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Underst anding Geography I nform at ion Syst em s

SSES Discussion Group


May, 2004
Columbus, OH

Based on the slides created by Sarah Williams


Underst anding Geography I nform at ion Syst em s

1. Definit ions of GI S & Brief Topic Explanat ions


2. Characteristics of GIS
a. Data
1. Spatial Data
2. Attribute Data
3. Data Layers
4. Layer Types
5. Topology
b. Users / System
1. Data Input
2. Data Management
3. Data Analysis
4. Data Output
c. Software / Hardware
Defining Geography I nform at ion Syst em s

‘A GIS is designed for the collection storage, and


analysis of objects and phenomena where geographic
location is an important characteristic or critical to the
analysis.’ Stanley Aronoff

“Computer tool for managing geographic feature location


data and data related to those features.” Allan B. Cox

GI S is a t ool for m a n a gin g da t a a bou t w h e r e fe a t u r e s a r e


(geographic coordinate data) and what they are like
(attribute data), and for providing the ability to query,
manipulate, and analyze those data.
Charact erist ics of GI S

Dat a Combination of spatial


and attribute data allows
users to ask unique
spatial questions.

GI S

User/ Syst em Soft ware/ Hardware


Users need to understand Facilitates analysis by
both data and software in providing a means to both
order to create unique spatial ask complex spatial questions
questions and maintain and store spatial data.
spatial information produced.
Geography I nform at ion Syst em Dat a

Spatial Data Represents features that have a known


location on earth.

Attribute Data The information linked to the geographic


features (spatial data) that describe
those features.

Data Layers Are the result of combining spatial and


attribute data. Essentially adding the
attribute database to the spatial location.

Layer Types A layer type refers to the way spatial


and attribute information are connected.
There are two major layer types, vector
and raster.

Topology How geographic features are related to


one another and where they are in relation
to one another.
Spat ial Dat a

Spatial or coordinate data represents features that


have a known location on the earth.

Points: X & Y Locations

Line: Connected X & Y


Locations

Polygon: Connected X
& Y Locations that contain
attribute information.

Raster: Row and


column matrix represent
geographic space.
At t ribut e Dat a

Attribute data are the information linked to the


geographic feat ures ( spat ial dat a) t hat describe
features. That is, attribute data are the “ [n]on-
graphic inform at ion associat ed w it h a point , line, or
area elements in a GIS.”

O OO 2 1 1
1 O2 1 1 1
1 OO2 1 1
1 1 1 1 O1

0 : WATER
1 : HIGHLAND
2 : WETLAND
Dat a Layers

Are t he result of com bining spat ial and at t ribut e dat a.


Essent ially adding t he at t ribut e dat abase t o t he spat ial
location.
Layer Types

A layer t ype refers t o t he way spat ial and at t ribut e


inform at ion are connect ed. There are t wo m aj or layer
types, vector and raster.

Vector: Points, lines and polygons (spatial data) associated with


databases of attributes (attribute data) are considered vector layer
types.
O0 OO 2 2 1 11
1 O2 1 1 1
1 OO2 1 1
1 11 1 1 O 1

Raster: A row and colum n m at rix ( pixels) of X & Y space wit h


attribute information associated with each pixel is considered a
raster layer type.
O OO 2 1 1
1 O2 1 1 1 0 : WATER
1 OO2 1 1 1 : HIGHLAND
1 1 1 1 O1 2 : WETLAND
Topology

Topology is the “ way in which geographical elements


are linked together” . Topology is how geographic
features are related to one another and where they
are in relation to one another.

Topology is t he crit ical elem ent t hat dist inguishes a


GI S from a graphics or aut om at ed cart ography
syst em . I t is essent ial t o t he abilit y of a GI S t o
em ploy spat ial relat ionships. Topology is w hat enables
a GI S t o em ulat e our hum an abilit y t o discern and
manipulate geographic relationships.

A B C D Parcel B is surrounded by
Parcel A and Parcel C
Users / Syst em s

Users need to understand both data and software in


order to create unique spatial questions and maintain
the spatial information produced.

Data Input Refers to the creation of digital spatial data.

Refers to unique issues in the maintenance of


Data spatial data such as error or level of accuracy;
Management storing data; retrieving data; and metadata.
Data management is one of the key issues
determining the usability of spatial data.

Data Analysis Is what allows users to answer questions that


may not be explicitly stated in the data.

