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Chapter 8. GIS software. Introduction. Chapter 1 : four technical parts of GIS(network , hardware , software , database ) . This chapter 8 : concerned with GIS software , the geoprocessing engine of a complete , working GIS .

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Chapter 8

Chapter 8

GIS software


  • Chapter 1 : four technical parts of GIS(network , hardware , software , database ) .

  • This chapter 8 : concerned with GIS software , the geoprocessing engine of a complete , working GIS .

    (GIS software packages aim to provide a unified approach to working with geographic information )

GIS software builds :

1- foundation of a computer operating system – the instruction set that controls all the activities of a computer .

2- capabilities to provide a controlled environment for geographic information management , analysis and interpretation .

3- support for geographic data types and processing capabilities to facilitate geographic information science .

Evolution of gis software
Evolution of GIS software

  • GIS market grew in the 1970s and 1980s .

  • In the late 1970s and early 1980s , the standard means of communicating with a GIS was to type in command lines .

  • Two key developments in the late 1980s :

    1- command line interfaces were supplemented and eventually replaced by ( GUIs ) .

    2- a customization capability was added to allow specific-purpose applications to be created from the generic toolboxes .

Evolution of GIS software

  • new terms were developed to distinguish these sub-types of GIS software:

    1- planning information systems .

    2- AM / FM .

    3- land information system .

Architecture of gis software
Architecture of GIS software

  • GIS is usually first introduced into organizations in the context of a single , fixed-term project .

  • The technical components of an operational GIS are assembled for the duration of the project , which maybe from several months to a few years

  • As GIS becomes more pervasive , organizations learn more about it and begin to become GIS is a useful way to structure many of the organization’s assets , processes and workflows .

Three tier architecture of gis software system
Three-tier architecture of GIS software system :


Business logic

Data server

User interface


Data management


Three types of gis implementation configuration
Three types of GIS implementation configuration

  • Project .

  • Department .

  • Enterprise .

    This type of computing architecture is usually referred to as client-server because clients request data or processing services from servers that perform work to satisfy client requests.

Software data models and customization
Software data models and customization

  • Customization is the process of modifying GIS software to create a specific-purpose application .

  • It can be as simple as deleting unwanted controls from a GUI .

  • Late 1980s , when customization capabilities were first added to GIS software , each vendor had to provide a proprietary customization system simply because no standard customization systems existed .

Building gis software system

Building GIS software system:

GIS software system:are built released as GIS S.W products by GIS- vendor soft development and product teams:

Key of GIS Software system:


*User interface

*Tools, data manager

*Data model

*Customization environment

The key GIS software components deal with user application, tools and data access.

Key of gis software system advantages
Key of GIS software system “advantages”

  • Building components gives greater control over system capabilities.

  • Enable specific-purpose optimization.

  • Buying components can save valuable time and many.

    Example of components:

    It have been purchased and licensed for use in GIS software system (Arc view GIS, Microsoft visual Basic)

*The key GIS software component deals with user applications, tools, and data access.*A key GIS implementation issue is whether to buy a system or to build one, increasingly users prefer to buy complete system.

Modern GIS software system has three types of components:*User applications ( locate data, make, maps, geocode) *Geographic tools *Data access The main data access:*Vector *Raster*Spatial reference *Data manager

  • Vector and Raster:

    1 Sub system are responsible

    2 Low level manipulation

  • Spatial reference:

    1 Coordinate transformation

    2 Map projection

  • Data manager:

    1 Responsible for storing geographic objects

    2 Provide sophisticated service

Types of gis software system
Types of GIS software system:

  • The distinctive feature of professional GIS include data collection and editing, database administration advanced geoprocessing and analysis and other specials tools.

    Example of professional GIS software:

  • ESRI ArcInfo

  • Smallworld

Component gis are used by developers to create focused application

Component GIS are used by developers to create focused application

For examples:

*blue marble

*geographic geobject



*Cost is 1000-2000 for the

developer kit and 100 per

Gis viewer
GIS viewer application

  • These include

  • *ESRI’s ,ArcExplorer, Intergraph’s GeoMediaviewer , MapInfo’s ProViewer

  • **They help to establish market


Internet GIS application

  • Internet GIS have the highest number of users although internet users typically focus on simple display and query tasks

    Others types of GIS software

    For example:

    *ESRI ArcInfo


    *Raster based CAD based

    and GIS application servers are

    also important types of GIS software