This post tries to show the main differences between GIS and CAD, in order to guide users who have certain doubts to select one or another system.
A GIS (Geographic Information Systems) is an interoperable system of software, hardware, and users that aims to capture, analyze, store, query, and represent geographic information in digital media. A CAD (Computer-Aided Design) is a system of hardware and software used by users to create or design objects.
In simple terms, a GIS can be related to maps and a CAD can be related to objects. In other words, to represent a road or set of rivers a GIS must be used, but to design a screw or bridge a CAD is required.
The main differences between a GIS or a CAD are analyzed as follows:
Both systems can be used together, all depends on what the user needs to do to choose one or the other system. Personally, if I’m going to make the plans of my house or neighborhood I use a CAD, but to make the base map of my city I would opt for a GIS.
Before deciding on a system, it should be taken into account that the skills of a CAD are for objects and those of a GIS for maps.