Data Output Refers to the method used to visually display


analysis performed using GIS. Output can be
in the form of jpg to large plotted images.
Dat a I nput

The creation of digital spatial data.

X & Y Coor din a t e : Used


when a user has spatial data in X
& Y coordinates.

Database Entry:
Commonly used when a user
has attribute information
related to common spatial
locations, such as the census.

Digitize: Used when a user


has a paper map that they would
like to convert into a digital file.

Scan: Used when a user has a


paper map that lends itself to
reading spatial features in a
rasterized format.
Dat a Managem ent

Refers t o unique issues in t he m aint enance of spat ial


dat a. Dat a m anagem ent is one of t he key issues
det erm ining t he usabilit y of spat ial dat a.

Data Errors / • Errors in digitizing


• Errors in original data
Level of
• Errors in data entry
Accuracy • Method of data entry
• Scale of data

Storing Data • Upkeep of historical data sets


• Warehousing state and city data

Retrieving Data • How can users access stored data

Metadata • Using national standards to record


and maintain key information about
data creation, scale, projection, and
attributes.
Dat a Analysis

Is what allows users to answer questions that may


not be explicitly stated in the data.

• Retrieval • Polygon Overlay &


Dissolve

• Map Generalization
• Measurements

• Map Abstraction

• Digital Terrain
• Map Sheet Analysis
Manipulations

• Buffer Generation • N e t w or k An a lysis


Ret rieval

Allows a GI S user t o reproduce exist ing inform at ion


from a dat abase by browsing t hrough t he dat a or
windowing the database.
Map Generalizat ion

Rem oving unnecessary dat a t o save space for dat a


files.
Map Sheet Manipulat ions

Changing t he m ap scale and proj ect ion.


Buffer Generat ion

Creat es new polygons by expanding or shrinking


exist ing polygons or by creat ing polygons from point s.
Polygon Overlay and Dissolve

Used when com paring t wo or m ore dat a layers.


Measurem ent s

May be conduct ed for point , line and polygon feat ures.


Digit al Terrain Analysis

Allows for int erpolat ion from point dat a ( usually


elevations), derivation of slopes and slope aspects,
wat ershed com put at ions and ident ificat ion, and
construction of view sheds.
Net work Analysis

Are techniques for routing resources along a set of


linked linear feat ures. Opt im al pat h rout ing predict s
the best route between two or more points based on
distance, time, effort, or another measure. Often used
for emergency response systems.
Dat a Out put

Display and out put of GI S dat a are achieved by bot h


print ers and com put er screens. These out put devices
require soft ware t o form at t ext and, if a m ap is t o be
drawn, graphics software to convert data into drawing
instructions.

Printing

Graphic Display
Soft ware / Hardware

GI S soft ware program s are usually eit her vect or or


rast er based w it h capabilit ies in using bot h layer
types.

Ve ct or Ba se d Soft w a r e
• ArcView

• ArcGIS

• MapInfo

Raster Based Software

• Erdas I m agine

• I DRI SI
Underst anding Geography I nform at ion Syst em s

1. Definitions of GIS
2. Characteristics of GIS
a. Data
1. Spatial Data
2. Attribute Data
3. Data Layers
4. Layer Types
5. Topology
b. System / Users
1. Data Input
2. Data Management
3. Data Analysis
4. Data Output
c. Software / Hardware
Websit es

ESRI:
www.esri.com

University of Arkansas Libraries—Geographic


Information Systems & Maps:
http://libinfo.uark.edu/gis/tutorial.asp

UIUC, East St. Louis Geographic Information


Retrieval System:
http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/egrets/tutorials/

Geographic Information System Laboratory at MIT


http://libraries.mit.edu/gis/
Dem os, Quest ions ………..

1. Getting Started with ArcGIS: ArcCatalog, ArcMap, and


ArcToolbox (Demo 1, Demo 2)
2. Data Analysis (Demo 2)
a) Retrieval
i) Identifying, Selecting, and Finding
Features
ii) Selecting Features by Attributes
iii) Selecting Features by Location, etc.
b) Map generalization and Manipulations—
Change Projections
c) Buffer
d) Overlay; Dissolve; Clip, etc.

3. Spatial Analysis (Demo 3 —Spatial)

4. Geostatistical Analysis—Kriging (Demo 4—


Scallops)
Quest ions ………..
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