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How GIS Mapping Works for Real Estate

So, you’ve heard that GIS can be key in keeping up with the real estate industry. You may even have learned what GIS is. But even if you’ve decided to make use of GIS in your own work, GIS mapping can seem mysterious and complicated.

But GIS mapping is actually much simpler than it seems. Just because it’s a complex tool doesn't mean that users can’t understand what exactly it is they’re using.

In fact, learning how GIS mapping works can help you get the most benefit from it. 

Here, we’ll dive into the basics of GIS mapping, including both:

  • How GIS mapping works from a provider standpoint.

  • How GIS mapping works from a user standpoint.


GIS are the culmination of significant data collection and scaling. The final products work in various ways depending on both the provider and industry. A full understanding of GIS mapping means knowing how the software is made and used.


GIS mapping software is made by collecting various data sets and scaling them to fit the map in question. 

As mentioned in this past blog post, data layers used for real estate brokers and appraisers could include:

  • Addresses

  • Affordable housing

  • City and county limits

  • Construction permits

  • Contour lines

  • Floodplain information

  • Opportunity zones

  • Site plan review cases

  • Subdivision cases

  • Tax parcels

  • Zip codes

  • Zoning districts and overlay

  • Zoning review cases

FuseGIS and similar systems gather this information from multiple sources to ensure that it is as accurate and current as possible. These systems help users to visualize the data by putting it in a format that we’re more accustomed to or more comfortable with—a map, instead of a page of numbers and words.

Most GIS systems make use of cartographic data, photographic interpretation, digital data, and remote sensing. Most of the information used for real estate originates from pure digital data imported from spreadsheets, databases, PDFs, and other records.


Once the information is compiled, it must be displayed in a way that is both understandable and useful to viewers.

The information collected, compiled, and analyzed by the program is then presented in separate layers that can be added and removed at will by the user. FuseGIS uses a particularly simple format that allows the user to check a box for each layer they’d like to add to the map. This information is updated and reflected immediately.


While explanations of GIS mapping may be full of technical jargon, there’s no better way to learn how it works than to hear how it does in action. Consider the following examples of GIS mapping in the real estate industry.


Larger corporations that own a lot of land can use GIS mapping to keep track of how much and which part of their land they’re using. They can also make note of problem areas and property prices. This way, they’ll always know when it’s time to buy or sell based on their current needs or problems.


Agents or realtors can use GIS mapping to help individual clients find the land or home that’s right for them. By overlaying data sets of interest, the user can make a sort of “geographic venn diagram” that displays where each of the client’s deal breakers or areas of interest overlap—for example, a neighborhood with top rated schools, within walking distance of a grocery store, with houses built in the past decade.

Like the topic? Read the first part here or check out the next and final third part here!


The benefits of a GIS for real estate don’t have to be hypothetical. FuseGIS is the solution for Austin, Texas area appraisers and brokers looking to make informed decisions and serve their clients better.

Not sure if FuseGIS is for you? Sign up now or request a demo to learn more.


Try it for a month and get you money back if you're not happy with the  tool!

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