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The major components of GIS are

• Hardware
• Software
• Data
• People
• Procedure
• Network

• The computer or Central Processing Unit is the general

hardware component of the GIS . It is attached to a disk
drive storage unit, used for storing data and program.
• Devices like digitizer , scanner are used for converting
the data, which is available in the form of maps and
documents, into digital form and send them to
• Display device or a plotter is used which presents the
result of the data processing.
• A tape device is used to store data or program on
magnetic tape.

• The GIS software includes the programs and the user

interface for driving the hardware. GIS software is
essential to generate, store, analyse, manipulate and
display geographic information or data. A good GIS
software requires user friendliness, functionalities,
compatibilities, updatability, documentation, cost
• The basic functions GIS software should offer can be
grouped into data capture, data management, data
analysis and visualization.
• Aside from these basic functions, a GIS should also
offer ways for customizing and creating new tools
and applications according to your needs.
Depending on the software, this can either be
done through well known programming or
scripting languages such as Visual Basic or Python,
or through a programming language specifically
provided by the application.

• The following is list of GIS software producers and

their main products.

1. Environmental System Research Institute(ESRI):

Arc Info, Arc View, Arc GIS.

2. Autodesk : AutoCAD Map

3. International Institute for Aerospace and Earth Sciences :

4. MapInfo Corporation: MapInfo.

5. PCI Geomatics: PA MAP.

6.Telogis: Geobase.

• The most important component of GIS is the data.

Geographic data and related tabular data can be
collected in – house, compiled to the custom
specifications and requires, or occasionally purchased
from a commercial data provided.

• A GIS can integrate spatial data with other existing data

resources, often stored in a corporate DBMS.
The ability of GIS to handle and process geographically
referenced data, distinguish GIS from other information
systems. Geographically refer data describe both the
location and characteristics of spatial feature on Earth
surface. GIS therefore involves two geographic data

1. Spatial data: Spatial data describes the absolute and

relative location of geographic feature. It relates to the
geometry of a spatial feature.

2. Attribute data: Attribute data describes characteristics of

spatial features. Attribute data are often referred to as
tabular data. It gives information about the spatial
Spatial Data

• RASTER data type consists of rows and columns of cells,

with each cell storing a single value.
Attribute Data
• Georelational data model links spatial data and
attribute data by id.
• Attribute data stored in feature attribute table which
contains the id.
• Row is called a record, column is called a field or an

• GIS technology is of limited value without the people to

manage the system and develop plans for applying it to
real world problems. GIS users range from technical
specialists who design and maintain the system to those
who use it to help them perform their everyday work. The
identification of GIS specialists versus end users is often
critical to the proper implementation of GIS technology.

• Network allows rapid communication

and sharing digital information.
The internet has proven very popular as
a vehicle for delivering GIS applications.

• Maximize the efficiency of planning and decision

• Provide efficient means for data distribution and
• Elimination of redundant data base – minimize
• Capacity to integrate information from many sources.
• Complex analysis/query involving geographical
referenced data to generate new information.
• Update data quickly and cheaply.