuilding Our Sense of Place

Geography is reemerging as the critical aspect for decision-making.

See the world in a new dimension

Geospatial thinking - understanding the multidimensional context of our decisions and rethinking where our actions can have the most beneficial impact - can help us see the interconnections and interdependence of human-made systems along with natural systems.

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Map your place in the world

Geospatial thinking inspires stewardship and partnership rather than ownership of the earth, allowing us to engage intimately and work constructively. From neighbourhoods to nations, transportation networks to weather patterns, we can understand business and government on both a hyperlocal and global scale.

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Build a better future with location technology

Long-lasting, meaningful growth requires geospatial approaches and technology to bring big ideas to life. Location intelligence, in tandem with AI, helps us analyze past events to better plan ahead. With this foundation, we can work together to build a more promising future.

A photo of two people standing in a field looking at a handheld tablet, superimposed on a satellite photo of a coastal landscape

Moving beyond inspiration to action

Around the world, location intelligence empowers business and government leaders to create real change for a sustainable and prosperous future.

  • Nurturing our oceans

    Advances in mapping and analysis are providing the knowledge we need to sustain life both on land and in the sea—helping us move beyond simply extracting resources to intentionally nurturing and sustaining the world's oceans.

  • Designing smarter cities

    From a single street to towns and mega-cities, we have the chance to reinvent urban systems for a smarter, fairer, and more sustainable relationship with our planet and one another.

  • Preparing for emergencies

    Location intelligence is fueling a profound change—instead of reacting, we use location technology to intervene early, reducing cascading challenges and mapping where to mobilize people when action is critical.

  • Modernizing infrastructure

    In a global economy, infrastructure runs on dynamic, location-aware platforms. We can manage these organic systems to increase productivity and scalability while gleaning insight and business intelligence.

  • Rethinking public health

    With growing awareness of the interconnectedness of the health of people, animals, and the environment, location intelligence shows us where and how to intervene to foster a holistic view of health and public care.

  • Accelerating renewable agriculture

    Using data-centric precision agriculture to improve productivity, safety, nutrition, and sustainability can protect land and ensure sustenance for future generations.

  • Upgrading transportation

    To develop transport systems that align with both human need and the earth’s systems we take a sustainable approach, considering how each place and movement is connected to everything else.

  • Boosting commerce, innovation, and GDP

    Businesses use location intelligence to get closer to customers and supply chains; manage assets and facilities (both physical and virtual); operate sustainably; and compete for talent, innovation, and intellectual property. 


Esri's leadership role to support you in this work

Our 50 years of leading location-based expertise and innovative technology have helped businesses, governments, and people change the way they lead, plan, work, and live—to advance sustainable prosperity for all.

Learn how we lead the industry
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