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In the past, GIS based software applications have been used extensively for many assesment and analysis studies. The usage of GIS in various field from development of databases or inventory systems and simple to advanced GIS layers overlay to complex spatial decision-making systems for study of the particular applications. The GIS software sector has developed rapidly over the last ten years. Many Open and Closed Sourse GIS applicatons are gaining relevant market shares in academia, commerce and public administration. In this paper, I illustrate the histrory and features of a key GIS software. This paper discusses the development of GIS software and we will look at the origins of this topic, the architecture of GIS software,the type of GIS software, the use and the example of it.
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is a fast developing technology with an ever increasing number of applications. This systems smooth the progress of the display and storage of geographically or spatially related data and allow the integration of this data with non-spatial (attribute) data. One of the most needs of GIS users is to be able to use specialized instruments for surveying and analysis of information directly in the fields.
GIS continues to grow in several areas that will enable it to be an essential tool in designing the spatial studies. Interoperability will be increasingly important as decision makers leverage multiple platforms to gather the best possible information. For instance, geospacial and visualization applications can be tied to an analytical database engine to drive decision-making.
The capabilities of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to integrate assorted digital data into joint databases and to provide basic and advanced data analysis and visualization techniques led to the general use of GIS in public administration, industry and research. GIS has evolved to be used in a huge amount of disciplines (Star and Estes, 1991; Foody, 2008) and has been deployed on systems ranging from grid computing to embedded systems in smartphones.
Since the early days of GIS the market has evolved into the multi-billion dollar range (Goodchild and Haining, 2004). Two principal development paradigms are being followed: the open source and the closed source (often proprietary) development models. In the case of Free and Open Source Software, the source code is typically published under a Free Software license with end-user rights to run the program for any intention, to study how the program works, to get used to it, and to redistribute copies including modifications.
2. EVOLUTION OF GIS SOFTWARE
In the formative GIS years, GIS software consisted simply of collections of computer routines that a skilled programmer could use to build an operational GIS. During this period each and every GIS was unique in terms of its capabilities and major levels of resource were required to create a working system.
Although GIS is just about a few decades old, the approach of its software has evolved as much as its capabilities and practical expressions. In the 70's software development primarily occurred on campuses and its products relegated to library shelves of theses. These formative years provided the vital organization (both data and processing structures) we find in the modern GIS. Raging ponder centered on "vector vs. raster" formats and efficient algorithms for processing techy stuff with minimal resonance outside of the small (but growing) group of innovators.
With the 1980s came the renaissance of modern computers and with it the hardware and software environments needed by GIS. The research-oriented software gave way to operational systems. Admittedly, the price tags were high and high-end, specialized equipment often required, but the suite of basic features of a modern GIS became available. Software development switched from specialized programs to broad "toolboxes" and afterward spawned a new breed of software specialists.
The 1990s saw both the data blockage burst and the GIS mystique erode. As Windows-based mapping packages appeared on individuals' desks, awareness of the importance of spatial data and its potential applications flourished. Direct electronic access enabled users to visualize their data without a GIS proficient as a co-pilot. For many the thrill of "visualizing mapped data" rivaled that of their first weekend with the car after the learner's permit.
As the future of GIS unfolds, it will be viewed less as a distinct activity and more as a key element in a thought process. No longer will users "break shrink-wrap" on stand-alone GIS systems. They simply will use GIS capabilities within an application and likely unaware of the underlying functional libraries. GIS technology will finally come into its own by becoming simply part of the fabric of software solutions which is web service or web based.
3. ARCHITECTURE OF GIS SOFTWARE
Usually, GIS is first introduced into organizations in the perspective of a single, fixed-term project. The technical components (network, hardware, software, and data) of an operational GIS are assembled for the duration of the project, which may be from several months to a few years. Data are collected specifically for the project and typically little thought is given to reuse of software,data, and human knowledge.
In superior organizations, multiple projects may run one after another or even in parallel. The one off nature of the projects, coupled with an absence of organizational vision, often leads to duplication, as each project develops using different hardware, software, data, people, and procedures. Sharing data and experience is usually a low priority.
