GIS began to take off in the early 1980s when software-makers integrated mapping into computer-aided technology. Today's GIS tools allow users to create searches, analyze spatial information and edit data to reveal spatial relationships, patterns and trends in an easily understood manner.

BNP Media's market research division worked with POB to conduct a study to provide information on trends involving GIS tools. The results show that the demand for GIS services is rising with the majority of respondents including GIS in their survey workflow or offering it as a service.


The demand for GIS services is going up, with 73 percent of respondents noting a growth in demand.

GIS Usage

Most respondents use GIS in workflow and/or as a client service offering. Only 28 percent do not, which is down from 45 percent in last year’s survey. 


The GIS software most often used by respondents in their workflow is closed-source (proprietary), including Microsoft, Esri, Intergraph and Oracle.

Mobile Future

When asked which GIS tools have the most potential, respondents tabbed mobile applications as having the brightest future.

New Tools

  • 53% Desktop GIS software
  • 31% Mobile GIS applications
  • 28% Cloud-based GIS applications/web portals
  • 24% GIS data collectors
  • 26% None

Purchase Plans 

Software is the GIS tool most likely to be purchased by respondents in the next year


Of those respondents who already use GIS, most plan on taking training in the next year.

Surveyors Can Lead 

78% of GIS users say that the surveying profession has the opportunity to lead in GIS but isn’t moving quickly enough. 10% of non-users say that GIS is not necessary for most surveying tasks.


GIS Surveying Trends Report
Download the PDF of the 2014 GIS Surveying Trends Report