Essay on Geographic Information Systems (Gis)

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Essay on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) A geographical information system (GIS) is, fundamentally, a map that can be queried. It is what a map becomes when computer technology enables users to make individualized choices relating to its mode of representation and the data upon which it is based. In an electronic, digital world, it becomes possible to access, represent, and analyze information in multiple, integrated ways, and geographical information systems bring these options to bear on spatial and related data. Complex relationships and processes occurring in space are thereby subject to display and investigation. GIS makes it easier to discover facts about how large-scale processes, such as weather and climate change, work and to visualize the causal roles of location (both proximity and relative distance). GIS thus serves as an interface between the basic physical sciences, such as physics, chemistry, biology, and geology, and the sciences of human social development. As Lee Chapman and John E. Thornes remark, "the assessment and monitoring of the effects of climate change is truly a multidisciplinary exercise of which GIS provides a pivotal unifying role." GIS is usually regarded as having six principal components. First, people make and use the system and ask the questions. Second, data are identified as relevant for answering the questions. Third, computer software programs provide for display and analysis of the data. This includes not only GIS software but also databases and programs that permit imaging, drawing, statistical manipulation, and so on. Fourth, computer hardware runs the software. Hardware capabilities affect processing speed, ease of use, and the type of output available. Fifth, procedures define how the information is processed, interpreted, and used. Finally, a network links together all these elements and their real-world

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