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Geographic Information System (GIS), computer system that records, stores, and analyzes information about the features that make up the earth's surface. A GIS can generate two- or three-dimensional images of an area, showing such natural features as hills and rivers with artificial features such as roads and power lines. Scientists use GIS images as models, making precise measurements, gathering data, and testing ideas with the help of the computer. Many GIS databases consist of sets of information called layers. Each layer represents a particular type of geographic data. For example, one layer may include information on the streets in an area. Another layer may contain information on the soil in that area, while another records elevation. The GIS can combine these layers into one image, showing how the streets, soil, and elevation relate to one another. Engineers might use this image to determine whether a particular part of a street is more likely to crumble. A GIS database can include as many as 100 layers. A GIS is designed to accept geographic data from a variety of sources, including maps, satellite photographs, and printed text and statistics. GIS sensors can scan some of this data directly—for example, a computer operator may feed a map or photograph into the scanner, and the computer “reads” the information it contains. The GIS converts all geographical data into a digital code, which it arranges in its database. Operators program the GIS to process the information and produce the images or information they need.
Geographic relating to Geography, science that deals with the distribution and arrangement of all elements of the earth's surface. Information, Science interdisciplinary academic field that deals with the generation, collection, organization, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of recorded knowledge. System, any collection of component elements that work together to perform a task.
The applications of a GIS are vast and continue to grow. By using a GIS, scientists can research changes in the environment; engineers can design road systems; electrical companies can manage their complex networks of power lines; governments can track the uses of land; and fire and police departments can plan emergency routes. Many private businesses have begun to use a GIS to plan and improve their services. The Canadian government built the first GIS, the Canada Geographic Information System, during the 1960s to analyze data collected by the Canada Land Inventory. Other governments and university laboratories soon built similar systems. However, GIS systems were not widely used until the late 1970s, when technological improvements and lower costs made computers widely available. GIS sales boomed during the 1980s, as governments and businesses found more uses for the systems. A number of companies began producing new GIS software to program computer systems to increase their functions. By the early 1990s, about 100,000 GIS systems were in operation. A GIS is a computer system capable of capturing, storing, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced information; that is, data identified according to location. Practitioners also define a GIS as including the procedures, operating personnel, and spatial data that go into the system. Geographic information system (GIS) technology can be used for scientific investigations, resource management, and development planning. For example, a GIS might allow emergency planners to easily calculate emergency response times in the event of a natural disaster, or a GIS might be used to find wetlands that need protection from pollution. Geography plays a role in nearly every decision we make. Choosing sites, targeting market segments, planning distribution networks, responding to emergencies, or redrawing country boundaries—all of these problems involve questions of geography.
or integrate. and spatial data that go into the system. 1). . can reveal important new information that leads to better decisionmaking. Data capture How can a GIS use the information in a map? If the data to be used are not already in digital form. placing that information at some point on the globe. This fact may indicate that these marshes are likely to dry up. analyzing. information that is difficult to associate through any other means. Electronic scanners can also convert maps to digits (fig. Then as streams converge. managing. 3). the GIS can be used to predict the amount of nutrient runoff in each stream. A GIS can be used to emphasize the spatial relationships among the objects being mapped. By locating these parcels and intersecting them with streams. stores. A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware. and displaying geographically referenced information. and perhaps elevation. may show that certain marshes receive little rainfall. such as the location of marshes across the landscape. When rainfall information is collected. the total loads can be calculated downstream where the stream enters a lake. 2). Maps can be digitized by hand-tracing with a computer mouse on the screen or on a digitizing tablet to collect the coordinates of features. Agricultural records can indicate how much pesticide has been applied to a parcel of land. Practitioners also define a GIS as including the procedures. Coordinates from Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers can also be uploaded into a GIS (fig. Objects are identified in a series of attribute tables—the "information" part of a GIS. a GIS may also recognize that road as the boundary between wetland and urban development between two census statistical areas. A GIS is a computer system capable of capturing. Most of the information we have about our world contains a location reference. Software tools that automatically extract features from satellite images or aerial photographs are gradually replacing what has traditionally been a time-consuming capture process. Thus. For example. operating personnel. various techniques can capture the information. their absolute location on the Earth's surface. storing. and this inference can help us make the most appropriate decisions about how humans should interact with the marsh. and their spatial relationships. While a computer-aided mapping system may represent a road simply as a line. such as whether features intersect or whether they are adjacent. analyzing. data identified according to location. Comparing the rainfall information with other information. it is possible to combine agricultural records with hydrography data to determine which streams will carry certain levels of fertilizer runoff. are the key to all GIS-based analysis. Data integration A GIS makes it possible to link.GIS 2 A geographic information system (GIS) captures. A GIS. and data for capturing. and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information. software. it is important to know where the rainfall is located. such as longitude and latitude. using GIS technology. in a form the computer can recognize. that is. and presents data that refers to or is linked to location. Data capture—putting the information into the system—involves identifying the objects on the map. analyzes. therefore. Spatial relationships. a GIS can use combinations of mapped variables to build and analyze new variables (fig. How does a GIS work? The power of a GIS comes from the ability to relate different information in a spatial context and to reach a conclusion about this relationship. This is done by using a location reference system. manages. that is.
