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Introduction and Overview

of GIS and Software

How to learn GIS?

Learning by Listening

Self Learning

Learning by Doing

Chapter Outlines

Introduction
Who use GIS? & what can we do with
GIS
How does GIS work?
Geography database & types of data
Features of GIS
Summary

We Live in Two Worlds


Natural World

Constructed World

Self-Regulating

Managed

. . . These Are Increasingly In Conflict

Context and Content


Seeing the Whole

Managing Places

Patterns
Linkages
Trends

Watersheds
Communities
Neighborhoods
Districts


What is GIS?

What is a GIS?
GISs are simultaneously
the telescope, the

microscope, the computer, and the Xerox


machine of regional analysis and synthesis
of spatial data. (Ron Abler, 1988)

Geographic Information System (GIS) is a


computer-based system including software,
hardware, people, and geographic information

A GIS can:
create, edit, query, analyze, and display
map information on the computer

Geographic Information System

Geographic 80% of government data collected is


associated with some location in space

Information - attributes, or the


characteristics (data), can be used to symbolize and
provide further insight into a given location

System a seamless operation linking the information to


the geography which requires hardware, networks,
software, data, and operational procedures
not just software!
not just for making maps!

Geographic primitive

G = f(x, y, z, t, F)

Objects and symbols

Definition 1: A GIS is a toolbox

"a powerful set of tools for storing and retrieving


at will, transforming and displaying spatial
data from the real world for a particular set of
purposes"
(Burrough, 1986, p. 6).
"automated systems for the capture, storage,
retrieval, analysis, and display of spatial data."
(Clarke, 1995, p. 13).

A GIS is an information system

Information Systems

Help us to manage what we know


Make it easy to organize and store, access and
retrieve, manipulate and synthesize, and apply
solution of problems
Examples of Information Systems

Definition 2: A GIS is an information


system

"An information system that is designed to


work with data referenced by spatial or
geographic coordinates. In other words, a GIS
is both a database system with specific
capabilities for spatially-referenced data, as
well as a set of operations for working with the
data" (Star and Estes, 1990, p. 2).

Dueker's 1979 definition (p. 20) has


survived the test of time.

"A geographic information system is a special

case of information systems where the


database consists of observations on
spatially distributed features, activities or
events, which are definable in space as
points, lines, or areas. A geographic
information system manipulates data about
these points, lines, and areas to retrieve
data for ad hoc queries and analyses"
(Dueker, 1979, p 106).

Dueker (ctd)

A GIS is flexible enough to be used for ad hoc


query and analysis (in space, about place)
A GIS can do analysis, modeling and
prediction

GIS as an industry

Source: http://www.spatial.maine.edu/ucgis/testproc/hartung/hartung.html

Definition 3: GIS is an approach to


science

Geographic Information Science is research


both on and with GIS.
"the generic issues that surround the use of GIS
technology, impede its successful
implementation, or emerge from an
understanding of its potential capabilities."
(Goodchild, 1992)

Definition 4: GIS is a
multi-billion dollar business.

The growth of GIS has been a marketing


phenomenon of amazing breadth and depth
and will remain so for many years to come.
Clearly, GIS will integrate its way into our
everyday life to such an extent that it will
soon be impossible to imagine how we
functioned before

Definition 5:
GIS plays a role in society.
Nick Chrisman (1999) has defined
GIS as organized activity by which
people measure and represent
geographic phenomena, and then
transform these representations
into other forms while interacting
with social structures.

Where did GIS come from?

Background in geography, cartography,


computer science and mathematics
Fusion of information systems and
imaging/positioning technologies
Geographic Information Science is a new
interdisciplinary field built out of the use and
theory of GIS

Who
uses
GIS?
International organizations

Private industry

UN HABITAT, The World Bank, UNEP, FAO, WHO, etc.


Transport, Real Estate, Insurance, etc.

Government
Ministries of Environment, Housing, Agriculture, home
affairs etc.
Local Authorities, Cities, Municipalities, etc.
Agencies for Planning, Parks, Transportation, etc.

Non-profit organizations/NGOs
World Resources Institute, ICIMOD, etc.

Academic and Research Institutions


Universities, NAST, etc.

What can you do with a GIS?

The possibilities are unlimited


Physical Planning
Business Planning

Environmental impact assessment


Resource management
Land use planning
Tax Mapping
Water and Sanitation Mapping
Transportation routing
and more ...

