Some people may not be familiar with Geographic Information System. It is a term used in information technology and refers to the location of objects on earth’s surface.
But, GIS data can be utilized for various things. Then, what is GIS? and how does this system work? Let’s find out about it in this article.
What is Geographic Information System?
Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, process databases containing information or geographic reference data, or spatial information. Most of those data are obtained from remote sensing.
The word GIS is a combination of three words: system, information, and geographic. In summary, GIS is a system that incorporates spatial data about the earth’s situation and condition.
Simply put, GIS is a system for collecting, storing, processing, analyzing, manipulating, integrating, checking, and presenting information about the location on earth’s surface.
Geographic Information System Component
In the same way as other systems, GIS is made up of three interconnected components, three are;
Several computer tools are used to support GIS. These include monitors, CPUs, VDUs, tape drives, disk drives, printers, scanners, plotters, CD rooms, and flash disks. Here are the functions;
- CPU is used to process the entire program and instructions
- A VDU displays the results of CPU processes
- A disk drive is a part of the CPU used for turning on the program
- Tape drives are part of the CPU that store data
- Digitizer is used to change terrestrial into digital data
- Information or maps can be printed in a small size using a printer
- A plotter is used to print a large map
GIS software consists of programs that support GIS functions such as data processing, input data, and output data. Examples of GIS software are ArcGis, Q-Gis, and ArcView.
A user is a person responsible for collecting data, processing data, analyzing data, and publishing geographic data.
Additionally, users can process field data that can later be digitized into a map and used for a variety of purposes.
The Step of Geographic Information System
Here are the steps of a geographic information system
The first step in a geographic information system is input data.
The data can be obtained from three sources, there are remote sensing, terrestrial data, and map. Data from remote sensing is gained through aerial photography, radar, and satellite imagery.
On the other hand, some terrestrial data are soil pH levels, population distributions, rainfall, water sanitation, Covid-19 patience, and so on. It can be tables, maps, graphics, or simply numbers from calculations. Meanwhile, digital maps such as river spatial data, lands, and roads are available.
If data has been collected, then we can input it into the GIS application. In this case, there are two types of data that can be imputed into GIS namely spatial data and attribute data. Spatial data refers to data with geographic coordinates in it. We can input spatial data by digitizing and scanning it.
Examples of digitization are roads on maps. Attribute data is data that describes various objects, information, and phenomena on earth’s surface.
This data can be quantitative data and qualitative. Quantitative data are presented in numbers to demonstrate differences between objects, while qualitative data involves interviews, questionnaires, and questions and answers.
The next step is to process the data after it is received and entered into the application. In this step, we will manipulate and analyze data such as clear data basis, edit data, create new data basis, and fill data to the table.
Once the data has been processed, the next step is to present the results. It can be shown in three forms: electronic, softcopy, and hardcopy.
The Benefit of Geographic Information System
GIS has several advantages, there are:
- Knowing resource distribution (crude oil, coal, steel, gold, and so on)
- Knowing critical and potential areas.
- Knowing plantation and agricultural areas.
- Keeping track of changes in land use
- Monitoring tidal areas to develop plantation areas, agricultural, and other needs.
- Mapping land fertility for agricultural and plantation
Data from mapping analysis can be used to create development planning. It is possible to identify a particular area based on those data.
The use of land resources, airport development plans, population density maps, and land value maps are just a few examples.
GIS can also be utilized in spatial planning. In addition, GIS can be used to understand the land distribution, people distribution, residential development, industries areas, hospital, and so on.
Not only benefited spatial and development, but also transportation such as public transportation network inventory, road expansion planning, accident and traffic jam area, or finding alternative roads.
By using GIS, disaster management can identify which areas need to be prioritized. GIS can also be used to locate evacuation locations, identify disaster sources and spreads, and so on.
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