Geographic information systems
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Geographic Information Systems. GIS Definition. Locations. Networks. Areas. Because most information has a spatial component ESRI, GE SmallWorld. 1. GIS is Important. GIS is Important. It helps temporal reasoning as well S. H. Gage, J. Helly and M. Colunga, GIS/EM4 2000. GIS is Useful.

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1 gis is important




Because most information has a spatial component

ESRI, GE SmallWorld

1. GIS is Important

Gis is important
GIS is Important

It helps temporal reasoning as well

S. H. Gage, J. Helly and M. Colunga, GIS/EM4 2000

Gis is useful
GIS is Useful

  • The “W” questions

    Where, what, when, why, how, who, what if…

  • GIS shows “what” are “where”, and helps us to think other “W”s

  • It helps generate and test hypothesis

Gis integrates various information
GIS integrates various information

Social Factors



Land Use



It allows us to see the “whole”

Courtesy: USGS

Gis is useful1
GIS is Useful

  • GIS is used by a wide range of disciplines

  • It changed the way we operate

  • It opened many opportunities

A few facts
A Few Facts

  • NCGIA/NSF grants

  • GIS programs in government agencies

  • GIS consulting firms and contracts

  • GIS conferences, journals, and professional societies




2 what is a gis
2. What is a GIS

  • An early effort, Ian McHarg, 1969

What is a gis
What is a GIS

  • A process oriented definition:

    A GIS is a computer-based system that provides for the collection, storage, analysis, and display of geo-referenced data.

  • A problem solving oriented definition:

    A decision support system involving the integration of spatially referenced data in a problem solving environment.

What is a gis1
What is a GIS

  • Data

  • Information

  • Knowledge

  • Intelligence

  • (DIKI)

What is a gis2







What is a GIS

  • GISystems and GIScience

    GISystems refers to

    software and hardware,

    and is used as a tool

    to support a project

    GIScience refers to the particular field of scientific study

3 related fields
3. Related Fields

  • Manual cartography

  • DBMS (Data base management system)

  • CAD (Computer-aided drafting)

  • Computer Mapping

  • AM/FM (Automated Mapping/Facility Management)

  • LIS (Land information system)

  • GIS

Spatial operations
Spatial Operations

GIS is not just mapping. It does spatial operations. For example, it helps to find:

  • Where is object A?

  • Where is A in relation to place B?

  • How many occurrences of type A are there within

    distance D of B?

Spatial operations1
Spatial Operations 5 miles?

  • What is the value of function Z at position X?

  • How large is B (area, perimeter, count of inclusions)?

  • What is the result of intersecting various kinds of spatial data?

Geographic analysis of disease risk

Where are the potential areas of disease? 5 miles?

Who are the populations at risk now and in the future?

Geographic Analysis of Disease Risk

Spatial operations2
Spatial Operations 5 miles?

  • What is the path of least cost, resistance, or

    distance along the ground from X to Y along pathway P?

  • What is at point X1, X2?

  • What objects are next to objects having certain

    combinations of attributes?

5 readings
5. Readings 5 miles?

  • Chpt 1