How does a GIS


work?
GIS data has a spatial/geographic
reference

This might be a reference that describes a


feature on the earth using:

a latitude & longitude


a national coordinate system
an address
a district
a wetland identifier
a road name

Symbols and images

Maps and information

Spatial and non-spatial


data
Part Number
1034161
1051671
1047623
1021413
1011210

Quantity
5
1
6
2
3

Crimes during 2003


Date
Location
22-Jan
123 James St.
24-Jan
22 Smith St.
10-Feb
9 Elm St. #4A
13-Feb
12 Fifth Avenue
14-Feb
17 Del Playa

Description
Wheel spoke
Ball bearing
Wheel rim
Tire
Handlebars

Type
Robbery
Burglary
Assault
Breaking and Entering
Drunk and Disorderly

Map Overlay

The Feature Model

Dueker's definition uses the feature model of


geographic space.
The standard feature model divides a mapped
landscape up into features, that can be points, lines,
or areas.
Using a GIS involves capturing the spatial distribution
of features by measurement of the world or of maps.
Almost all human activity and natural phenomena are
spatially distributed, so can be studied using a GIS.
A GIS uses map features to manage data.

The Feature Model


POINT

LINE

AREA

Figure1.2TheFeatureModel:Examplesofapointfeature(38footelevationbenchmark),alinefea
ture(road,contours)andareafeatures(reservoir,vegetation).

Geography and
A GIS stores information about the world as a
Databases
collection of thematic layers that can be
linked together by geography

Polygon

3 Scrub

17 Very high

Clay

GIS provides Data Integration

Vectors

Dimensions

Topology

Roads
Land Parcels
Population
Utilities
Land Mines
Hospitals
Refugee Camps
Wells
Sanitation

107

Surveys
ABC

Networks

Images

27 Main St.

3D Objects

Addresses

Annotation
CAD
Drawings
Attributes
Terrain

A Brief History of GIS

GISs origins lie in thematic cartography


Many planners used the method of map
overlay using manual techniques
Manual map overlay as a method was first
described comprehensively by Jacqueline
Tyrwhitt in a 1950 planning textbook
HcHarg used blacked out transparent overlays
for site selection in Design with Nature

Tyrwhitt: Town & Country Planning

A Brief History of GIS (ctd)

The 1960s saw many new forms of geographic data


and mapping software
Computer cartography developed the first basic GIS
concepts during the late 1950s and 1960s
Linked software modules, rather than stand-alone
programs, preceded GISs
Early influential data sets were the World Data Bank
and the GBF/DIME files
Early systems were CGIS, MLMIS, GRID and LUNR
The Harvard University ODYSSEY system was influential
due to its topological arc-node (vector) data structure

A Brief History of GIS (ctd)

GIS was significantly altered by (1) the PC and


(2) the workstation
During the 1980s, new GIS software could
better exploit more advanced hardware
User Interface developments led to GIS's
vastly improved ease of use during the 1990s
During the 1980s, new GIS software could
better exploit more advanced hardware

Development of GIS
Computer Science

CAD/CAM

Earth Science

Geography

Military Studies

Cartography

Surveying and Photogrammetry

GIS

Remote Sensing

Spatial Mathematics

Urban Planning

Civil Engineering

Components of GIS

GIS
USERS

SOFTWARE
TOOLS

ABSTRACTION
OR
SIMPLIFICATION
DATABASE

THE REAL WORLD

RESULTS

Sources of Information on GIS

The amount of information available about GIS


can be overwhelming
Sources of GIS information include journals and
magazines, books, professional societies, the
World Wide Web, and conferences
GIS has Web Home pages, network conference
groups, professional organizations, and user
groups
Most colleges and universities now offer GIS
classes in geography departments

GIS Resources: Conferences

Major GIS-Only Journals

International Journal of Geographical


Information Systems
Geographical Systems
Transactions in GIS
Geospatial solutions
Geoworld

Popular Distribution Magazines

Geospatial solutions
GIS Law
Geoworld
GPS World
Mapping awareness/Mapping awareness and
GIS in Europe/Asia/Africa

Proceedings of Conferences

AUTOCARTO International Symposium on


Automated Cartography
GIS/LIS. Sponsored by AAG, ACSM, AM/FM,
ASPRS, URISA. Held every year, retired in 1998.
International Advanced Study Symposium on
Topological Data Structures for Geographic
Information Systems
Proceedings International Symposium on Spatial
Data Handling. IGU Commission on GIS.
SSD Advances in spatial databases

