Spatial Relationships - extracting information from a map

Relationships are important to us, they help us understand situations and to make decisions. A relationship between geographic features based on location is called a spatial relationship. Spatial relationships are some of the most important aspects of mapping. For example, from a map it is possible to can see:

However, to gain more use from a map the reader must be able to interpret relationships and derive information from the position of geographical features. For example:

It is the interpretation of mapping information that a GIS is most helpful for. As suggested, decision making often involves the need to identify locations and by using the tools within the system work can now be done more quickly, easily and reliably.