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Geographic Information Systems (GIS)


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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Much information in our life (whether we are an individual, a small business or a multinational concern) is linked to two issues: most information is related to the geographical location of the site this information is increasingly difficult to evaluate, process, and classify with increasing numbers Some studies show that nearly 70% of the information has a common element - the geographical location of the site. People have been trying to handle this information for a long time. After decades of research and all sorts of practical attempts, we can say that recently, with a huge increase in computer performance, there is a massive increase in the means of manipulating geographic information. These are so-called GIS (Geographic Informati..

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Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Much information in our life (whether we are an individual, a small business or a multinational concern) is linked to two issues:

  • most information is related to the geographical location of the site
  • this information is increasingly difficult to evaluate, process, and classify with increasing numbers

Some studies show that nearly 70% of the information has a common element - the geographical location of the site. People have been trying to handle this information for a long time. After decades of research and all sorts of practical attempts, we can say that recently, with a huge increase in computer performance, there is a massive increase in the means of manipulating geographic information. These are so-called GIS (Geographic Information Systems) systems that help people process large amounts of data depending on geographic location. GIS systems are becoming the main and probably the only data processor, depending on geographic location.

WHAT ARE GIS SYSTEMS?

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) systems are one of the major computer graphics applications. Regrettably, we are not right in favor of such incentives as CAD systems, although we can say with certainty that their significance (and especially for the future) is fully comparable. Unfortunately, it is due to low general public awareness. Reasons are, of course, more - a high price, not always the ideal interface between a computer and a human being, it is always necessary to do a great deal of work (data collection, digitization, subsequent data editing, etc.) than the first results of the work. All this causes a relatively low use of this powerful tool in our regions.

So how do we describe GIS systems as simply as possible? If we use some of the professional definitions, we can say: GIS is an information system designed to work with data that is represented by spatial or geographical coordinates. It is an automated system for collecting, storing, sorting, editing, analyzing and displaying data.

GIS provides the ability to represent reality by grouping different map expressions (such as topographical, geological, vegetation, hydrometeorological, cadastral and other maps, aerial or satellite imagery, etc.) in any combination. With all this information, it is possible to continue working on analyzes, forecasts and models of different situations. These graphical expressions are closely linked to the information contained in the databases using GIS, making GIS an effective tool. Thanks to the clarity, quantifiability of clear graphical expression, GIS provides significant management support. The GIS capabilities (graphical information tied to descriptive information) are particularly important in government, where they can facilitate and streamline decision-making. In addition, it will speed up access to, and enhance interconnection to, different maps and industry databases. Various questions such as: What to build or build, what to do and how to maintain, how a realized goal will be realized per month, year or 10 years etc. GIS can answer or help find it. GIS as a tool can be used for tasks of different scales (ie different areas), and GIS can be used in government at different levels: at central, district and municipal level. The use of GIS in government is typical of the following areas:

  • instrument for the development of analyzes and prognoses in terms of regional development as well as for comparison of forecasts with reality (directly in maps)
  • a tool for large-scale control of spatial and state changes such as forest stands, agricultural areas, urbanized areas, landscape interventions (various buildings, etc.), aerial photography
  • tool for support in building permit management
  • Support in giving consent or disagreeing opinion on land-use planning documentation for large municipalities
  • support for expressions when approving design proposals for national and transit liner constructions and their structures and their components
  • a tool for optimization (conservation and economic) of various interventions in the landscape
  • control of forest management, woodless, control of forest protection
  • support for the management of large-scale protected areas (national parks, etc.)

The list of applications could be continued for a long time since GIS is probably the most powerful platform with powerful analytics tools for spatial data and database systems and will always depend only on the person who will work with GIS and on his imagination using this tool.

Because the GIS is the easiest way to demonstrate examples of GIS systems, there are some of the most important uses of GIS in practice, but these are unfortunately mostly from abroad because, as mentioned earlier, the use of GIS systems is not yet high in our regions:

