Practices In Geographic Information System Computer Science Essay

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This paper will present an overview of some of the main aspects of the Geographic information system or simply GIS technology. Escober (2000) defined Geographic information system as a system made of software, hardware and processes to help the analysis, manipulation, management, investigation, modeling, illustration and display of geo-referenced data to resolve difficult problems about management and planning of resources.

A GIS utilizes software and computers to influence and control the basic standard of geography or location that is significant in social and people's lives. According to ESRI (2010), geographic information system facilitates a retail business locate the most excellent place intended for its subsequently stores and facilitates agencies to track ecological degradation. It facilitates and handles road paving and route delivery trucks. It also assists marketers to discover novel prospects, and it assists farmers to augment production as well as handle their land more powerfully.

Technology Overview

Geographic information system technology is a computer-based tool intended for analyzing and mapping spatial data. Westminster College (2010), acknowledged that geographic information system technology incorporates common database processes like that query as well as statistical analysis by means of the unique visualization and geographic analysis advantages obtainable through maps. These capabilities differentiate Geographic information system from other information systems and make it important to a broad variety of public as well as private business intended for explaining predicting outcomes, events and planning strategies. Further on the article, it is recognized to be one of the most significant new technologies, by means of the possibility to transform a lot of aspects of society in the course of augmented capability to make decisions as well as resolve problems (Westminster College, 2010).

In recent times in lots of areas of life and in different nations, people formulate their decisions concerning different areas of life through the simple paper maps that are frequently obsolete plus derived as of incomplete data as well as that usually necessitate many searching in the archives of diverse departments as well as institutions. GIS at the present unites these maps, in digital appearance, with data from all the related organizations. An example by Wehrmann and Glavina (2009) declare that, instead of encompassing a cadastral map here as well as a land book there, package map and ownership data are united in one system. Otherwise, they added, in its place of utilizing a land utilizes plan on an enormous sheet of paper and searching individually intended for demographic data to discover the most excellent location intended for a novel school, an enquiry is able to be transmitted to the computer that straight produces a map presenting the ideal location. (Wehrmann & Glavina, 2009). Geographic information system, consequently, is not simply a land management tool. Geographic information system is also able to speed up any type of organization's a lot of daily procedures as well as in the course of fast supply of up-to-date data, up- hold decision making on a lot of significant topics as making sure high quality.


Below is the history of GIS technology systems, according to ESRI2, (2008):

Development of the GBF-DIME files through the U.S in 1960s

In 1966 grid-based mapping program called SYMAP developed

Private vendors started developing and offering off-the-shelf GIS packages in 1970's

1981, ESRI offered a GIS system known as Arc/Info for mainframe computers

1992, ESRI offered a GIS system known ArcView, for desktop mapping system

In present age development of high quality GIS like Google MAP


The capability of geographic information system to perform geographic queries and search databases has transformed a lot of fields of business and science. It is considered as priceless in the course a decision-making practice. According to Westminster College (2010), the data and information are accessible concisely and visibly in the shape of a map and associated report, permitting decision makers to spotlight on the actual issues rather than attempting to recognize the data. For the reason that geographic information system products are able to be shaped rapidly, numerous scenarios are able to be assessed proficiently and successfully. For this cause, in today's world, the capability to utilize geographic information system is more and more significant.

A GIS offers a chance to store together these types of non-spatial data and information, as well commonly known as attribute or descriptive information, and the spatial information controlled inside the map itself in a particular system. In present geographic information systems these two kinds of information, non-spatial and spatial, are frequently stored in two different databases. (Rhind, 2010). Though, two databases are connected or attached jointly as a result, for instance, the characteristics of a line in the spatial database are able to be recognized as on behalf of a road plus that it is a motorway. A similarity might be the way we link information by means of particular characteristics on a map. According to Rob (2010), The idea of geo-relational is occasionally employed to explain the link among a spatial database plus the equivalent qualities in the attribute database. Though, a geographic information system is not just a means of storing as well as displaying information. Ever more, its powers lie in its analytical and processing potentials. This might engage incorporating (e.g. overlaying) data from the diverse topics to discover a solution to a number of shapes of planning problem for example putting together data from road, urban area and the wildlife habitat subjects to recognize probable routes intended for a by-pass, as Rob stated. Additionally, a geographic information system is able to integrate the power of the forth dimension, time, incredibly simply into the analysis. This might engage contrasting the similar kinds of data intended for a particular region over a period of time to set up some trends.


