GIS Geographical Information System and Its Components

Geographical Information System or GIS is one of the most important technologies that has evolved over the years. GIS is used primarily for spatial analysis and mapping, decision-making, and planning and this article will help you understand what GIS is and what are its components.

So Let’s start our tutorial on GIS Geographical Information System and Its Components.

GIS Geographical Information System

 GIS Full Form

GIS stands for “Geographic Information System”. It is a system that is used to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, and present spatial or geographic data. GIS can be used to visualize, analyze, and interpret data to help make better decisions about the world around us.

What is GIS (Geographic Information System)?

GIS Geographical Information System
GIS Geographical Information System

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer-based tool or technology designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of spatial or geographic data. Users can visualize and understand the relationships between geo data in reports, charts, maps, etc., using GIS.

It is an integrated system of components, information about the real world that has been abstracted and simplified into a digital database of spatial and non-spatial features which, in conjunction with specialized software and computer hardware and coupled with expert judgement of the GIS user or analyst produces solutions to spatial problems.

It is a system of capturing, storing, checking, integrating, manipulating, analyzing and displaying data spatially referenced to the earth. This typically involves a spatially referenced computer database and appropriate application software.

It is an amalgamation of computer-assisted cartography and database management system. It draws conceptual and methodological strength from spatial and elite sciences such as computer science, statistics, cartography, remote sensing, database technology, geography, geology, hydrology, agriculture, resource management, environmental sciences and public administration.

There are many uses for GIS, including environmental planning, resource management, disaster response, and much more. GIS can be used to help decision-makers understand patterns and relationships in data, and can be used to create and test hypotheses about how the world works.

GIS is a powerful tool that can be used in a wide variety of applications. It is important to remember, however, that GIS is only as good as the data that is input into it. In order to get the most out of GIS, it is important to have high-quality, accurate data.

GIS Data Types

There are two types of GIS data

  • Spatial data
  • Attribute data

1. Spatial data: 

  • Spatial data describes the absolute and relative location of geographic features.
  • Spatial data consists of points. Lines, polygons or other Geographic and geometric data primitives that we can map my location. It is possible to maintain spatial data as vector data or raster data. Each provides information connected to geographical locations.
  • Spatial data is categorized into two types
    • Raster Data
    • Vector Data

Raster Data:

  • Raster data consists of pixel. Each pixel has an associated value. A grid of cells represents this data. In other words, It is a matrix of cells organized into rows and columns. Each cell has a value that represents information.
  • Raster data is simple. They are easier to simulate as all the cells are of the same size and same shape. On the other hand, raster data can cause information loss.
  • Examples : Continous data such as temperature, pressure, PH, elevation etc.

Vector Data:

  • Vector data uses sequntial points or vertices to represent data. Each vertex contains x coordinate and a y coordinate.
  • Administrative borders, linear features, roads and rivers are some examples of vector data.
  • Moreover, vector data display lattitude and longitude using lines, points, polygons etc.
  • Vector data provides multiple advantages. It helps to describe the entire topology. It also helps to represent accurate graphics.

2.Attribute Data:

  • Attribute data describes the characteristics of a geographical feature.
  • Attribute data are description or measurments of geographic features in a map. It refers to detailed data that combines with spatial data. Attribute data helps to obtain the meaningful information of a map.
  • For example: The coordinate location of dam in spatial data whereas the characteristics of dam such as catchment area, soil stability, types of soil, elevation, rock types etc would be attribute data.

Components of GIS Geographical Information System

A GIS comprises five main components:

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Database
  • People
  • Methods and Procedures

Hardware: The hardware component of a GIS refers to the machines that are used to input, store, and output geographical data. This can include everything from computers and servers to scanners and GPS receivers.

Software: The software component of a GIS is the set of programs and applications that are used to manipulate and analyze geographical data. This can include everything from mapping software to statistical analysis software.

Database: The database component of a GIS is the geographical data itself. This data can come in many different forms, such as maps, satellite images, and census data.

