GIS (Geographic Information Systems) is a set of utilities permitting to store, retrieve, transform and display data about the area and space for certain purposes. It is also referred to as the activity with the help of which people measure and present geographic facts, and then convert these measurements into other forms in the process of interaction with social structures. Simply speaking, GIS represents software, hardware, the people in control of these technologies, and practices carried out by these people to make it easier to analyze and map geographic locations.
Let us see how GIS is related to GI Science. Geographic Information Science (GI Science) is the science this technology is based on and is derived from. It keeps the technology constantly up to date. This science studies the methods of receiving, visualizing and analyzing geographical information. It explores the theory and concepts fundamental to GIS and other geospatial technologies related to it, for instance, remote sensing and the Global Positioning System (GPS). Not only geography, but also cartography, geodesy, and photogrammetry use GI Science for the development of their technologies.
The first predecessors of GIS were founded in the 1960’s. These were the systems for the storage of information about the land and for simple visualization of geographic entities. In 1980’s and 1990’s the technology progressed a lot and the emerging number of scientists began to study the technology-related theory. At that time the young science of geographic information was forming.
The idea of GI Science was developed by Michael Goodchild, the professor of geography at the University of California in Santa Barbara. He was the first one who described the area of inquiry at Spatial Data Handling conference in 1990. Later, in 1992, he published the paper in which he justified his ideas, and this endeavor was highly successful and accepted by other scientists. Since then, GI Science has been using the data from computer science, information technology, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science in order to form a theoretical basis for GIS. The fields GI scientists work in are the acquisition of spatial data, its representation and visualization, creating of database and the development of operational standards, spatial analysis and statistics. They also study the interrelation between GIS technology and its users to make it user-friendly.
GIS (Geographic Information Systems) is a set of utilities permitting to store, retrieve, transform and display data about the area and space for certain purposes. It is also referred to as the activity with the help of which people measure and present geographic facts, and then convert these measurements into other forms in the process of interaction with social structures.