GEOG 60 Topic 1a

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Published on December 19, 2008

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Topic 1 – Introduction to Geographic Information Systems : Topic 1 – Introduction to Geographic Information Systems A – Information Technology and Geography B – The Purpose of GIS C – Organization of Information in a GIS Conditions of Usage : Conditions of Usage For personal and classroom use only Excludes any other forms of communication such as conference presentations, published reports and papers. No modification and redistribution permitted Cannot be published, in whole or in part, in any form (printed or electronic) and on any media without consent. Citation Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, Dept. of Economics & Geography, Hofstra University. The Objectives of this Topic : The Objectives of this Topic Understand GIS as an information technology. Understand the basic methods of information analysis in a GIS. Information Technology and Geography : Information Technology and Geography 1. What is Information? 2. What is Geographical Information? 3. What are Geographic Information Systems? A What is Information? : Database B What is Information? Information Knowledge about something. Recorded in some way. Information age The computer has become the main mean of storing and accessing information. Tremendous amounts of digital information created: Spreadsheets. Databases. Internet. Most of the “interesting” jobs involve information processing. 1 Part No. Qty Description 103521 5 Wheel spoke 105322 1 Ball bearing 106832 6 Wheel rim 104338 2 Tire 103922 7 Handlebars Date Address Type 1/22 123 James St. Robbery 1/26 22 Smith St. Noise 2/24 9 Elm Dr. #4A Assault 3/02 12 Fifth Ave. Vandalism 3/10 1067 Park Robbery Database A What is Information? : What is Information? Database B Date Address Type 1/22 123 James St. Robbery 1/26 22 Smith St. Noise 2/24 9 Elm Dr. #4A Assault 3/02 12 Fifth Ave. Vandalism 3/10 1067 Park Robbery 1 James Smith Elm 5th Park Geocoding What is Information? : 1 Information System Encoding Low order task Repetitive Automatic Established Structure High order task Unique Medium order task Common What is Information? Information Systems Dominant tool. Set of computer programs that are used to input (encode) information and store it in a structured manner. Can be retrieved, analyzed and, finally, reported as a table, graph, map or picture. Management Reporting Analysis What is Information? : What is Information? “Knowledge is power” Having information offers a way to control the parameters of our environment. Making decisions (resource allocation). With perfect information, one should be able to make optimal decisions. Impossible to be perfectly informed, so decisions are always imperfect (sub-optimal). 1 Available Information Perfect Information Optimal Decisions No Information “Pure Luck” Imperfect Information Sub-optimal Decisions What is Geographical Information? : What is Geographical Information? Spatial information Between 70 and 80% of the digital information is spatially related. Can be placed on a map. Tools to deal with this information are consequently very useful. Reveal information that was previously “hidden”. 2 Destination Customer addresses Store / factory / warehouse location Census information Environmental information Resource location A Taxonomy of Information : Name of people and organizations Qualitatives Stock market quotes Quantitatives Population Temperature Distance Density Land Use Name of places A Taxonomy of Information 1 Information Quantitative Qualitative Spatial Aspatial GIS What is Geographical Information? : What is Geographical Information? Spatially related Can be assigned coordinates or any spatial reference. On the surface of the earth. Involves location and organization. Scale Can be from general to specific. Simple to complex. A satellite can generate one terabyte (1012 bytes) of information per day. Dynamics Spatial dynamics (variations in space). Temporal dynamics (variations in time). 2 Coordinate system Scale Time 1 Time 2 The Purpose of GIS : The Purpose of GIS 1. What is a GIS? 2. History of GIS 3. General Purpose B What is a GIS? : 1 What is a GIS? Geographic Information System Form of Information System applied to geographical data. Produce information which will be useful in decision-making. Managing use of land, resources, transportation, retailing, oceans or any spatially distributed entities. Connection between the elements of the system is geography, e.g. location, proximity, spatial distribution. System of hardware, software and procedures Support the capture, management, manipulation, analysis, modeling and display of spatially-referenced data. Solving complex planning and management problems. What is a GIS? : 1 Geographic Information System Encoding What is a GIS? Information Systems Information system specializing in the input, storage, manipulation, analysis and reporting of geographical (spatially related) information. Management Reporting Analysis Digitizing maps Encoding spatial data (census, vegetation, topography, etc…) Geographic database in a spatial data format Spatial analysis Thematic maps Basic Structure of a GIS : Basic Structure of a GIS Geographic Database Data Input Transformation and Analysis Query Output: Display 1 What is a GIS? : What is a GIS? 1 Fields Records Geographic Information System History of GIS : History of GIS Prior to 1960 GIS’s origins lie in thematic cartography. Many planners used the method of map overlay using manual techniques. The 1960s and 1970s Many new forms of geographic data and mapping software. First GIS developed in Canada for land use inventory. Development of the first computer cartography packages for mainframe computers. First remote sensing images. Mathematical Models. 