GIS Software Development: A Comprehensive Guide


Geographic Information System (GIS) software has revolutionized how we analyze and visualize spatial data. According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the GIS software market is projected to reach $14.5 billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.4%. This remarkable growth drives increasing demand for GIS software developers contributing to location-based services, smart city initiatives, and digital mapping solutions across various industries.

GIS software development is the critical aspect behind this growth, introducing customized GIS applications that meet specific business needs. However, the process can be a complex and challenging process that requires a deep understanding of the underlying technologies, tools, and best practices.

This comprehensive guide offers you a complete overview of GIS software development, from its key components to the best practices and case studies. Whether you’re a startup owner, a growing business proprietor, or a project manager, this guide will equip you with the necessary knowledge involved in building high-quality and reliable GIS software applications. The information will help you choose GIS software developers or a GIS app development partner appropriate for the specific requirements of your business. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

  • GIS software development involves specific tools and technologies and requires thorough planning, testing, and adherence to coding standards to develop reliable and scalable software.
  • GIS solutions can benefit businesses in various industries, including logistics, by providing efficient scheduling, fleet movement control, and other possibilities.
  • The key components of GIS software development include data acquisition, data conversion, data analysis, and data visualization.
  • Building GIS software involves several significant steps, including requirement gathering, design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance.
  • To ensure high-quality GIS solutions, businesses should follow certain do’s and don’ts, such as defining clear goals, using industry-standard tools, conducting thorough testing, and planning for scalability.
  • Matellio is an ideal choice for GIS software development due to its expertise in developing custom GIS solutions and its adherence to quality standards and timely delivery. 

Understanding GIS Software Development

It is the process of designing, building, and maintaining GIS apps. These apps enable users to capture, store, analyze, and visualize spatial data. Software development is important to GIS technology as it drives businesses, governments, and individuals to customize their GIS apps and meet specific needs. So, if you’re someone looking to execute the development part smoothly, hire dedicated developers now to get started with your GIS app.

That said, let’s now look at the overview of the key components of the process and its significance.

Components of GIS Software Development

A GIS system comprises computer hardware, software, geographic data, and personnel working together to capture, store, update, manipulate, analyze, and showcase various types of geographically referenced data. A decent GIS software blends conventional database operations like query and statistical analysis with the exceptional benefits of visualization and geographic analysis that maps offer. The following components make up a GIS application helping your business advance to the next level-

Spatial Data Collection and Management

It involves acquiring, storing, and managing spatial data such as maps, satellite images, and aerial photographs. GIS software developers use various data collection methods, such as GPS (Global Positioning System) and remote sensing, to capture spatial data.

Spatial Analysis

This element requires GIS software developers to process and analyze spatial data to identify patterns, trends, and relationships. They employ distinct spatial analysis techniques, such as spatial statistics and geostatistics, to extract insights from spatial data.

Data Visualization

Your GIS software development process would require maps, charts, and graphs to display and represent spatial data. Your chosen development partner might use data visualization tools, like GIS software libraries and frameworks, to create visually appealing and interactive maps.

Application Development

This component involves the development of GIS software applications that meet specific business needs. GIS software developers use a range of programming languages, such as Python and Java, to build these applications. However, some of the most popular languages are C++, .NET, and C#.


Significance of GIS Software Development

GIS applications empower you to make informed decisions by providing you with a better understanding of the spatial data. This understanding can help you with effective resource allocation, improved planning, and better management of environmental resources.

Yes, you may opt for open-source development; however, that path won’t give you the privilege of customization. Therefore, choosing custom solutions for GIS software development will help you gain the flexibility to customize your application whenever you want and plan for the next version release pretty easily. Other benefits include enhanced productivity, reduced costs, and improved decision-making.

Developing the software with a reliable vendor will also allow you to integrate GIS technology smoothly with your existing workflows and systems. This integration leads you to improved data management, increased efficiency, and reduced duplication of effort. Choosing us as your development partner will help you achieve these benefits and also open windows for agile enterprise solutions that every business requires in today’s competitive landscape.

Key Technologies and Tools for GIS Software Development

To develop GIS applications, it is necessary to use specialized GIS tools in addition to conventional app development approaches. You and your vendor can assess and choose from various technologies and tools to create efficient GIS applications. Some of them include-


GIS Software Libraries and Frameworks

These pre-built software components offer GIS software developers ready-to-use functionality for common GIS tasks. These libraries and frameworks are often open-source, making them available to developers for free. However, only a few options can be customized to meet specific requirements. Some popular GIS software libraries and frameworks include GDAL/OGR, GeoTools, and OpenLayers. It is recommended to opt for frameworks like QGIS (Quantum Geographic Information System) that provide you with the necessary customization controls.