People: The people component of a GIS refers to the people who use and work with the system. This includes everyone from GIS technicians to policymakers.

Methods and Procedures: The methods and procedures component of a GIS is the set of procedures and processes that are used to create, maintain, and use the system. This can include everything from data entry to data analysis.

Who Uses GIS?

GIS is used in multiple disciplines. It is used by a variety of professionals in a variety of fields. GIS specialists use it to create maps and analyze data. Some of the fields are the following.

GIS Geographical Information System
GIS Geographical Information System

Benefits of GIS Geographical Information System

There are many benefits of using GIS. It allows for better decision-making by providing accurate, up-to-date information. It can be used to create customized maps and visualizations that help people understand complex data. It also helps organizations manage large amounts of data more efficiently.

Another significant benefit of GIS is that it can be used to easily share data and information between different users and organizations. This is because GIS data is stored in a digital format that can be easily accessed and transferred. Finally, GIS can be used to support decision-making by providing a means to evaluate different options and compare their potential outcomes.

Some of the advantages of using GIS Geographical Information System are:

  • Improved decision-making
  • Reduce costs and increase efficiency
  • Improved communication between involved organisations
  • Easy record keeping
  • Advanced Spatial and Temporal Analysis
  • Managing things geographically

How GIS Works?

The sequence of the activities that are involved in GIS related to work are as follows:

Step 1: Spatial Data Input

It refers to acquiring databases from various sources. Data is to be sorted out before it is entered, so the purpose and the aim of data in the maps should be studied thoroughly.

Step 2: Entering the Attribute Data

It involves entering the attribute data. Now the data is selected, it needs to be entered into the GIS software. Firstly the spatial data is entered and is followed by the non-spatial data or the attribute data.

Step 3: Data verification and Editing

The next step is data verification. Editing implies that the spatial data captured into GIS software requires error identification and correction verification to ensure data accuracy. 

Step 4: Spatial and Attribute Data Linkages

It is the process of linking spatial data to non-spatial data.

Step 5: Spatial Analysis

lastly, the most important part is spatial analysis. The strength of the GIS lies in its analytical capabilities. The analysis function used these spatial and non-spatial attributes in the database to answer the question about the real world.

GIS Shapfiles Download

The internet is full of GIS shapefiles for download. However, it can be difficult to know where to start looking for the right data. Here are a few tips and links to help you find the best GIS shapefiles:

1. Check out websites like the Open Data Portal or the US Geological Survey. Both of these sites offer a wide variety of GIS data.

2. To get the Free GIS shapefiles to download, You can visit this link https://www.diva-gis.org/gdata. To get the GIS data of Texas County, you can visit this link texascountygisdata.com.

2. Use search engines like Google or Bing to find more specific data sets. Just be sure to include the term “GIS shapefiles” in your search.

3. Finally, don’t forget to check out social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. You never know when someone might be sharing a great GIS data set!

What is the Future of GIS Geographical Information System

There is no doubt that GIS is here to stay. The technology is constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated, making it an essential tool for businesses and individuals alike. The future of GIS looks very bright, with new applications and uses being developed all the time.

One of the most exciting aspects of GIS is its potential for use in the field of autonomous vehicles. This technology is already being used to map out routes and track vehicles, and it is expected that it will play an even bigger role in the future. With the advent of self-driving cars, GIS will be essential for creating accurate maps and navigation systems.

Another area where GIS is expected to have a big impact is in the area of disaster response. GIS can be used to create maps of disaster-affected areas, which can then be used to plan and coordinate relief efforts. This information can also be used to create evacuation routes and plan for future disasters.

Overall, the future of GIS looks very promising. The technology is constantly evolving and being used in new and innovative ways. It is expected to play a big role in the future of autonomous vehicles and disaster response, and will continue to be an essential tool for businesses and individuals alike.

Geographic Information System PDF Download

  • You can download the Geographic Information PDF file from the below link.

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