GIS vs CAD - The difference between GIS and CAD

The difference between GIS and CAD

Geographic information system (GIS) describes a system for the display and processing of geodata, ie data to which a spatial position has been assigned. With a geographic information system, complex issues can be presented, presented and analyzed in a structured manner.

With CAD systems you can create digital content and/or model it graphically. These are usually plans or drawings, as well as 3D models.

Since the projected data in both systems should be related to the real world, different scales, sizes and levels of detail are used. In GIS this is regulated by different display models, where it is defined which objects are displayed under which conditions. In CAD, standards play a more important role. The main differences between CAD and GIS are:

  • GIS data or geodata need a local reference in contrast to CAD data
  • In GIS, the focus is on the visualization, maintenance and analysis of data;
  • In CAD, a very precise representation plays a more important role with the help of the plans e.g. Components can be produced
  • GIS data is very diverse and a wide variety of data formats and sources can come together
  • CAD data are mainly saved as DXF or DWG files
  • A GIS is much more efficient and flexible in data management than a CAD system

Both systems can also be used in combination because they complement each other perfectly.

About The Author

Max Dietrich
Max Dietrich

Geospatial Developer

Hi, I'm Max (he/him). I am a geospatial developer, author and cyclist from Rosenheim, Germany.

0 Virtual Thanks Sent.

0 Webmentions

Have you published a response to this? Send me a webmention by letting me know the URL.

Found no Webmentions yet. Be the first!


Continue Reading

  1. Free FME-licence for private use

    FME (Feature Manipulation Engine) is a powerful and the most used spatial ETL tool for the migration and processing of spatial data and non-spatial data.

    Continue reading...

  2. How to create a Mapnik stylesheet for displaying any data from PostgreSQL/PostGIS

    In this article i want to show you how you can build your own Mapnik stylesheet for displaying any data from PostgreSQL/PostGIS. The Mapnik Stylesheet XML can be used for a tile-server with your custom style.

    Continue reading...

  3. How i constantly track my location and display a web-map with all the locations

    Inspired by Aaron Parecki and who he has been tracking his location since 2008 with an iPhone app and a server side tracking API i decided to go for a similar approach. I wanted to track my position constantly with my Android smartphone and use the data to display a map with all locations i have ever been to.

    Continue reading...