An Introduction to Geographical Information Systems by Ian Heywood, Sarah Cornelius, Steve Carver

By Ian Heywood, Sarah Cornelius, Steve Carver

This article offers a transparent advent to the area of Geographical details structures and explains how they are truly used, throughout various disciplines and inside a number of industries..Revision questions - permits scholars to check their figuring out 'Further research - studying' deals assets of extra info when you desire to discover an issue extra 'Further research - actions' deals a variety of sensible actions for the coed to adopt to place into perform the ideas they've got studied spouse site contains simulated spreadsheet information for college students' perform, in addition to multiple-choice questions, revision questions and weblinks for additional research and lecturer assets 

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This variety can be explained, as Pickles (1995) suggests, by the fact that any definition of GIS will depend on who is giving it, and their background and viewpoint. Pickles also considers that definitions of GIS are likely to change quickly as technology and applications develop further. Some of the shorter definitions give an idea of what a GIS is, albeit in a superficial way. For example, Rhind (1989: 28) proposes that GIS is ‘a computer system that can hold and use data describing places on the Earth’s surface’.

In short, GIS can be used to add value to spatial data. By allowing data to be organized and viewed efficiently, by integrating them with other data, by analysis and by the creation of new data that can be operated on in turn, GIS creates useful information to help decision making. A GIS can, as was alluded to in the house hunting case study, be described as a form of spatial decision support system. Some authors consider that there are important elements of a GIS in addition to those common to the definitions above.

QXD 22 20/3/06 8:42 am Page 22 Chapter 1 What is GIS? 16 Weather station and ski piste in Happy Valley be developed. This method, known as the layerbased approach, is still used by most GIS. An alternative method of representing reality in a computer is to consider that space is populated by discrete ‘objects’ (Goodchild, 1995). Goodchild (1995) presents the example of a utility company that needs to map and manage a vast array of telegraph poles, connection boxes and cables. Each of these may be regarded as a discrete object, and there is empty space between the objects.

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