All You Must Know About Geographic Information System (GIS)
All You Must Know About Geographic Information System (GIS)

What is GIS – Definition

A Geographic Information System (GIS) gathers data for storage, scrutiny, distribution, and displaying geographic information. GIS data shows real-world geographical features such as terrain, transportation networks, and elevations in a digital format. The displayed images emanate from the areas where GIS gathered the information. Users can use the information to map the data, scrutinize the digitally displayed data, and edit the data.

A GIS includes application software for surveying land, aerial photography, remote sensing, extensive geographical mapping, and so on. Often, it is used to study global problems to find solutions much more quickly.

Of recent, geographic information systems have been developed for public use. For instance, Google Maps and Bing Maps are GIS applications now used by so many individuals worldwide. The public can now access large volumes of geographical information via interactive web mapping. The importance of GIS is that it is used to study climate change. It is now used in the analysis and tracking of data concerning the impact of climate change. For instance, GIS is used in the study of ice melting in the Arctic.

GIS can also be used for earthquake mapping. It is now possible to map shifts in tectonic areas of high risk to the earthquake for business development and public safety planning, such as deciding insurance rates. Concerning techniques for business marketing, a business can use GIS to analyze demographic data to locate regions where their products or services are likely to be sold. Governments can make use of GIS to examine census information such as education and health statistics. That does helpful for government spending and modifying or developing public policies. It can also offer assistance for health research, such as analyzing data from heart disease research. Also, it can help in the creation of jobs in the right places that can give a boost to the economy.

Apart from the use of GIS technology for research on climate change, GIS can use it for law enforcement and security logistics, urban development, and planning such as choosing where to develop roads and communities that will have a minimum environmental impact, examining a potential business market and business marketing, management of natural resources, and the tracking and analysis of natural disasters with the hope to shorten emergency response time. GIS technology can also be used as an educational tool for universities and technical schools for science, geography, and math studies. The information can even add GIS to the curriculum of high school students.

The goal of GIS is to locate new trends from the research. Mapping where objects and places are located will help find sites that have the features they are seeking. If there are challenges, they will identify what has to be carried out and formulate an effective and efficient problem-solving solution. Also, they will be able to notice emerging essential patterns. Analyzing data via the Geographic Information System will help learn and understand information much quickly and easily.

The 03 types of GIS Data are metadata, attribute, and spatial.

Metadata. They are the most forgotten type of data

B. very important if you are going to use the data or if someone else will use your data later. It contains information about:

  • i. accuracy
  • ii. scale
  • iii. data source
  • iv. projection/datum
  • v. manipulations
  • vi. how data is acquired

D. many different “standards” for presentation and collection of metadata, such as FGDC utilized by US government agencies.

  1. Attribute Data GIS

Attribute data have characteristics that are non-spatial and are connected by tables to lines, points, polygons, and “events” on lines (and in some instances, GRID cells)

A vector, point, or raster geologic map could describe a “rock unit” on a map with a single letter, number, or name; however, the attribute table could have.

  • lithology
  • age
  • percent quartz
  • etc., for each type of rock on the map.

B. many GIS programs can use either dray the polygon by an identifier or by any of the attributes

  1. Spatial Data

A. vector data

 i. Polyline/Line Data — data that is defined by x,y points (events, nodes), and arcs (lines) between points (line, polylines, and segments).

ii. Point Data — data contained by events (or points) described by x,y (long lat; northing, easting)

iii Polygon Data — data of closed segments of the line which enclose areas described by attributes.

Polygon data could be “multipart,” such as the islands of Hawaii.

B. grid data or raster (matrix of numbers describing, e.g., herbicide, population, elevation, use, etc.)

What is the Importance of GIS Data

Irrigation management:

The availability of water for irrigation is essential for the production of crops in that area. It needs to be efficiently and adequately managed for the proper management of water with the help of GIS data.

Identification of Volcanic Hazard

The volcanic hazards to the environment and human life include lava flows, hot avalanches, flooding, and hot particles gas clouds. The historical records of volcanic activity obtained through GIS data can identify the potential hazard zone for volcanic eruptions. Hence an impact assessment of volcanic hazards helps deal with the loss of lives and property and economic loss in densely populated areas.

Determination of land use and land cover

Land use refers to the part of the surface used for a particular service. Land cover refers to the feature that covers barren land. The role of GIS data in land cover and land use applications is that it helps determine changes in land cover/land use in different places. Also, it can estimate and detect changes in the land cover/land use pattern over time. It helps see sudden changes in land cover and land use either by natural causes or other activities such as deforestation.