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What is

Geographic Information System(s)


(GIS) ?
Geographic Information Systems

Roger Tomlinson (“The Father of GIS")


(a)

(b)
Source: Anderson 1988
What is Geographic Information
System?
• Geographic
– relates to places on the Earth's surface
where something is
what is at a given location
• Information System
– manipulate, summarize, query, edit, visualize
– work with information stored in computer
databases
Geographic Information System (GIS)
is a computer based information
system designed to accept large
volumes of spatial data derived from
variety of sources and to efficiently
store, retrieve, analyze, model and
display (output) these data according
to user defined specifications.
Data vs. Information
Data, by itself, generally differs from Information
Data is of little use unless it is transformed into
information
Information is an answer to a question based on
raw data
GIS can transform data into information
Data Computer Information GIS Knowledge
GIS, GPS & Remote Sensing are
generic, spatial and digital
technologies
GIS concepts are not new!
London cholera epidemic 1854

Soho
+ Cholera death
Water pump
GIS: historical background

This technology has developed from:


– Digital cartography and CAD
– Data Base Management Systems
ID X,Y ID ATTRIB
1 1 1
2 2
2
3 3
3

CAD System Data Base Management System


Overview of GIS

Spatial
data are
organized
into layers
STRATEGIC LEVEL Decision
making

Analysis and
COLLECTION AND Refining of
DATA MANAGEMENT data

Real world

In GIS, a "simplified" world can be represented. GISs are in the process of filling
the upper half of the pyramid
Why is GIS unique?

• GIS handles Spatial information


- Information referenced by its
location in space
• GIS makes connections between activities
based on spatial proximity
What is GIS used for?
Who? What:
Transportation
• Government Hydrology
• Industry Geology
• Academics Demographics
Crime
Health

Stages Define problem

in Get software
GIS & hardware

project Gather & clean


data

Do analysis

Interpret &
present results
THANKS