Programming Languages

Computer languages are the backbone of software development. Developers use them to build applications that are tailored to specific business needs. When it comes to GIS app development, you may select Python. It is a popular programming language with simplicity, versatility, and robustness. Other programming languages for you to consider are Java, C++, and JavaScript.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has revolutionized the way GIS applications are developed and deployed. GIS software developers can access on-demand resources without investing in expensive hardware and software infrastructure with cloud computing. Additionally, cloud-based GIS platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure provide developers with various GIS services, including data storage, processing, and visualization.

Also Read: How Cloud Services Can Accelerate Your Digital Transformation Journey?

Spatial Databases

These are databases designed to store and manage spatial data. Using them will enable your GIS application to store, retrieve, and manipulate spatial data efficiently. Popular spatial databases include PostgreSQL/PostGIS and Oracle Spatial.

GIS Software Packages

These packages serve as tools that store, retrieve, and manage spatial data. With them, your hired developers can access various tools and functionalities for capturing, storing, manipulating, analyzing, and displaying spatial data. ArcGIS, QGIS, and GRASS GIS are some popular GIS software packages you can consider.

By leveraging these technologies and tools, the GIS software developers you hire can build applications tailored to your specific business needs.the specific needs of your business. You can also seek digital transformation services while considering technology deployment. They will further foster informed decision-making, improve productivity, and reduce costs.


Steps of GIS Software Development

By leveraging the appropriate tools and technologies, your chosen development partner can create robust and efficient GIS applications that meet the needs of your users. However, there are phases where your involvement is required. It ensures your chosen developers are on the same page as you. Here are the stages of development where your contribution becomes necessary-


Requirements Gathering

The first step is to gather requirements from stakeholders. It involves understanding their needs and goals and any constraints that should be considered. To do this, you may seek ideas from your team, conduct surveys, undergo research, and take other similar steps to ensure the creation of an ideal app outline that suffices your business demands. Gathering requirements ensures that the resulting GIS application meets the needs of its users.

Design and Architecture

The next step in GIS software development is to design the application’s architecture. Here, you have to guide the development and design team while they comprehend the requirements into functional components and determine how they will interact in the design. Remember, to ensure the proper architecture so that your GIS app remains scalable, flexible, and manageable.


The development phase involves writing the code for the GIS application. During this step, your GIS software developers will use programming languages, GIS software libraries, and frameworks to build the application’s functionality. Therefore, you should understand GIS tools and techniques and have basic knowledge of the programming language discussed above to ensure that you select the right development partner.


Testing is a discernable step for all types of software development processes. It involves confirming that the application meets your requirements and functions as intended. As you must already know, testing can be manual or automated. The various types of testing you should consider for creating a GIS app are functional testing, performance testing, and user acceptance testing. Undertaking these tests will help you stay stress-free about your application being reliable, secure, and user-friendly.


Deploying your GIS app simply means making it available to your target audience. You can deploy it either on-premises or in the cloud. During this step, you should ensure careful planning, configuration, and setup to secure the intended accessibility and functionalities of the software. Moving to the cloud will ensure data security, easy resource management, increased software scalability, and much more.


It’s the final step in GIS software development. Maintenance involves ensuring that the application continues to perform as planned and meets the changing needs of your users. It also includes bug fixing, updates, and enhancements to the application. Moreover, it becomes further crucial for you to oversee proper maintenance to ensure your application’s relevancy, reliability, and efficacy.

Though your vendor will handle the core development, you still need to participate in the careful planning and execution of the GIS software. This fact brings us to the crucial point of selecting an expert development partner like Matellio that offers end-to-end development support. We provide custom enterprise software development and other services that help you create cutting-edge GIS software.


Do’s And Dont’s of GIS Software Development

The process of GIS software development may seem cumbersome and pose numerous unique challenges. However, abiding by the below-given do’s and don’ts can help you overcome these obstacles and produce high-quality, reliable GIS applications.


