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Geographic Information Systems = data with geographic location Computerized systems that combine DBMS and cartographic interface to provide information on earth. Output: Screens of maps, statistical expressions, tables, combination of all etc. Basic questions to ask GIS are: What is here? Where can we find this?

To answer these questions we need: Software (MapInfo) Information (Maps, GPS, etc..) Common coordinate systems (UTM, Gauss Kruger) Universally accepted query language

GIS information consists on Or Pixels Points Lines Areas

All these Map Objects can have Attribute Data attached to them. Raster maps and remote sensing images consist of pixels. They are usually used as background images and points, lines and areas can be digitized on them. Attribute data is then attached to these digitised objects.

Example 1: GIS project of Forest Mapping 1. Define the database structure 2. Find the existing maps of suitable scale 3. Define the coordinate systems to be used 4. Find the remote sensing images 5. Scan the maps and images 6. Rectify and register the maps and images 7. Digitize cadastral borders 8. Digitize stand lines 9. Gather necessary information (w. GPS) 10. Provide maps, thematic maps , raports etc.

2. Registering Remote Sensing Images to GIS systems Maplike images (e.g. aerial ortophotos from flat terrains, scanned maps..) If images are close to map projection, they usually need not to be geometrically corrected. It is usually adequate to give 4-20 control points (pixel value, map coordinates) to register the image to a coordinate system.

If aerial ortophotos cover a mountainous area, the height differences cause the distortion of the image. Objects closer to the camera (treetops, mountaintops, tower peaks etc) move away from the image nadir. If those images are to be used as maps, they must be ortho-rectified. For otho-rectification one needs to know the location of the nadir A Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the terrain In all rectification processes we alter the digital image. The pixels are moved to the correct locations using rectification models. Linear rectification processes can correct the tilted images such as aerial photographs taken in windy conditions.

If images are very strongly deformed, such as satellite images covering large areas, one neets to use so called rubber sheet transformation processes. The rectificatiot functions are then of 2nd or 3rd order. The parameters of rectification functions are estimated using control point locations. The higher order polynoms require more control points. Some GIS software (e.g. MapInfo) can use distorted images. The vector file point locations are corrected according to the control points, but the image is not altered. The control points should be manmade objects such as buildings, crossroads, bridges, powerlines etc. Natural shapes tend to change over time.