This section outlines failure factors of geographic information system. Below are some geographic information system failure factors those are involved the in the successful application of the GIS technology at the business and social life:

Over dominance through GIS technocrats

As mentioned by Sipe, N.G. and Dale, P (2003), A lot of GIS system applications are developed through staff qualified in computer science as well as cartography plus are more concerned in geographic information system research than in building realistic GIS applications. Therefore the system developed through information technology experts lacks the real field experience and knowledge of system.

Lack of qualified staff

This issue is one of main issues that involve is the successful application of the GIS technology all through the world. In this regard this technology based systems are highly complex and involve some of extremely complex processing and calculations, according to Sipe, N.G. and Dale, P (2003). In this way a relatively novel technology means that staffs by means of GIS training as well as skills are in elevated demand as well as beyond the reach of the majority governmental and business department budgets.

Data limitations

It is stated by Sipe, N.G. and Dale, P (2003) that there is a difficulty that has faced by the geographic information system clients intended for decades in together developed as well as in developing nations. Discovery the money to gather new data plus to change paper maps as well as data into digital arrangement carries on being a problem. In a lot of scenarios digital data do exist, however there are concerns of national security, confidentiality, personal security, etc. that have prohibited its utilize.

Financial Problems

According to Sipe, N.G. and Dale, P (2003), Hardware, software and GIS software establishment at some corporate is a really costly deal. Especially the cost of GIS system is much higher as compared to normal systems so this reason is also an obstacle in the overall successful establishment of the GIS technology.

GIS complicity for Decision-Makers

Geographic information system users have not performed an extremely good job of selling their GIS system to decision-makers. (Sipe & Dale, 2003). The spotlight of the selling is inclined to obtain hindered in technological terminology as well as not in the reality; a GIS can rapidly make maps, as well as that maps are a great deal easier to realize than tables. For the reason that a lot of do not recognize what GIS does plus what it could perform, receiving economic support carries on to be a problem. This was a difficulty recognized in the early days of geographic information system and it turns out to be a problem today.

misunderstanding of results

This difficulty is associated to the lack of technical GIS system usage training. Sipe, N.G. and Dale, P (2003) believe that while it is probable to discover sources of training intended for GIS usually, it is far harder, if not unfeasible, for the majority of people to discover training on the utilization of GIS intended for understanding real results produced by GIS system on some topic.


This section will discuss present uses of the GIS technology in all the areas or social and business lives. The utilization of geographical information systems has newly turned out to be well known popular. A geographical information system is employed to recognize, analyze, as well as direct spatially distributed data drawn to a geographical area. According to Rob (2003), Though it happening by means of the reason of generating digital maps, it rapidly turned out to be an important tool in the decision-making procedure intended for a variety of industries. GIS has been also extensively accepted through government agencies. A greater part of GIS systems are found in regions of socio-economic demographics, natural resources plus urban planning as well as transportation.(Rob, 2003). Though, more and more applications are discovered in approximately all the fields including: business, agriculture, environmental sciences, engineering, law, healthcare as well as real estate. A lot of federal, state, and local administration agencies are building GIS datasets intended for spatial characteristics like that highways, roads, lakes, rivers, wet lands, parks, housing areas, hospitals, mines, traffic flows, oil fields, air pollution monitoring stations as well as pipelines.


Here are some future directions of the GIS technology in case of its overall social and business areas implementation as mentioned in ESRI2 (2008).

Intelligent Ontology development

High use in Emergency and Disaster Recovery

Higher use for world wide navigation in local traffic vehicle

Expected higher use in business marketing

High use expected in ecological analysis

Integration of Data mining/Knowledge discovery, visualization for better results development and analysis

More emphasis on distributed education (distance)


In ESRI (2010), it is stated that ESRI is the World Leader in geographic information system solutions that is used for mapping the sites of school-age children that is able to facilitate in revealing where day care is wanted. This is also used for the mapping crime events and locations that facilitate to reveal where there can be require for better police patrols. In addition, it is used in mapping customers' home as well as work locations that is able to facilitate banks position ATM machines to offer improved service. Further developing are performed in this system as well.


In this research I have presented a deep analysis of some of the main aspects of the GIS technology, its uses, history, current uses and future application. This research has offered a better insight of main aspects and areas of the GIS technology and how can it facilitate to out business and daily working. I hope this GIS analysis report will offer a better insight into the overall analysis of the GIS technology and its uses.