The fields of both computer-based mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) have developed rapidly in the past two decades. However, in many organizations locational data is not easily leveraged by users. The fact that this type of data is collected and stored indicates that it is considered important by the businesses that collect it, but their operational needs often do not entail producing a map or generating geographic queries. Generally, it is a basic operational function -- such as shipping products to the customer -- that necessitates the collection of locational data. Because many organizations have, in effect, out-sourced their basic operational functions to companies like FedEx, they have distanced themselves from many of the impacts of geography. Therefore, in many industry sectors GIS usage is still somewhat limited, if it is used at all.
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