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Intro to Geographic Information Systems 101. Ken Waters Scientific Services Division Southern Region HQ National Weather Service June 30, 1999. Contents. What is a GIS? What is a GIS composed of? What are the main functions of a GIS? What has caused the recent rapid growth of GIS?

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intro to geographic information systems 101

Intro to Geographic Information Systems 101

Ken Waters

Scientific Services Division

Southern Region HQ

National Weather Service

June 30, 1999

contents
Contents
  • What is a GIS?
  • What is a GIS composed of?
  • What are the main functions of a GIS?
  • What has caused the recent rapid growth of GIS?
  • What are some primary uses of GIS?
  • How are does NWS use GIS?
  • Where do we go from here?
what is a gis
What is a GIS?

Using the US Geological Survey’s definition, A GIS is “a computer system capable of assembling, storing, manipulating, and displaying geographically referenced information, i.e. data identified according to their locations”.

what is a gis4
What is a GIS?
  • Geographically referenced is the key
  • Means each data element must have some kind of reference to location in space
  • GIS is NOT an off-the-shelf piece of software that is ready to run
  • Much more must go into the implementation of a GIS
what is a gis composed of
What is a GIS composed of?
  • At its most basic, a GIS is composed of data and the analysis tool
  • In reality, however, there is much more to a GIS:
what is a gis composed of6
What is a GIS composed of?
  • The analysis software (e.g., ArcView)
  • The hardware (PC, workstation, network--server and/or Internet)
  • Peripheral hardware (plotters, digitizers, GPS)
  • The data
    • stored in a RDBMS georeferenced format
    • includes the process of acquiring the data
what is a gis composed of7
What is a GIS composed of?
  • The database structure
  • The user interface for entering data, analyzing data, updating data, and issuing reports
  • Last, but not least, the user .
what are the main functions of a gis
What are the main functions of a GIS?
  • Data Collection
  • Data Storage
  • Data Updating
  • Data Analysis
  • Output of reports, maps, and tables
what has caused the recent rapid growth of gis
What has caused the recent rapid growth of GIS?
  • Rapid increase in microprocessor speed, enabling cheaper, faster personal computers
  • Rapid decline in online storage costs, enabling easy storage of larger and larger databases
  • Growth of networking---especially the Internet
what has caused the recent rapid growth of gis10
What has caused the recent rapid growth of GIS?
  • Development of the GPS allowing easy georeferencing from the field
  • Greater numbers of remote sensing platforms with increased data resolution and frequency
    • satellites
    • radar
what are some primary uses of gis
What are some primary uses of GIS?
  • Display of analog mapping
    • Washington D.C. Metro system
    • USGS quadrangle map excerpts
    • NOS coastal charts
what are some primary uses of gis12
What are some primary uses of GIS?
  • Interactive map creation
    • Massachusetts Electronic Atlas
    • MapsOnUs
    • MapQuest
    • TIGER Map Server
    • National Atlas of the United States of America
what are some primary uses of gis13
What are some primary uses of GIS?
  • Shortest path analysis
    • MapsOnUs
    • AutoPilot
  • Locator Services
    • MapsOnUs
    • Realtor.com
what are some primary uses of gis14
What are some primary uses of GIS?
  • Traffic Information Systems (TIS)
    • Washington D.C.
    • CalTrans in Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Airline Flight Tracking
    • TheTrip.com
what are some primary uses of gis15
What are some primary uses of GIS?
  • Monitoring Earth Systems
    • Real-time earthquake maps
    • Blue Skies (Univ of Michigan)
    • NCEP Meteograms
    • Earthwatch
    • Texas A&M Meteorology Department
how does the nws use gis
How does the NWS use GIS?
  • Some use in River Forecast Centers with stream flow analysis (e.g., AMBER)
  • OH static display of river flood stages
  • AWIPS
    • not really a GIS
    • uses GIS-created shapefiles for background maps
    • can be modified to use GIS
  • Any more?
where do we go from here
Where do we go from here?
  • Must work on inter-agency relationships
    • Many other national and state agencies are already using GIS to perform their mission
    • Little NWS interaction now with these other agencies
    • Lots of opportunities to share databases
where do we go from here18
Where do we go from here?
  • Integrate GIS concepts into AWIPS?
  • Dynamic Internet Applications
    • NWS watches/warnings/forecasts
    • Develop graphical Internet displays
    • One-stop shopping for weather data