and spatial analysis have been developed simultaneously in
several related fields. The present status would not have been
achieved without close interaction between various fields such
as utility networks, cadastral mapping, topographic mapping,
thematic cartography, surveying and photogrammetery remote
sensing, image processing, computer science, rural and urban
planning, earth science, and geography.
The GIS technology is rapidly becoming a standard tool for management of natural resources. The effective use of large spatial data volumes is dependent upon the existence of an efficient geographic handling and processing system to transform this data into usable information.
The GIS technology is used to assist decision-makers by indicating various alternatives in development and conservation planning and by modeling the potential outcomes of a series of scenarios. It should be noted that any task begins and ends with the real world. Data are collected about the real world. Of necessity, the product is an abstraction; it is not possible (and not desired) to handle every last detail. After the data are analyzed, information is compiled for decision-makers. Based on this information, actions are taken and plans implemented in the real world.
|GIS popular Application|
Before consumer GPS devices were so prevalent we
used to have to go to a computer and look- up directions, such
as with Bing Maps. (Bing Maps is a relatively new service, which
grew out of Microsoft Virtual Earth.) Bing Maps has some great
features such as oblique imagery (Bird's Eye View), Streaming
Video, and Photosynthesis. Many websites incorporate data from
Bing or other GIS sources to provide a limited mapping
experience on their own websites (such as seeing all their
Traditionally desktop GIS has dominated the GIS mindset. People think of Arc Map, Micro Station, or other enterprise-level GIS applications when they think desktop GIS. But the most prevalent desktop GIS application is free, and quiet powerful. With over 400 million total downloads (according to GeoWeb 2008 keynote speech by Michael Jones) Google Earth is by far the most used GIS application in the world. While many people use Google Earth to look for fun things such as a friend's house, crop circles, and other oddities, Google Earth also allows you to add georeferenced images, view parcel data, and find routes.
What Can You Do with GIS?
|Map Where Things Are|
|Find What's Inside|
|Find What's Nearby|