As interest in GIS grows, to save money and encourage sharing and resource reuse, several projects in the same department may be complex. This often leads to the creation of common standards, development of a focused GIS team, and procurement of new GIS capabilities. Yet it is also quite common for different departments to have different GIS software and data standards.
As GIS becomes more pervasive, organizations learn more about it and begin to become dependent on it. This leads to the realization that GIS is a useful way to structure many of the organization's assets, processes, and workflows. Through a process of natural growth, and possibly further major procurement (e.g., purchase of upgraded hardware, software, and data), GIS gradually becomes accepted as an important enterprise-wide information system. At this point GIS standards are accepted across multiple departments, and resources to support and manage the GIS are often centrally-funded and managed.
4. TYPES OF SOFTWARE
Over 100 commercial software systems claim to have mapping and GIS capabilities. This is a list of different types of GIS software which are mainly categorized in five types of GIS software.
Type of GIS software
Desktop GIS software provides personla productivity tools for a wide variety of users across a broad cross section of industries. Desktop GIS software are the mainstream workhorses of GIS today.
The term 'profesional' relates to the distinctive features of a Prof. Desktop GIS software like data collection and editig GIS data, databse administration, advanced geoprocessing and analysis and other specialist tools.
A server GIS is a GIS that runs on a computer server that can handle concurrent processing requests from a range of networked clients. Server GIS products have the potential for the largest user base and lowest cost per user.
These are really tool kits of GIS functions (modular components) that a reasonably knowledgeable programmer can use to build a specific purpose GIS appication.
As hardware design and miniaturization have improved dramatically over the past few years, so it has become possible to develop GIS software for mobile and personal use on hand-held systems. The development of low cost, ligtweight location positioning technologies (primarily based on the GPS system and wireless networking has further stimulated this market.
Raster-based GIS vs vector-based
Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
Enterprise-wide GIS incorporate middleware (middle tier) GIS data and application servers.
Their purpose is to manage multiple users accessing continous geographic DB which are stored and managed in commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) DB-management systems (DBMS).
Table 1 Different types of GIS software systems
5. EXAMPLE PRODUCTS
As we know, GIS software is the main technique through which geographic data is accesses, transferred, transformed, overlaid, processed and displayed. A variety of software from integral components of this interface to GIS data. There are various commercial, open source and even shreware products that fill these roles. Commercial software is mostly used in industry with ESRI being the leader, while governemnt and military deparments often use custom software, open source products such as GRASS or more specialized products. The public and small organizations commonly use free GIS readers, rapidly expanding online resources or shareware.
For the ESRI software, ArcGIS Desktop is the main GIS software used in the Data & GIS Lab, and this product comes in three different functionality levels: ArcView, ArcEditor, and ArcInfo. The main variation between the three is in the analysis tools offered in ArcToolbox. ArcEditor has more tools than ArcView, and ArcInfo has more tools than ArcEditor. Thus, one builds upon the other. ArcGIS Desktop, at the ArcInfo functionality level, is available on workstations in the Data & GIS Lab. ArcGIS Desktop is also available at assorted locations across campus.
Figure 1 ArcGIS configuration
Figure 2 Example of ArcMap 10 interface
A development of GIS software was described in this paper, along with the specific examples of its product by different type of software. The advantages of using GIS software based on certain applications are immnese and it is increasingly being used by a wide variety of users. With the availability of a good range of GIS.
I believe that information technologies such as GIS will ultimately become new fundamentals for any field and we need to explore it further .GIS software will contribute to this matter by leveraging and extending its traditional strengths as a platform for data integration, interoperability, quantitative analysis, and visual communication.
Moreover, from a user's perspective the entire character of a GIS dramatically changes. The look-and-feel evolves from a generic "map-centric view "to an "application-centric" one with a few tailored buttons that walk users through analysis steps that are germane to an application. Instead of presenting users with a generalized set of map processing operations as a maze of buttons, toggles and pull-down menus, only the relevant ones are integrated into the software solution. Seamless links to nonspatial programming "objects," such as pre-processing and post-processing functions, are automatically made.
GIS software is a fundamental and critical part of any operational GIS. As I already mentioned, there are many types of GIS software product to choose from. There are also a number of ways to configure implementations. We can see clearly that the development of GIS software has now a very rapid rate.