Data integration is the linking of information in different forms through a GIS Figure 4. Manage information on computer through GIS soft: . Figure 2. Collecting latitude and longitude coordinates with a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver. collect data through satellite Figure 5.GIS 3 Figure 1. Figure 3. Scanning paper maps to produce digital data files for input into a GIS.
. Working with two variables over time will allow researchers to detect regional differences in the lag between a decline in rainfall and its effect on vegetation. atmosphere. Therefore." Fundamentally. and subsurface can be examined by feeding satellite data into a GIS. we use three-dimensional models within a GIS. however. and atmosphere from points where samples have been collected. samples must be taken at discrete locations.GIS 4 Data structures Can a land use map be related to a satellite image. The satellite sensor used in this analysis is the advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR). interactive maps. Forest Service was offered a land swap by a mining company seeking development rights to a mineral deposit in Arizona's Prescott National Forest. subsurface. allowing the decisionmakers to visualize and thereby understand the results of analyses or simulations of potential events. Other Three-dimensional GIS To more realistically analyze the effect of the Earth's terrain. Internet-ready maps. Forest Service created perspective views of the area to depict the terrain as it would appear after mining (fig. static maps. a timely indicator of land use? Yes. three-dimensional perspective views and animations that convey information more effectively and to wider audiences than traditional. a GIS is based on a structured database that describes the world in geographic terms. a GIS must be able to convert data from one structure to another. is only one way you can work with geographic data in a GIS. and only one type of product generated by a GIS.The Database View: A GIS is a unique kind of database of the world—a geographic database (geodatabase). the USGS and the U. A map. Three Views of a GIS A GIS is most often associated with a map.and three-dimensional characteristics of the Earth's surface. Data output A critical component of a GIS is its ability to produce graphics on the screen or on paper to convey the results of analyses to the people who make decisions about resources. A GIS can provide a great deal more problem-solving capabilities than using a simple mapping program or adding data to an online mapping tool (creating a "mash-up"). The U. the changes in vegetation vigor through a growing season can be animated to determine when drought was most extensive in a particular region. 30). months. GIS technology gives researchers the ability to examine the variations in Earth processes over days.S. A GIS can be used to depict two. Mapmaking Researchers are working to incorporate the mapmaking processes of traditional cartographers into GIS technology for the automated production of maps.S. Data modeling It is impossible to collect data over every square meter of the Earth's surface. and other graphics can be generated. which detects the amounts of energy reflected from the Earth's surface at a 1-kilometer resolution twice a day. A GIS can display the Earth in realistic. Using a GIS. and years. A GIS can be viewed in three ways: 1. Therefore. but because digital data are collected and stored in different ways. 6). Adding the element of time The condition of the Earth's surface. The resulting normalized vegetation index represents a rough measure of plant health (fig. Wall maps. As an example. two-dimensional. It is an "Information System for Geography. the two data sources may not be entirely compatible.
