Aviva Directory » Computers & Internet » Software » Science » Geographic Information System

A geographic information system (GIS) is a system for storing, managing, analyzing, and displaying geospatial data.

Geographic information science (GIScience) is the science underlying geographic concepts, applications, and systems.

Since the 1970s, GIS has been important tools in natural resource management, land use planning, urban planning, transportation, market area analysis, health care, and public services. It has also played a significant role in routine operations of government agencies at all levels, and more recent integration of GIS with the Internet, a global positioning system (GPS), wireless technologies, and web services have resulted in location-based services, web mapping, and volunteered geographic information.

GPS is a satellite-based radio-navigation system owned by the US government and operated by the US Air Force. It is a global navigation satellite system that provides geolocation and time information to GPS receivers anywhere on or near the earth, as long as there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. Established by the US Department of Defense in 1973, the use of GPS was limited to the military until the 1980s. Today, of course, it has become almost a necessity to transportation.

Because GPS is provided by the US government, which can selectively deny access to the system, several other countries have developed, or are in the process of developing other global or regional satellite navigation system.

While most of us are GIS users, GIS professionals must be familiar with the technology, along with the basic concepts that drive the technology.

The focus of this category is on geographic information systems and, more specifically, on the software that powers various GIS applications. Using GIS software, maps and other geographic data can be displayed on any computer screen, and the data can be stored, retrieved, and edited. It can be analyzed, determining geographic features, measuring distances, and comparing patterns.



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