A geographic information system (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of spatial or geographical data.
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The acronym GIS is sometimes used for Geographical Information Science or Geospatial Information Studies to refer to the academic discipline or career of working with geographic information systems and is a large domain within the broader academic discipline of Geoinformatics.
In general, GIS describes any information system that integrates, stores, edits, analyzes, shares, and displays geographic information. GIS applications are tools that allow users to create interactive queries (user-created searches), analyze spatial information, edit data in maps, and present the results of all these operations. Geographic information science is the science underlying geographic concepts, applications, and systems.
SOURCES OF GEOGRAPHIC DATA
- Satellite images
- Existing maps
- Land survey
- Socio-economic statistical records
- Aerial photographs
- Field work or survey
COMPONENTS OF GIS
Geographic Information System has five key components which are:
- Hardware e.g. keyboard, CPU, mouse, hard disk etc.
- Software e.g. Microsoft word, Corel draw, Microsoft excel, computer games etc.
- People: these are the people who design and maintain the system and they also develop plans for applying it.
- Method: A successful GIS operates according to a well-designed plan and business rules.
GENERAL EVALUATION QUESTIONS
- What is GIS?
- Mention two features that can be represented with GIS.
- Give examples of hardware.
- What is software?
- Define geography.
- Real objects can be divide into (a) continuous and circulatory (b) discrete and continuous (c) circulatory and discrete
- Raster images are used to (a) analyze data (b) interpret data (c) store data
- All are physical objects except (a) road (b) mountain (c) river
- Which of these is a socio-cultural feature? (a) airport (b) trees (c) lake
- ‘Geo’ refers to (a) description (b) space (c) earth
- State two uses of GIS
- Write three features within the school that can be represented with GIS