Professional Organizations

GITA: The Geospatial and Information Technolgy


Association (http://www.gita.org)
AAG: The Association of American Geographers.
(http://www.aag.org)
ACSM: American Congress on Surveying and
Mapping (http://www.acsm.net)
ASPRS: American Society for Photogrammetry and
Remote Sensing (http://www.asprs.org)
NACIS: North American Cartographic Information
Society (http://www.nacis.org)
URISA: Urban and Regional Information Systems
Association (http://www.urisa.org)

GIS: Commercial websites

WWW Resources:
USGS

WWW Resources: Textbook Pages

GIS daily internet news/jobs

http://www.geoplace.com
http://www.giscafe.com
http://www.gis.com

http://www.geographynetwork.com
http://www.census.gov/geo/www/faq-index.html
http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/home/giswww.html
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/EART/abbrev.html

Next Topic:

GISs Roots in Cartography

Geographic data

The basic requirement for displaying these objects is that it


must be possible to connect them to a position.
Geographical positions are described by an x co-ordinate
and a y co-ordinate that indicate the position in a twodimensional co-ordinate system.

Depending on the scale, the


object types can also be
dynamic. For example, on the
map of Africa, the city of
Nairobi would be
represented as a point while
on a map of central Kenya, it
would be presented as a
polygon.

continuous surfaces must be


represented differently on a
map.

Geographical data is not only


geometrical data but is also
composed of what is called
attribute data. Attribute data is
data that provides information
about the geometrical objects.

Attribute data is data that


provides information
about the geometrical
objects.

Vector

A series of x,y coordinates


For discrete data represented as points, lines, polygons
Raster

Grid and cells


For continuous data such as elevation, slope, surfaces
A

Desktop GIS should be able to handle both


types of data effectively!

Two fundamental types of data

Raster
Vector
Real World

Data Representation

Vector Representation
Original map

The Vector Data Model


Features of Spatial Object
Points (Example : Location of house)
Lines (Example : Railway)
Polygons (Examples : Forest area)
The location of features on the earths surface are
referred to map positions using an XY coordinate
system (termed a Cartesian Coordinate System).
Point A Singly XY pair
Line Series of XY pair
Polygon
A closed loop of XY coordinate pairs
that define the boundary

Y Coordinate

21

Vector representation

22

11

X Coordinate

Raster Representation

Row

Column

Cell Size

Resolution

Buildings

Road

River

RASTER MODEL

Y
ROW

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

Cell Size

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

Resolution

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

12

61

62

File Coordinate
Starting Row, Column
Geographic Coordinate

COLUMN

(0,0)

Raster and Vector Data Models:


Advantages and Disadvantages
RASTER MODEL
Advantages
-

simple data structure


easy and efficient overlaying
compatible with RS imagery
high spatial variability is efficiently represented
simple for own programming
same grid cells for several attributes

VECTOR MODEL
Advantages
-

compact data structure


efficient for network analysis
efficient projection transformation
accurate map output

Disadvantages

Disadvantages

inefficient use of computer storage


errors in perimeter, area, and shape
difficult network analysis
inefficient projection transformations
loss of information when using large cells
less accurate (although attractive) maps

complex data structure


difficult overlay operations
high spatial variability is inefficiently represented
not compatible with RS imagery

Integration of Vector and Raster System - Hybrid


System
Raster
Vector
Conversion

Vector
Handling

Vector Input

Vector Data

Raster Data

Raster
Display

Vector Output

1. Computer Cartography
2. Photogrammetry
3. Existing Data

Vector
Display

Raster
Handling

Spatial
Analysis

Vector-Raster
Conversion

Raster Input

Raster Output

Spatial Analysis

1.
2.
3.
4.

Remote Sensing
GPS
Scanner
Existing Data

Principal Components and Functions of an Ideal GIS


Data from
Maps

Other Geographic Information


Systems

Reports

Geographic Information System

Tabular Data

Maps

Database Management
Field Data

Collection Input
and Correction

Storage and
Retrieval

Manipulation
and Analysis

Data from
Other Digital
Database
Remote
Sensing
Global
Positioning
System

Output and
Reporting

Photographic
Products

Statistics

Other Geographic
Information Systems

External Statistical
Packages

Data to Other
Digital
Database

Data Input
to Models

Other features of a
GIS

Produce good cartographic products (translation


= maps)
Generate and maintain metadata
Use and share geoprocessing models
Managing data in a geodatabase using data
models for each sector

Hint having GIS software does not a cartographer


make!

Good to know something about these issues


when creating a map and doing spatial
analysis
Scale/Resolution
Projection
Basic cartographic principles regarding design,
generalization, etc.