The Geographic information systems have emerged in the past two decades as an essential tool for urban and resource planning and management. It includes the functions of data entry, data display, data management,information retrieval and analysis. While GIS deals with entire geography of the earth including land, ocean and atmosphere, the art, science and technology dealing with the acquisition, storage, processing, production, presentation and dissemination of the earth’s information is called the Geoinformatics. It is the popular means of studies in recent decades which cater the real and useful information to the field of Geography, Environmental Studies, Town planning, Rural development studies, and Defense and Agricultural promotion.
Generation of the computers
1940 – 1956: First Generation – Vacuum Tubes
1956 – 1963: Second Generation – Transistors
1964 – 1971: Third Generation – Integrated Circuits
1972 – 2010: Fourth Generation – Microprocessors
2010 – Fifth Generation – Artificial Intelligence
Components of GIS
The components of GIS can be broadly classified into five types. They are mentioned below.
Hardware is Computer on which GIS software runs. Nowadays there are a different ranges of computer, it might be Desktop or server based. ArcGIS Server is server based computer where GIS software runs on network computer or cloud based. For computer to perform well all hardware components must have high capacity. Some of the hardware components are: Motherboard, Hard drive, processor, graphics card, printer and so on. These all component function together to run GIS software smoothly.
Next component is GIS software which provides tools to run and edit spatial information. It helps to query, edit, run and display GIS data. It uses RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) to store the data. Few GIS software list: ArcGis, ArcView 3.2, QGIS, SAGA GIS.
Geographic data and related tabular data can be collected in-house compiled to custom specifications and requirements (or) purchased from a commercial data provider. A GIS can integrate spatial data with other existing data resources often stored in a corporate data base management System. The data can be broadly classified as i. ii. Attribute data Spatial data iii. Remote sensing data iv. Global data base. You will learn in detail about each of the above classification of data in higher studies.
The GIS technology is used by a huge number of industrialists and agencies to help plan, design, engineer, build and maintain information infrastructures that affects our everyday lives.
E. Methods or Procedures
Methods here refer to well-defined, consistent procedures that are required to produce accurate, reproducible result. A neatly conceived implementation plan and business rules are the models and operating practices are unique to each organization. There is need to properly integrate the sophisticated tool through bringing out well-defined procedures in well documented form into the entire business strategy and operation to make the technology effective. Meta data i.e., (data about the data) is the key for documenting these processes.