Have you ever used Google Maps to find directions or a route map to your friend’s house? That is one way you have experienced the importance of GIS in our daily life.
A Geographic Information System is an application for collecting, organizing, storing, analyzing, and distributing spatial data about geographical locations and features. GIS assists in our understanding of the world around us by bringing together maps and data for analysis and decision-making.
Approach and Methodology
The underlying technology in GIS is a combination of hardware and software that enables users to collect, store, and analyze geographic data. The process typically involves four steps: data acquisition, data management, analysis, and visualization.
- Data acquisition: The first step in GIS is to collect spatial data from various sources, such as satellite imagery, aerial photography, GPS data, and other forms of location-based data.
- Data management: The collected spatial data is stored in a GIS database, which can be accessed and managed by GIS software. The GIS database contains various types of spatial data, such as points, lines, polygons, and raster data.
- Data analysis: The GIS software allows users to analyze spatial data using various spatial analysis tools. For example, users can perform proximity analysis, terrain analysis, and spatial statistical analysis to gain insights from the data.
- Data visualization: GIS software can be used to visualize spatial data in the form of maps, graphs, and charts. This helps users to better understand the spatial relationships between different features on the map.
Mapping and Data Layers
Mapping in GIS allows you to layer data tied to various geographic points. Rather than seeing just a few key features on a static map, GIS mapping allows you to view customizable combinations of data layers in a dynamic tool. These data layers can be acquired from a variety of sources, including satellite imagery, aerial photography, GPS, and field surveys. This data is typically stored in a geographic database, which can be managed using GIS software like ArcGIS, QGIS, Google Earth Pro etc.
GIS Maps consist of different layers, each performing a separate yet interlinked function. Different types of layers can access and display different types of data. The layers involve creating spatial reference frameworks that take actual physical locations and objects and represent them using a coordinate system, known as Coordinate Reference System (CRS). The three spatial dimensions of length, width and height are represented by X, Y, and Z coordinates respectively. M coordinate, which is also known as “measure”, is an additional value that can be stored for each point of a geometry. A GIS Map broadly comprises of two kinds of data i.e., Vector data and Raster data. Vector data represents geographic data symbolized as points, lines, or polygons, such as buildings, roads or waterbodies. Raster data represents geographic data images or base maps.
These data layers can be overlapped to combine features from Raster and Vector data, providing access to data attributes for point, line, and polygon feature data. We can also add, update, and delete feature data and access data through spatial queries.
Uses of GIS Maps
Here are some of the most popular uses of GIS Maps:
- Urban Planning: Urban planners depend on GIS to a great extent to minimize the negative impact on existing historic structures or natural spaces while responsibly accommodating humans. The advanced GIS mapping capabilities help the users to produce high accuracy base-maps for urban information systems.
- Infrastructure: GIS Maps provide visualization of information that is crucial to the success of any infrastructural project.
- Telecom: Telecom services benefit a lot from GIS in terms of efficient planning and operational decision-making. GIS data facilitates the wireless telecom sector by helping them incorporate geospatial data into complex network design and optimization activities.
- Agriculture: GIS Maps are used in agriculture to analyze soil and crop data, optimize irrigation and fertilization, and monitor plant growth and tree cover.
- Environment: GIS Maps are useful in environmental management as they facilitate monitoring of the changes in soil, water, air, climate, and forestry.
- Mining: Many mining activities depend on GIS. GIS is used in collecting data in the field, hence making the mapping process easier. Exploration tools are provided by GIS to manage, display, and analyze data.
- Navigation: GIS provides analysis and estimates for planning new routes. It helps in analyzing existing routes, collecting data, and informing the riders of changes to routes.
GIS technology has come a long way since its inception. By providing insights into spatial patterns and relationships, GIS enables decision-makers to make more informed decisions, optimize operations, and improve outcomes. GIS technology is constantly evolving, with new data collection tools, data storage options, analysis tools, and visualization techniques being developed. The basic steps of GIS remain the same, but the technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated and capable of handling larger and more complex datasets.
AABSyS has a highly experienced team of GIS professionals and has rich experience in providing high-quality yet cost-effective solutions to its customers.
The typical GIS Mapping services offered by AABSyS include:
- Land use/ Land cover (LULC) Classification
- Georeferencing, mosaicking, and seamless raster data products
- Terrain mapping
- Digital elevation modeling
- Change detection analysis
- Mapping & advanced spatial analysis
- 3D building and vegetation models