Whether you are new to GIS or already an expert, through this blog, we will address the importance of GIS solutions and point out the benefits that GIS offers.
Introduction To GIS
To start things off here is one of many definitions – Geographic Information System is a software tool that analyzes, stores, manipulates and visualizes geographic information.
GIS originated not only to collect and visualize data but to draw conclusions and take action based on spatial analysis. These actions can vary from useful public and social services to complex business decisions.
The Evolution Of GIS Mapping
In the year 1832, French geographer Charles Picquet used various colours and gradients on a map of Paris to represent the number of deaths by cholera, making an early contribution to the development of epidemiology. Twenty-two years later, English physician John Snow took this concept a little further and demonstrated the problem-solving potential of maps by identifying the connection between an outbreak of cholera in London and a contaminated water supply.
Over the history of GIS, programmers, researchers, and analysts have continued to innovate and develop fresh perspectives. Advances in areas like open-source mapping mean that geographic data will become more important in our daily lives.
GIS data represents real objects (roads, land use, elevation, trees, waterways, etc.) whose representation can be divided into two abstractions: discrete objects (e.g., a house) and continuous fields (e.g. elevations). Methods that are used to store data in GIS for both kinds are divided into two categories: Vector data and Raster data. The Vector data model represents points, lines, and polygons. The raster data model represents cell matrices that store numeric values. These models store information about the real world as thematic layers.
To understand this, here’s an example. Let’s start with a simple thing-Basemap. It is a map that forms the background where you can add the data and create a new map. For example, you can add a raster image in your base map which represents the elevation of the terrain. Further, you can add vector layers, like a polygon layer representing the administrative boundaries, a line layer representing the roads and rail, and a point layer representing cities. You can also adjust the size of the points according to the size of the population of each city. You’ve created a map!
So, who uses GIS?
Nowadays, almost all industries are using GIS software. It can be implemented by individuals, small or huge companies, communities, research institutions, environmental scientists, health organizations, land-use planners, businesses, government agencies, education centers… well pretty much anyone!
If your data is connected to specific locations and you have enough material for creating a map. GIS can do so much for you. They’re informative and fun, and when done right, they provide a simple and practical understanding of physical space. In case you still wonder if you need GIS software and if visually representing attribute data is beneficial for your business, you might find this blog post very helpful.
There are many uses of GIS. We would like to start things off with a widely used web-based mapping solution people use for navigation daily, the Google Maps. There are many other such navigation apps available online, but we are pretty sure you heard of this one. GIS also helps in dealing with transportation issues, infrastructure assessment, network and telecom services, electricity and natural resources management and maintenance, geologic and agricultural applications, community development and urban planning, accidents and hot spot analysis, environmental impact analysis, surveying, crowdsourcing… we could go on.
We hope this article provided you with a simple yet interesting insight into the world of GIS. It may inspire you to explore further and take a step forward in improving and simplifying your business process and decision making.
If you need help or any additional information feel free to contact us for details.
Have a Mapful Day!