2 History of GIS : History of GIS The 1980s and 1990s First commercial GIS Packages. Diffusion of Microcomputers. Integration with other software (mainly CAD and databases). US Census Bureau efforts in the 1980s: Digitize spatial, economic and demographic attributes of the United States. Creation of the TIGER format (Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Reference ). The 2000s Integrated Information technologies with geography. Powerful applications on desktop computers. Web/network based data sources. Portable and inexpensive field GISs with GPS capabilities. 2 General Purpose : General Purpose GIS is a database application All information in a GIS is linked to a spatial reference. Other databases may contain locational information (street addresses, zip codes, etc.). GIS database uses geo-references as the primary means of storing and accessing information. 3 General Purpose : 3 General Purpose GIS is a tool Must serve a purpose. Not an end in itself but a mean (process) to achieve this end. Should be viewed as a process rather than as software or hardware. For decision-thinking (scenarios) and decision-making (strategies). 75% of the time used to be spent at building the spatial database: Acquiring data for a new GIS has become much simpler. General Purpose : 3 General Purpose Advantage Ability to integrate vast quantities of spatial information. Provide a powerful repertoire of analytical tools to explore this data. Ability to separate information in layers: Combine it with other layers of information. Good employment opportunities (information society). Disadvantage Long process of encoding and verifying the integrity of information. Compatibility between different GIS (less an issue). Technology changes rapidly. Information overload. General Purpose : 3 General Purpose GIS as an Integrating Technology Evolved by linking a number of discrete technologies: A whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Integrate geographical data and methods: Support traditional forms of geographical analysis. Map overlay analysis. Thematic mapping. New types of analysis and modeling: Beyond the capability of manual methods. Possible to map, model, query, and analyze large quantities of data all held together within a single database. Integrates people, data, hardware and software. General Purpose : General Purpose People Map user: end consumer. Cartographer: producer of the end product of a GIS. Analyst: applies methods to solve geographical problems. Database administrator: build, update and administer databases. Data Remote sensing images or aerial photographs. Topographic maps. Land records. Etc. 3 Hardware People Software Data GIS General Purpose : General Purpose The GIS Job Market About 500,000 GIS users in the United States (another 500,000 for the rest of the world). 10% (50,000) are using GIS full-time. 15% growth each year. 75,000 people a year receive GIS training. Shortfall in training and advanced degrees. High demands to integrate GIS in all levels of the educational system. 3 Organization of Information in a GIS : Organization of Information in a GIS 1. Layers 2. Features 3. Attributes 4. Relationships C Representation of Geographical Information in a GIS : Representation of Geographical Information in a GIS Thematic Map of the Continental United States 1 Maps are Composed of Layers : Maps are Composed of Layers 1 Features : Features Layers contain features or surfaces Features Real world objects. Natural or man-made. Represented on a map as a single entity. Each map feature has a location, shape, and symbol that represents one or more of its characteristics. Surfaces Some elements do not have a distinct shape. E.g. : elevation, slope, temperature, rainfall. Raster is the most common surface; composed of a grid. 2 Features : Features Points Points represent objects that have discrete locations and are too small to be depicted as areas. Schools, traffic lights, crime locations, and park benches are examples of point features. Lines Lines represent objects that have length but are too narrow to be depicted as areas. Freeways, streets, pipelines, and waterways are examples of line features. Polygons Polygons represent objects too large to be depicted as points or lines. Parks, census tracts, postal codes, and trade areas are examples of polygon (or area) features. 2 Features in ArcMap : Features in ArcMap 2 Attributes : Attributes Attributes Features are stored in a database along with information describing them. The descriptive information stored with a feature. Attributes of a street might include its name, street type, length, street code, number of lanes, and pavement type. The attributes of a park may be its name, area, hours of operation, and maintenance schedule. 3 Street name, Width, Direction, Lanes Address, Lot #, Type, # Rooms, Owner, Value Attributes : Attributes Relationships Features and their attributes are linked. Types: One feature as one record in a database. Many features to one record. Access the attributes for any feature or locate any feature from its attributes. Attributes are displayed in a spreadsheet-like ArcView document called a Table. 3 Features Attributes Attributes : Attributes 3 Layout : 4 Layout Layout A GIS links sets of features and their attributes and manages them together in units called layout. Consists of a collection of geographic features. Roads, rivers, parcels, wildlife sightings, schools, or parks. Attributes for those features. Thematic map A map (set of features) which visually represents a set of data (attributes) is called a thematic map. Layout : Layout 4

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