The Port of London lies along the banks of the River Thames from London, England to the North Sea. Once the largest port in the world, it is currently the United Kingdom's second largest port, after Grimsby & Immingham. The port is governed by the Port of London Authority (PLA), a public trust established in 1908, whose responsibility extends over the Tideway of the River Thames.
The port can handle cruise liners, ro-ro ferries and cargo of all types including containers, timber, paper, vehicles, aggregates, crude oil, petroleum products, liquified petroleum gas, coal, metals, grain and other dry and liquid bulk materials. In 2008 the Port of London handled 53.0 million tonnes of trade (up from 52.7 million tonnes in 2007), including 2,007,000 TEUs and 20.5 million tonnes of oil and related products.
A geographic information system (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of geographical data. The acronym GIS is sometimes used for geographical information science or geospatial information studies to refer to the academic discipline or career of working with geographic information systems and is a large domain within the broader academic discipline of Geoinformatics. In the simplest terms, GIS is the merging of cartography, statistical analysis, and computer science technology.
A GIS can be thought of as a system—it digitally makes and "manipulates" spatial areas that may be jurisdictional, purpose, or application-oriented. Generally, a GIS is custom-designed for an organization. Hence, a GIS developed for an application, jurisdiction, enterprise, or purpose may not be necessarily interoperable or compatible with a GIS that has been developed for some other application, jurisdiction, enterprise, or purpose. What goes beyond a GIS is a spatial data infrastructure, a concept that has no such restrictive boundaries.