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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
  • These include
  • *ESRI’s ,ArcExplorer, Intergraph’s GeoMediaviewer , MapInfo’s ProViewer
  • **They help to establish market



Internet GIS

  • 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