Track of Market Trends Tracking current and relevant market trends will enable you to update your app and add new features to it. Doing this will keep your app updated, giving you a competitive edge.
Use Industry-standard Tools and Technologies Use industry-standard tools and technologies to ensure compatibility and avoid possible issues.
Conduct Thorough Testing Testing is critical in GIS software development. Conduct thorough iterative testing at each stage of development to catch bugs and ensure that the software meets user requirements.
Adhere to Coding Standards Consistent coding standards help ensure that GIS software is reliable and easy to maintain. So, you should adhere to established conventions for naming, formatting, and documenting code.
Plan for Scalability Plan for future growth and scalability of the GIS software. Proper planning from your end will ensure that the software continues to meet your needs as your business grows and evolves.


Don’t Rush the Development Process Rushing the GIS software development process can lead to errors and oversights that can be costly to fix later on. Therefore, take your time and create a viable timeline with your vendor that is agreed upon by the entire team to avoid possible pitfalls.
Don’t Ignore User Feedback User feedback is critical in ensuring that GIS software meets dynamic user needs. So, make a note to gather user feedback regularly to stay relevant for your audience and stay ahead of your competitors.
Don’t Neglect Documentation Detailed documentation is essential for the maintenance and future development of GIS software. As it serves as a guide to the entire team, you should keep it handy for you and other stakeholders to avoid errors and confusion.
Don’t Overlook Security Security is important in any software development project. When it comes to GIS software development, there is a glaring fear of threats like data loss, hacking, and more. Therefore, ensure that security is prioritized at each stage of development.
Don’t Forget About Maintenance Maintenance is an ongoing operation in GIS application development. Therefore, confirm that the GIS developers you hire include provisions for maintenance and updates even after the project launch to keep the software up-to-date and meet your audience’s needs.

GIS Software Development Case Studies

Matellio has undisputed expertise and experience in GIS technologies, resources, and tools. We can build customized GIS solutions that can be used over the web or mobile apps. They deliver sophistication and ease of use to our clients and help them level up their business. Some of the agile GIS solutions are-

Survey App

Challenge: Retrieving accurate results for construction projects involving asbestos

Solution: Our expert team worked on this GIS software development to deliver detailed insights on earthquake recovery, risk assessment, and asbestos requirement plans for our clients. They used AWS CloudFront, CakePHP, MySQL, and other tools to deliver customizable and scalable software fitting our client’s needs best. Using the application, people can get accurate insights on earthquake recovery and asbestos requirement plans while keeping their data absolutely safe with encryption-based data security and login. In addition, they ensure all the necessary compliance requirements using the Survey App.


Challenge: Building comprehensive landscaping solutions

Solution: Building it on a SaaS model, our team of experts equipped the app to provide digitized records of a landscaping business. From company owners to admins and employees, it delivers facilities to everyone. Using AWS integration, Java, JavaScript, and other tools, we developed a GIS software that enables users to view their crew member’s location and track their work routes through a centralized dashboard. They can also transform their landscapes into pleasing sites by contacting professionals right away through the app. Moreover, they can also use ERP features we integrated to manage clients, plan project estimates, send contracts, and much more.

Why Choose Matellio for GIS Software Development?

After assessing the case studies, you now know that our team has unmatched expertise in delivering GIS solutions. But that’s not it. Moving a level up to ensure our clients stay competitive and relevant, we also provide GIS solutions empowered with next-gen technological capabilities. Here are a few of them for which you can contact us now!

AI-based GIS Solutions

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are currently utilized for processing large geospatial data sets. Using them, we can deploy deep learning accelerators, like GPU, and help our clients rapidly analyze vast amounts of geospatial data.

Also Read: The Future of AI in Software Development

Blockchain-based GIS Solutions

Blockchain for Earth observation has become popular. However, besides observation data gathering, our team of experts can also leverage blockchain technology for GIS solutions by creating a secure and decentralized system for sharing and verifying geospatial data, enabling trust and transparency among stakeholders.

Data Related Solutions

The amount of geospatial data and its related information is increasing at a fast pace. We can build products that collect geospatial infrastructure data and base maps, providing a framework or background for sensor data, IoT data, and satellite data.

Geospatial Analysis Software

This software is quite typical. However, with our expert team, we can develop them, allowing our clients to convert, analyze, manage, and extract geospatial information.


Besides this, we deliver core values to our clients that set us apart in the domain of GIS software development. Our data visualization techniques facilitate effective decision-making for our clients, helping them gain comprehensive and detailed location-specific information in a user-friendly manner. We help you reduce costs and improve efficiency by delivering GIS solutions that allow for managing schedules, tracking fleet movements, and scheduling arrivals and departures, among other possibilities. Moreover, we also eliminate the need for cumbersome record maintenance as we can enhance the intuitiveness of the tool for your convenience. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us now to gain these advantages for your GIS software!

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