U.U. FACULTY of AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT of SOIL SCIENCES
REMOTE SENSING & GIS CENTRE
 
 

WHAT is GIS ?

 

             GIS, stands for Geographic Information Systems, is a computer base mapping technology that allows the user to create and interact with a variety of maps and data sources. It's for capturing, storing, checking, integrating, manipulating, analysing, displaying and updating data related to positions on the Earth's surface. A GIS is a highly specialized type of information system that handles both geographic data (spatially-referenced data), and non-spatial data in an integrated manner. The GIS technology is a computer-based data collection, storage, and analysis tool that combines previously unrelated information into easily understood maps. But GIS is much more than maps. A GIS can perform complicated analytical functions and then present the results visually as maps, tables or graphs. This function allows decision-makers to see the possibilities virtually and then select the best decision. When published via in internet, GIS also offers a consistent and free sharing and analysis of geographic data.

             Other quotes to answer "What is GIS?"

            "GIS is an integrated system of computer hardware, software, and trained personnel linking topographic, demographic, utility, facility, image and other resource data that is geographically referenced." NASA

            "In the strictest sense, a GIS is a computer system capable of assembling, storing, manipulating, and displaying geographically referenced information, i.e. data identified according to their locations. Practitioners also regard the total GIS as including operating personnel and the data that go into the system." USGS

            "A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer-based tool for mapping and analyzing things that exist and events that happen on earth. GIS technology integrates common database operations such as query and statistical analysis with the unique visualization and geographic analysis benefits offered by maps." ESRI

 

COMPONENTS of GIS

 

             A Geographic Information System is a network of computer software, hardware, spatial data, procedures, and personnel. The GIS components themselves are used for collecting, manipulating, analyzing, and presenting information that is tied to a location on the earth's surface. GIS users must first be trained in utilizing these components before they use the system. Briefly the components of GIS are;
  • Hardware; is the computer on which a GIS operates.
  • Software; provides the functions and tools needed to create, manipulate, analyze, manage, display and output geographic data.
  • Data; is the key component of a GIS.
  • People; manage the system and develop plans to apply it to real world problems.
  • Methods & Procedures; well-designed methods to function efficiently.
 
 
 

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