  • a network of supermarkets is looking for a location for their new department store, depending on the demographic, socio-economic indicators of the population of likely prospective customers in the proposed area (income groups, population age, availability, distance from other centers, proximity to other attractions, availability of supplies, etc.)
  • (variations to this could be a location for a gas pump, landfill, farm buildings, new school facilities, etc.)
  • city council is looking for a minimal way to clean and maintain streets, street lighting, garbage collection,
  • in the event of an unforeseen accident, estimation of the spread of groundwater pollution velocity, oil spill spread after a tanker accident
  • in the field of environmental protection, GIS can be deployed from simple applications as a simple database, eg the current status of forest areas to complex applications such as land erosion modeling in heavy rains
  • healthcare can be used to find the fastest route to the patient, depending on the state of the roads, their portability; However, GIS can be used, for example, in epidemiology to find the epidemic spread center
  • Suitable placement of waste bins at a distance of 5 minutes from the fast food center - Various distribution or collection centers (whether commercial or non-commercial) seeking optimal location of their centers due to the location of their potential customers - the same centers, but this time looking for the optimal way (with the optimal majority meaning minimal, whether in terms of time or distance) to their customers

One of the new applications is found in navigation systems that are built directly into the vehicle - GIS systems act as a support tool. It can be said that if you meet a number of conditions (you travel in North America, you have a modem and a mobile phone connected to the Internet, which is no longer an exotic idea), you can easily and cheaply go to http: // www.mapquest.com to use the navigation system, you can find any private or commercial address and view it on the map and zoom it up to the level of the street that you are looking for, indicating where the given descriptive number is. You can also list the itinerary between any two locations in North America (Canada and Mexico). Similarly, you can find an address on a city map in Australia before you go there and without having to buy a map (http://www.whitepages.com.au). Also, a big future is being put into the GIS system together with other stunningly evolving areas of GPS (Global Positioning Systems). These systems are now able to determine your location anywhere on Earth with the accuracy of a few meters, while their size does not exceed the size of the pocket calculators. Therefore, they are very suitable for navigation systems in conjunction with GIS systems.

With a reference to the worldwide computer network of the Internet to which our school is attached, I would like to mention an interesting project in the USA. This project aims to facilitate the exchange of data between individual US states and mutual awareness of where it is created, where there are demographic and geographic data processed for GIS systems. Once you've connected to the address, a US map marked with each country appears before you. Clicking on a single EU country lists all the data files applicable to GIS related to that state. This site is constantly expanding as new and new information grows, and its greatest importance is that there is no need to create the same data files at the same time (the most demanding part of GIS).

GIS Issues

However, it is necessary to draw attention to one fact - this description would seem to be an all-powerful means that will solve all our problems for us. GIS systems are certainly a powerful tool, but we must not forget that they themselves are just a set of powerful tools that are used by humans and that they will be the people who will solve these problems. If we use analogies with CAD systems that GIS systems are closest to (and on which platform some GIS programs are based as superstructures), we can say that this is a means of helping decision makers.

GIS is a system composed of several interconnected elements, all of which are involved in the successful resolution of problems.

When defining a problem, it is usually the most serious problem of defining all the factors that our decision-making can influence. As has been said, GIS systems are not a self-sustaining solution and there may be situations where GIS deployment is inappropriate. Therefore, each responsible employee should ask several key questions to solve the problem before using the GIS:

  • There are available mechanisms for obtaining, storing and retrieving geographic data
  • in what format and quantity they are
  • how this information is accurate
  • what we get using GIS systems
  • we have alternatives to using GIS systems and how many of these alternatives will cost us
  • Who will be the end user of the model we have created and how many of these users will be
  • how we can expect performance in terms of access speed and data evaluation
  • that is the expected amount of processed data
  • how many existing archives will need to be converted to digital form, how long it will take, and what the cost of this transfer
  • this model is also intended for future meaningful expansions and modifications, or is only designed to solve a single specific problem

Only if the answers show that the use of the GIS system would be beneficial, we can start to deal with our own project creation. One of the other decisions must be to use the GIS system. There is a lot of producers and everybody is trying to convince us that the product is the best one on the market. Therefore, we must not immediately succumb to advertising pressures and first focus on our own problem. Therefore, not the GIS offered, but first to properly analyze the problem, determine what we expect from it, what results should be provided, what data we will process, what structure we have and what outputs we will demand. Also, the evaluation of the operator qualification that will work with the GIS system should be an important criterion. We should also look at what user interface the system provides. Last but not least, we will definitely be interested in what hardware requirements the system has and its cost. Since, as has been said, many manufacturers are selling and systems are priced at different prices, which may in some cases have the nature of a sharwar charge for simple GIS imaging systems up to many hundreds of thousands of values for such massive and powerful systems as the ESRI ARC/INFO program GeoWorks from Intergraph.



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