For example. 3. People who use maps must interpret these symbols. Mobile GIS Geographic information system has seen many implementations on mobile devices. and write results into new derived datasets. processed and displayed using numerous software applications. logistics. urban planning. environmental impact assessment. and other purposes. The Map View: A GIS is a set of intelligent maps and other views that show features and feature relationships on the earth's surface. Maps of the underlying geographic information can be constructed and used as "windows into the database" to support queries.GIS 5 2. asset management. geographic data can be directly captured out in the field. or GIS can be used by a company to site a new business location to take advantage of a previously under-served market. resource management. public access to geographic information is dominated by online resources such as Google Earth and interactive web mapping. Readers can be normal standalone applications that need to be installed locally. In the past. Topographic maps show the shape of the land surface with contour lines. GIS might be used to find wetlands that need protection from pollution. analysis. Intergraph. ESRI. MapInfo and Autodesk dominate. criminology. though they are often designed to connect to data servers over the Internet to access the relevant information. geography or a GIS professional as this type of application is complex and takes some time to master. image or movie used to communicate an idea or concept with respect to a region of interest. GIS has been used to capture and integrate data in the field. or more specialized products that meet a well defined need. cartography. Within industry. overlaid. Graphic display techniques Traditional maps are abstractions of the real world. archaeology. open source products. offering an entire suite of tools. transferred. heightening one's ability to extract and analyze information. Applications Geographic information system technology can be used for scientific investigations. GIS software Geographic information can be accessed. through the use of mobile devices. This is usually used by persons who are trained in cartography. each map is a sampling of important elements portrayed on a sheet of paper with symbols to represent physical objects. commercial offerings from companies such as Small world. GIS might allow emergency planners to easily calculate emergency response times in the event of a natural disaster. Manifold System. It can output a detailed map. Government and military departments often use custom software. Serving GIS over the Internet . and editing of the information. These geoprocessing functions take information from existing datasets. The Model View: A GIS is a set of information transformation tools that derive new geographic datasets from existing datasets. transformed.Bentley system. marketing. apply analytic functions. gathering GIS in the field was done through marking geographic information onto a paper map and then translating that information into digital format back at the computer. Graphic display techniques in GISs make relationships among map elements more visible. Although free tools exist to view GIS datasets. With the widespread adoption of GPS. Readers GIS readers are computer applications that are designed to allow users to easily view digital maps as well as view and query GIS-managed data. By definition. geographic history. Now. Management and analysis GIS analysis software takes GIS data and overlays or otherwise combines it (see also data fusion) so that the data can be visually analysed. they usually allow very little if any editing of the map or underlying map data. such as GRASS.
GIS and related technology will help analyze large datasets.The year 1962 saw the development of the world's first true operational GIS in Ottawa. spatial data can be accessed and analyzed over the Internet. …… ‘ Prepared by: Mahesar Majid ali . business. and land use at a scale of 1:50.GIS 6 Through Internet map server technology. It supported a national coordinate system that spanned the continent. global positioning systems.answers. the GIS has evolved into a discipline with its own research base known as geographic information sciences.com www.to universities. CGIS was the world's first "system" and was an improvement over "mapping" applications as it provided capabilities for overlay. and other disciplines have benefitted from GIS tools and methods. 10). Developed by Dr.& 2) Heywood. M&S Computing (later Intergraph).pk www. 'GRID'. Its strength was continent-wide analysis of complex datasets. such as 'SYMAP'.CGIS lasted into the 1990s and built the largest digital land resource database in Canada. waterfowl.com Encarta encyclopedia 2005 books. Roger Tomlinson.google. It was developed as a mainframe based system in support of federal and provincial resource planning and management. and which by the 1970s had distributed seminal software code and systems. Canada by the federal Department of Forestry and Rural Development. Tomlinson has become known as the "father of GIS. S. Together with cartography.com www. research centers. and it stored the attribute and location information in separate files. In 1964. successfully incorporating many of the CGIS features. remote sensing. analyze.which served as literal and inspirational sources for subsequent commercial development -. it was called the "Canada Geographic Information System" (CGIS) and was used to store. Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) and CARIS (Computer Aided Resource Information System) emerged as commercial vendors of GIS software. measurement. planning." particularly for his use of overlays in promoting the spatial analysis of convergent geographic data. and digitizing/scanning. A rating classification factor was also added to permit analysis.000. The CGIS was never available in a commercial form. The future of GIS Environmental studies. allowing fire managers to better respond to fires while in the field and helping homeowners to take precautionary measures (fig. and geography. S. and industry. As a result of this. where a number of important theoretical concepts in spatial data handling were developed. and manipulate data collected for the Canada Land Inventory (CLI)—an initiative to determine the land capability for rural Canada by mapping information about soils. wildlife. For example.GIS.. Godchild. and Carver. These developments will lead to a much wider application of the technology throughout government. 3rd edition. agriculture. geology. coded lines as "arcs" having a true embedded topology. software. and corporations worldwide. Ontario. allowing a better understanding of terrestrial processes and human activities to improve economic vitality and environmental quality History of GIS The early 20th century saw the development of "photo lithography" where maps were separated into layers. 1) applications of GIS by Michael F. By the early 1980s. combining the first generation approach to separation of spatial and attribute information with a second generation approach to organizing attribute data into database structures Bibliography: www. (2006) An Introduction to Geographical Information Systems. An active GIS market has resulted in lower costs and continual improvements in GIS hardware. Cornelius. geography. photogrammetry. Prentice Hall.. Howard T Fisher formed the Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (LCGSA 1965-1991). recreation. forestry. current wildfire perimeters are displayed with a standard web browser. Computer hardware development spurred by nuclear weapon research would lead to general purpose computer "mapping" applications by the early 1960s. and 'ODYSSEY' -. and data. I.npiw. business marketing.
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