"A geo-information system (GIS) is a computer-aided system consisting of hardware, software and data that can be used to model and process spatial problems in a wide variety of application areas. The required spatial data/information can be digitally captured and edited, managed and reorganized, analyzed and presented alphanumerically and graphically. GIS refers to both a technology, products and projects for the provision and handling of geoinformation". (translated from Bill, 2016: 8).
Alternative designations in the German-speaking area are Geographical Information System (Scholles, 2005) or Raumbezogenes Informationssystem as well as the spelling Geoinformationssystem.
This classical textbook definition essentially applies to any type of information system (IS); it only points to the special feature of this type of information system by adding the term "geo", namely the spatial reference (cf. Bill, 2016:11 ff.). Information on objects can thus be linked directly (e.g. in the form of coordinates) or indirectly (e.g. via addresses, area codes or kilometer markings) to a location on earth. The term "Geo" is borrowed from the Greek ge, gäa (= earth) and thus indicates the relation to the earth.